It’s not even the busiest time of year for travel yet, and 2022 has been chaotic.
Among the 2021 travel fiascoes:
- Airlines underwent an operational meltdown, with flights being cancelled due to a combination of bad weather, staffing shortages, and technical problems that left passengers stranded.
- Some vaccinated travelers have unexpectedly tested positive for COVID-19 during international trips, finding themselves required to isolate abroad due to U.S. travel restrictions.
- COVID-related rules can change last-minute, meaning you might abruptly need to quarantine upon arrival, even if vaccinated.
Be flexible and pack light
With many challenges in the travel sector, you might find yourself catching a different flight last minute. Travelling around your designated destination could get messy too. Some of you might have to be quarantined, and some of the hotels do not allow you to have multiple bags. It’s best to travel light and carry the essential items when you travel abroad.
Be prepared to extend your trip
Pack enough to survive a trip that lasts longer than expected. Sure, a one-day flight delay likely only requires minimal extra clothing. But should you test positive for COVID-19, you might need 10 days’ worth of supplies. Pack enough medications and other items that can’t easily be purchased abroad for international trips. To avoid overpacking, wear versatile clothing that matches any outfit or occasion. Bring items that can be washed in the sink should you not have laundry access.
Book flights that can easily be cancelled
This is probably not the year to book budget airfare. Though airline change and cancellation policies have improved, basic economy fares typically aren’t eligible for easy trip modifications. Don’t get yourself in a situation where you can’t get refunded because you booked the cheap seats
Know the alternatives
The best alternative is to book your holiday as a package through an expert travel agent as they always have an alternative plan(s) if you face any issues during your trip. If you arrange your journey by yourself, do your research thoroughly before entering a country. Download multiple local ridesharing apps for the largest selection of drivers, and familiarize yourself with local taxi services. Familiarize yourself with time distance, local restaurants, hospitals, banks. If you’re headed to a place that requires proof of a negative COVID-19 test result, know multiple locations where you can get tested. If you are not fully covered or prepared, you can quickly get distracted and frustrated and lost in a foreign land.
The bottom line
Even the best-planned trips are turning out to be cancelled, rescheduled, cut short, or sometimes stressfully extended. That’s because if there’s one thing we can be sure of in 2022, it’s that nothing is for sure. To avoid getting stranded, spending more money, or losing luggage, ensure that your overall travel plan includes a backup plan. Even if it’s a little extra, always plan your trip through a travel agency.