Every seasoned traveler knows that well-laid plans can be foiled in an instant for a number of reasons. Weather, highway accidents, forgetting your passport, and mechanical issues are just a few. How do you handle these hiccups? Below are 5 Essential Travel Day Strategies for your next trip.This blog was first posted in June of 2014, yet the potential for travel delay is likely at it’s highest right now in the middle of winter. The message will always be relevant for you, my travel friends.
You already know the majority of travel day snags are unavoidable and out of our control, so having the mindset of “go with the flow” is as important a packing item as your passport! As I sit in seat 12B, rolling back from the gate at LaGuardia, I realize that I actually feel grateful that the fog was too thick for my plane to take off up in White Plains this morning. Yes. Completely grateful.
It allowed More time with a new friend from my business school who happened to be flying at the same time. Then, waiting for the bus to the train station, I helped a young traveler realize she needed to get coins for the bus. Elle and I quickly bonded, and shared both bus and train journeys into Harlem.
I was wondering about blog material this morning. And so it is. Funny how that works. As Elle and I shared life stories, we quickly realized a connection, and near the time to say goodbye we discovered our birthdays are just one day apart! She is a bright young star…and my path would not have crossed hers without the fog.
When things don’t go as you had planned, do you allow yourself to feel anger, upset, or frustration? Would it take less energy to stay calm and look for the light, remaining open to the extra joy coming your way? It could be in the form of an opportunity you won’t want to miss!
5 Essential Travel Day Strategies
- Travel with an open heart and mind. People need smiles and hugs. If someone is grumpy, I make it a big priority to leave with them a piece of happiness. I believe that even if they don’t react, it will affect them.
- Expect the unexpected; In a good way! It helps to leave the house with the certainty that something, large or small, will be different than your plan. Sometimes it even makes the day better. Look for the blessings that are showering down around you.
- If your flight is cancelled, don’t stand in line, call your travel agent (or the airlines directly) to check alternatives. I was having a nice lunch (or head to the bar) with my friend while leaving my phone number for Delta to call me back…and they did 5 minutes later.
- If it’s a mechanical issue, be sure to ask for meal vouchers and hotel reservations if overnighted. And remember that if you bought travel insurance, most delays of more than a few hours are a covered item.
- Above all, know that it’s your journey…and yours alone. You are the one who can decide to be happy or grumpy.
It’s really interesting. Though I had to pay $2.50 in bus fare (ask for the transfer stub from the driver if you are in NYC) and $8.50 for the Metro North train to Harlem, my 6 hour delay-change resulted in landing only 35 minutes later than the connecting flight I would have been on. And I am richer for it.
May you also find the hidden gifts that await you on your next journey and be grateful…even if your flight is cancelled.