As more and more people get vaccinated against COVID-19, traveling is increasing quickly. If you have an upcoming vacation or work trip planned, there are a few things you should consider when traveling post pandemic.
To ensure the smoothest travel experience as possible, you must do something before you ever leave for the airport. You must pack patience. A good way to be patient is to allow extra time to get to the airport, park, check-in, TSA etc. Lines are long for airline counters and security, as staffing has not caught up with demand.
Also, some airport parking lots are full, and you might have to find offsite parking, which takes longer to get from your car to the airport. If you arrive at least 2.5 hours before your flight, you won’t feel rushed which will make you be more patient as you go through the process to get to your gate.
Is it safe to travel? Learn more!
Another way to be more efficient when travelling is to not check your bags. It is a huge time suck to wait in line to check-in your bag and then retrieve your bags at your destination. This could waste almost an hour of time. If you can, carry on and follow all of TSA carry on procedures.
Masks, masks, masks!
Yes, the federal government still requires you to wear mask on public transportation, this means on aircrafts. Pack your mask, wear your mask in the airport and on the aircraft. It must cover your nose and mouth. Crew members are required to enforce this rule, so please make life easier for everyone and comply. You do not want to end up causing yourself and 150 other passengers a delay over not complying with the mask mandate.
This leads me into treating and respecting your flight crew.
They are there for your safety, first and foremost. They are trained in medical procedures, handle hijackers, self-defense and a ton of other things that they rarely are seen using, thankfully. During the safety demo, they say you can be fined or imprisoned for not following crew members instructions. In recent news, the FAA has been increasing fines on people who do not comply with their instruction.
With travel can come delays, and sometimes, you are stuck on the aircraft. One thing I do to help my with delays, is I pack my own snack bag and I ALWAYS bring a bottle of water with me aboard. I pack a mix of nuts, granola bars, baked chips and/or dark chocolate. This helps me from getting HANGRY and losing my patience. Being delayed and hungry is not a good combo for most!
You’ve arrived at your destination and now it is time to head from the aircraft right to the rental car, since you did not check in a bag.
To make sure you have a car when you arrive, reserve it as soon as possible. Rental car companies sold off most of their fleet during COVID and rental cars are very limited currently. One bonus of this is sometimes you will get upgraded to a better car for free due to limited availability on certain classes.
The last and one of the most important things to do… Download your airline, hotel and rental car apps.
You can check into flights, cars and hotels from the apps. You can also get your digital boarding pass and hotel keys. If you need to make a change to the reservation, most apps allow you to do so, avoiding long hold times to reach a customer service representative, thus saving time!
Having these apps in the palm of your hand saves time by avoiding having to wait in line to deal with counters or kiosks and working with humans.
I learned over the years that this was one of the best things to do to cut down on time and make my travel experience from home to hotel the most efficient.
Safe and happy travels!
–Your trusty airline representative
(image sourced by Business Insider)