Traveling can be hectic and the added stress of delays certainly does not help. In order to prevent delays and maximize your time while traveling, consider these tips on how to make travel more seamless and less of a headache!
1. Aim to Travel Off Season
Traveling during times of increased demand will automatically boost the likelihood that you are delayed. Why? Well, because everyone is trying to do exactly what you are doing, which makes lines longer and things more complicated.
Not to mention, most people have no idea what they’re doing and don’t travel often. With changing guidelines, the unfamiliarity of it all, and the added stress during peak times, it’s best to avoid the unnecessary delays altogether and travel out of season.
2. Study the Weather
Knowing your trip’s weather forecast can help you cut significantly on time and avoid delays. While you certainly can’t plan for everything or even predict your trip’s weather when booking way out, general knowledge will come in handy.
For example, knowing when the general hurricane season is in the tropics and planning around that can help to mitigate any travel delays. Similarly, days before your flight or another travel method, check the weather and assure that everything is still operating correctly.
If you require a ferry that is out of service during a storm warning, knowing ahead of time can allow for redirected plans and a seamless change.
3. Get There Early
Anywhere you’re going and whatever you’re doing, get there early. This is especially true in extremely unfamiliar situations like international travel. If you show up late, in a rush, and miss an important direction or other key information, you may find yourself being delayed.
An example of this is declarations when landing abroad. If you don’t fill out the form correctly and submit it, you may find that you not only delay yourself but your entire party. Arriving early also leaves a buffer in case anything goes wrong.
4. Don’t Book the Last Flight
As the day goes on, flights are prone to be delayed. If one flight earlier in the day is delayed by even so little as ten minutes, it can completely alter the rest of the day’s flights – both departure and arrivals.
This is because an airport finely plans its schedule for the day with its gate availability, cleaning crews, the flight tower, and so on. When one flight breaks that pattern, there is a ripple effect for all employees and passengers.
If ten minutes can alter an entire day of flights, imagine what an hour or so will do as time goes on. To avoid significant flight delays, stick to the earliest flights.
5. Avoid Holding Up Security
Airport security may seem daunting, but it doesn’t need to be. You can read up on how to prepare before your flight if you’re worried about it, but there will be plenty of signs and employees (TSA agents) in the airport ready to answer questions.
The primary thing to note, and the one that will delay you and everyone else, is trying to bring in contraband. This can be as simple as more than a few ounces of liquid (read: forgetting to dump out your water bottle) to trying to bring in an illegal substance or device.
This goes for not only airports but also border patrol or according to other customs requirements. Be sure to research what is legal and what is not before traveling beforehand.
6. Keep Your Bag With You
Something that seems like it should be a safe option for traveling can often cause the biggest complications. That is, your luggage. When you check a bag with an airline, bus, or train, you’re taking a chance on it not ending up at the destination.
Sure, many travel agencies have a policy in place to help in the event of a misplaced bag, but the delays and headaches caused are something they can’t help with. If you can, keep your bag with you to avoid the potential delay of missing or misplacing baggage along your trip!
Traveling is meant to be an enjoyable experience, regardless of if it’s for work or fun. To help mitigate the chance of complications and the dreaded delay, you’ll need to properly prepare for your trip beforehand. By keeping a few simple things in mind, you can avoid an avalanche of hectic travel days when your trip rolls around!