You just never know if you're going to run into booking problems when you're traveling.
That fact of travel life is just one more reason that you need to be flexible when you travel.
If you're an independent traveler, you'll have to deal with this yourself, and that's one reason some of our friends say they only want to take tours...
...But we've developed strategies and attitudes that help...
The airline/hotel/tour operator is NOT out to get you.
Listen to the alternatives that are being offered....
You just might find that things work out for the better.
Most of the booking problems you run into will be "overbooking".
You probably hear all the time about airlines overbooking... and they do. Less now with the computer models they have, but still, it happens.
In the U.S., airlines usually ask for volunteers who can travel later in exchange for vouchers for additional future flights in compensation.
Countries in the E.U. also have strict rules on how bumped passengers must be compensated.
If you run into booking problems in other countries, you really need to be prepared to be flexible so you can work things out.
Here's one example we have...
It doesn't pay to get angry at anyone at this point... your tour operator and the airline aren't really to blame. We were understanding and flexible... we got on the next flight... two days later!
Here's the good news... Our Tibet tour ended up being a PRIVATE tour, and because of that we got into more places and saw everything anyway.
It isn't only with airlines that you might run into overbooking problems. Hotels also overbook their rooms sometimes.
Your hotel should take care of you, so if this happens, just stay calm and work with them.
Here's a twist on booking problems with accommodations.
There was not an extra tent, so the first night, they moved an extra bed into our tent... and we had a slumber party. There are great stories to tell... and the very next night, they had that extra tent available.
They also treated us to some great long game drives because we were so flexible.
And here's a booking error that worked in our favor. Again in Africa, and on that very same trip...
managed to round up a substitute game guide and kitchen staff, and they
took really good care of us... and we were the only ones in camp.
Talk about exclusive... and all because we are willing to be flexible.
Trains can be overbooked too.
What we're trying to tell you, is if you run into booking problems, don't get angry or frustrated.
Be willing to work through those problems...
Sometimes you'll end up with a better trip than you planned.