Troubleshoot Your Trip
We are in the home stretch of this amazing course thank you guys for joining us for twenty eight lessons that's our twenty eight lesson troubleshoot your trip we're at the end of week six and yesterday in less than twenty seven we met an amazing family who's traveled around the world using points and miles just really inspiring and today we're going to talk about what to do when something goes wrong and how to make sure things don't go wrong so are three goals are anticipate potential misadventures respond well when something goes wrong and learn how to use those problems to your benefit here's a quote that I like our bravest and best lessons are not learned through success but through misadventure I know that I have learned so much about myself and so much about travel and so much about the world when I really screwed things up on so we're gonna tell you maybe some of our stories about when we screwed things up maybe so and, you know ironically, the more I travel, the more I screw thi...
ngs up which seems kind of counterintuitive in a way you would think like once your quote unquote expert travelers something you know, nothing goes wrong or the ratio is different or something, but I actually found that I made more mistakes it had more things go wrong toward the end of my whole tenure quest then in the beginning in some ways I think it's a good thing because I was kind of more relaxed in the beginning I was super stressed out about stuff I was always like double checking and triple checking things and just being like extra conservative and stuff and then like as I kind of like loosened up you know I would I would screw up my plane ticket or I would you know, check in to the wrong hotel or even worse things would happen and I was just kind of be like, you know, another day so a few of my favorite misadventures I was deported from the country from eritrea small country in east africa just north of ethiopia was detained in mauritania by the secret police I lost a land rover in spain I think that was actually with stephanie I'm sorry about that. Uh my passport was confiscated at one point by saudi arabia did you mention value in saudi arabia? Yeah ok but hopefully you got your passport back that was good missed the last flight off the off the island in the seychelles I had to like regroup everything and the funny thing about missing your last flight off the island is you could be in a beautiful place but you still missed your last flight it means everybody's like oh is paradise that's too bad you had to stay another day or two or whatever like yeah, but actually had some where I had to had to be you know I ran out of money on tomorrow's it's actually a really good story because one I was stupid but then how I got rescued was someone actually helped me it was actually very much at the very, very end of my quest ran out of money, I had to pay cash for my visa. When I first arrived in the country I had less money than I thought I just kind of made a mistake it's like took my passport and let me stay but I couldn't give my passport back at the end until I paid for it there was one at pm on the whole island, it didn't work with my debit card on I was totally stuck, it was going to be the same situation of like seychelles. What do I do except here I don't have any money on was actually a local person who loaned me almost fifty dollars without knowing me at all. I was a total stranger and not with nothing more than my promise to pay him back and I tracked him down by email and stuff later, but I thought that was a great story at the end, eh? So lots of things that went wrong on my journey there's even more on this fun illustration that I commissioned for you my latest book lots of things went wrong but you know still here still made it I know many of you have traveled a lot as well uh any particular misadventure stories from you started jin wei to the bahamas for a conference and I was on a flight that never landed and ended up needing to spend an extra night in nasa and then finally the next day they were continued delays getting to the tiny island of think it was roxanne's or rock sound leaving the island the plane blew a tire so we had to wait for that to get repaired which was another three hours and then I missed the flight which I never d'oh and had to spend an extra night also in nasa in that same hotel so I was beginning to know that hotel quite well on accident and everyone was like oh, so sorry for you you have to spend another extra night in paradise and I'm like no actually I do want to get home and other things to do so yeah that was pretty like hectic trip other misadventures yeah it was actually a reverberation I think from my side e lisa not too long after that the family we were going to the caribbean and I mysteriously showed up in the early days of the no fly list uh and then it was additionally complicated by the fact that my name wasn't exactly the same my ticket is it was on my passport midway on the trip and it was very confusing. Did you get off the no fly list? You know, somehow I did that so that you never knew how you got there. You know, you never know how you got up. Anyone else this way and scott had your hand raised? Yeah, it's got yes, I, uh this goes back to the australian visa. I had a visa, but not the right kind of visa and got to australia and check into my hotel, went up stairs and then got a call from my camera man, because I had traveled with a television crew, um, to australia and said that we have not filled out the carny paperwork correctly and that all the bags except one