When Things Go Wrong On A Vacation

If you were able to get away for a family vacation this year or are planning one for later in the year, don’t forget to figure in all the incidentals. Murphy’s Law has it right when it states that if something can go wrong… it inevitably will. Everything from lost luggage, to misplaced items, unexpected weather, storage problems and unforeseeable delays can not only make your vacation slightly less enjoyable but can present unexpected expenses as well. The frugal minded traveler is ready for such instances by knowing what to get and where to get it cheaply. After all you’re probably paying enough for travel and temporary lodging; why add to the price tag? Here’s a little something to help you out next time the unexpected happens during a family vacation.

One would think that since every airline is charging up the wazoo for baggage that they would be more careful with it. Alas, this is not the case. Airlines lose luggage every day. What happens if it’s your luggage that gets lost? Or what if the weather is totally not the weather you packed for? What then? Unexpected replacement costs can take your already planned travel expenses and put them through the roof. But only if you allow them to. With a little research and some imaginative strategies for shopping you can lighten the load on your troubled mind and budget. Try out some of these on your next trip.
You visited the beach and the kids left behind their shower shoes and beach towels. No worries. Pay a visit to the nearest Goodwill, thrift store or dollar store and you’ll be able to replace them for next to nothing. If the little one left her sand toys behind, those same places will undoubtedly have replacements for those as well. Upon checking into your hotel, don’t forget to visit their business center and take advantage of any local printed coupons. Savings galore can be found there from affordable pizza delivery all the way to coupons for sunscreen.

Booking online on sites like orbitz may be a convenience, but watch out if you miss your flight. One time I booked through orbitz because they had a promo code for orbitz that could save me a few hundred bucks. Later, I overslept and was late for my flight. I had to argue and argue to get me to the next flight, but lady at the counter did not want to do anything with me and told me to call orbitz directly. A lesson I learned is that if you want quick service in case something goes wrong with your flight, it’s better to deal with the airlines directly. In other words, purchase your ticket through the airlines if you want to avoid any hassle in case you miss your flight.

It’s hard to pack light and still be ready for any kind of weather. Mother Nature has a wonderful sense of humor which includes taking the average temperatures and weather conditions of vacation destinations and turning them every which way upon your arrival. Should she decide to mess with the weather on your vacation, fear not. A visit to one of the stores we just discussed can land you some gloves, sweaters, sweat shirts or hats if it looks like a Mother Nature’s going to throw Jack Frost into the mix. If on the other hand, she should decide to throw Mr. Sun at you full force, you may need to pick up some lighter weight clothing, swimsuits, shorts and so on. Don’t go to the nearest department store and pay a fortune for something that you’re only going to need for a very short time. That’s not frugal thinking. Pick up just what you need, for very little, and don’t feel bad if it gets left behind.

When visiting the family that you seldom get together with, the endless showering of gifts usually means added stress when it comes to the topic of storage. Even lost luggage, ‘cuz we know that never happens, can add to your stress level and leave you in a bind as to where to store the temporary clothing you just bought at Goodwill and the salvation army store. Well, don’t stop at clothing, buy some inexpensive pieces of luggage or other bags. You only need it for the trip home after all. Zippered plastic pouches and drawstring bags are a great idea for the transport of the wet clothing from the beach. There’s nothing like damp, sand filled, fishy smelling sea water jammed in with the rest of your clothing to take a good day and turn it bad. The same can be done for the beach toys or snorkeling gear. Picking up cheap carry-on bags at thrift stores or dollar stores is the perfect answer for carrying home accumulated items from the trip. If that is, you intend to take them home with you. The beauty of buying things this cheaply is that, as I said before, you don’t have to feel bad if they get left behind. Of course you wouldn’t dream of but leaving all those family gifts behind, though.

And what about those pesky delays? The most unforeseeable unfortunate circumstance of them all. Car trouble, canceled flights, sudden snowstorms… delays can take your seven day trip and turn it into 10 days just like that; if that is, you actually have that option. Three more days of eating expenses can be taken down a notch by preparing inexpensive meals with dollar store paper plates and plastic utensils and eating in your hotel room or other temporary lodging. How to entertain the masses during delays is easily taken care of at the hotel pool, area parks and with laptop computer games. No one travels without their laptop these days.

What it all boils down to is… expect the unexpected.

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