Traveling for the holidays?

Many of us will be traveling over the holidays. While it can be unpredictable due to weather and airline delays, we can control how prepared we are. Here are some tips from Steve Anderson’s Tech Tips article.

There are several strategies that I use when traveling to help keep my cool when travel plans don’t go the way I expected. Perhaps a few will help you the next time you are stuck.

Strategy #1: Plan Ahead

I make it a practice to monitor the weather whenever I am traveling, so I have an idea if my travel might be disrupted. I use a combination of desktop websites before my trip and the mobile apps described above to keep me informed. At smaller airports, it’s essential to also understand flight options from other airlines that you could jump on.

Strategy #2: Pack Lightly

A key to being able to quickly and easily change to a different flight is not having to worry about checked baggage. I rarely check a bag when I’m traveling for business. Having to deal with checked luggage almost always limits the flexibility you have in changing your travel plans.

Strategy #3: Take the Right Clothes

Making sure you have the right clothes with you is another strategy that helps reduce stress when the unexpected happens. Over the years, I’ve purchased many clothes including sports jackets from TravelSmith. They are an online retailer of travel-friendly clothing for both men and women. The blazers are specifically designed to stand up to heavy travel, resist stains, and contain 12 different pockets. I’ve also purchased their ExOfficio travel underwear. It’s expensive but well worth it.

Strategy #4: Use the Right Tools

I mentioned above that I use a combination of website tools and mobile applications to keep up to date with what’s happening during my travels. Having the right tools, and knowing how to use them, is vital so that you can have the most current information possible. This information helps you make more informed decisions.

Strategy #5: Be Nice

I’m always amazed to watch other travelers who scream and yell at the gate agent who’s trying to help them. I do my best to not take my frustration with disrupted travel plans out on them. They, in fact, are the ones who are in the best position to help me. I go out of my way to acknowledge them, thank them for their help, and try and relieve a little bit of their stress at the same time.

Strategy #6: Call and Wait In Line

If your flight is canceled, go ahead and get in line to talk to the agent about the options for changing to a different flight. While you are waiting, also call the airline help desk. If there is a significant disruption, the phone may be your fastest option.

Strategy #7: Be Loyal

There is some debate about how valuable airline loyalty is in today’s environment. I have read some writers say that it is just not that important anymore. Loyalty to a particular airline may not be as important as it was five or ten years ago. But I’m convinced that in difficult situations, I have a better chance of getting home when I have status with the airline. There always is a balance between the cost of the ticket and loyalty to a particular airline, but at least for right now loyalty helps.

These are the strategies I have found help me keep calm during the inevitable storms that occur during winter travel. I hope these tips might help you have the best travel experience possible.

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