Whether traveling during the holiday season or other times of year, travel can be stressful, but there are a few simple things you can do to make travel easy on yourself for a positive travel experience.
How can I have this easy trip you speak of?
1.Sign up for text mobile alerts.
When you book your airplane tickets, sign up to receive text alerts to your cell phone. This will ensure that you know right away if there are any kind of delays or changes to your flight, like a weather delay or a gate change.
2. Arrive early.
They tell you to arrive at least 2 hours early for domestic flights and 3 hours early for international flights.
Go ahead and admit it. How many of you really do it?
Well if you don’t, you really should. You can’t predict what will happen so give yourself plenty of time to get to the airport taking into account your local traffic. Also, account for extra time if you have to park your car and take transit to the terminal.
If you’re packing a bag make sure you know the time limit for getting to there to check your bag.
The biggest nemesis to all travelers are ridiculously long security lines. Even if you have TSA pre-check status you can find yourself stuck in painfully long lines.
It’s the inevitable mess that we must all endure, so plan accordingly, pack your patience, and most importantly give yourself enough time so that whatever “joys” your security line experience brings, you will not be put in a situation where you have to make a mad dash to your gate.
3. Save images of important travel documents.
Many travelers opt for the option to use a boarding pass on the cell phone, via email or in the airline app. We also tend to have our hotel confirmation and rental car info in our email or in an app as well.
While this is convenient, it can cause you undue stress if you can’t access a decent cell signal or there’s no wi-fi.
The quick fix for this is to screenshot any travel reservations you have. This way the bar code or information you need can be accessed with no worries.
Bonus OD Tip: Share those pics with family or friends! I have a travel google docs folder that my friends and family have access to. I also have an image of my passport in that folder.
4. Carry a portable charger
A portable charger for your cell phone is a must these days. While many airport terminals have charging stations, many do not or sometimes they just don’t work.
If it’s a busy travel time like the holidays, finding an available outlet can feel like you’re in the Hunger Games.
Do yourself a favor and invest in a portable charger, preferably with multiple USB ports so that you can charge multiple devices at once.
5. Purchase travel insurance and take advantage of helpful programs like SmartBenefits from Allianz Travel Insurance.
Imagine getting a payment right to your debit card within minutes because your flight was delayed? Sounds like magic, doesn’t it?
Well it’s not!
If you are enrolled in SmartBenefits, they are actively monitoring customers’ flights for qualifying delays of three to five hours (depending on the policy benefit), and Allianz automatically files a claim for the customer.
You’ll be notified of the claim opened on your behalf and you can choose to get your money within minutes on your debit card, have it direct deposited, or just let a check be automatically mailed to you.
This isn’t chump change here people. Fixed payments for flight delays are around $100 per person for the affected travelers on the reservation.
The other benefit of using SmartBenefits is that you can file claims for bag delays and get a fixed payment amount without the need for providing receipts.
If you file your claim with receipts, you may qualify for a larger reimbursement but it is nice to know that if you don’t have your receipt you can still get some compensation for your travel inconvenience.
Of course, having travel insurance also gives you peace of mind because you know that if you need it, you can get medical assistance while you travel or if for some reason you can’t take your trip or your trip is cut short you don’t have to forfeit all of your hard-earned coins.
6. Use packing cubes.
Packing cubes are your friend. These organizational miracles will keep your travel life nice and tidy. By using packing cubes and some of my other packing tips, you’ll be packed like a pro and on your way to an easy trip.
7. Make sure your passport isn’t near expiration.
If you have international travel in your plans then this is probably the most important tip that you simply can’t afford to ignore.
Many countries do not permit entry unless your passport is valid for at least 6 months after your final day of travel.
I personally know a couple of people who have suffered the heartbreak of checking in with the gate agent only to be told, sorry your passport expires in 2 months so you will not be able to board.
Throw the whole trip away!
Don’t let this be you. You should know the year your passport expires and plan to get it renewed as early in that last year as they will allow.
You can travel with a lot less stress if you make some of these tips for an easy trip your norm.
This post is sponsored by Allianz Global Assistance (AGA Service Company) and I have received financial compensation. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
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