I joke with my husband that he is a traveling jinx. Majority of the time when I travel with him or he travels alone something bad happens with his flight. We are talking delayed flights, missed flights, lost luggage, missed connections etc. On the bright side, because of this and other stories I have heard, I have learned strategies on avoiding a flying a disaster.

1) Pack a good carry on

Situation:

After I passed my board exam to be an occupational therapist, Stephen and I went to Italy. I saved for two years and asked only for money for graduation to help pay for this trip. We get to wonderful and romantic Rome, and we have no luggage. Well 8 days later and still no luggage we had to spend most of the money we saved for fun sightseeing and leather bags on expensive toiletries and basic clothes ( the Euro conversion killed us- $10 for a small travel size hair brush, really???).

Solution:

Well some of the above would have been avoided if we just packed a better carry on. Do yourself a favor and pack a good carry on if you are flying.

  • – Make sure you pack all your electronics and chargers with you. Thankfully we had all that so we could still take pictures and charge our phones.
  • – Pack necessary toiletries:Toothbrush, toothpaste, medications, make up, deodorant, hair brush, and whatever else you can’t live without. Trust me, I will never make this mistake again.
  • – Always pack a change of clothes:underwear, pants and shirt and if you are going somewhere warm- a bathing suit and flip flops.

2) Check your passport 6 months in advance

Situation:

A group of 20 of us decided to go to Punta Cana for spring break. We get to the airport and a friend of ours goes to check in and his passport recently expired. That was that- he lost the money for the flight and all inclusive resort. Worst of all he had to hear it from everyone on how he basically missed the best trip ever.

Solution:

Check your passport at least 6 months in advance if you are going outside your country. For some countries, a visitor may not be admitted unless the passport is valid for at least six months, regardless of the duration of the stay. Check way in advance and make sure an invalid passport isn’t the reason you can’t enjoy your vacation

3) Make copies of all important documents

Situation:

My cousin went abroad to Scotland, first day went out to eat put her bag on the ground and POOF it was gone…with her passport, ID, wallet and all accommodation information. She ended up having to go to the US embassy and spending a lot of time and money trying to get information she didn’t know.

Solution:

Before you leave scan a copy of your Passport, License, hotel and flight information, list of medications. Email it to yourself and someone you trust that isn’t traveling with you. IF anything happens at least you know your Passport number and can expedite the process of getting the documents you need.

4) Set multiple alarms and give yourself enough time

Situation:

Well in this case it’s situations, this is my husband’s specialty. You think you set an alarm but you accidentally set it for P.M instead of A.M , or you turn it off in your sleep and you are running really late, or you think you only need an hour to get to the airport and go through security but for some reason the line is monstrous and is just not moving… and you miss your flight.

Solution:

Set at least two alarms. It’s better if you can set two different phones or a phone and an actual clock. Either way always have back up because you never know with technology and human error. Also make sure you give yourself enough time. They don’t say get to the airport 2-3 hours for nothing. Some of those security lines or check in lines are crazy, enjoy that coffee at the gate early instead of having to fight with the lady at the gate to not charge you $500 to get the next flight out because you missed it.

5) Make the best of the situation.

Things happen and all you can do is make the best of the situation because these are trips of a lifetime, bachelor/bachelorette parties, or somewhere you saved up and wanted to go. You may never get this time back so if your flight is delayed grab a drink and a bite to eat and relax, if your luggage is missing use what you carried in your carry on and venture out. Be patient and enjoy the best you can.

Do you have any stories of a flying disaster? Any tips you use? Let us know in the comments section below

Amanda