Are you ready for your summer vacation? As you are probably well aware, air travel lately has been challenging to say the least. Canceled flights, lost baggage, and crew shortages have all thrown wrenches into many travel plans. However, that does not mean you should not travel. With a little careful planning, you feel confident in your plans and minimize any issues that may arise.
Here are some tips to make your upcoming travels smooth and hassle-free.
Consider traveling with just carry-ons. My family and I did 10 days in Germany and Austria with just carry-on bags and we are now carry-on converts.
Choose your clothing wisely. Mix and match so all your items go with other items in the wardrobe. Don’t waste space by bringing something that can only be worn once. Accessorize so the same outfit can be worn twice. Clothes should be lightweight and able to be layered if necessary.
USE PACKING CUBES
Packing cubes are a godsend, especially if you purchase compression cubes. They organize your clothes nicely and can be lifted directly out of the luggage and into a drawer. They help with overpacking and also make it easy to find small items without tearing apart the entire suitcase. Roll your clothes (never fold) tightly and place them in the cubes. That helps reduce wrinkles. For any wrinkles that may form, make sure you have a small bottle of my favorite product ever, Downy Wrinkle Release.
Airtags are the hottest item on the market now. If you are planning on checking a bag – and sometimes you have to – get an Airtag or comparable item and toss it inside. More and more people are finding missing luggage by tracking it on their phones. Consider getting one for your carry-on as well just in case you have to gate-check the bag.
TAKE A PICTURE OF ALL LUGGAGE
Take a picture of all your luggage – checked and carry-on – and all the contents. Do not ever place medical equipment, medications, important documents, or valuables in checked bags. They need to stay in your carry-on.
MAKE SURE YOU HAVE COPIES OF ALL YOUR DOCUMENTS
Bring along hard copies of your passport, hotel and excursion confirmations, plane tickets, train tickets, etc. Also, email them to yourself. We rely so much on our electronic devices, but you may find yourself in a situation where the battery has died at an important moment.Your travel agent will provide you with all your confirmations and may provide you with an app to view your whole itinerary as well (that is a service I provide for my clients).
SIGN UP FOR GLOBAL ENTRY
International travelers should register for Global Entry to expedite clearance upon reentry to the United States.
PURCHASE TRAVEL PROTECTION
This should go without saying. You have spent a lot of money on your dream vacation – protect it. Travel protection can cover you in the event of trip cancellation, flight delay, flight cancellation, trip interruption, baggage loss or delay, and more.
USE A TRAVEL ADVISOR
A trusted travel advisor is your advocate from the time you start working together until you return home. Any issues that arise become our issues and we will work through them so you don’t have to. Things I have done for clients – been on the phone with the airline at 4:30 am to reschedule a 6:30 am flight that was canceled; hold open boarding of a cruise ship in Amsterdam when my client had an unexpected transportation issue and ran the risk of missing the ship; made sure my clients were duly compensated for their flight cancellations and delays under EU Air Passenger Rights and so much more.
BE A TRAVELER, NOT A TOURIST
Tourists have expectations and get upset when those expectations are not met. Travelers may have expectations but can go with the flow. Be a traveler
BE PATIENT AND FLEXIBLE
The summer, along with all holiday seasons, is always a crazy time to travel. Exercise some grace and be patient with those who are trying to help as we all navigate through these new twists and turns.
This means if your flight is canceled, you may need to fly out the next day, on another airline, or even from another airport. It means that if one of your tours or activities is unavailable, you may need to pivot and try something else. Consider it part of the journey. After all, you’re still going on vacation
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