Every trip has problems—from wrong turns to bad weather to ill health. I don’t want to be too glib because the world does occasionally provide terrible twists and horrifying turns. People can and do die unexpectedly. That’s a different subject. (See Grief.)
One of the challenges of travel is to distinguish between difficulties and disasters, between inconveniences and crises. Some people are adrenaline junkies and make a lifetime habit of fanning small brush fires into full-scale forest fires. Don’t do that!
On airplanes, the flight attendants will introduce you to safety features. On a cruise, you will be required to participate in a “muster drill.” These are done not to frighten passengers, but because preparation and safety are serious matters. The best cure is often better preparation. Be smart. Unless you are a journalist, don’t travel to an area where there is political unrest.
Don’t cut connections too closely. Give yourself and your luggage enough time. If you’re going on a cruise, don’t fly into your departure city the same day the ship is leaving. Give yourself some wiggle room.
For big trips, buy travel insurance.
Prepare yourself medically. Be up-to-date on your shots and prescriptions and carry what could reasonably be needed. You don’t need to over-prepare. Ships have doctors. Unless you’re in a remote third-world village, you can find a pharmacy.
Lost luggage happens, which is why every travel article ever written tells you to put necessities and a change of clothes in a carry-on bag. Don’t argue with the experts. Just do it. Otherwise, prepare to be bedeviled by irritations of many kinds for your entire trip.
It will rain. Colds are easy to catch on airplanes. Motion sickness is common even on modern, stabilized ships. A few hours or a few days of unpleasantness are not tragic. You are allowed to whine just a little bit, then…
Move on. As I have been taught by some of my emotionally healthy friends: You didn’t cause this problem. You probably can’t cure it or control it. Do what you can, then move on.
Enjoy the trip!