After Covid shut everything down for a year and people were still wary about traveling last year, there are lots of trips happening this summer. Lots of families have booked their vacations for the time their kids aren’t in school, and why shouldn’t you?
But with so many trips going in so many places at once, you’re bound to have a whole bunch of issues that follow. Here are some of them you’d most likely go through and how you can avoid them.
1. First of all, if you can, DRIVE!
The issue: With all the hectic-ness going on in the airports, anything could happen, and there are people everywhere.
The solution: If it’s less than a day away to drive, do it and save yourself the hassle of flying!
2. You get what you pay for.
The issue: If you book cheap flights from a cheap airline off of a third party website, chances are more likely of flights getting canceled or delayed. Also, you most likely will not be sitting with the rest of your family, if that is important to you.
The solution: Book flights straight off of a renowned airline. They may offer you to choose your seats, they're usually on time and will actually show up, they'll have a more comfortable seating area inside the plane, and the attitudes of the employees will be a lot more empathetic to your particular situation, if something were to happen.
3. Canceled & delayed flights.
The issue: If you have somewhere to be on a specific day and your flight gets canceled or delayed, you may miss the activity - whether it be your day ticket to a theme park, a cruise departure, or even your next flight.
The solution: Book your flight a day before you need to be there. Book morning flights so you have all day to rebook your flight in case it gets canceled, and make sure they have long layovers in between so you don’t miss your next flight!
4. Download airline app.
The issue: Standing in a line to get your boarding passes adds to the time you're waiting, along with security checks.
The solution: Each airline has an app that you can access your boarding pass, track your bags, see your incoming plane, and change a flight. Usually these apps will tell you a flight is cancelled before the crew even knows!
5. Get travel insurance.
The issue: Family vacation costs can add up if you add all of the benefits to have a great trip. If something were to happen on your trip (medically or physically) and you didn't have travel insurance to cover the costs, all of that money is gone down the drain.
The solution: If you have lots of money invested in your trip and you don’t want to lose it, travel insurance is the key to protecting your trip. Besides that, if you or a family member were to get injured, it will cover most of your medical bills while you’re out of the country, since most health insurances won’t.
You can read more about travel insurance here.
6. Pack right.
The issue: Packing electronics at the bottom of your suitcase with all of your clothes on top will instantly make the people behind you in the security check line (who know how to pack for easy-access) moan and groan on the inside.
The solution: Wear shoes you can easily take on and off, a sweater so you don't pack it in your suitcase, don't wear jewelry or piercings if you can help it, and pack your electronics in a place you can easily pull them out and put them back in once you get through the scanner.
You can read about a couple of apps I found to get you through security quicker here.
7. Airplanes are FULL!
This means crowds of people, long lines at security check, and you need to be prepared!
If you are going into the airport thinking you’ll be able to change your seat when you get there, you will be sadly mistaken. Try not to be the jerk that no one wants to be around - brush your teeth, don’t wear perfume or cologne, don’t eat smelly foods, don’t drink excessively so that you’re drunk (you may not even be allowed on the plane if you’re too drunk), and make sure your kids are well-rested and have snacks and something to entertain them during the flight!
8. Travel agent
The issue: Worst case scenario, if you've followed all of the above solutions to have the perfect vacation: you get to the airport a day early than when you need to be at your destination, you've bought airline tickets from a reputable website so you know there is less of a chance of your plane canceling at the last minute, you go through security quick and easy, you've gone on your first flight and waiting for the next one to come in. Then you get the notification on your phone (because you downloaded the airline app) that your second flight is canceled due to weather. You stand in line with all the other passengers trying to book another flight because you got travel insurance and you know your canceled flight is covered and you should be able to book another one easily. Your kids are starving and tugging at your shirt. Your husband is getting frustrated trying to keep them calm while you stand in line. The other passengers are getting impatient and yelling at the agent trying to help them. You feel the heat building inside of you as everything around you becomes overwhelming. You finally get through the line and manage to book a new flight, but it's for the next morning, and now you're stuck in a city you don't know for the night. Your travel insurance should cover your food, accommodations, and transportation for the night, but now you have to search for a hotel, get transportation set up for your family to get to the hotel, and then figure out what you're going to eat once you get there and settled in.
A travel agent is a free resource you can use to ease your stress while on your vacation. Having a travel agent on your side to handle all the messiness that is involved with traveling will give you the freedom to shrug your shoulders when your flight gets canceled, grab a drink at the bar, some dinner for your kids (which is still reimbursable with your travel insurance), and relax knowing everything is being handled for you. Your travel agent is just one phone call away from removing all of the anxiety for your family and enjoying your vacation, no matter the circumstances. They'll rebook your flight, find a hotel near you, get your transportation, and maybe even have a bottle of champagne waiting for you in your room. Free to use and necessary for a good time in bad circumstances.
You can read more about what a travel agent can do for you by clicking here.
9. BE NICE!!
The issue: Airline staff are overworked and short-staffed. Pilots, flight attendants, ground crew, and those working the counters to deal with customers who are frustrated with how things are going.
The solution: BE NICE!! You’re more likely to get a better response if you need something if you are kind.