A recent exchange with journalist Kathy Buckworth got me thinking about the things I tell my new clients. There are definitely benefits to booking your travel with a travel advisor. But my advising continues long after the client’s booking is done. There are still things that I make sure my clients do to ensure they are ready for vacation.
I thought I’d share some tips with you. So, if you’re heading out on vacation, here are some tips to help you avoid/ minimize issues:
- Have your travel advisor’s card with you – a good travel advisor is there for you before, during, and after travel – if you run into issues at destination, your travel advisor can help you get them sorted as they are happening. (Please don’t wait until you get home. It’s too late to solve the problem that’s affecting your holiday, and trying to get some resolution/ restitution after the fact is difficult and not very satisfying for you.)
- Have your details on travel insurance with you – know who to call, and make sure you know what your financial responsibility is with your insurer. (Do you have to pay upfront and then get reimbursed later? If so, make sure you have ample room on your credit card. You should have already sorted issues with your travel insurance provider when your travel advisor got you to review your coverage- so you should already know whether your insurer covers you if you’re in international waters for your cruise, if your work coverage extends to your children and spouse, whether you have medical only or trip cancellation and trip interruption coverage as well.)
- You’ve already made sure your passport has more than 6 months remaining before it expires (your travel advisor would have made sure of that) – but also make sure your travel advisor (and family at home) has a photocopy of your passport details – just in case something gets lost or stolen.
- Your travel advisor would have provided itineraries with hotel/ ship/ tour details. Ensure your family at home has a copy of details.
- Never lug what you can’t safely carry. Know your carriers’ baggage restrictions, and charges before you go to the airport. Assume you won’t find a baggage cart somewhere, and never travel with more luggage than you can carry yourself. Put your business address on your bags (not your home address – it’s a little known fact that thieves will often hang out in airport departure areas watching for people leaving so they can get their home address from their bags before they check in.)
- Know your cell phone provider’s roaming policy before you leave and/or arrange an international phone (like wireless traveller)
- Protect your home – make sure you cancel newspapers, turn off the water, put lights on a timer, and alert your neighbours that you’ll be away. Having someone come in your home while you’re away not only protects against things like water breaks, it likely satisfies the requirements of your home owner’s policy too. If you’re a social media junkie, be leery of saying you’re on vacation, where you are, and how long you’ll be away (unless you can also say you have a house sitter).
- travel smart – don’t announce your hotel room number in front of strangers (especially as you’re picking up your key at the front desk.) Use the safety deposit box at your hotel to safeguard valuables, especially your passport. Don’t leave laptops, purses, etc. out when you leave your hotel room. Another important point for travel safety is that it might also be an idea to double check your hotel’s policy concerning the storage of your credit card info on any plastic hotel keys – if in doubt, throw them out.
Any issues? You have my number. 613-837-0699.