The Pain Points of Traveling and How to Minimize Them

As most frequent travelers know, jetting around the globe isn’t always as glamorous as armchair travelers may think it is. Flight delays, long travel times and lost hotel reservations can quickly zap much of the joy of visiting other parts of the world. While not all traveling pain points can be eliminated, anticipating potential issues and being prepared to take action can help to make your trip go much more smoothly.

  • Flight delays

    One of the most frustrating and distressing parts of traveling is airline delays. Some of these are unavoidable, such as those caused by bad weather. Others can at least be partially avoided by taking the fewest number of flights possible to reach your destination and comparing different airlines’ on-time records before making your reservations. Not all airlines are alike; you’ll likely be surprised by the differences in on-time performance.

  • Carrying heavy luggage

    Most of us pack a lot more clothes and accessories than we think. While it’s great to have just the right outfit for every occasion, carrying heavy baggage through the airport and train stations can leave you weary and aching before you ever reach your destination. One easy way to avoid being held back by your formidable array of luggage is to invest in a luggage shipping service. Companies like Luggage Forward will have your bags waiting in your hotel room or cruise cabin when you arrive. This service is affordable, efficient and guaranteed to get your belongings to you when you need them.

  • Lost luggage

    Nearly two million pieces of luggage are lost by major U.S. airlines each year, according to “Travel + Leisure” magazine, leaving travelers to enjoy the first days of their trip as much as possible wearing the same clothes they traveled in. Having your luggage sent ahead of you helps to eliminate this scenario. You not only don’t have to worry about carrying your luggage, but you can relax with the peace of mind that comes from knowing your luggage will be waiting for you when you arrive at your destination.

  • Missed hotel reservations

    No one wants to arrive at a hotel front desk after a long flight and be told that the property doesn’t have your reservation or worse still, it has your reservation but your room has been double-booked. Hotels, like most other reservation and appointment-based businesses, tend to over-book to ensure that their rooms will be occupied for the night. However, that practice occasionally leaves travelers without a place to stay. You can minimize the chances of it being your party that’s bumped to another hotel by checking in early and by frequenting the same hotel when you visit a particular city. Hotels are less likely to turn away guests whom they are familiar with.

  • Language barriers

    Language differences can make communication difficult, if not impossible. These differences can even make people appear unfriendly, when the only issue is a different culture and different language. Learning even a few words and phrases of the native language spoken where you’ll be visiting can go a long way towards creating a bond between you and the people who live there.

  • Security checkpoints

    Going through security at airports, attractions and train stations is a fact of life in the 21st century. However, these searches can still be annoying and cause delays in getting where you need or want to be. You can lessen the time you have to spend at the security checkpoint by familiarizing yourself with the latest TSA or international security regulations. Don’t just assume that they are the same as they were when you last traveled; these rules change frequently. It’s also a good idea to evaluate all of the content of your purse or carry-on baggage to see if anything can be viewed as a weapon. Even a corkscrew or a pocket knife can cause problems.

  • Sold out attractions

    Another disappointing aspect of travel is arriving at your destination only to find out that the restaurant, museum show or theater performance that you’ve had your heart set on seeing is sold out. Fortunately, tickets and reservations for most such attractions can be confirmed in advance online before you ever board your plane. Cruise lines offer their most popular shore excursions to passengers up to six months in advance and many world attractions, from the Eiffel Tower to restaurants at Disney World, allow you to confirm a reservation online in advance.

  • Jet lag

    No one wants to start their vacation tired and dragging, but time changes around the globe can wreck havoc with your internal clock. Avoid this and minimize the pain by opting for overnight flights (and trying to sleep on the plane), avoiding alcohol, drinking plenty of water and getting plenty of sunshine when you arrive at your destination.

While there’s no way to eliminate all of the pain points associated with traveling, you can help make your trip go more smoothly by anticipating these issues and taking steps to minimize the pain, things like having your luggage shipped ahead to your hotel, learning a few words and phrases in the local language and planning your travel so that you arrive and check in early at your hotel.

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