sledsWhen Travel Guard North America named Dr. Gary Feldman, the “World’s Unluckiest Traveler,” he won $10,000 towards a dream vacation. His misadventures have a pot of gold at the end–and so can yours if a disaster strikes your family vacation.

This is what we tell ourselves every time a flight is canceled, a reservation is lost, a bag is waylaid. We try to look on the bright side, though getting flat tires have yet to yield a positive result.

Take flight cancellations. If it means our family vacation is delayed and we unexpectedly have another night at home, we go out for a nice dinner, see a movie, and start our vacation at home. If we are ‘stuck’ on vacation, we focus on the fact that our vacation has just been extended, and try not to worry about what awaits us at home.

If snow at home means we can’t get out of New York, we grab our sleds and head to Prospect Park.

When Disaster is a Good Thing

When our reservation was lost at a huge, sold-out resort, my youngest daughter, then ten, laid down on the floor in the middle of the lobby crying. It was midnight and she was exhausted. But I persevered, demanding a manager check our confirmation number. Magically, a three bedroom villa was available, instead of our one cramped room for 5. The next day, the manger apologized for the mix up and insisted we stay in the villa for the next 4 days, at the same price.

My bag was lost going to the Caribbean, and a Jet Blue representative said that was impossible, since I was on a non-stop flight. Nevertheless, I had no bag. Jet Blue had to give me money since my bag couldn’t get to the island till the next day, at the earliest. I bought a new bathing suit for myself and my daughter, and outfits for the evening, courtesy of Jet Blue.

I got my bag the next day, as promised. And we didn’t get one flat tire the whole trip.