7 Tips For Surviving Summer Travel

Are you already frazzled, and you haven’t even left home yet?

This summer, like the last, has seen an explosive amount of travel, especially international travel, and along with it, lots of headaches!

As you know, we’ve had record-breaking heat, unexpected storms, wildfires and smoke, and amidst all that, continuing problems with airline and airport staff shortages, all that leading to flight delays, cancellations, long lines, lost baggage and more.

Delta airplane at terminal

So I’ve developed a list of seven tips to help you survive the summer travel yet this year:

  • Give yourself plenty of time! These days, you just know that an hour’s layover is not enough. I was recently on a trip where weather caused a delay, and I missed a 3+ hour layover connection! Subsequently, the cascading effect led to two missed flights and having to purchase an entirely new flight on a different airline to get to my destination. I thought I had a lot of padding, but in this case, it wasn’t enough.
  • If possible, take direct flights. If you’re like me, your first flight takes you to the hub. But if you’re lucky enough to live near a hub, book directly to your destination.
  • Start early in the day! With crazy storms building in the afternoon, as well as delays and crews timing out, you’ll want to start as early in the day as possible, in hopes of avoiding all those issues.
  • Never check your bags. I know this isn’t always possible, but ‘carry-on only’ is the way to go! With last-minute cancellations and missed connections, you want your bags to go with you. Pack light and pack smart.
  • Add an Apple AirTag to your bag. If you simply must check a bag, slip an AirTag into your luggage so that you can track your bag along the way.
  • Prepare for the worst. (and be happy if all goes well) If this is a big vacation, bring along itineraries, reservation numbers, phone numbers and any other important information you might need. Think hotels, car rentals, etc. You may need to notify them of a late arrival, or rebook a hotel or flight. Consider purchasing travel insurance before your trip, and/or be aware of your rights and cancellation policies.

Bonus tip:

  • This may be an unpopular opinion these days, but I recommend that you search for hotels, flights, etc. by using the various companies (booking.com, expedia, google flights, etc.), but then go to the actual website of the hotel or airline to make the reservation. You’ll save yourself massive headaches by working directly with the agency you are traveling with, rather than a third party, who can be less than helpful under troubling circumstances.

Hang in there! We still have a lot of summer yet to enjoy! Don’t let the stress of summer travel get in your way of a great vacation.

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