were confiscated nice. And so I had the up, so I got dressed again, went out to the airport, talk to them. They're like, you know, we got your fax folk are nay and that's not what we wanted and we got all your gear. And so I took out a proclamation from the governor of alaska where they appointed me is a goodwill ambassador and how did that go over in australia? It actually they took that, and I hope tom holding it up to see the golden boss and stuff like that and then what it was they had let one of the bags go through so we had one bag and I told him that and apparently that would have been that would be smart to their efficiency and so they gave us the rest on so we were able to to go on our mission but it was he was tense yes I'm sure it was you had a story so last year was the first year I started flying I have never really flew before that s o I booked a trip from using allegiant air from bellingham to vegas and the plan was to go to his own national park and hike the zion arrows but when we got there for some recent vegas had a huge storm so if I mean it's freezing cold and we didn't bring any jacket if you thought it was gonna be warm there and then when we got design national park there was a flash flood so we couldn't do the hike so we have like bryce canyon and then on the way back to vegas to take our flight back uh the highway to vegas that destroyed by a flash flood so we have to go through the valley of fire to like a medieval journey yeah las vegas and beyond right, right, right so there was a lot of misadventures there you find like the you know, the ringer that hidden couple the anderson I was gonna say you should not travel with me because every time I've gone to a national park there has been a natural disaster just over the course of my, uh, around around the world trip we kept saying it's always something it's, always something. And then finally I met this guy from south africa who was also doing long term travel and he said his thing was it's gonna be okay? So our crazy kang it's always something and it's going to be okay. That's clear is that like shift partway through that's a that's a great theme of the whole lesson essentially always say this seashell past this too shall pass, right? All will be, well, a couple of quick tips on resolving issues. We'll talk a bit more detail before we wrap it and be proactive. I think it's really helpful when something goes wrong to kind of you know not wait for someone to come to your rescue if something's wrong, especially with an airline or a hotel issue or anything logistical see what you can do about it if you're it's an airline issue, for example, flights cancelled, everyone is cute up it's gonna be like an hour or two like think about what else can you do? Can you call the airline? You're going to speak to someone much, much quicker then you would just by waiting in the queue also know what you want know what remedy you want in your case. June, you were trying to get home from the bombing us, right? And you had, you know, it's like this is what I want give me despite how can I make it happen? Way were so excited, I wasn't alone, I was traveling with people, but we were so excited to finally get to our destination. We didn't realize that that plane was a hopper flight. We got off on the wrong island and then had to get back on that, like, we were lucky that we got back on that plane because they had the manifest, like, what were those girls doing getting off on this island? They're on the ground, like, how do we get to this place and, like that's? Not on this island? And so we had to get back on way just were working as a team in that instant. And, you know, I think both of us have a lot of experience in stories of award tickets are complicated routings, itineraries where something has gone wrong remember something that happened to you with I was actually flying from seattle back to cambodia, and I was really excited because I had booked a first class. It was united and was united global first and I never flown united global first before so I was flying from seattle to san francisco and then san francisco onwards I'm a nice life flatbed and when I got to the airport in seattle they it was like five o'clock in the morning and they're like, oh, well, your flight to san francisco's been cancelled and san francisco's fogged in so you're not gonna get to san francisco today and I was like, oh, no, and I went to the lounge another remember our tip go to the lab, it went to the lounge and someone was helping me in the lounge and they were basically wound up getting rerouted and they put me on in asia on a flight from seattle direct to seoul and then sold directive open on pen and it was all great and everything was well, but then I called a zhaan adjust to confirm my ticket because I had a strange suspicion that everything wasn't well and they said, oh yeah, we have your your confirmed on that flight in in coach and I was like, but I have, like, a first class ticket and so I went back to the desk and I was like, I'm sorry you confirmed this in economy class and my ticket, my award tickets in its first class and so either you can give me all my miles back or you can find a flight I can actually fly in my classes service I paid for and so they wound up putting me on uh on a japan airlines flight that went to korea and in when I got to when after they gave you the ticket, I did the same thing I called back to asia because the flight from korea to prom pen was on asia anna and they said we don't have any record of your reservation and so I went back to the lady at the