Top 5 Worst Travel Disasters & How to Avoid Them – Tips & Hacks

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This video is all about the dark side of traveling that no one is talking about: stolen passports, lost luggage, food poisoning, natural disasters, missed flights, being turned away at the border, and more. We’re sharing tips to avoid (and cope with) bad luck when you’re on the trip of a lifetime.

VIDEO: How to Travel with Carry-on Luggage:

We’ve experienced quite a few travel disasters and travel mistakes over the years and after each one, we realized there were things we could have done to avoid the problem altogether, or to cope with it better when it did happen.

Mat had his passport stolen in Rome, Danielle had food poisoning in Sydney, we missed a flight from Barcelona to Montreal, we had our luggage taken from the airport in Reykjavik Iceland, and we were turned away at the US border in our van and had to get a special visa that we’d never heard of to cross on our second attempt.

We’ve also met lots of other travellers who’ve had horrible experiences, from being robbed and injured to surviving natural disasters, and more.

While travel isn’t all bad, it’s important to prepare for the worst so you can enjoy your trip knowing that you’re ready for whatever happens.

We hope you found the information, tips and experiences we shared in this video helpful, but please do your own research before embarking on a trip because we’re not experts and we don’t know all the best tips for travelling to new places.

Thanks for watching!

Mat & Danielle


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Music & Song Credits:
All music in this video was composed, performed, and recorded by Mat of Exploring Alternatives.

Editing Credits:
Mat and Danielle of Exploring Alternatives

Filming Credits:
Mat of Exploring Alternatives

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35 Replies to “Top 5 Worst Travel Disasters & How to Avoid Them – Tips & Hacks”

  1. aeshir

    hey my dudes i love your channel and i hate to be that dude, but vitamin c doesn't do a dang thing to prevent rhinovirus, and echinacea's effects are so minimal it's pretty much just a waste of time and money :/

  2. Libby Olson

    We had a US border guard as us, after looking at our Canadian passports, what we were doing in Brandon, Man.! Um, we live there and we’re allowed to travel around? Thankfully hubs was the driver & just answered the question.
    Why would we carry proof of stuff? The money I wholeheartedly understand.

  3. Sarayu Srik

    another awesome video….I cannot find enough words to appreciate and admire the way you two… you always bring useful content…such kind souls, lovely people…no matter what you talk about, I smile all through watching your videos…great tips shared…many will benefit:)
    for our passport, we do put it in 2 ziploc bags, carry passport size pictures 3-4 and hang it around my neck into my cami, some cash and a card inside my brazier, a list of phone numbers and address,email address on a pocket notebook goes inside my neck pouch as well…
    I would also like to say, no headphones while walking around in a new place…always be alert of surroundings..
    great job guys…God bless you with loads of happiness and good health:) keep those videos coming:)

  4. Michael Roberts

    Handy video! I don't mean to be too much of a grammar stickler, but you say, "…pick up their baggage". You mean, "pick up their bags" . Travel tips are better with good grammar.

  5. Erica, life with my angels McIver

    My daughter had a tummy bug on our last trip. Nothing serious just , I think it was to many sweets (we were in Disneyland). We were close by to a Walgreens so getting some medicine was very easy.

  6. Mr. Wolf

    Good stuff but to much of a hassel. I'll stick to traveling to the fridge for a beer. But it is a foriegn beer,does that count? And I don't have to get probed ny tsa either.😲🍺

  7. Nonya Bizness

    my daughter and i were in paris when i developed an apparent ear infection the day before we were to get on the plane and travel back to the usa. i could not imagine flying with this- my ears are already sensitive on planes. so we took the subway system to a hospital emergency room. as a man checked us in, each communicating in the other's broken language, i explained that i was american and would like to know the cost of the service- i knew that france had national healthcare, but i wasn't a french citizen, so i was concerned that i would not have enough on hand to pay. we verbally danced for awhile as he tried to understand what i was saying. finally he lit up and said "oh!". turned out he understood my ~words~, just not the concept that i was trying to pay money for healthcare, regardless where i came from! quite the experience!

  8. Pipe2DevNull

    1 x picked pocket. 3 x lost luggage (one bicycle). 1 x missed flight. 1 x border denial (Canada to U.S.). 1 x sick and no place to stay in winter. 1 x leg injury. All in all really not much bad stuff in 30 odd years of fun travel. Knock on wood.

  9. Chris L

    Good advice.
    I am only traveling with one backpack, no check bags.
    Americans should notify the state Dept of travel on their website. Set up an account on STEP. They will notify or find you in emergencies.
    This was all good information! Thank you!

  10. Chris L

    Good advice.
    I am only traveling with one backpack, no check bags.
    Americans should notify the state Dept of travel on their website. Set up an account on STEP. They will notify or find you in emergencies.
    This was all good information! Thank you!

  11. Remy Lebeau

    I'm sorry for the arbitrary BS my gov't put you through. It is none of their business how much money you have or anything about your job and taxes.

  12. Amaika16

    Great tips! Never get a black suitcase! My suitcase is bright purple covered in drawings and quotes in glitter glue. Plus stickers! Very obnoxious looking but it always gets comments and no one steals it!

  13. Family Buzz Connections

    Travelling by boat, I would make sure I have medication for sea sickness (especially if it is your first time). Sea sickness does not go away that fast.
    I was backpacking and took a red eye ferry from Athens to the island of Crete. The waves were terrible and rocked the boat so much. You’ll get seasick and miss a good night sleep at the same time.

  14. Cathy Lynn Pietranton

    We don't travel out of the country at all and we rarely do travel but thank you for the tips

  15. FromThe Prairies

    Yep, missing a flight due to your own foolishness is a terrible and expensive mistake you only make once. As for travel in disaster zones, I highly recommend watching Guildbrook Farm's "Earthquake" video. (it is listed in their top 10 watched videos.) These folks are a bit into prepping and she had to put that mind and skillset to use when she was caught in the Nepal earthquake a few years ago. It is quite the story and gives some incredibly valuable lessons on what to do in a situation like that.

  16. FromThe Prairies

    I will also add that the oh so critical anti-bacterial wipe is a god-send for travel. One goes right away as soon as you step on the plane. I wipe EVERYTHING down in my seat.. A few in the pack works well to wiping hands before and after a meal (i prefer to scrub rather than slather with hand sanitizer) and they also work well for emergency toilet paper too! Oddly, I never use them at home…

  17. sandra caligiuri

    I suggest looking into Patients Without Borders to know which hospitals to go to in certain countries – not all have the best care so always good to know which one to go to to have safe care

  18. Coconut Woman

    Recently got delayed 5 hours because the airport was shut down due to fog. I was just beginning my trip, had 4 more flights and a bus to get to, all with different Airlines as the countries were all different, and I missed every single one of them. Haven't ever experienced that before! Eventually made it to my destination on time but was legitimately exhausted from 2 days of no sleep. I only had to purchase one flight again, one I took an overnight bus instead of purchasing again.

  19. ja sten

    if u get sick, trust your body –
    start fasting immediately –
    your own healer (your body) will take care of it –

  20. ja sten

    vaccination is pure poison/dangerous –
    why do you think they call it a shot –
    would you let someone shoot you –

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