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Travel reminders from the pros

Man standing with suitcase looking out of airport window

Pack your patience — plus a few more practical tips for post-pandemic passengers

As we pick up the pace of travel again, here are a few reminders for your next trip. Part of the fun of travel is imagining all the places you could go — and then getting there. Make it a smooth journey with some patience and these tips from our pros in the Hospitality and Tourism Management - Travel and Tourism program.

“My main piece of advice for travelers is to be flexible and tolerant,” says Lisa Berthelot, a Travel and Tourism instructor. “Remember even before the pandemic, many travelers were delayed, missed connections, occasionally slept in airports, had delayed flights or lost bags... it’s just happening more right now due to a lack of staff. Many employees are new because some who were let go during the COVID-19 pandemic did not return to the tourism industry.”

Preparing for your next trip

Give yourself the flexibility you need to adjust if needed. It’s key to having a great time and not missing out on any of those memorable moments.

  • Expect delays and possible missed connections. If you’re attending an important event, then plan to arrive a day or two earlier.
  • Choose direct flights if possible. They lessen the chance of checked bags being delayed or missing a connecting flight.
  • Be aware that discount carriers have limited schedules and aircraft, so when they’re delayed, it could take more time for the next flight to your destination.
  • Increase your travel budget to cover extra hotels and meals, since airlines don't always cover those costs if your flight is delayed. Do keep your receipts, just in case. Also, consider what you would do if you needed to isolate at your destination.

Peace of mind

Yep, travel insurance. More travelers are opting for travel insurance as a precaution. It’s important to know the difference between trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance.

  • Trip cancellation insurance reimburses you for non-refundable/non-transferable costs in the case of a partial or total change before departure.
  • Trip interruption insurance covers extra costs if you need to change your plans after departure.

Many policies provide both types of coverage. The most important thing is to be aware of the policy details, particularly the exclusions.

Pass the planning to the pros

Consider using a travel professional to plan and book your trip. They can be your one-stop shop for airline tickets, hotels, car rental, travel insurance, cruise, tours and attractions. They may charge a small booking fee, but they are typically easier to get in touch with than an airline or other large provider if something changes.

Pack your bag(s)

Try to stick with a carry-on size suitcase if you can as it will travel with you in the plane. Check the dimension restrictions with the airline you’ll be using since there could be slight variations between carriers. Board early to avoid a lack of space overhead and if there’s nothing over your seat try for closer to the front of the plane so you don’t have to go against travelers deboarding.

If you must check your bags, always pack medicine, jewelry, electronics, valuables and a change of clothes in your carry-on luggage. For those destination wedding brides, this might mean you bring your wedding dress in your carry-on bag too.

✨ Luggage trackers are a new way to see where your bags are, but won’t get them back to you sooner, even if you checked something critical. Make sure to keep those must-haves in your carry-on bag.

Pick up your passport

It may have been a while since you last used your passport. Dust it off and check the expiry date. Order a new one if you need, because the wait may be longer than in the past, even if you’re just mulling over an international trip. Also, shorten your to-do list and get the one that’s valid for ten years.

Remember, keep a copy of your passport and ID just in case you lose it. You can’t use the copy for identification, but it makes replacement easier.

Monitor your destination and bookings

You might have already followed your destination’s top hashtags and been down an internet rabbit hole for “best _____ restaurant”, but make sure to keep surprises to a minimum by checking travel news for your destination and travel.gc.ca for info on travelling to, from and within Canada.

📰 Try Pax News for the same updates as the pros.

Add any new apps you may need to your phone to stay up-to-date on last-minute changes and watch your inbox.

Do you want to be the travel pro people turn to when planning their next trip? Check out SAIT’s Hospitality and Tourism Management - Travel and Tourism program.

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