Common Backup Plans All Travellers Should Have

Different countries have different laws around overstaying, for example in Thailand you can get arrested if you’re caught overstaying for even a single day. It’s important as a traveller to make sure you have back-up plans in place, in case something goes wrong and you could otherwise find yourself stranded in a foreign country or in any other sort of trouble that can be aggravated by being so far away from home.

When I was in Manila I immediately knew I was going to overstay my time there, but there were naturally some legal ways to extend one’s stay. I was intending to stay for only a week and then move on to another destination, but given how taxing and dragged out the trip to the islands is, I had to make sure to find out more about accessible immigration offices at which to arrange for an extension.

That makes for one of the common backup plans all travellers should always ensure to have in place, with a few others to discuss.


There’s so much you need to make extra provision for around what is perhaps the most significant feature of any trip – flights. Some countries might require you to have an onward flight booked for which you’d have to produce evidence, which can shape your plans significantly if you’re perhaps banking on having access to some money sometime in the future. While your immigration-cleared period in the country ticks-down as well, make provisions for international flight status changes that may occur, such as a cancellation due to bad weather, political reasons, etc.

What’s you backup plan? Do you know where to go to extend your stay with immigration? Do you know who to contact in order to facilitate a ticket transfer or get a refund..?


Sometimes you might arrive at your booked accommodation to find that it’s overbooked or that it’s not quite what you anticipated it would be. Will you be able to take the hit or do you perhaps know who to talk to in order to try and have a suitable plan made for you?

The last thing you want to have to do is hunt accommodation when you might be tired from a long flight…

Fun or other Purpose of Travel

If the destination doesn’t quite live up to the hype you might have had help drumming up in your mind, can you find ways to enjoy the trip through your own means? Perhaps a book you’ve always wanted to finish would do, or a series you can finally binge watch with no guilt.

What it comes down to: access to funds

It ultimately all comes down to money, doesn’t it? However, it’s not just about having some secret stash of emergency cash hidden away somewhere. You need to be able to access money should the need for that emergency money arise.

Can you have a friend or family member send you money through something like Western Union, for instance, if you can’t get a new bankcard rush-posted to you from abroad?