by Cathy Larsen, Departures Travel –
Travel is one of the most life-enhancing experiences you can give yourself. It lets you recharge, reconnect, and deepens your appreciation of the world we live in. Travel has returned vigorously as many travellers eagerly plan new and postponed trips. Travel plans meant to celebrate personal, academic or professional milestones; couples waiting for that wedding of their dreams; grandparents who have yet to meet their grandchildren and young adults who have yet to experience spring break, graduation trips or gap year vacations. All have been saving and planning for that one epic trip to be taken with family or friends.
The resurgence of travel does come with some challenges, including staff shortages and a low supply of hotel rooms and tours. The aviation industry alone has lost 2.3 million employees globally and as travel returns, we see how much it has affected travel as we knew it. Should this curb your travel plans? Absolutely not! There are many great travel promotions out there, not to mention the locals eager to welcome travellers once again.
Planning is key to a successful comeback trip, whether you prefer planning on your own or feel more comfortable leaving it to your local professional travel advisor.
• Start the planning process early.
• Dust off your passport and confirm that it is not expired.
• Check the travel requirements of the countries you wish to visit as well as any transportation you will be using: www.travel.gc.ca; www.joinsherpa.com/apply.
Travel Insurance is essential. You will enjoy the peace of mind knowing that your health, trip and belongings are covered. Keep in mind that travel insurance is not a one-size-fits-all option. You will need to assess any current coverage and find the policy that is best for you and your family.
Packing light for your trip will save money, time and your emotional well-being. It is not ideal to track down lost luggage, long check-in queues or having to repack your suitcase in the middle of the airport because it is simply too heavy. And if you must check a bag, invest in a personal tracker.
• Pack your “must haves,” not your “what ifs.”
• Pack multi-use items with layering options rather than “outfits.”
• Packing cubes are your new best friend.
• Pack your patience!
The Airport does not need to be a dirty word. In its purest form, it is a shopping mall with planes. It is part of the travel experience and a new mindset will ease your stress level and make those inevitable changes easier to navigate. Give yourself plenty of time for check-in and between flights.
Your Flight should have you arriving at your destination feeling refreshed and ready to go.
• Shortly after boarding, change your watch to your destination time … and do not look back!
• Choose water instead of that glass of wine, coffee or pop. No one enjoys swollen ankles.
• Pack healthy snacks for the flight and a good book.
• Noise-cancelling headphones are a game changer. Add an eye-mask for overnight flights and you will enjoy some uninterrupted rest.
Enjoy your travel experience from start to finish with some good planning and healthy travel habits. Most importantly, be patient with yourself and others as we all return to travel safely.