Pack Your Patience...
Jim and I tell our clients this every day. We're about to head off on a couple of cruises and it has me thinking about packing my patience. Let's face it, the last couple of years have been trying for everyone who loves to travel - no matter which side of the travel coin you were on.
Travel plans made, cancelled, rebooked and then sometimes cancelled again. Those of us who traveled as soon as we could then dealt with masks, vaccinations, Covid tests to travel and to come back home. Some activities were restricted or cancelled as the industry cautiously reopened. Wearing masks from the time you entered an airport until the time you walked outside at your destination airport was - well, it was miserable.
Patience Factor 1 - Right now, it feels like EVERYONE is traveling! We've gone from ships and resorts at 25% capacity to everything being at or near maximum capacity. Planes are full. Ships are full. Resorts are full. It's summer and after the last 2 years, the world wants to travel; to get away; to explore. The TSA checkpoint travel numbers for 6/15 were at 2,371,860 in 2022 vs. 576,514 in 2020.
Patience Factor 2 - The figures above are less than 2019 but, in 2019 the industry was fully staffed. The travel industry struggled to survive since 2020 and staffing was minimal. Suddenly, demand is back, and the industry need to be at full capacity! Every industry has been impacted by the "great resignation" - especially the airline industry. Generally, that means hiring new employees - for call centers, ships, resorts, airlines, car rental, etc. Anyone who has ever started a new job can remember how hard it is to be a new employee in the best of circumstances. This is not the best of circumstances, so please be patient, be kind to those call center people, those ship or resort attendants, etc.
Patience Factor 3 - People! There are going to be lines and crowds of people. Plan to be at the airport with PLENTY of time. Give yourself time for all stops and destinations. If you are cruising and explore a port on your own, give yourself plenty of time to get back. The ship WILL NOT wait! People may be traveling with children who may become tired and cranky. Adults may become impatient and rude. Pack your kindness and patience - especially for those working in the industry.
What Can You Do? Be PREPARED!
Talk to us. We're involved with the industry every day. If we've booked your air, hotel/resort or cruise, we have an eye on your reservations.
Make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months from the date you return. This is important for any trip you are planning, so always keep your passport up to date. Also, make sure you have a picture of your passport and vax card - just in case they are lost.
Fly into your departure city a day (or two) ahead of time. If flights are cancelled, you'll at least have time to get on another plane.
Allow yourself plenty of time at the airport for check in. Expect long lines and give yourself enough time to make sure your luggage can go through screenings and get on your plane.
If you can, get TSA pre-check or Clear. It will make going through airport security easier.
Carry a backpack or overnight bag with you. Have an extra change of clothes (at least undergarments and a shirt), any medications you might need, charging cables for your phone and any important travel documents including your passport.
Use the apps. Many airline apps allow you to check in and track your luggage. Cruise line apps will let you check in, add your passport and vax information, etc.
Like most things, travel has changed since Covid. We have been traveling a lot since October. It always takes patience - sometimes more than others! These are a few of our tips and we'd love to hear yours.
If you have a travel tip, please share it in the comments below.
Flip flops and sunsets -