Precautions and tips you need to know, to make your travel safe, easy and enjoyable.
Travelling, at times, can be a very daunting task, any mishaps like losing your luggage, having your pockets picked, missing your flight etc, makes us all paranoid. All of us look for cheap ways to travel and plan trips way ahead of schedule, but forget to take precautions to avoid any untoward incidents. You may learn something new which could help you later and if you have already experienced such mishaps, you’ll find this relatable.
I was returning from my hostel, in Ooty, to my home in Trivandrum and had to catch a bus from Coimbatore at 10 pm. In our log book at the hostel, the genius before me put the date of the next day. Absent-minded, I also wrote the same date on the register and on the way through the hills, I check my ticket, which had the same date written as the register, which made me look forward to my bus travel.
I reach the bus stand and confidently sit in the seat number written on my ticket. The bus fills itself and ends up with one extra passenger. The conductor asks for my ticket and says the worst words I have heard in my life,” Your ticket is for the bus leaving tomorrow, please step outside and wait for me” Shell shocked, I look at the other passengers asking what the date was the day, hoping it would change.
Without a phone, because the hostel doesn’t let us keep electronics, I stand there waiting for a man or woman who could rescue me. The conductor finally arrives to give me his phone; I straight away call my father, who realized his mistake while booking the tickets, asks me what to do? “Is there another bus available?” I ask the conductor who just took his phone and said no.
Do not travel at night, finding a means of transport at the late hours of the city can be difficult as some cities shut down by 8 pm. Alone at a bus stand at 11 pm with nowhere to go, I run to the nearest restaurant and ask them if I could borrow a phone and call up my dad. It is amazing what happens when you look like a kid and ask people for what you want. My dad had called the police and I was taken to the police station in the jeep, making me feel like a prisoner (of the situation). Waiting in the police station I begin talking to an officer who informed me that I will be taken care of by them and dropped to catch my bus.
Research is one of the most important aspects of any travel. Misinformation can be very dangerous as you can be taken advantage of without your knowledge. The location, the currency, unsafe areas and many more are readily available on the internet, making it very easy to gain the correct information. Knowing how to get to the hotel can be very helpful as you can reach the hotel in case any delay occurs. It helps in knowing the system and the rates of different modes of transport in the city. Government sites contain all the necessary information and you can learn all the precautions required to enjoy a peaceful journey.
Travel insurance is a very handy tool which can save you a lot of money. During a vacation, we gain a lot of memories but we lose a few things like our personal belongings or the ability to walk due to an injury or illness can cause a lot of problems for you, Insurance helps in any such emergencies. The cost of healthcare, baggage loss, delay coverage can be avoided by having travel insurance.
Ensure you have the information on your mode of travel, Somehow we never end up learning our lessons, I forgot to take my suitcase from the bus, but that’s another story. The conductor’s number of the bus you’re travelling in, the information of the ticket collector of the train you took, the license plate of the cab you splurge in and also the helpline number of the airline can save you from a major mishap. It would help you contact the individual in case you forget something in the vehicle or lose something important.
In an airport anything can happen, you could lose your boarding pass, miss your flight etc, in such situations, you can approach the helpdesk at the airport to assist you in these matters and provide you with solutions. Do not wait at the conveyor belt for others to clear out so you can grab your bag at the end, someone else can take your bag before it comes the second time around. In case of baggage loss, you can approach the help desk near the exit of the airport and use the token which is stuck to the back of your boarding pass at the bar code on the token helps in tracking the location of the bag.
Many people choose to travel by overnight buses to their destination. It isn’t the most comfortable way to travel as you do not get enough rest in the bouncing chair, leaving you tired and groggy, which can cause you to forget your valuables. Before entering the bus, remember to take the number of the conductor or the bus driver as you can contact them and retrieve your luggage. The railways have a similar system, the ticket collector or the station master is the person you can talk to in case of any mishaps happen in your bogey. It is also important to place cash in multiple locations as you might require in an emergency situation. Having a dummy wallet with less cash inside can also be very helpful in case some brave soul decided to pick your pockets.
Long drives are fun to talk about and plan, but long durations of gear-shifting and turning wheels, the fatigue catches up. In any situation, during long drives it is a necessity to have emergency numbers and that you don’t exert yourself too much, a 10 minutes powernap never hurt anybody and it makes a big difference on the mind and body of an individual. Regular breaks in every 2 hrs are recommended as it helps in relaxing the mind and the body for the tedious driving. Information about the highways and a map can go a long way during long drives.
Any time you find yourself in a predicament, remember help can come from anyone and everyone. At an airport, a help desk of the airport or the airline is always available, during train or bus travel the station master and the conductor are very helpful and responsible people. During long drives, it is helpful to know some important numbers, which can help you in any situation.