Since the pandemic has robbed us of over two years of travel, there will definitely be an influx of people travelling this summer. But let’s be honest, travel is still unpredictable. These days, you really have to be prepared for any situation. You’ve probably seen the pictures of the mountains of luggage at London’s Heathrow Airport, strikes, longer queues than usual, last-minute cancellations and delayed flights.
What To Know About Summer Travel
The tourism and aviation industry is still recovering from Covid-19. Many airlines like British Airways and international airports have experienced a shortage of staff as they have struggled to rehire staff from previous cuts made during the pandemic and Brexit is partly to blame. Staff shortages have left airports and airlines scrambling with the demand from holidaymakers. The US is also facing similar challenges as thousands of flights have been cancelled as the 4th of July approaches. Unfortunately, it looks as if the chaos is here to stay this season. I’m sure I’m not the only one who misses the ease of pre-covid travel days, the days we took for granted.
The reality is many of us are looking forward to summer, which brings higher prices, more crowds and longer wait times. Summer travel still seems worth it despite the hassles as so many cities around the world come alive in the summertime and the weather is glorious. After all, who doesn’t love summer travel?
Five Tips To Prepare For Summer Travel in 2023
Prepping for summer travel might feel overwhelming this year but here are 5 tips to ease the stress:
1. Plan your trip well and as early as possible
Did you know the average international trip takes a minimum of 40 hours of research? Studies suggest that planning a trip can provide as much happiness as the trip itself, so make the most of that holiday high by booking in advance to save money, reduce risk and have more time to relax. Early planning will ease your stress just a little bit. If you still feel overwhelmed by the thought of planning your trip, let me save you time, money and hassle with our travel planning services.
2. Book with airlines directly
Rather than booking your flight through a travel agency or an aggregator website like Skyscanner, use the airline’s official website directly. Don’t get me wrong, a good flight aggregator is a useful tool because it canvasses the greatest amount of options in search of cheap flight prices. The downside of using third-party websites is that they don’t offer as much flexibility, and if they do, you will usually have to pay an additional fee. During the pandemic, I saw some of these travel agencies move mad when customers demanded refunds. Some cut off their lines. I made this same mistake when I booked a flight ticket to Thailand and it took almost 10 months before I received a full refund.
At least if you book with an airline, there are consumer laws for airlines so you are covered in a way if you require a refund or vouchers for cancellation of flights. Although it’s still a good idea to check airline policies and terms and conditions before you book.
3. Subscribe to email alerts for UK foreign travel advice for any country
Did you know you could sign up to receive email notifications on www.gov.uk for foreign travel advice in any country? Check the video below to learn how to do this.
4. Get travel insurance!
Having travel insurance is major key. Can’t stress how important this is more than ever. From flight delays, missing luggage, and damaged luggage, I have experienced it all and having travel insurance has helped me claim back expenses. Make sure you familiarise yourself with policy exemptions and read the fine print so you know what is covered in your insurance.
5. Pack smarter
Pack essential items in hand luggage
With lost baggage becoming a common theme this summer, pack essential items like makeup, toiletries, jewellery, expensive items, electronics and a couple of spare outfits in your hand luggage and not your checked baggage.
Travel smart tip: AirTag your checked baggage. Apple AirTags are an affordable and effective way to track your baggage and could potentially come in handy in the event that your baggage is missing.
Carry travel-size toiletries and a mini first aid kit
Coronavirus is still out here even though restrictions have eased, it’s still important to still protect yourself as much as you can. Stock up on travel-size hand sanitisers, antibacterial wipes and face masks so you can carry them when you’re on the move.
Travel with a pen
I know this seems minor but the amount of times I have arrived at an airport or I’m on the plane and the flight attendant asks passengers to fill in a form (normally health declarations forms or immigration forms) as a requirement to enter the country and another passenger asks to borrow a pen is more common than you’ll think. Now I always carry a pen with me whenever I travel.
6. Make sure you know the current travel restrictions and mask requirements
Many countries are still at different stages of the pandemic. Some destinations still have travel requirements in place, even though many countries have already eliminated them. Travel excursions and museums may be temporally closed or have different opening times so it’s important to keep this in mind when travelling. It’s also important to note that you are still required to wear a face mask on some flights if the destination requires it, at the airport and in public places of your final destination. Some countries may still also require a PCR test. A PCR time calculator tool can help you calculate what date and time you need to take a PCR test for a trip abroad, which is usually 72 – 96 hours before departure depending on your destination travel rules.
How are you preparing for summer travel this year? Share your tips in the comments!