The next time you are planning a winter trip, keep these tips in mind:
1) Purchase travel protection. Many people seem to think that travel protection is an expense to be avoided, but most travel protection plans provide valuable coverage for cancelled or delayed flights. Call your provider as soon as your flight is cancelled or delayed, and have your policy number handy. They will assist with getting your trip back on track and cover your expenses (up to the limit specified in your coverage). Be sure to save all of your receipts. (Note that coverage varies by provider and policy. Read your coverage details carefully.)
2) Provide your "day of travel" contact information to the airline. Virtually every airline provides the opportunity for passengers to provide an email address and a cell phone number so that they can contact you if your flight is cancelled or delayed. Enter this information online when you are viewing your reservation or completing your online check-in. They can't contact you if you don't provide this information.
3) Book your airfare as part of your travel package with your travel agent. This puts many more resources at work to resolve any situation that may occur. Your travel agent and your tour operator will provide assistance in getting your flights rescheduled, making alternate hotel arrangements, rescheduling your transfers, etc. Without a travel agent, you're on your own.
4) Consider your options. Sure your flight from Boston may have been cancelled, but maybe if you drove to New York or Philadelphia, you could still be on your way. In storm situations, as long as there is availability, many of the airlines will waive your change fees and any difference in fare.
5) Plan your trip to arrive early. Arrive at least a day in advance of when you absolutely, positively must be there. If your cruise ship is scheduled to depart on Saturday, arrive on Friday and spend the night near the pier. This eliminates so many potential problems, and the odds of you being on time to board your ship are so much better.
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7) Ask for a "distressed passenger" rate. If you are at your destination and unable to return home, ask at the front desk about a "distressed passenger" rate. Many hotels will provide a lower rate for a night or two while you are trying to get back home. This will minimize your out-of-pocket expenses.
8) Pack a few necessities in your carry-on bag. That way if you are separated from your checked bag for any length of time, you can still make do with what you have in your carry-on.
9) Download a VoIP app, such as Skype or Viber, to your smartphone. If you need to make calls to reschedule your flights or alert your family of your new travel itinerary, these apps allow you to connect (using any available internet connection) without paying outrageous international roaming fees. Be sure to download it before you leave home, as it may not be available for download while at your destination.
With a little advanced planning, some creative thinking, and the right frame of mind, your next winter trip will be better than ever!
Fun 'n Sun Travel & Cruise provides friendly, personal, professional service in order to plan each and every client's dream vacation, destination wedding, or honeymoon at one of the best prices available. Call us at 1-855-557-5588, visit us on the web at fnstravel.com, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.