What to do when it seems like nothing can go right
Picture this: you wake up in the morning only to realize your alarm didn’t go off and now you’re going to be late for work. You get ready as fast as you can and run outside only to realize it’s pouring rain. You’re soaking wet by the time you get to work.
At work, you accidentally spill your coffee. It soaks everything on your desk, stains your clothes, and splashes onto that coworker that you already had a sneaky suspicion didn’t like you. Great.
This is going to be one of those days where it seems like nothing can go right. We’ve all been there. We’ve all experienced the frustration of things not going according to the plan. These days can happen while we are on our trip as well.
Thankfully we can take steps to make sure we are prepared. At times like these, it is important to have contingency plans.
How do I make contingency plans?
Contingency plans help make stressful situations less stressful. Think of it as a bunch of “if-then” statements. Start with your “ifs.”
- If your host breaks down on the way to pick you up from the airport…
- If someone loses their passport or has it stolen…
- If your luggage gets lost by the airline…
You’re basically coming up with a bunch of problem scenarios that you want to prepare for.
Now figure out the “then statements to pair with each “if.” You may need the help of experienced travelers, some google searches, or your hosts.
We’ve modeled below what your completed contingency plans might look like below, but we anticipate you’ll have more than just three, and your “then” statements will be tailored to your trip.
- If your host breaks down on the way to pick you up from the airport… connect to the airport wifi and use Skype credit to call +504-111-1111 which is the number for a hotel where you can stay the night if necessary.
- If someone loses their passport or has it stolen… Call the US embassy +504-222-2222
- If your luggage gets lost by the airline… get by on the essentials you packed in your carry-on.
Having these plans in a document gives teams something to rely on when the original plans don’t work out. It is also important to make sure the contingency plans are discussed with the team ahead of time.
Just like in anything else, sometimes on short-term trips, unexpected obstacles come up. But with careful planning, we can limit the amount of stress these obstacles cause and still have a great trip.
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