Tips on Preventing Travel Debacles

By on April 1, 2013

By Amy Johnson –

It’s been an interesting past couple weeks…with the snow storms and last minute spring break vacation requests/questions. But, what tipped the scales was a somewhat unusual text from a client sailing on a cruise recently. The text read something like “Wanted to let you know that the shuttle driver lost my bag. No clothes except dresses, no shoes except what I’m wearing, no swim suit, no panties. Try and purchase panties in the islands!! They must not wear any there!!” My first thought was, “Is this a SPAM text?” But, after reviewing the cell #, determined that it could be a real cry for help. I replied back and sure enough it was a client in distress. After deciphering what had transpired, I immediately went in to action to help possibly get the client’s lost piece of luggage back to them. After much research, we found out that the piece of luggage in question ended up sailing away on a different cruise ship! What had happened is that the hotel shuttle driver took one of their pieces off the shuttle at the cruise terminal stop before theirs. Another passenger must have grabbed it mistakenly and gave it to a porter outside the terminal. At least that’s our best guess. Unfortunately, the other ship was on a different route in the Caribbean so the client was informed that they would not be getting their luggage back until the end of the cruise, back in Miami. Fortunately, my client did purchase travel insurance, which included a benefit for baggage delay and purchase of personal items. I was able to at least get them hooked up with the insurance company concierge service that researched the best retail locations in their next port of call. Not quite the happy ending that my client was hoping for, but she’s a trooper and was making the best of a rather cruddy situation.

Although these travel tips have been shared before, it has prompted me to blog in hopes of helping others in the

Prevention of Travel Debacles!  So here goes….my tips to prevent (or at the very least, minimize) the dreaded travel debacle:

  1. Reconfirm your flight status the day of or within 24 hours prior to departure time with your air line. Always, always, always….Always! No If’s, And’s or But’s! (I think you get that this is important, right?) Check-in online when possible.
  2. Make Copies of your government issued photo ID (i.e. driver’s license, passport) and pack 1 along with you on your trip (in a separate place than the original ID) and leave the other at home with a relative or friend.
  3. Packing – “Cross-pack” your clothing and personal items with your travel companion. In other words, split up your items into 2 checked bags (half in one and half in another) in case one piece is lost. At least you’ll have half of your stuff until the missing piece is located. If traveling alone, make sure your carry-on has important items in it.
  4. Be Prepared (just like the Boy Scouts) – think about what you might need if you would happen to lose something, get sick or injured, etc. on a trip. For example, I always pack what I call my “pharmacy” on all of my trips. No one wants to go hunting down pain meds on their trip…when they are in pain! (Maybe my packing list should be my next blog?)
  5. Buy Travel Insurance – There are many reasons to purchase a good travel insurance plan. Especially important for international travel! (Yet another blog.)
  6. Be Aware – of your personal belongings and your surroundings. It’s nice to be in “vacation la la land”…unless something bad happens to you as an unsuspecting tourist. Make sure you know where your ID, purse, camera, luggage, etc. is at all times.
  7. Be on Time – Arrive early to the airport, or back to the ship, or for your tour pickup, etc. Better to be early than to miss the boat!
  8. Be Organized – Please do not open your travel documents as you are driving to the airport!  (Seriously!) You need to Be Prepared (see # 4) for your travel plans and make sure all is correct on your documents. Review your documents upon receipt and advise your travel professional of any changes or corrections immediately!
  9. Self-Advocate – If something does go amiss, you need to take action on the scene. While your travel professional is here to help, advise and assist, sometimes, you just have to deal with the situation at hand with the appropriate people on site. If you are not getting the help you need or the answer doesn’t seem right, go with your gut and ask to speak to a supervisor or manager. Be firm, but stay calm. Of course, contact your travel professional as well for backup or assistance. We are here to be your liaison and may have other resources or connections available to us that you may not have in site.
  10. Be Happy – and pack your sense of humor! When trouble occurs on vacation, it’s easy to get mad, angry, frustrated. Go ahead…have a little meltdown (you’re entitled), but then move on. Staying angry and mad won’t help you to be able to enjoy the rest of the vacation. What’s the saying…? A bad day on vacation is better than a good day at work!

~ Happy Travels from your trusted travel advisor, Amy Johnson!

Amy, a wife and mother of two teenage boys, has been in the business of making travel dreams come true for nine years. After a fifteen year career as a dental hygienist and clinical instructor at her alma mater, Marquette University, she decided to pursue a career in travel, one of her true passions. Amy enjoys planning honeymoons, destination weddings, anniversary or romantic getaways, girlfriend getaways and family vacations. She was recently awarded with the Karisma Hotels GI Vacation Consultant 2011 Diamond Sales Producer Award. Amongst her other interests, is the joy of cooking, wine, golfing and spending quality time with her family and friends. Amy truly feels that a vacation is one of the best ways to enjoy quality time with your loved ones. And, she highly recommends “A Room…With A View!”  You can find Amy at www.ARoomWithAViewTravel.com, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ARoomWithAViewTravel, on Twitter at https://twitter.com/#!/Travel_w_ARWAV and on LinkedIn.

About Amy Johnson

Amy, a wife and mother of two teenage boys, has been in the business of making travel dreams come true. After a fifteen year career as a dental hygienist and clinical instructor at her alma mater, Marquette University, she decided to pursue a career in travel, one of her true passions. Amy enjoys planning honeymoons, destination weddings, anniversary or romantic getaways, girlfriend getaways and family vacations. You can find Amy at www.ARoomWithAViewTravel.com, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ARoomWithAViewTravel, on Twitter at https://twitter.com/#!/Travel_w_ARWAV and on LinkedIn.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Tips on Preventing Travel Debacles