Have you ever gone on a vacation where nothing seemed to go the way you planned?

Perhaps, someone in your family got sick. The accommodations weren’t  what you expected. Cancelled flights? Car trouble? Or maybe the weather didn’t cooperate. For many different reasons a vacation can go from being a dream to a nightmare.

However, in the midst of a nightmare, changing your attitude can dramatically affect the outcome of the vacation. We’ve found that negative situations on our vacation can actually turn into some of our most memorable moments. In past posts, I’ve detailed many of our vacation mishaps.

Stuck in a blizzard.

Here are a few examples:

Not Quite What We Planned: My account of getting stuck on an interstate in a blizzard.

1/4 An Inch Changed Our Day, But Not Our Lives: Our visit to SeaWorld where my daughter found herself 1/4 of an inch too short to go on every ride she planned to do.

My Biggest Fear: The stomach bug on vacation. That time it happened.

These scenarios all traumatized me at the time, but I can laugh about them now.

In fact, I have fond memories of each of these vacations. Sure, I didn’t plan on any of those events. But, things happen. Of course, hindsight is always 20/20. Stepping away from the situation helps you gain perspective. But when you’re in the middle of it, thinking clearly can be difficult.

My sweet little boy sick in our hotel room.

Here are 5 tips for when you find yourself in the middle of a vacation problem you didn’t plan:

  • Prayer: Sounds simple, and perhaps it’s the most basic tip…but I promise it helps! Ask for God’s help in navigating the situation. Ask for renewed energy and excitement on your vacation. Be bold in your requests, and know that HE will answer. One of my favorite Bible verses to pray over during a trial (and it’s especially fitting on a vacation) is Joshua 1:9. “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
  • Perspective: Recently as I scrolled through my Facebook news feed, I noticed a friend grieving her ruined trip. In her defense, anything that could have gone wrong, did. My heart broke for the disappointment she experienced. Then the next update in my feed detailed a friend facing a serious medical diagnosis. And finally, the next update was a friend complaining about Amazon’s lack of delivery even though she’d paid extra. 3 friends in a row, each broadcasting their suffering.  Put your life/vacation in perspective.
  • Change: I can be a “bull-headed, forge ahead at any cost” type of girl. Especially when I’ve been looking forward to a vacation! But sometimes it makes more sense (both financially, and for your enjoyment) to rearrange. Think outside the box. Are there any changes to your trip itinerary that would make your trip more practical?
  • Rest: Does sleep change anyone else’s perspective? I’m always amazed at how an impossible or horrible situation can seem completely different after a good night of sleep. The expression “sleep on it” applies perfectly to vacation issues. Additionally, taking a day away from your scheduled itinerary to rest can often salvage the rest of the vacation. Trying to do too much in bad circumstances never leads to a good outcome.
  • Help: I’m beginning and ending this list by encouraging you to ask for help. First from God, and then from others. What do you need to make your situation better? Is there something someone can do to help you? Even if you don’t typically ask for it, there is no shame in waving a white flag while on vacation. I’ve experienced so many kind people while traveling. Even just explaining your situation to someone and saying the words “what do you recommend?” will open up doors. Often bad experiences can have incredible outcomes based on the people who rise to the occasion to lend a hand. (And don’t forget, when the tables turn…be the person who steps in and helps another!)

Have you ever experienced a bad situation on vacation?

You may also enjoy reading:

5 Tips For Traveling Abroad With Kids

10 Years Of Traveling With Kids

Travel Medicine And First Aid Bag

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