9 things that can spoil your holiday

Sometimes travel doesn’t go as expected

Disclaimer: This post contains Compensair affiliate links and I may earn a commission (at no cost to you) based on making a claim through my links.  

Travel is one of the times in your life when you are reliant on things going right.  This is most certainly true of international travel. Most times things go well and you have a fabulous time. However, sometimes things don’t go exactly to plan.  A missed connecting flight or leaving an important document behind, can put a spanner in the works.  Sometimes the places you go don’t live up to the hype or that fabulous Instagram photo.  Sometimes the things that can ruin your holiday are in our control to fix and other times not.  Being aware of the pitfalls of travel, before you head off on your adventure can help you prepare for most eventualities. 

1. Not having the right visa

I can’t think of anything worse than arriving in a foreign country after a long flight only to be turned back at the border for having the wrong Visa (or none at all).  Different countries have different entry requirements for people from different places.  Make sure you check out the Visa requirements for your destination and leave plenty of time to apply for your Visa before you go.

2. Your passport doesn’t have the required amount of time left before expiry

Most countries require you to have at least 6 months left on your passport before it expires or they will deny you entry.  Make sure you have applied for renewal of your passport well in advance of travelling so that you don’t get caught out on this one.

Make sure your passport has at least 6 months left before expiry

3. You get sick or get injured while you are away.

There is nothing worse than being sick on your holiday especially in a foreign country where you may or may not know the language.  You’ll find that some countries don’t have the same over the counter medications that you can find at home.  Just in case you may wish to take some with you but make sure that any medication is legal in the country you are visiting prior to departure.  If your illness is more serious you may need to visit a doctor or be admitted to hospital.  Most times your travel insurance will cover the cost of this but make sure to read the fine print on pre-existing conditions before you go.  Most oversees hospitals will want to see your travel insurance policy before they will attend to you.  Some countries have reciprocal arrangements with others in respect of if you are admitted to hospital in an emergency.  It’s good to check out if you are fully covered prior to departure.  You can find more information about different countries and their medical facilities on their embassy websites or through your own Government’s travel advisory sites.  Remember if you can’t afford travel insurance you can’t afford to travel. 

4. Your flight is delayed or cancelled

Having your flight delayed or even cancelled can put a real damper on your holiday.  Most times, airlines will have you on your way as soon as possible.  Some even provide accommodation or meals for you while you wait.  Other times you may be out of pocket for expenses that may not be covered by your travel insurance.  If this happens to you on your European adventure, you may be eligible to receive compensation.

The European Union Regulation 261/2004 entitles a passenger is to 250-600 euros of compensation if your flight is delay more than 3 hours; it is cancelled; you were denied boarding due to the airline overbooking your flight; you missed a connection due to a delay of the first segment (you arrived at your destination more than 3 hours later than planned. You can apply for compensation for a disrupted flight needed for up to six years from the date of travel (depending on country of departure) and your flight was within the EU (on any airline), leaving the EU (on any airline) or arriving into EU (on EU airline). The amount of compensation you’re entitled is dependent on, how long you have been delayed, and the distance of your flight. 

There are two ways to file your claim with an airline: you can embark on the claim process yourself or let Compensair take a fight for you by filling in a simple claim form.

Claim compensation for delayed or cancelled flights

If you decide to proceed on your own, you will need the following:

  • Draw up a claim with supporting evidence and necessary documents;
  • Submit a claim in the way required by an airline (online form, fax, email, etc.);
  • Wait for a response;
  • Prepare a legally justified response to airline’s payment refusal or send a claim again (if ignored);
  • In case of unjustified refusal or ignorance, you will need to apply to consumer rights protection authorities of the country of departure and/or to court.

Or you can let Compensair manage everything as quickly as possible for 25% success fee. They will take on all the hassle providing regular updates along the way. And there is no risk at all – they will charge you only when you have been successful. 

1.3M people had their flight delayed last year
Claim up to 600 Euro for delayed or cancelled flights

5. Your hotel isn’t what it looked like online or on Instagram.

Those lovely photos weren’t what your hotel looks like in real life. You may find out that its dirty, noisy or worse when you get there.  I had an experience of this on my last trip to Hong Kong.  When I arrived at my (yes it was cheap) hotel it was nasty!  Make sure you check out hotel reviews on a number of sites before booking that bargain or you might spend your time there worried about whether or not the bed bugs will bite. 

Broken down building
Those online photos of your hotel let you down

6. Travel scams/crimes

There is nothing worse than getting caught up in a scam or being the victim of a crime like pickpocketing on your travels.  After a while you learn what to look for, but even the most seasoned traveller can be caught unawares by travel scams. Do your homework before you go on likely travel scams, petty crimes and the areas to have your wits about you before you go.

7. Lost luggage

Most of the time your luggage isn’t actually lost its just taking a little longer to arrive in your destination than you.  Delayed luggage can be a pain in the neck, but generally it’s a matter of waiting to get your belongings back.  Always pack a spare set of clothes and your toiletries in your carryon just in case your luggage is on the slow boat behind you.  Check your travel insurance to see if there’s anything you can claim for delayed luggage.  

Lost luggage

If your luggage does get actually lost once again, what you’ve packed in your carry on will most likely need to carry you over until you can get some new clothing.  Make sure you pack valuables including your travel documents and your passport in your carry on too. Good travel insurance policies will compensate you for lost luggage, but you will usually have to wait until you return home to make a claim (check your insurer). If your airline does lose your bag make sure you don’t leave the airport without a resolution and submit a claim to your airline immediately. 

8. Your lose your passport or have it stolen.

Unfortunately, losing your passport or having it stolen will take considerable time away from your planned vacation activities.  You will need to find your nearest Embassy and complete a police report if it was stolen.  It’s always a good idea to take a photo copy of your passport and identification on your journey as you will need to be able to identify who you are when you are applying for a replacement.  

Storm in city
The weather turns bad

9. The weather turns bad.

All the forecasting in the world can’t predict bad weather which can hit without warning.  Don’t let the weather dictate how you feel on your vacation.  If the weather turns bad, swap outdoor activities for indoor ones.  Make sure you always pack an umbrella and something warm just in case the sun don’t shine on your vacation.

With a little preparation and the ability to claim for some of your holiday mishaps, you can set out on your journey armed with knowledge on what to do and where to go.

Where will you go next?

Happy Travels!


9 things that can spoil your holiday
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  1. Bree

    Oh dear. We had a few of these on our last holiday to Portugal and Spain. Weather was terrible, we had snow, hail and torrential rain. It was freezing also. We didn’t let this dampen the holiday though. Shopping for warmer clothes, bonus. I did get sick due to it being so cold. I only missed one day on the cruise, I had all the necessary medications. I was lucky, two others had doctors called in and one was taken to the hospital. They both didn’t think to take their medications with them. Flights have been delayed. On our trip in 2016 we were on the tarmac in paris for 6 hours. Hence all connecting flights home were missed. Lucky I had a change of clothes in my backpack.

  2. Sue Davies

    Good set of tips. I didn’t know about the EU flight delays policies and procedures. I’d add one more–not having the right clothing for the season weather. We have made that mistake many times and had to go shopping. Not the worst thing…

  3. Lori

    We’ve had flights cancelled while in other countries. Some airlines are much better than others at helping you find accommodations if needed. The right clothing is always an issue especially when trying not to overpack. All good tips. thanks.

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