The worst backpackers nightmare came true for myself and Marissa, and we were only a month and a half in to our six-month journey.
When we leave our hostel with our belongings locked in our bags, one of the worst feelings is coming back from a long day around Berlin to every single item you own for the next six months expelled across the floor. The odd thing is, every single item was still there. Both of our laptops, my drone, Marissa’s passport, everything valuable; all of it there, just all over the room.
Marissa packed up her bag again and everything was fine until I started to pack up my own bag and realized the lid of my bag was ripped at the seams, and the zippers were pried open off of the tracks. The lock was still in tact though, guys…. so if you’re looking for a good ol’ trusty lock, ask this girl! (Hah…)
I was stuck in Germany with my favorite bag, absolutely useless. It is hard enough to find a bag abroad last minute, but when it also has to fit European airline size qualifications, have straps to carry as a backpack AND wheels to roll as a suitcase, and carry all of the items I already had packed in my last bag all in time to pack up for the next flight? Not an easy task.
So now what?
- Stay Calm
- There is really nothing else to do in this situation. You will be able to complete all of the tasks you need to hurry and do much better if you don’t dwell on what happened. Own the situation and be chill. Yoga fire breathe the heck outta this crazy turn of events and get to business!
- Ask Questions & Take Control
- You can really hope that the hostel/hotel/wherever you are when the destruction occurred has a kind, understanding, and trustworthy staff. Or, you may have a hostel staff like ours that does an extremely poor job of handling the situation by trying to belittle you when you’re already down. SO, no matter which position you find yourself in, don’t be afraid to ask questions. The staff is there to help you- it is their obligation to make sure you leave their establishment with a positive experience by doing everything they can to help the situation.
- Ask about security cameras. Ask where the nearest luggage store is. Ask about possible reimbursement. Ask what the next steps are to make sure you’re not at risk of this happening again. Ask. Ask. Ask. Don’t let the whole thing dissipate like it never happened, because it did and something needs to be done about it.
- Have an Emergency Backup.
- Whether this is purchasing travel insurance or a budget for emergency situations, the biggest relief is knowing you have a plan to dig you out of this hole. Travel insurance like the one we have with World Nomads, allows accidents like this to be reimbursed- whether it was just purchasing a new bag or re-purchasing everything that was in the bag.
- If you decide to go without insurance and are saving up for a trip, remember to create a budget for emergencies so that IF something like this were to happen, you’re completely prepared and the money doesn’t come from the fund that you were going to use to go scuba diving with and, if you end up never needing to use it, go skydiving too. You’re welcome.
Have you ever had anything like this happen? Chat away in the comments about what you’d do/what you did when someone decided to ruin the fun (but you didn’t let them because you followed steps 1, 2, and 3 of course).