by Alesia House, ACC, CTA, Travel expert at IBookTravelForU.
Travel In Our Post-Covid World
Post Covid travel is definitely not the same as before the pandemic. Remember how easy air travel was before 9/11? There were no security lines, you could pack a 16 oz bottle of shampoo with you and even carry your full water bottle from the car to the gate. After 9/11, we had all sorts of “new rules”, yet we somehow adapted. Now, we expect long lines and adhere to the three-ounce bottle rules without a second thought. Travel became strong again, despite the inconveniences.
Covid forced another unexpected shutdown. Thankfully, we are up and running again as people reschedule their postponed trips, but now we have a new set of challenges with which to contend.
Post Covid Travel Challenges
Covid is still part of our new normal, but travelers are itching to get out and explore again. With travel back in full force some of the airlines and suppliers struggle these days to keep up with the demand. What are some things you can do as a traveler to make your journey a little less stressful?
Tips to Make Travel Easier
Here are some tips to make travel easier, based on my experience.
Best Time to Schedule Flights
When looking at flights choose the earliest flight of the day. As the day goes on, flights and crews start to get backed up. Flights get delayed and even some of them are canceled. Your chances of arriving somewhere on time are far greater if you take an early flight out.
Luggage Issues: Non-Stop vs. Connecting Flights
If possible, choose a non-stop flight. When you put yourself and your luggage on a non-stop, the chances of you both arriving at the same time are far greater than if you have a layover somewhere.
When a connecting flight is the only option, consider trying to pack everything in a carry-on. Compression packing cubes help pack more in less space – about 40% more. The updated designs with quality compression zippers don’t require the user to provide the suction with a vacuum or hair dryer. We recommend the Taskin brand with compartments for both clean and dirty clothes and costs under $40 for three good-sized cubes.
It’s easy for me to recommend a carry-on only, but since I am an overpacker who always checks a bag, I understand that may not be possible for you. To help alleviate your concerns about lost luggage, you might want to purchase an Apple Air Tag to place inside your suitcase. With it, you can track your luggage; will be able to see if it is on your flight with you and if your suitcase gets lost, you will likely know where it is before the airline does. Peace of mind in this case costs under $30 which is a pretty good deal.
Avoid booking with the more “Budget friendly airlines” as they seem to have more staffing issues and cancellations and delays than the main airlines. This is not to say that the more well-known airlines do not have problems, but your chances are better when booking with a company you know is reputable.
Flight Information and Changes
Always download the airline’s app to your phone for access to the most up-to-date information! If your flight is delayed or canceled, you can often re-book right from your app vs. waiting in the mile-long line at the airport.
International Travel – Important Documents
With international travel, I recommend my clients take a picture of their passport and driver’s license with their cell phone. It’s an easy way to make sure you have an extra copy with you. Why do this? It’s important if your passport is lost or stolen at the destination. If that happens, you can go to the U.S. Embassy for help getting back to the U.S. and a copy will make the process go much more smoothly.
Before COVID, most travelers did not purchase travel insurance. Now, post-covid, it is more the norm. Protection provides peace of mind in a world where travel is unpredictable. Most travel protection covers delays and canceled flights, lost or delayed luggage, and often covers a hotel bill if you are stuck waiting for the airline to get you out on the next available flight. Your travel agent should be able to recommend travel insurance that best meets your needs for your journey.
Covid Related Restrictions
Knowing the COVID protocols at your destination before you book is extremely important. Many destinations lifted a lot of their restrictions, but some locations still require testing and/or a form you need to fill out.
The Bottom Line
I will leave you with my best two tips.
First, since planning travel on your own is stressful these days, I recommend you book with a reputable travel agent who takes care of all the details. That way things won’t fall through the cracks (I might just know one!).
Second, and this one is important, don’t forget to pack your patience!!
About the Author: Alesia House
Alesia House is the owner of IBookTravelForU.com. Her travel agency focuses on providing excellent service and personalized service for clients based on their unique vacation needs and budget. Alesia and her staff work closely with top travel suppliers and have access to the latest deals and special offers.
Alesia says, “From my first plane ride at age 8 my love and passion for travel has only increased. My goal is to really listen to my clients to learn what they want from their experience, then take that information and personalize their trip just for them. With over 300 different cruise ships and countless all-inclusive resorts and destinations, I have invested time into doing ship tours and site inspections and traveling and making the connections necessary to ensure my clients have an amazing experience. It is safe to say that 80% of the time I am booking clients in places I have been, have personally experienced, and have personal connections with. I specialize in Alaska, and I believe everyone needs to experience Alaska at least once in their lifetime. I am an accredited Cruise counselor and am always increasing my knowledge and experience in European destinations, Caribbean destinations, and river cruising.”
She enjoys putting together group trips, escorting clients to their destinations, and watching them experience it for the first time. When someone has what she calls a bucket list destination, nothing thrills her more than helping make that dream a reality. The memories made while traveling last a lifetime!
Contact Alesia House, ACC, CTA at Alesia@ibooktravelforu.com
cover image source: Carolina Marinelli from Unsplash.