Ah, spring is in the air! Trees are starting to turn green and flowers are beginning to bloom. Better yet, spring break is upon us. Whether you’re traveling with your kids for a getaway or ready to party hard, there are a few spring break travel tips we can all follow to help assure you enjoy your getaway.
Fly early – This was the advice I offered in one of my very first blog posts, and it still holds true. Fly as early as you can possibly tolerate. This is especially true during the summer, but down south, thunderstorms are not at all unusual during spring break months either. Airlines are very focused on getting their first flights of the day out of the gate on time, and you are less likely to be impacted by delays if you fly early.
Pack lightly, include patience – If possible, try and travel with carry ons only. In addition to my TravelPro roller, I fly with an Eagle Creek travelpack, which I have found to carry an amazing amount of stuff and still fit underneath the seat in front of you. Sticking with carry ons will offer you an enormous amount of flexibility during your spring break travels. The peace of mind of having your belongings with you when delays hit is priceless. (Image courtesy of Shutterstock)
About that patience thing – Be nice to the airline staff, and they are more apt to help get you out of a bind. If you are stuck waiting for a flight, don’t visit the counter every 3 minutes to ask about the flight. As frustrating as air travel delays can be, taking those frustrations out on airline personnel are not going to help you get home faster. And you don’t need the extra stress either. Try to be patient in the security line too. Spring break can bring a lot of non-routine fliers to the airport. Additionally, if you haven’t already, consider an investment in a known traveler program as an investment in yourself.
Be proactive – Stay on top of information that might impact your travels. Know the weather along your route of flight, and across the country really. Take a minute to research possible back up plans if your flight is delayed or cancelled. Sometimes it can be helpful to have that back up plan in your pocket if you’re working with an airline agent to get rebooked. You may think of things they don’t. If you’re flight is cancelled or delayed and you are standing in a long line of customers waiting to be rebooked, be proactive by calling the airline’s 1-800 number and working on alternative arrangements. By the time you get to the front of the line, you may already have everything worked out, and just need to pick up a new boarding pass. If you’re on a flight with wi-fi, you can probably access your airline’s website for free. Start looking at your options before you land, and you may even find that you’ve already been taken care of for the next leg of your trip.
Invest in a day pass to the airline lounge – If you aren’t a lounge member, or don’t carry a credit card product that grants access, the price of a day pass to the airline lounge may be worth the price of gold. Airline lounges are typically staffed with the most experienced agents who can help you get on your way sooner rather than later. If nothing else, you can at least wait for your flight in comfort with access to beverages and snacks.
What kinds of spring break travel tips do you recommend? Enjoy your getaway!
-MJ, April 1, 2015