Which Travel Woes Keep You Up at Night? September 27, 2014 By Caitlin Bradford Leave a Comment Travel intelligence firm Skift has released yet another interesting report – this one on the top concerns that travelers have. Most of the frequently reported concerns are pretty common problems, but a few key tips can help you get past any of these issues. Delays/Cancellations These two travel nightmares are the least avoidable of any on the list. All too often, timely travel comes down to little more than good luck. However, when booking your flight, try to schedule it for the morning. Airlines generally reset overnight, making it less likely that your flight will be delayed. Arriving two to three hours before your flight also can help make sure you have ample time to get through security but is no guarantee if bad weather comes about. One suggestion to mitigate the impact of a delay is to go without checked baggage, as it is easier to book a no-strings-attached passenger on a different flight than to move bags from one place to another. Fees While the average domestic fare has dropped over 16% since 2000, carrier fees have risen. U.S. airlines brought in $3.35 billion last year alone in baggage fees. That’s almost the same amount as the total assets for bookseller Barnes and Noble! If you are looking to escape fees, there are a few options, although they are fairly limited. Once again, going with just a carryon is a good policy. Travel company JakToGo offers an assortment of bags that can be turned into jackets in order to sneak all your extra gear past those pesky weighing stations. Scottevest also offers jackets with a wide assortment of pockets, making it easier to carry multiple items without looking like the world’s worst Sherpa. Finally, if you are really worried about fees, then pick a carrier like Southwest that simply doesn’t have (many of) them. You may not have as enjoyable of a ride without in-flight entertainment, but that’s what iPads are for! Safety Staying safe is always a concern for travelers, but only 11% of participants in the Skift survey put it as their top priority. Checking ahead is a great way of knowing what you’ll be getting yourself into. Check Google Maps and Google Street View to see what the areas you plan on traveling to are like. If your hotel appears to be in a risky area, consider changing your reservation, or do as Pauline Frommer (co-publisher of Frommer Guidebooks) suggests and dress according to the ‘local norm’ so that you do not draw unwanted attention. Another suggestion is to not hang a “Do not disturb” sign on your room door. Doing so will alert everyone to the fact that someone is in the room. Nothing says “occupied” like a giant sign basically saying just that. Security Airport security can be a drag. Long lines. Rookie travelers. You never know what might happen. This is why the FAA suggest arriving at least three hours early. Three key things can help you get through security quickly and hopefully get some Starbucks before you have to board. First, wear a jacket, even if it’s slightly warm outside. Your jacket has to come off when going through security, so, if you put all of your smaller items that you normally keep in pants pockets, like keys or loose change, in your jacket instead, you can simply remove the jacket without emptying every single pocket! Second, don’t fall prey to the shortest line! Short doesn’t always mean faster. Instead, look for the more experienced travelers. Five businessmen are going to fly through that checkpoint much faster than a novice couple and their small child. Finally, don’t forget to be courteous and answer any questions posed by the TSA officers. Rude comments are a great way to get held up and possibly miss your flight. While we at Passport Health can do little to control these factors mentioned above, we can help with planning, insurance and any of your health needs before you go. Contact us to help you arrive at the airport as worry free as possible!