Instead of being surprised when your flight plans change, reduce the chaos and your stress levels with these 10 things to do before your next overseas flight to reduce the chaos.
There has never been a more challenging time to fly in living history. Flight prices are at an all time high and lack of service and flight cancellations and delays abound. Flights are almost all 100% full, and people are anxious.
And it is not just one airline – it is across the board. And it is across all flight categories – even first. Overseas flights are not easy.
I have experienced cancellations, delays and simply bad service on all of the following in the past airlines in the last six months: Qantas, British Airways, Singapore Airlines, Lion Air, Garuda, MAS, and Emirates.
Rather than sit around complaining about it, the best way to cope with the chaos of flying is to expect the worst and prepare for these delays, cancellations and hassles, and be pleasantly surprised if they don’t happen and you arrive at your destination on time..
- It is so important to use a travel agent for flight bookings so that if you have to change dates or times, you don’t have to deal with the dreaded airline phone lines which right now are insufferable for almost all airlines.
- Travel by train or even car whenever possible and avoid flying. This is super easy in most of Europe and the UK.
- This is the ideal life moment to master travelling only with carry on luggage. (I am yet to get there). If that’s not possible, take a decent sized carry on with wheels to pack enough to last you at least 3 days. Luggage is being lost all over the world, and there really is nothing worse than having to go out and buy clothes the moment you land at a new destination.
- Put Apple tags in each piece of your luggage. That way if you are separated from it you can see exactly where in the world it is. Label your luggage including carry on. Sounds obvious but ensuring your luggage is clearly labelled will ensure it finds you as quickly as possible. Put your full passport name , flight number, destination address AND home address. I put this as well as the electronic tags as there are remote locations who may not be able to decipher these quickly.
- Carry the charger for both your phone and computer on you, do not put these in your luggage. Critical.
- If you are someone who watches a lot of movies or listens to you tube, download extra material so that if you are delayed or have an unexpected stop over without wifi you have plenty to do.
- Stay at a hotel with experienced concierge and book everything at your destination through them so if you are delayed they will sort it out for you and cancel/re-book your reservations, cars and so on.
- Get an International Currency Card (Australian banks issue them in days) so that if you end up somewhere unexpected you can access local funds. Remember many countries do not yet do card-less transactions.
- If you have a special event such as a wedding, give yourself a minimum window of 24 hours before you actually need to be there as you could be significantly late because of flight delays.
- Pay to have your hotel pick you up on arrival and send your hotel your flight details so they know if you are delayed. Many cities are very low on uber as well as taxi numbers – even London, so don’t risk more stress when you land.
- Seek out the support of your hotel at your destination. If you are planning to eat on arrival at the hotel (like I always do) let them know so that if you are delayed they can keep some food (or wine!) for you.
- Have hotel apps downloaded so if you need to find accommodation overnight at the last minute, you can. I was at an Asian airport recently and had to stay close to the airport overnight after yet another flight cancellation, and the hotel quoted me 7 times the price at the check-in desk for a one night stay of what I paid on an app. You can imagine their surprise when my booking popped up in their system on the app so much cheaper. Be prepared.
- Be old fashioned and carry at least US$150 for an emergency situation. Australia and a lot of Europe are cashless, but many locations in the world still use cash.
Using a travel agent is one of the best ways to ensure your hassles are reduced. Click here for Luxury Travel Agent, Spencer Travel.