What’s Your Biggest Travel Nightmare?Emotions of fear and anxiety on the Holiday travel is here, bringing travel nightmares. Delays, cancellations, sleeping in airports instead of with loved ones or nursing a margarita at sunset—all awful to contemplate. And I sincerely hope a true travel nightmare like this never happens again.But many people have different fears, reveals a new survey of 1000 Americans by Passport Photo Online, a technology startup developing AI tools for taking biometric photos. The study asked respondents if they’ve ever encountered a travel nightmare, what it was like, and whether they have any tips on how to combat potential travel disasters.These are mostly G-rated problems, not dramatic ones like getting shot or kidnapped as in the “Taken” movies. If you want real travel nightmares, the State Department has a website for that. And one person’s travel nightmare might be routine for someone else. I caught COVID-19 after a trip to Las Vegas in May, but I was back on my feet in a week.The study found that 92% of Americans have experienced at least one travel nightmare in their lifetime. America’s top three most common travel nightmares are losing or getting separated from a travel companion (66%), having planned activities fall through (63%), and having to stay in a bad hotel or accommodation (62%). That certainly fits with one of my own travel fears, getting bad service. It’s a fear that has too often come true. Other Top Ten travel nightmares:· Getting a minor sickness, like a cold: 61%· Having a major argument with one’s travel companion(s): 59%· The weather was terrible during the entire trip: 58%· The hotel canceled my reservation: 56%· Losing one’s wallet, phone, passport, or other valuables: 56%· Having to seek emergency medical care: 54%· Getting lost or stranded: 52%Shot of a young woman standing next to her broken down vehicle and using a smartphonegettyAlmost half of respondents said it cost them between $500 and $5000 dollars when things went sideways on vacation. Eighteen percent said their travel nightmare cost between $501–$1,000, 12% said it cost $1,001–$2,000, 10% $2,001 to $3,000: 6% said it cost them $3,001–$5,000, and 1% admitted to being out of pocket over $5000.Considering all this, it seems surprising that 81% of US tourists have taken the risk of going to a destination without travel insurance. Of those, 71% regret it. Refundable tickets and hotel rooms helped lure travelers out of COVID caves, but airlines and hotels are cutting back on these “perks.”Other travel nightmares include losing money to a scam (51%;note to self—do not play three-card monte in Times Square) getting pick-pocketed (try a money belt), enduring a natural disaster, 45%, car accident 40%, and that special COVID nightmare, having to quarantine upon arrival, 47%.“I got stung by a jellyfish. It hurt a lot.”“I had to stay in a nasty hotel on our trip to Orlando. It was almost movie-bad, with stains on the bed sheets and mold on the bathroom walls. I’m never letting my wife pick rooms again.”“Our plane broke down before take-off, and we had to wait eight hours for another flight.”As for me, I’ve had my fill of terrible hotels. But if there is reincarnation, I hope I will not return as a rental car, condemned to driving over curbs.Airlines too created their fair share of travel disasters.· My carry-on got lost or stolen: 59%· My flight was canceled: 56%· My flight was rerouted, which caused a major delay: 56%· I missed my flight: 55%COVID-19 coronavirus in France, medical mask on gargoyle of Notre Dame in Paris. Tourist landmarks … [+] closed due to corona virus outbreak. Concept of travel, quarantine and COVID coronavirus pandemic.getty· Always buy travel insurance: 51%The best advice, however, is often the simplest. As one put it, “Get a supportive travel partner.”
This article was originally published by CNN.