You book in a hurry—and get a non-refundable ticket for the wrong date. Or head out the door and get to the airport during rush hour—only to realize you left your passport in your side table drawer. The list of #travelfails can be pretty long and some can even be quite funny (unless they happen to you), so we’ve put together a few choice ones to help you make it to your destination without too much turmoil.
You forget about the cookies.
You know those infamous cookies on your search engine? They’re convenient for a lot of reasons, unless you’re trying to book a flight and pecking around looking for the best deal. Unfortunately, it’s been shown that booking engine cookies know where you’ve been and what you’re looking for, so the more you search a fare, the higher it gets. Not super ethical, but that’s what happens. The fix? Clear your cookies or search using your phone’s data service instead of your laptop’s wi-fi.
You book a late flight.
It’s a fact: the later the flight, the higher the probability of it being delayed. Opt for early-morning first-flights-of-the-day when everything is fresh and hasn’t had a chance to pick up any delays.
You don’t sync your calendar/phone/computer/watch to the local time zone.
Your smartphone and computer might do it automatically, but you’ll still want to double-check—if the options aren’t checked in your settings you might end up being an hour or two (or more!) too early or too late for your flight home. And don’t forget your wristwatch if you own one; sometimes a quick glance at the wrong time can be a little unsettling.
You forget to double and triple check.
Check your booking schedule in advance, check your email for notifications, and make sure you’ve checked text notifications. It’s easy to get caught up in the fun of vacation and lose track of time, or maybe you don’t realize just how long it takes to get from your accommodations to the airport, something you’ll need to plan on beforehand. This is especially true if you need to return a rental car, which always takes more time than you think it will!
Or quadruple check.
Going out of the country? Check the expiration date on your passport: You need one that’s at the very least 3- to 6-months from expiring. Renewing an expired passport is fairly easy and you really don’t want to pay expediting fees ($$$) if you don’t need to.
You have power struggles.
No matter where you go, at the very least you’re going to need to plug in and recharge your phone, so if you’re going overseas, make sure to take along a good-quality universal multi-prong adapter that will let you do just that. Many leading hotels and cruise lines do offer dual outlets, but don’t bet on that.
You forget about finances.
Some credit cards don’t need travel alerts. Many do—and so do banks. The last thing you need is your cards declined and your accounts were frozen. Also, while we’re on the topic of money: do take some cash. It doesn’t have to be a whole wad (in fact, we advise against that), but enough dollars and foreign currency to cover small contingencies.
You forget to confirm.
Once everything’s booked, you might want to heave a sigh of relief and not think about anything until you’re safely onboard. Word of advice: confirm everything, whether you’re stateside or overseas. Emails may or may not cut it, some come in merely as a reservation and not an actual booking, so you might not have a hotel room or rental car when you land. Eek!
You think you’re Superman (or Wonder Woman).
Yeah, we don’t like to think about getting sick or having any type of medical emergency when we have visions of snorkeling in the Caribbean swirling in our heads, but things do happen. Consider buying not only a travel medical insurance policy but a bit of peace of mind in the form of an emergency medical evacuation membership from a company like SkyMed. This is a very clear case of “it’s better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.” Don’t believe us? Read some of our Survivor Stories. Having one makes all the difference in the world in terms of your health, your emotional state, and your bottom line.