How to Avoid 12 Solo Travel Hassles: Planning ahead will be key to solving many problems before they happen.
How to Avoid 12 Solo Travel Hassles: Know Before You Go:
Tip One: Read your visa before you leave home. Even tourist visas may include “Special Endorsements”, such as registration within 14 days of arrival in-country. If you have such a restriction, see if that can be changed while still at home.
Tip Two: Before going abroad, get an emergency number and email at home and abroad. You may not need to use it but a car wreck or such accident can mean you need more funds from home.
How to Avoid 12 Solo Travel Hassles: Plan Your Flights Carefully!
Tip Three: Check in time. The earlier you check in the less likely you are to find good seats gone or that your flight is oversold and leaves without you.
Tip Four: Avoid flights through major airports if you can. On a trip last month from DC to Canada, I sat on the runway in Newark outbound. I had flight delays on return. None were for bad weather. The best thing to do? Do not route yourself through busy airports.
Tip Five: Even for safe destinations or to go home, do not leave late in the day. I found this out as flight delays meant I missed the last flight of the day and just caught the last train home.
Tip Six: If you have a tight schedule, know when the last flight or train/alternate option runs.
Tip Seven: If you have a flight connection, it matters where you go through passport control and customs. If you are in-bound at a major New York City metro airport, you may find huge lines so say goodbye to catching your next flight.
Tip Eight: If you plan to catch a domestic and international flight the same day, flight delays may leave you sleeping in the airport. Why is that? Short flights tend to use small planes. Bad weather or other delays or more likely so that you miss the large overseas jet.
How to Avoid 12 Solo Travel Hassles: Pack Strategically!
Tip Nine: When you pack, be sure to see what you can take on board as changes are constant. Weight can be a problem not just measurements. Worse yet, new small jets may not have room for roller bags with large wheels. You will likely not be charged for gate checking but may miss your next flight when you wait to get your bag back.
Tip Ten: Before you lug your skis and boot bag abroad, see if it is cheaper to rent at your destination. Ski packages with lift tickets are often cheaper than paying a la carte. If you are still, like me, a fledging Intermediate, note your binding settings before you leave home. If not, you may find one ski that won’t come off and one that won’t stay on!
Tip Eleven: When you pack, consider weather changes. For winter, take cleats/crampons for ice in the far north but also waterproof boots for slush. To pack light, be sure t o wear the clunkiest pair.
How to Avoid 12 Solo Travel Hassles: Don’t Let Your Electronics Fail You!
Tip Twelve: Be sure your data plan won’t cost you more than a previously-owned Mercedes! You can turn off international roaming and revert to airplane mode. However, if you aren’t always at hot spots for Wi-Fi, you will miss critical flight updates and delays. In some cases, getting a short-term plan before you travel can be worth it or getting a local phone rental or SIM card. (Do also print your boarding pass out even if you intend to use electronic check-in. Why? If your device fails at security or at the gate, you have to go back to a kiosk and may miss your flight.)