I’m a passionate advocate for proactive traveling.
Whenever possible, I always emphasize the importance of thinking like a concierge when it comes to planning trips.
…But what does that mean?
It’s about being one step ahead, anticipating potential hurdles, and transforming them into opportunities for a seamless travel experience.
Below, you’ll find some of my best tips to help you navigate the challenges of travel without any of the stress.
We’ll cover everything from managing flight delays to staying organized and handling the unexpected!
Anticipating and Managing Flight Delays
Download Flight Tracking Apps
Use technology to keep track of your flight status before you head to the airport. It’s also helpful if you’re in a “silent airport” and delays or cancellations are not announced over the intercom.
Check If You Qualify for Longe Access
You might be surprised. Many credit cards or memberships come with free or discounted lounge access. When you have a long layover, getting access to a hot shower and free snacks is a lifesaver.
Check Your Connecting Flight Time
While opting for the shortest layover is tempting, it’s not always wise. If you’re traveling to an airport that’s massive (like Dubai) or you’ve never been there before, it’s a good idea to take the longer option.
You’ll have enough time to make your way to the gate comfortably without stressing about missing your connection.
Know Your Rights and Options
What happens if you miss a flight or it’s canceled?
Read up on your rights as a traveler and inform yourself what compensation you’re entitled to and what alternative arrangements airlines can offer you.
Staying Organized During Your Trip
Pack Your Suitcase Like a Pro
Packing cubes will change your life. Trust me. If you’re an overpacker, it can help you squeeze in a few extra things and keep everything neatly organized.
At the airport, make sure you have a ziploc bag of all your liquids at the top of your bag, as well as your laptop.
Create a Packing Checklist:
How often have you left your toothbrush or cellphone charger at home? Nip those forgetful moments in the bud with a travel checklist.
I like to keep mine in the Notepad app on my iPhone and run through it before every trip (and when I’m leaving a hotel).
Create a Digital Backup of Your Documents
You never know what might happen on a trip. You could lose your passport or need to reproduce a copy of your travel insurance. Download everything on your phone so it’s available for offline use.
If you want to protect yourself further, take photos of your visa stamps as well. It’s helpful if your passport goes missing and you need to show the authorities proof you have a valid visa.
Lastly, take advantage of electronic organizers. These apps can store your travel itinerary, boarding passes, and hotel reservations.
Handling Common Travel Mishaps
Lost or Delayed Luggage
I have an entire blog post you can read here about what to do if your luggage is lost or delayed.
But the main things to remember are:
- Contact the airline immediately to file a claim.
- Contact your travel insurance.
- Always have a contingency plan (like keeping a spare set of clothes in your carry-on).
Backup Payment Options
Always, always, always have multiple forms of payment on you.
But never, never, ever keep them all in the same place.
If your handbag is stolen, you lose access to all your money.
But if you have a backup card in the safe of your hotel and some spare cash in your suitcase, you’ll still be able to pay for food and accommodation.
Get an eSim
Take the stress out of getting a local SIM card at the airport. With an eSim, you can buy it before your trip and activate it as soon as you land.
It helps you save time once you land and avoid a situation where the SIM card kiosk is closed or doesn’t exist.
Global Entry and TSA Precheck.
If you’re a regular traveler like myself, the Global Entry Pass is a no-brainer.
Plus, you can usually grab it for free with many travel credit cards. So if you’re in the market for one, make sure Global Entry is a perk to save some $$$.
…But what’s the deal with this handy pass?
It allows you to go through TSA precheck, which means you don’t need to take off your shoes or join the lengthy customs lines.
You can walk right past and head straight to baggage collection.
Get Good Travel Insurance.
Travel insurance is no longer a “nice to have.”
It’s your lifesaver for stress-free travel, especially if anything goes wrong. You’re always protected, whether it’s lost baggage, a trip to the hospital, or a delayed flight.
But to make the most of it, don’t grab a single plan for each trip. If you travel often, invest in an annual travel insurance policy.
It will save you money and knock one more thing off your pre-travel checklist.
Avoid Jet Lag
Jet lag is something that happens. You’re traveling across different time zones, so your body’s internal rhythm will take a knock.
However, you can do a few things to mitigate the effects and bounce back quicker than a 90s trend.
I have an entire article on all my best jet lag tips that you can read here, but here are some of my golden nuggets:
- Try to sleep on the plane when it’s your normal time.
- Stay hydrated and skip the alcoholic beverage on the plane.
- When you land, stay awake until nighttime to get yourself back on track.
Wrapping It Up
Travel, like life, is unpredictable. But with a proactive approach and a bit of planning, you can tackle almost any challenge that comes your way.
Remember, thinking like a concierge means being prepared, adaptable, and resourceful.
So, embrace these tips, pack your bags, and get ready for a smooth and enjoyable travel experience!