This holiday season I found myself subject to the mass delays surrounding the bad weather front that hit the northeast a few short days before Christmas. Even as a travel expert, I know that no amount of planning can control the weather,. However, there are ways to be prepared for the worst. So with the extra time due to my flight delay/cancellation, I used this as an opportunity to share some a few of my own tips with all the hardworking news networks on site!
Have ‘plan B’ ready to roll
I always keep a list of apps that come in handy in case of delays, especially when it comes to needing to rebook flights due to cancellation. You can’t always rely on the airline to get you on the next available flight, or predict when that will be, so you may need to do your own research – and FAST. Apps like hopper are great to have handy on your smartphone, as they will not only be able to compare what airlines are flying and at what prices, but also track these and can let you know when they go up and down and price and when to book them. Predicting future prices for flights and accommodations with 95% recommendation accuracy sure comes in handy when you have to think (and rebook) fast on your feet.
Get Travel Insurance
While most travel insurance policies cover overnight stays, medical expenses, delayed or lost baggage, trip cancellations and airline change fees, most people still opt out of the added travel insurance. However, it can come in handy, especially if you find yourself booking a trip close to any major holidays like Christmas. The trip-focused plans are pretty affordable, but if you travel frequently you want to look into getting an annual travel insurance plan so it’s always there.
If you are delayed for more than a few hours, airlines tend to hand out food vouchers, and sometimes nearby accommodation, but not always – so it is best to come prepared. Some essentials I suggest include granola bars, a water bottle, wet wipes, a blanket, a neck pillow, medicine, chargers, headphones, earplugs, an eye mask, some basic toiletries, and maybe a clean t-shirt rolled up in your bag! I personally love my Dagne Dover – it has a compartment for every item I travel with!
Keep yourself charged up and have offline options handy
There are some great portable chargers out (unless of course you have a ‘smart’ suitcase) so it’s worth carrying at least one power source in case you don’t find yourself near a pug for a while. You may also find yourself subject to slow airport wifi with hours to kill. Download movies and your favorite sitcoms from Netflix and Amazon Play (which are free if you have a subscription) so you can watch them offline during delays and on long trips.
This is probably the hardest thing to do – even I still get stressed when it comes to delays and cancellations. If you experience a delay and need to speak with the airline, stay composed and be polite, as remember, they are going to be the ones to get you on the next flight out. After that, find somewhere sit down, call anyone you need to, and wait it out. If you have lounge access, this is where it comes in handy. Remember, if your not flying, there’s often a good reason for it – which can include your safety in the air!