10 Things you Need to Know About Travelling in 2022
Things are really looking up when it comes to travel. Borders are opening and covid-19 restrictions are loosening globally. We still have a long way to go before things will be back to normal, so I've compiled a list of tips to help you ensure you have the best experience on your next trip.
Read on and know that as your travel advisor I've got your back every step of the way.
1. Check restrictions and rules. Then recheck them.
Not only do you need to know the restrictions for the country that you're travelling to, but you need to know your own country's rules for boarding a plane and re-entering the country. These rules are changing quickly, and sometimes loosen and then get strict again. It's a good idea to check before you book, and then periodically leading up to your travel date. Some resorts and destinations are still not fully operating as well. When you book your travel with me I will provide you with this information and give you instructions for crossing borders, as well as let you know if there are some elements in your trip that are not fully operative and suggest alternatives if needed.
2. Be kind, flexible, and pack your patience.
Not only are travel restrictions changing, but flight times and routes are also changing often right now. Even after you've booked them. It's important to understand this and go with the flow. If your flight has a big change that isn't ideal your travel advisor will work with the airline to find the best possible outcome.
Airlines, hotel staff, and tour operators are all short-staffed right now, so it's important to have empathy and be kind if there are long wait times or if something needs to be fixed. Remember, everyone is doing their best so please pack your patience.
3. Book well in advance.
Everyone is so excited to travel again! There is a huge influx of bookings, which is causing prices to rise and spots to sell out quickly. You may like to book last-minute normally, but right now it's best to book well in advance to make sure that you can really get what you're looking for. If you like to get upgraded hotel rooms and/or connecting rooms those tend to sell out first, so book as early as you can. You may even get an early booking bonus!
4. Get the insurance.
If there's anything we've learned from the pandemic, it's that travel insurance is so important now more than ever. It's very important to speak with a licensed insurance provider to ensure you're covered for anything that may interrupt your travel plans. Many companies have their own travel protection plan for more flexible cancellations and changes leading up to the departure date; they are also a great add-on. Protect your plans and your investment!
5. Check your passport right now.
After all we've been through you're so excited to get out there and have an adventure. Please make sure that your passport is ready to go too! Many countries require travellers to have passports with an expiration date at least six months past the planned return date. The passport offices are still only taking appointments in many areas, and you may need to mail in your application. It can take some time, so check your passport now and get it ready to go.
6. Airports may have long wait times, and your luggage as well.
Checking in, getting luggage, and going through customs and immigration are sometimes taking longer than usual. To expedite the check-in process make sure you've filled out any online forms, have your paperwork ready, and your liquids packed properly. Your travel advisor will advise you of any forms you should have ready for check-in.
Another tip if you're excited to get your trip started and don't want to wait for your luggage- stick to a carry-on! There are some airports that are taking hours (HOURS!) to get the luggage off the plane and onto the conveyor belt. I know I don't want to wait, so I'm packing efficiently with a carry-on for the next little bit.
If you're going for a long time and need to check larger luggage, it's a great idea to still bring a carry-on with some essentials (bathing suit!) so that you can head straight to the beach if your luggage is lost or you arrive before your check-in time. Another great tip if you're travelling with someone else: pack half of your things in each other's suitcase so that if your luggage does get lost you at least have something until it is found.
Bonus 6.1 Flight issues
I've updated this post to add some more tips when it comes to flights since the airlines have been struggling to keep up with the surge of travellers while being understaffed. Here are some tips to help you have a less stressful time at the airport and a lower chance of your flights being cancelled.
Book the earliest flight in the day possible.
Avoid layovers in Toronto, Miami, Amsterdam, and New York if you can. If you cannot avoid it, choose a longer layover.
In general it is better to choose the longer layover (we're talking 4+ hours if you can)
Choose direct flights when
If you're flight is cancelled or delayed while you're at the airport, get in line to speak to the on-site airline attendant as soon as you can.
As a follow-up to the last point: watch your flight status online and sign up for alerts so that you can get in that line as early as you can if needed.
Be prepared to be extra patient.
Make sure your luggage has your name on it, try to do carry-on only, and put air tags in your bags if you must check your bag.
7. Not all planes have food service right now.
Some planes only have food available to purchase if you're in an upgraded seat and some planes don't have food service at all right now. Be prepared and have snacks to bring with you, and buy food and drinks at the airport to have if you have a long flight that you'll want a meal for. Ask at check in if there will be food service on the plane so you know what you'll need to get at the airport.
8. Arrive early.
We always say that you need to arrive at least three hours early for an international flight. This is more important than ever, as check-in is taking longer because there may be less staff and covid-19 travel documents need to be checked. The check in counter will also close at a certain time (it varies depending on the airline) and if you aren't there in time you will not be able to board your flight. So please be prepared and arrive early.
9. Travel responsibly.
As we return to globe trotting, let's do it in the best possible way. Book with companies that have responsible tourism practices, keep tourist dollars with the local people, and have good cleaning protocols in place (who wants to get sick on vacation?). Check out my article about tips for more sustainable travel here for more ideas.
Don't forget to mask up at the airport and on the plane! This is still a requirement while you're en route, as well as in some indoor areas depending on where you are going.
10. Use a travel advisor.
You knew I'd say this! A travel advisor's services are more valuable than ever right now. We will check entry requirements, be on hold with the airline for you, and make all of your arrangements. We also know tricks of the trade to help you have the best vacation and if any complications arise we will help you get the best possible outcome. We're so excited to see people travelling again, and we've got your back!
I hope that these tips have been helpful and insightful for you. When you're ready to book your next trip, I'd be happy to assist! Contact Jesa Travel to get started.