Travelling is amazing; you see new places, meet new people and most of all, take a break from the routines at home. But travelling is costly and it might happen one day you’ll find yourself running out of money or losing all your bank cards. Then suddenly your stress levels during your trip equal the ones at home? This situation is most likely in the top 3 of most people’s travelling fears alongside getting robbed or missing the train/bus/airplane. This blog will provide you with some tips, based on my own experience upon arriving in Sweden and finding myself with both a dysfunctional debit- as well as credit card.
Preparation is key
Prepare well. Make sure that the above-mentioned scenario basically never ever will happen to you. Check your bank account before leaving; check whether your bank cards function; TAKE CASH; and book a hostel/find a place to sleep in advance at your place of arrival. If you have done all of that you are most likely to survive the first night
Dress warmly, or take enough clothing in your hand luggage. If you, like me, happen to end up being stuck in the Scandinavian countries; make sure to bring sufficient clothing with you to keep you warm until you have figured out how to further survive the night. Make sure to pack enough warm stuff in your carry luggage in case two disasters strike at once and your check-in luggage is lost (That’s a different story).
Use everyone, and I mean everyone, for help; the personnel at the stores, train stations and hostels. You might end up lucky and talk your way through for a room at a hostel or to board a train. Just assume ‘I’ll never see those people again anyways’ and you’ll find yourself with much more courage to approach anyone on the street and ask for help. Further, there are always the people back home you could use; call friends/family/enemies/neighbours and ask whether they can book anything from a distance (eg. hostel fees if necessary).
And lastly, do not panic. Ending up without money is a horrible scenario but often there are people willing to help out in any country where you go. Be patient as it might take a few hours but most likely you will not end up on the streets. Enjoy the adventure as much as possible and you never know… eventually things turn out all-right (like ending up drinking and partying with people at a random hostel).
In the end, it boils down to trying and asking everyone! People working at airports must’ve been used to almost everything by now and might be so nice to help you out, similar for people living in the city and in hostels. And if you want know how it ended up in Sweden; basically I was stranded in Gothenburg, missed the train to my sister’s town after which, from a distance, she booked a hostel and a bus for the next day, ended up partying in Gothenburg with random people and managed to arrive at her place the day after. Also, different experiences taught me that crying in a convenience store might work too…