Planning Your Trip:
* Always use a Travel Professional! Your travel pro can sort through any problems such as a delayed or cancelled flight, overbooked hotels, medical emergency or other situations that can happen while traveling and get you back on track.
* Plan on arriving in your destination at least a day before you need to be there. For example, if you are cruising, arriving the day arriving the day of embarkation could be a disaster if flight is delayed or cancelled. Sometimes, your luggage may not arrive when you do. A 24-hour window allows your luggage to catch up with you.
* Reconfirm all details long before you depart on your vacation. If you are traveling over the International Dateline, make sure that the arrival dates are the correct dates that you will be arriving at your destination and pay close attention to overnight flight schedules regarding connections and arrival.
* Booking your trip across several airlines can be confusing, stressful while traveling, and potentially more expensive. Do hire a travel professional to review your itinerary and advise you as to whether it's really doable as far as connection times, baggage handling, and other issues. The agent can also serve as your one-call contact should something go wrong.
Packing For Your Trip:
* I've said it before, but definitely carry your passport, medication, emergency contact information (especially your travel professional’s contact info) and other critical information with you at all times. Never pack your important documents and medication in your suitcase!
* When packing your suitcases, opt for two smaller suitcases over one large suitcase. Many airports abroad are not equipped to easily handle a full cargo of luggage, and may be in a constant state of “catch-up”. Your luggage may not arrive with your flight, but be on a later flight instead. This frequently occurs when you have several connections. When a flight is overweight, the first things to be off loaded are the heaviest bags. Your overweight 70-lb mega bag will be one of them. Instead, your best bet is to use two small bags.
* Pack your itinerary, travel professional’s contact information and your contact information while traveling in each piece of luggage. This will help the airlines catch up with you and coordinate the delivery of your luggage during your trip.
* Pack everything that is absolutely necessary into your carry-on. Include a change of clothes, basic toiletries, and medication should your luggage not make it to your destination. Pack those things that are not readily available in stores at the destination and that you deem mandatory to the success of your trip. Also, don’t forget to pack some snacks like granola bars, candy, nuts, protein drink powder, etc. to tide you over during long layovers/delays and late arrivals when cafes and restaurants may be closed.