[N]o matter how great traveling looks, wherever you go (or even if you just stay at home), frustrations and annoyances are an inevitable part of the journey.
Sometimes things just don't go according to the expectations you had or things just don't work out the way you had imagined.
Maybe the internet is down in your hotel when you really need it, your bus broke down, you got ripped off, your phone got stolen… you get the idea (travel isn't always pretty).
But when these frustrating or annoying circumstances occur, here are a few things to keep in mind.
1. Keep calm
Keeping calm and not overreacting is the first step when something frustrating occurs.
If you still have a chance to work out the problem, for instance someone overcharging you (and you catching it), be sure to still remain calm and work out the situation without getting angry.
Depending on what culture you're visiting, showing loud emotions may or may not be appropriate, but even if it is, it's best as the foreigner to relax, keep calm, and move on.
2. Don't worry
Sometimes I've showed up at a destination with no hotel booking, only to find that nearly all the hotels are fully booked.
It's easy to worry when you think you have nowhere to sleep for the night, but even in tough situations, it's still best not to worry. Worrying just makes things worse in our heads and makes us exaggerate the situation.
So when it comes to any sort of annoyance or frustration, don't worry, but instead think about how you can resolve the situation, even if it takes some effort.
3. Don't let little things get to you
Whenever a big frustration gets to me, a lot of other little frustrations then follow.
After getting annoyed and thinking about a big annoyance all day, little things like someone who talks too much or a waiter who brings me the wrong dish on accident, get me much more annoyed than they would have on a normal day.
So even though the big annoyance happened, try to not get annoyed at future events and not take your frustration out on someone innocent.
4. Be flexible and rearrange
Two of the overall best attributes to have when you travel is flexibility and patience, a good handle on both will go a long way when you travel.
I need the internet to work when I travel, but sometimes the internet is down, the power is off, or the speed is just downright horrible.
In times like these I do my best to not get annoyed waiting for my email to load in 10 minutes, but to switch what I'm doing to something like video editing or writing.
5. Take a day off
Sometimes I've had bad days traveling, when many things seemed to not work out according to what I wanted – the internet at the hotel broke, I was overcharged for a taxi, I couldn't find the right restaurant I was looking for – some days like this I just head back to my room, and kind of just take the day off from traveling.
Relaxing for a day in your hotel room when things just aren't going so well, can be a good way to refresh yourself.
Travel frustrations and annoyances will happen, it's just a matter of when.
So just remember to keep calm, don't worry, even take a day off from wandering, and things will usually be just fine in the end.
Mark was raised in central Africa before migrating back to the U.S. for University. After graduating, he decided to continue traveling the world. On Migrationology, he shares the cultural side of travel from a slow-paced local perspective that often revolves around his love for eating all forms of food. Join him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter @migrationology.
Planning a trip? Go Backpacking recommends:
- G Adventures for small group tours.
- World Nomads for travel insurance.
- Hostelworld for booking hostels.
- Rail Europe for train passes.
Wednesday 16th of October 2013
Great tips! I always regret any little freak-outs I've had on the road. It helps to stop and get perspective.