No one wants to deal with travel disasters. But on your honeymoon, you REALLY don't want anything to go wrong. Sure, it will give you an interesting story to tell. But on your romantic trip, the only story you want is to tell is how perfect everything was on your first getaway as a married couple!
Thankfully, the most common travel disasters are often also the easiest to avoid. Sure, $h*t happens. But your honeymoon is much more likely to go without a hitch if you make the right preparations.
Below, check out some of the most common honeymoon travel mix-ups and, more importantly, how to avoid them.
Lost or Stolen Passports
A lost passport is a surefire way to ruin your trip...or, at least, give you one heck of a honeymoon hassle. Whether it ends up in the hands of a sneaky pickpocket who wants it to sell it on the black market, or on the train where you left your handbag, there are lots of ways a passport can get lost. However, there are some easy steps you can take to avoid it.
First, keep your passport hidden, and don't take it places where it isn't needed. Hotel safes (the one behind the front desk, preferably, rather than the in-room safe) are usually a great place to leave it when you're out sightseeing. While flying, keep it in your carry on bags, on the off-chance your luggage gets lost by the airline. When you do have to carry it with you, invest in a discrete travel carrier meant for passports and cash, so that it's safer from pickpockets.
So what if your passport is stolen? Well, always make a photocopy of each page, and stash the copies in the hotel safe as a backup . It won't solve all your problems, but will make identifying yourself and replacing the passport much easier. As soon as you notice that it's gone, report the theft to the US Department of State, and contact the nearest embassy or consulate to let them know. You may have to visit the embassy in person to fill out a form and make a verbal report.
You'll then have to apply for a new passport, and will need your passport number. That's where the photocopies come in handy. A police report may need to be filed as well. If so, make sure to get your own copy.
Many travel insurance policies include coverage for lost passports, so consider buying coverage before your honeymoon begins.
Canceled or Missed Flights
Missing your honeymoon flight, or hearing that it's canceled, is the ultimate buzzkill. While some canceled flights are unavoidable, such as due to weather, most can be avoided by setting extra alarms and leaving earlier than you think you'll have to. Also, don't reply on hotel wake-up calls, because if hotel staff makes a mistake and doesn't make the call, sleeping in will cost you the first leg of your honeymoon!
Honeymoon trip insurance can at least offer some financial protection against canceled flights, but won't prevent the cancellation itself. also, if you miss a flight and will be late to your hotel, make sure you tell them so they don't give away your reservation. While it's hard to do on such a romantic trip, remember that problems do occur, and try to take everything as it comes.
We all know the story: you're waiting, and waiting, and waiting around the baggage carousel, and your luggage just never shows. Then you wrangle with the airline to track it down, hoping they find it and eventually, somehow, get it to you in time for your trip not to be ruined. While there is no 100% failsafe, other than bringing only carry-on luggage (a difficult honeymoon feat to achieve), there are some steps you can take to make lost luggage less likely.
First, make sure your luggage is well-labeled. Baggage tags with your information on them are key, so make sure they exist both outside and inside your bags. In addition, make sure your luggage is unique. It's much more likely to get lost, or that you'll fail to recognize it, if your luggage looks just like everyone else's. Booking a nonstop flight also reduces the chances of lost bags, since your luggage will pass through fewer hands.
And while it sounds tedious, it's worth making an inventory of everything each bag contains, with a verifiable cash value for each. Airlines are sometimes required to reimburse you for provable losses, which means if you have a good record of what your bag contained and what it's all worth, you could get over $3,000 for your lost stuff.
Sick from street food? Shouldn't have drank the tap water? Come down with the flu? There's nothing like a sudden illness to put immediate breaks on your honeymoon fun. The best thing you can do to avoid illness is to take care of yourselves before your honeymoon...eat right, try not to stress, and get plenty of sleep. On the plane, take an immune-boosting supplement and wash your hands before and after boarding. If you do catch something, many countries have pharmacies with a variety of over-the-counter remedies, some of which might even be prescription-only in the US.
