10 tips to avoid holiday hassles

The one time you want everything to go smoothly is when you’re heading off on holiday so, to avoid delays and disasters, check out our 10 simple tips.

1. Be an early bird
Both when booking and choosing your time of travel. While you may be able to secure a last minutes deal, if you have your mind set on where you want to travel, watch for the early bird fares and don’t procrastinate. Similarly, early morning flights are less likely to be affected by knock on delays, so travel as early as you can make it to the airport.

2. Avoid queues and getting bumped
Checking in online not only helps you avoid long queues at the airport but you’re also less likely to be bumped if the flight is overbooked.

3. Keep up-to-date with restrictions
Both airlines and airports can, from time to time, change their policies on what you can carry in your luggage, how long you need to be at the airport before you actually fly and even whether or not you need to go through extra screening. Complying with these rules and regulations will help you glide through the airport.

4. Book assistance if you need it
Many airlines offer assistance through the airport and getting on to the airplane but this often needs to be booked in advance. You can do this online with most airlines and be sure to receive confirmation by email.

5. Allow a little leeway
We all want to have the shortest travel time when taking a trip but be realistic about your transit and transfer times. It’s better to have 30 minutes to grab a coffee than a four-hour wait after a missed connection.

6. Check all your documentation
You really can check your travel plans and documentation too many times, so engage the help of a friend to read out the details and listen carefully to pick up any errors. If you’re travelling with medicines, make sure you have a letter from your doctor or pharmacist outlining what they are and why you have them.

7. Stay informed
Keep tuned into the local news and traffic details so you can anticipate any delays or issues that may affect your travel plans.

8. Keep your documents safe
It’s easy to get flustered when you’re travelling, especially if you’re in a rush or travelling through busy airports. Keep your documents ordered and safe and, even if someone is tutting loudly behind you in the queue, take the time to put them away once you’re done. It’s also a good idea to leave a copy with someone and take another with you on a USB.

9. Pack light
It’s important to include the essentials but if you’re planning to take something ‘just in case’, leave it behind. Unless you’re heading somewhere remote for six weeks, chances are you’ll be able to pick up items along the way. The less items you have to worry about, the less you’ll stress.

10. Make sure you’re covered
Delays and disasters (hopefully minor) do happen while travelling so consider purchasing travel insurance before you go. And remember, leave valuable behind – if you can’t afford to loose it, don’t take it with you.

Written by Debbie McTaggart

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