We are on the brink of heading out for our longest vacation ever, three full weeks away from home. We’ll visit two different areas on the east coast and five different countries in Europe. To say I’m excited would be an understatement, but I’m also terrified of being gone that long and taking a trip that’s a big stretch for our family. I don’t ever want to miss out on greatness because of being afraid, so here is how I’m dealing with my mostly irrational travel fears. Feel free to laugh!
Fear #1: Being Robbed
No matter how much we try to blend in with the locals, I’m afraid my family will stick out like sore thumbs to thieves and pickpockets. I can see us stranded with no money and no passports. How will we ever get home?
Reality: I will scan copies of our passports into my email and keep a list of credit card numbers to call if our cards are lost or stolen. I have all of our train and plane tickets on email as well. We will also take more than one credit card and stash one in our luggage. Being robbed would be an inconvenience, but we’d be fine.
Fear #2: Our House Will Fall Down
Do you feel like nothing breaks in your house until you leave home? Why is it that water heaters, falling trees, and septic systems decide to wreak havoc the minute you set off on a trip? What if we come home to a foot of water and mold growing up the walls?
Reality: We just had our septic tank pumped, so that should be good for a few years. We will also have our neighbors check in on the house, maybe even daily. They will take care of any maladies that arise. It pays to have good friends and neighbors, but we could also have hire a house sitter to do the same thing if we didn’t have people to call on.
Fear #3: I Will Forget To Pay a Bill and Get Hit With a Fee
This is a legitimate concern. It would be easy to miss something between our home and rental properties that could lead to a late or missed payment.
Reality: We have most of our bills automatically paid by a credit card or bank draft. As long as I schedule the credit card payments ahead of time, this should not be a problem. We should also have internet access in most of the places we’ll be, so I can check into our Personal Capital account to make sure there are no surprises.
Fear#4: We Will Spend Too Much Money
I think this is a really likely scenario. I have planned and budgeted, but if in Paris and an opportunity to do something fabulous but unplanned arises, we’ll probably take it. That will cost money.
Reality: This is exactly why we work and save. Our travel savings account is well stocked for just this purpose. I hope to stay under budget. We’ve paid for as much as we can in advance, but I won’t beat myself up for spending more than planned if we all agree it’s a worthwhile expense.
Fear #5: Our Dog Will Forget About Us
We’ve never left our dog this long before. She will be in good hands with my mother-in-law, but what if she forgets us or worse, gets sick or hurt while we’re gone?
Reality: The in-laws don’t live in our town, but there are vets everywhere. Our Mo will probably be spoiled, but I’m sure she will love us just fine when we get back, especially if we feed her bacon.
Fear #6 My Family Will Starve
I’m not a terribly creative eater, but I’ve been on volunteer trips to some pretty rough places. After being fed a few really interesting things, I’m not worried at all about strange foods. Jim, however, might the most picky eater on the planet, and our daughter has never had the opportunity to try many international foods. She actually gets freaked out if there isn’t a kid’s menu.
Reality: It’s good to broaden your horizons. If nothing else, we can always eat bread and cheese, and if it gets really dire, I’m sure we can find a McDonald’s. I just won’t ever tell anyone we ate there!
As you can see, we are not seasoned travelers, but we are throwing caution to the wind for this trip. Here’s to hoping it all goes smoothly and my irrational travel fears are all for naught.
What tips do you have for novice international travelers? How do you get kids to eat unfamiliar foods?