You’ve read the headlines…long queues, lost luggage, canceled flights. Soaring prices for just about everything yet hotels are full, tour guides booked solid and restaurant reservations impossible. Still wanna go?
Here are some tips to make it easier….
- Book direct flights whenever possible: Flights seem to be late more than on time these days. Causing a knock on effect. A direct flight means only one leg you need to worry about. And if your flight is cancelled…also happening a lot…its only one flight you need to rebook.
- Schedule long layovers: If you have to connect, give yourself lots of time…the days of 1 hour connections are over, at least for now. I’m booking a trip with 3 hours between landing and the next take off…and making sure there is a flight after that connection to the same destination just in case.
- Carry on, carry on, carry on: Forget have the perfect outfit for every occasion…Airports are struggling to process luggage. So many people are arriving days before their bags. If you get invited to a last minute ball while on holiday, think of it a shopping opportunity. But, I travel more than most; it has yet to happened to me. See my tips for traveling light here.
- Put Airtags in every bag: They are about the size of a quarter and help locate your stuff. Stick one in each bag…you may not have your luggage, but you will know where it is. And you can share that information with the airline who may not actually know where you bag is. I’m putting them in all carryon bags too. Overhead spaces on planes get full fast and you may be required to check it regardless. (Tip from https://thepointsguy.com)
- Expect long lines…for security, check in, customs. Try to be as ready as possible with documentation. Have a few good podcasts or audio books to listen to.
- Plan in advance: Hotels are filling up fast. Book in advance if you can. Museums and sites are packed. Many allow you to purchase tickets on line before you leave home. Pay extra for early admission, late access or skip the line tickets…and still expect a line. You are not alone in buying these special tickets. Try less well known attractions. Everyone will be trying to see the Louvre but the nearby Museum of Decorative Arts is amazing. Make reservations at restaurants as soon as you know you are traveling. Ditto tours.
- Everything costs more: Don’t expect bargains…prices are insane. Sadly you just have to suck it up, buttercup.
- Avoid crowds: Get up early, stay up late, nap during the day. You’ll avoid the heat and hordes of people. Cities are more beautiful at night when landmark are lit up.
- Be patient: Many staff are new, still getting trained and learning the job. They are likely overworked and underpaid. But still trying their best. A little kindness goes a long way!
Even with all the current hassles, travel remains the only thing you buy that makes you richer.