front desk and she said, no, look, you can look right here on my computer it says you have a have a reservation and I thought, well, I'm flying the airline I'm flying on says I don't, and she said, well, they're wrong, they're wrong, I knew about reservations and you don't, and so you're just gonna have to get on that plane and trust me, and so I was like, oh, I don't trust you. So when I got to that airport, I knew that I needed to confirm that ticket and have a boarding pass in my hand before I left the airport, otherwise I'm coming, going to come back to the airport with no ticket, and so I went up when I arrived instead of going out through immigration I went up to the counter and they were about to close and I stood there and I was like, I need this ticket confirmed and I was very polite because in asia, if you aren't polite, you don't get anywhere. I was very polite, but I was also very direct, but I wasn't gonna leave until my ticket was sorted out and I stood there for probably about forty five minutes, but I left there with a ticket and I got home absolute, so be proactive, you know what? You know how you know how to get to know how to get it, you know, before that's great. I think a lot of people in that situation might have just accepted, you know and say, oh, well, you know, it's too bad but least I still have a ticket, but you had used a lot more miles. That was the point you'd use a lot more miles to book this first class award unless you were looking forward to it when something went wrong, they needed to accommodate you are were quick activity for this lesson is to review the misadventure prevention checklist before you travel, I think what if some of the things that we have on this checklist on page sixty eight, what do you do in your flight gets cancelled when your reservation goes missing? When an airline agent isn't unhelpful when you lose your wallet have you ever done that missing a midnight flight on the wrong day? That's an interesting one yeah, so this happens all the time with flights that leave it like twelve oh one a m m or something like that people show up at the wrong day they don't think about the date you know the date of the ticket is it relates to the exact time so all those late late night flights it's very common to see people showing up a day early or a day late on sometimes the airline will no about that and do something about it otherwise it's it's a big problem that you have to kind of sort of sometimes you'd have to buy another ticket because you actually know showed for your ticket you have you come late uh we'll do a quick discussion in just a second, so super quick bullet points here when something goes wrong, stephanie said, make your voice known try to get someone on your side someone from allowing someone who's empowered you suggest a remedy provide any documentation in that case it's like, hey look, I paid for this first class ticket with my miles use social media selectively I'm not a huge fan of going on social media and complaining about brands all the time, but if something really goes wrong I think it can actually be very, very effective to use twitter, facebook and say, hey, I'm having this trouble, I can't can't solve it can you help me out here? Is what's going on on dh? If I get a good remedy that I also would want to go back and say thanks a lot for helping, I will also say kind of a lot of what we were saying, you know, be polite and remember, people are human, I think a lot of times on social media where used to interacting with twitter, and we forget that behind every twitter handle there's someone who's responding to all of those tweets, and if you work for an airline, all you do all day is breed tweets from people who are really grumpy because they missed a connection or because something went wrong. And so if you can approach that with with grace and also tweet things of gratitude, the twitter people that alaska airlines are amazing and but more and more of those people are actually empowered to solve direct problems, so I mean, obviously you're frustrated when something goes wrong, but if you could just kind of clearly express the problem and you're looking for the starwood twitter account, actually fix some problems I was having in a hotel in argentina when I couldn't solve them myself because of the language barrier so before we do the dream trip challenged the day, we've come so far in this course helps you learn those miles and book the flights and hotels and everything else, I'm just before we send you off in the next lesson, I thought it might be fun to talk about. We're not fun, but may be helpful. Talk about what are you worried about? So I'll ask anyone here in the into the audience or can it? As you're preparing to actually take those trips and you hear about these logistical issues and things? Is there anything you're worried about? Maybe no one's worried? Uh, well, next year, my plan is to, uh, go on a huge one year trip and what I'm afraid office, I'm going to start off in south east asia, so I'm afraid of being being rob, so I don't know what I could do to prevent that from happening, like should like if I were to stay in a hostel, I've never done it before, so those are just some worries that I have yeah, so my response to that is is you can take the same kind of precautions that you would take pretty much anywhere. Right on a lot of people when they travel for some reason they kind of just let down their guard they don't wear a seat belt things like that so at home you wear a seat belt at home you try toe be careful about your surroundings you know