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PLAN AHEAD for a GREAT travel experience. Tips from road warriors.

TRAVELING TO AIRPORTS AND FLIGHTS

AIRLINE CHECK-IN

It would be wise to reconfirm all flight reservations with the carrier about 24 hours before departure. This will help prevent any unforeseen schedule changes and give you time to adjust your plans accordingly.

IF YOU CAN’T MAKE YOUR FLIGHT

Don’t just be a no show if something comes up that prevents you from making your flight. Contact the carrier right away, inform them that you can’t make the flight, and they will direct you on the next step to take.

PLAN TO LEAVE EARLY TO ALLOW FOR UNEXPECTED TRAFFIC, ROAD CONSTRUCTION,OR OTHER DELAYS

It happens. Your trip is almost over and you’re headed home. Suddenly, your rental car (or even taxi or train) breaks down on the way to the airport. Or, there’s a big backup on the highway. By the time you get the situation taken care of, you’ve missed your flight (or train). Wise travelers always allow plenty of margin for error by leaving early. Sure, you may end up with some extra time on your hands, but if you plan ahead, you can put that time to good use. Also, if you get stuck, always call the carrier to let them know. If you are taking a long and expensive trip, you might even consider staying at a nearby hotel so you can have a restful departure.

WEATHER CONDITIONS

Weather conditions can cause havoc on the transportation system. Summer (not winter) is prime time for getting stuck in airports. If you travel enough, it will happen to you. So, plan ahead with extra power for your electronics. Take along some packable and nourishing snacks. Get in line immediately and call the airline at the same time. You never know which will be quicker. If you have a savvy buddy back home, let them know about the trouble and have them check other options for you.

VERIFY AIRPORT, TERMINAL OR STATION INFORMATION

Many cities have multiple airports and train stations. Make sure you know the correct airport and terminal or station. It’s your job to be at the right place at the right time. If you’re not sure, ask lots of questions until you ARE indeed sure. There are many good flight tracker apps that show you the location of your plane REAL TIME. It’s fun and keeps you informed.

UNEXPECTED BAGGAGE FEES AND RULE CHANGES

Each airline has individual baggage fee policies and they can change at any time. Some baggage fees are payable at the time of ticket purchase up until check-in, and they are not included in the price of your ticket. Be a savvy traveler and refer to the airline’s website to check all baggage fees before departure. In some cases, checking in online prior to departure allows for significant savings on baggage fees. Always have a credit card handy just in case.

DELAYED BAGGAGE

If you arrive at your final destination and your bags are missing, it is important to file a claim with your carrier BEFORE you leave the airport. Once you have filed your claim, make sure you are given a claim document and confirmation number. If you don’t hear from the carrier within 24 hours, call the phone number on the claim form to follow-up. TIP: Baggage tags can easily tear off during handing, so always place an additional ID card inside your luggage that includes your home address, cell number, email, and your final destination.

LABOR STRIKES

It doesn’t happen often, but a labor strike can mess up your plans quickly. You are typically at the mercy of the carrier, so contact them directly to have them accommodate you. You may also contact your travel rep to inquire about re-ticketing options or rebooking on another carrier.
HOTEL

HOTEL ACCOMMODATIONS

If your hotel room does not meet your expectations, always speak to the front desk clerk. In most cases, if another room is available, they are happy to assist you. Escalate to a supervisor, if necessary.

HOTEL RESERVATIONS AND ROOM REQUESTS

Always call to reconfirm hotel details 24 hours before arrival. Many smaller hotels are not necessarily electronically connected and still rely on tax or manual tools (easily lost) to coordinate online reservations- If you have special room requirements (i.e. non-smoking), then they should be confirmed during the call. Make sure you clarify the distinction between a “requirement” and a ‘request’, because requests are often viewed as optional or “if available”.
CAR RENTALS AND SHUTTLES

AVOID DAMAGE COSTS CHARGED BY A RENTAL CAR COMPANY

You are expected to return a rental car in the same condition you received it. Sometimes, even a mechanical failure you did not cause could still be charged to you (unreasonable wear or use). The safest bet is generally to buy the insurance provided by the rental company or make sure the insurance you carry (i.e. credit card coverage) kicks in for these type situations. Also, make sure your vehicle is checked and documented by an agent (keep a copy) before you leave the return area.

SHUTTLE SERVICE

Call the hotel where you will be staying to inquire about shuttle services. Some hotels offer this service free of charge, but you must call ahead to make arrangements.
PERSONAL INFORMATION AND VALUABLES

CREDIT CARDS AND IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS

It’s probably every traveler’s biggest fear. Your wallet and/or passport are stolen or lost First, cancel credit cards by calling each of their cancellation hotlines. If they were stolen, contact the local police. If your passport is gone, contact your nearest embassy or consulate. You may still be allowed to travel, but the authorities will investigate. Take into consideration that your trip will possibly be delayed.

VALUABLES

Savvy travelers avoid bringing along valuables or irreplaceable items. If they are lost or stolen, even from a hotel safe, the insurer may want original appraisals. Many carriers and properties also severely limit reimbursements and often exclude items such as heirlooms, antiques, eyeglasses, medicine, jewelry, photo equipment, and electronics. Ask yourself if you really need it that badly.

SHIPPED PURCHASES THAT NEVER ARRIVED

Souvenirs are often a part of traveling. If you ever buy an item too big to pack with you, always do your own shipping. Don’t trust a merchant to send it to you after you have paid for it They may not ship it, or even if they do, it may not be done correctly and may get lost or held up in customs. Always pay for significant purchases by credit card because it’s great fraud protection and might be the only proof you have.
Miscellaneous

DESTINATION ETIQUETTE

When traveling your personal or local etiquette may have an opposite meaning in a foreign destination. For example, wearing camouflage apparel, chewing gum, or shaking someone’s hand may be considered offensive by some. We recommend that you do some research on the internet to learn about local etiquette where you are traveling.

TOUR OPERATOR OR CARRIER CHANGES PLANS

You thought you were going to be on a nice, quick airplane flight and instead you spend hours on a bus. Be aware that most common carriers and tour operators have the full right to change hotels and mode of travel without compensation. It’s right there in the tiny print.
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Just one Bad Ass Yacht!

Just one Bad Ass Yacht!

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