Aside from catching something contagious, food poisoning is one form of travel illness that is pretty common. While we can't recommend you avoid the incredible street food in culinary meccas like Hong Kong or Oaxaca, avoid raw foods and try to find out which vendors are well-established. Your hotel should be able to help with this. You can also just watch for a few minutes to see how vendors prepare their foods and what the sanitation looks like. Also, buy street food at popular meal times even though lines might be longer. Food will be fresher! If you can, also try to avoid greasy foods and raw foods, and be extra cautious with seafood.
If you do get food poisoning, make sure to stay hydrated, preferably with lots of electrolytes. Bring Pepto-Bismol, a remedy like activated charcoal, or a doctor-recommended medication with you when you travel. If your symptoms are severe, don't hesitate to go to the hospital. Hospitals are generally fairly high-quality around tourist areas.
You Get Scammed
The reality of international travel is, there are always people looking to take advantage of tourists. Sometimes it's with ripoffs, other times outright scams. And it's as true in Manhattan as it is in Sri Lanka. To keep from getting duped, arrange activities, transportation, and restaurant reservations through your hotel. Learn ahead of time what the situation is with taxis in your honeymoon destination, as customs, pricing structures, and other details change from place to place. Also learn what reasonable prices are for souvenirs, meals, and other things you plan on spending money on.
Avoid any vendor who approaches you in the street. They're more likely to be scammers or become aggressive. A little research goes a long way in avoiding travel scams. Also note that scammers like to hang around crowded touristy areas looking for marks -- keep your wits about you, and you won't become a victim!
You Have a Car Accident
Whether you're the driver or it's someone else, car accidents are a very scary thing. In a foreign country, they're even scarier. It's something that could happen to anyone, so while you don't want to huddle in fear every time you need to take a ride, you should know ahead of time what to do if an accident happens. First off, familiarize yourself with (and add to your phone/on paper) your honeymoon destination's emergency numbers. If an accident happens, make sure neither you nor your new groom or bride are injured, but call the relevant emergency number immediately regardless.
Make sure the police are called. For your part, however, make sure you take notes and pictures with as much detail as possible of any injuries, damages, the make, model, and plate numbers of all vehicles that were part of the crash, what seemed to have caused it, etc. Also collect the contact information for everyone involved and, if you can, any witnesses. Exchange insurance information or, if you're passengers, make sure your driver does so.
Never apologize or admit fault if you were the driver. Then contact your car insurance company or, if you weren't driving, your travel insurance provider to give them all the details. If local authorities make you provide a written statement, make sure you get a copy of it. If a car accident happens, it might be a honeymoon ruiner, but you just have to keep your heads clear and try to make the best of it.
You Forget Your Medications
If you're prescribed medication you need to take, forgetting to pack it might be disastrous. First, to avoid it being lost by the airline, make sure to bring medications in your carry-on luggage. But if you forget them entirely, you might still have options. Use your doctor's emergency line to find out if your medication is available abroad. They may be able to contact a local doctor or pharmacy to have them prepare a new prescription for you. In certain cases, your prescription medication may also be available over the counter, or there may be local alternatives you can use to tide you over.
Your Resort Isn't What You Expected
Maybe it's not like the pictures. Maybe all those five-star reviews were all written by the owner. Or maybe hotel staff just has a really bad day, and it happens to be on your honeymoon. Usually an underwhelming resort can be avoided wby doing your research beforehand, but it's still something you can run into. If this happens to you, remember that at the end of the day, your honeymoon will be what you make of it. Nothing is perfect, and rolling with the punches is key. It's a lot better than getting food poisoning or realizing you left your insulin shots at home, so try not to sweat the small stuff, and remember that someday you'll be able to look back and (hopefully) laugh at the things that went wrong.
Life is unpredictable. And unfortunately, that includes your honeymoon. With research, planning, trip insurance, and awareness along the way, you can massively decrease your chances of running into a honeymoon disaster. But if something still happens, do your best to roll with the punches. After all, married life comes with challenges -- if your honeymoon becomes more challenging than you'd like, at least you can say you passed the first test of your love together...for whatever that's worth!