that but even in most cities even in really great cities they're safe areas of the city in their areas that may not be safe late at night so I think it's about being aware and being hostile is actually a great place I mean hostile there's lots of other travellers so so I think about that anything else you purchase the travel insurance I do not first this travel insurance myself have you ever person struggling? I have purchased travel insurance I had a purchase travel insurance when I went to antarctica it was required by the expedition company and I also did purchase travel insurance when I did my expedition on kilimanjaro and mostly the reason I did it that time was because I remember I told you I had a wire money so I was really nervous because it wasn't on my credit card and I couldn't refund it so for some specific examples you did but like so many of your trips I just I will jump in here and say you know for a long time because I lived overseas I had my health insurance that I had covered me internationally and in specifically in places like southeast asia, there is really amazing medical care and health care available there as well so you can afford to pay for cash just probably cheaper than what you pay for your health insurance here just really afraid of the language barrier and taking taxis. So when you talked about the uber before, that was like, yes, another great tempest er to get like, a card, you know, you're going to say that probably get a card of your hotel, you know, like when you check in your hotel a business card of the hotel that includes the address ah lot of the business cards will now include some other destinations on it so you can show that card you know, one of the things I do a couple different things, one of things I do is if I'm carrying my camera with me, I'll sometimes, like, take a picture of the hotel or if I'm walking and I go down some crazy route, I'll take a plate kind of pictures of my weird way of things I remember as I walk back, I think it's a really great idea if you're traveling long term to get a phone that you can change sim cards in and then you have local phone and if you have a local phone in a lot of places it's really cheap to get kind of pay as you go three g service so you can have internet and that's really great because when you're in a taxing you don't know where you're going and you don't you aren't sure if like the person's like taking you into the dark to kill you and you aren't sure if you're actually going in the right direction you can use that map you can use that map on your phone a lot of times that you know gives me confidence that I'm gonna wind up at my place and a lot of times I'll take pictures of those cards because I lose them a lot. So that's a great way for the language barrier another good thing is when you have internet access if you have a smartphone you're traveling with and some people might be nerve being nervous about traveling with a smartphone and getting it solan or something but a lot of people around the world have smart phones now so it's not like a crazy thing that you have and um but it's great for like shopping and asking questions because you khun google a picture of anything and show it to someone and asked for it you know long gone are the days with those plastic cards where you pointed to things you can you know you can use that you can use google translate there's all kinds of different apse out there everyone to more things, get the following question on the sailor usage. I mean, do you guys travel with smartphones on american networks or do something different times? I don't use my phone, I just use my phone for wifi, mostly when I'm abroad, I don't have an unlocked phone probably do that at some point, but I try to be on why hae, you know fairly often so that's what idea? You have a couple of different phones from your humanitarian work, so I do have ah old unlocked iphone, and I'll just get a sim card from different places where I go only if you're there for a while. Yeah, but it depends, yeah, I wouldn't do it if I was just going to stay like a day or two, I would just use the wifi feature, but I typically stay place is longer, you can usually by him in the airport now for, like, a buck fifty. So, uh, what's, the most important thing you learned today, this quick, uh, stephanie, when you told your story about the first class going to first class person, even though she wasn't that helpful but that's, like when you don't get you, you can't get attention goes first class like seeing that hearing that first firsthand with school what I learned from the same story is the way you persisted in not just taking their word, but following up on it yourself by checking. And I think that's a really good lesson. You were great last third building on a great story was I actually wrote down the words you used was the class of service I paid for and just that phrase, the class of service there's. Just something in that struck a chord with me when you're sort of company specific specific, and it shows that she's knowledgeable yes, well shows that she knows what she's talking about so yeah, and to know when you're making requests like that, you know, if you can provide other options because a lot of the people who work in lounge is like the woman who was working in the united lounge chair in seattle. She probably didn't know all the possible rounding sent all the airlines that fly. I did, because I fly that route a lot, so being knowledgeable definitely helps great pacific knowledgeable of practice. You know what, you want to know how to get it.