How to Keep Your Cool in Stressful Travel Situations

Going traveling is a big adventure, and most of the time, it’s fun. However, there are guaranteed to be situations during your travels where things don’t go as planned. When you’re on the road, sometimes disaster strikes and you find yourself in a very stressful situation. Your bus is delayed, your hotel lost your reservation, the airline lost your bags, your passports were stolen, you get lost in a strange city… what should you do?

Konstantin Yolshin /

Konstantin Yolshin /

Here are some tips you can keep in mind to help yourself stay calm in these stressful travel situations.

Take a Second and Assess the Situation

The first step is to stay calm and take a moment to figure out what is going on. For example, if you’re lost the worst thing you can do is start to panic and turn in random directions – you will only become more lost. Stop for a moment and collect yourself, so you can decide what to do next. Take some deep breaths until you feel yourself starting to relax.

In that moment of calm, you might realise you know your way back to your hotel from the main square, so if you can ask a local to help you find the main square, you can make it from there.

Peter Bernik /

Peter Bernik /

Accept What You Can and Cannot Change

While you’re traveling, it’s important to understand what situations you can control and which ones you can’t. For example, if your plane is delayed and you have to sit on the runway for two extra hours, there’s really nothing you can do in that situation. Once you realise that there’s nothing you can do, you can relax and be patient. Recline your seat and watch a movie to make the time go faster.

If you spend the two hours feeling unhappy and stressed you will end up being miserable, if you spend them watching a movie you will be relaxed and entertained. The hours are going to pass anyway and there’s not much you can do about that – so why not pass them in a comfortable and relaxed state?

Peter Bernik /

Peter Bernik /

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

Despite how things might feel, you’ll be surprised to find out how many people will be happy to help you when you are in a tight spot while traveling. Locals in many countries are warm and hospitable and they’ll usually offer directions, help you find the right bus or translate something. Sometimes when something goes wrong when you’re traveling, it can turn into an opportunity to have a memorable interaction with a friendly and helpful local person.

Corepics VOF /

Corepics VOF /



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