Like so many Americans, you probably have summer travel plans. Fantastic! It feels so great to get out there and see family, friends, and the world. Go enjoy yourself, but remember that travel looks different than it did three years ago. Here we highlight some challenges you may face and tips to minimize disruptions to your vacation. And our Number 1 tip: pack extra patience!
The bubble has burst – people who have been putting off travels are back at it. And airlines aren’t quite ready for it. Staff shortages persist for flight attendants, pilots, airport lounges & restaurants, ticket agents, janitors, etc. This is resulting in flight delays, cancellations and really long hold times if you need to call the airlines.
- Download the airline app to your phone. In the event of a delay or cancellation, being one of the first to get on the app and pick a different flight will give you the best options and flexibility.
- Take along snacks and a water bottle to fill up at the airport. Don’t wait until you are hangry to have a healthy snack!
- Arrive at the airport early! Lines at security, the train to the concourse, at Starbucks, and even traffic to get to the airport may all be long so be sure you have allotted extra time. We know no one likes hanging out at the airport for longer than necessary…but really no one likes missing a flight! If you are parking at Denver International Airport you can check the status of the parking lots here.
- Pack light. It’s always been hard to find lost luggage, but with staffing shortages, it’s very difficult to find and reclaim luggage.
Hotels and Restaurants
Just like in much of our daily lives at home, some hotels, resorts, and restaurants have struggled to get back to normal staffing levels. This can impact everything from check-in to housekeeping to bars at the pools. Even some high-end hotels have had to cut back on daily housekeeping. Supply chain issues are affecting everyone so don’t be surprised if your favorite liquor isn’t available or if the restaurant has run out of steak.
- Go with the flow. The hotel will do everything it can to make your stay enjoyable, but you may need to be flexible and balance your expectations with what the hotel can actually offer on any given day.
- If you really want (or need!) a certain liquor (or snack, or soda, etc) at your resort, pick it up at the airport when you arrive.
- Make reservations well in advance. And know that some destinations are overselling their rooms in anticipation of cancellations, so you may arrive at a sold-out hotel and they may “walk” you to a different hotel. Most of the suppliers that we work with guarantee a room for our clients, but it’s good to be prepared for this situation.
Tours and Activities
Many group tours and activities still have “covid precautions” in place and are limiting the number of participants. Some museums are only allowing a certain number of guests to enter every 15 minutes. Many tours around the world just haven’t returned to normal yet. Despite these challenges, we are finding that so many people are more excited than ever to get back out and resume traveling!
- Book in advance.
- Book private tours.
- Check to see if reservations are required for any given tourist attraction.
Less Customer Service & Longer Hold Times
If you’ve had to call a cruise company or airline lately, you likely know what we are talking about! It’s not unusual for us to call a company – even high-end travel companies – and be on hold for hours. Four, five, even six-hour holds are far too common now. Some airlines even have had 12 and 15-hour holds. It’s unbelievable!
- Use a Travel Advisor! For a relatively small planning fee, we can sit on hold for you! While we hate doing it, it is part of the service we provide and our clients are so grateful for it.
- Be patient and kind – remember that the person who ultimately does answer the call and help you didn’t cause the problem.
Even though we may feel like much of Covid is in the past, Covid precautions are still in place throughout much of the world.
- Know before you go if you need to show proof of vaccine and wear a mask in public. And don’t be surprised if the situation changes!
- The US is still requiring a negative Covid test to return. Bring along a proctored self-test or set it up at your last hotel.
We are here to help
While we can’t guarantee a perfect vacation experience, we can make it as seamless as possible and promise that you will have someone in your corner if something goes wrong. Contact us today to see if we can help you plan your next getaway.