Wanderlust is an intoxicating feeling to the point you disregard safety and common sense. For the 36+ million people visiting Spain each year, this sort of experience is no doubt a common one.
You become so zoned into the moment, you don’t realize someone’s picked your pocket. Or, you’ve taken on a challenge well outside your physical or mental prowess putting yourself in danger. We want to experience it all and are willing to take risks… sometimes risks hit us hard.
Here are troubles you’ll likely experience when traveling. And, how to handle them without losing it:
Medical emergencies are bound to happen the longer you’re traveling. This can range from mild food poisoning to life-threatening injuries sustained in transit. Hiking the Montserrat mountains was a good idea at the time but this quickly led to nasty bumps and cuts from taking it too far.
Your inexperience with the language and unfamiliarity with the area exacerbates the situation.
What do you do?
Hopefully, you spent time getting to know your potential dangers before traveling. This would have prepared you for getting health insurance, making an emergency contact list, getting the lay-of-the-land, and having someone to go to.
In the event of an emergency:
1. Call for help or get the attention of locals
2. Visit the police, embassy, or hotel reception
3. Get in touch with your family and forward the details
The locals may not always come to your aid so be prepared by knowing emergency contacts, lingo, and having cash-on-hand to get appropriate treatment for your troubles.
There are several ways you’ll part with money against your will when visiting Spain:
Many travellers fall for scams by trusting local “tour guides” with no credentials who funnel you to exploitative locations. There, you’ll buy overpriced items or unknowingly let your guard down and fall victim to theft. This happens frequently when you first arrive because you don’t know better!
What can you do in a pinch?
First, understand your location and its currency so if you’re in the States you can likely use a global bank like Bank of America or Citigroup.
If you found yourself lost and broke in Barcelona, for example, then you could turn to online transfer services like Ria Money Transfer Spain. This would provide funds instantly versus trying to explain your case to your country’s embassy (who typically don’t provide financial assistance in the first place).
There are many alternatives from stuffing extra money in your sock to keeping a few traveler’s checks in a hotel safe. The point is to keep your options open with multiple accounts vs relying on just one.
The joy of travel isn’t found during the tense moments trying to make connecting flights or finding yourself waiting extra days because you missed the last train to your next stop. Logistics can send your finances into free-fall from unexpected expenses. And, it all-around stresses your journey often giving a bad experience (which tends to get you into more trouble).
Spain, for example, has several iconic, scenic routes accessible by train, taxi, or car. However, you may not be accustomed to its mountainous terrain and find yourself delayed by extreme weather.
What’s a good way to handle the logistics?
1. Take your time when traveling and give yourself ample margin between connecting transits
2. Have a backup plan if you miss the connections to maximise your extended stay
3. Budget for the layover, find local work to recoup costs, or bite-the-bullet and pay extra if its a calculated money-saver
4. Buddy up and share rides or use their weathered advice for better deals
Sometimes these logistics emergencies lead to the best moments in your travels. You inadvertently dodge the tourist traps (like Sagrada Familia) and find your way into the authentic experience by going outside your boundaries.
Always keep a level head when you’re traveling abroad. It sounds intuitive but many become overwhelmed with excitement to which they disregard their surroundings and well-being.
Emergencies can (and will) happen.
It’s best to prepare and have options than finding yourself completely disheartened by the trip.