I just completed my most aggressive travel schedule ever:
- 20 flights
- 33 days
- 2 international trips
- 4 west coast to east coast cross country trips
- I lost track of the delays, cancellations and mechanical problems along the way
- 100% show up rate at every location scheduled!
I’ve now crowned myself an expert traveller. Here are some of my best tips:
- Book the first flight out of the day, no matter how early it is. That way when it gets cancelled or delayed, which will likely happen, you have a full day to figure out alternative plans.
- If there is a program with your flight and you need to figure out a plan b, don’t wait and go to the airline counter inside the terminal. Get on your phone and call the airline directly while doing your own search for options. On a trip to Kelowna, BC my first flight got cancelled and I was able to convince the airline to rebook me on another airline carrier, at no charge, because they could not get me to my destination in the same day. This only happened because I called them from the first airplane and was able to figure out the alternative plan proactively. If I had waited to go to the customer service desk, I would not have made it to Kelowna in time for my speaking event.
- Travel with a carry on bag. If you check bags you are at the mercy of the airline. With a carry on bag you can more easily switch flights.
- Travel with protein bars. Airlines are carrying very little food on board these days, so it is best to have a back up plan in case they run out of food or you don’t have time to get food in between connecting flights.
- Be nice! Your ability to negotiate will greatly increase when you are nice to airline staff.
What are your expert tips? Let me know and I’ll add them to the list.