Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Preparing for travel interruptions

Preparing for travel interruptions should be done for every trip. I have been on several vacations when unexpected problems caused delays that threatened to spoil my fun. It doesn't always take Hurricane Sandy to cause travel interruptions. Problems can crop up anytime. When a hurricane, storm or unexpected car repair strikes, a disaster plan is invaluable.

Allow an extra day
Catching up with the team in the Alaska airport was a key element in my 2009 mission trip. The travel delay that was caused by an unexpected car repair almost put the trip on the skids. Planning to arrive a day early gave us space that we needed. It was close, but we were able to meet the team when the airplane landed. Planning to get home two days before going back to work ensures that I get to work as scheduled and gives me time to catch up on errands.

Get insurance for travel interruptions

I can't emphasize it enough. Don't take any large trip without buying insurance for travel interruptions.  Our Premier AAA membership offers some protection throughout the year. For larger trips (such as Walt Disney World) we always take out an insurance policy. It usually kicks in for hurricanes, tornados and many types of personal disasters.

Cash reserve
Credit and debit cards offer protections that cash can't touch. They can be canceled if lost and make record keeping a breeze. Using them requires electricity. When it comes to storm or hurricane related trip interruptions, this is a major flaw.

Snacks and drinks
These are a wise part of any trip. Airports have stringent rules. Check with the airlines to see what you can and cannot bring. Plan to buy water inside the airport. In the event of travel interruptions a water bottle can be refilled in a water fountain or bathroom. Munchies are a must for car travel. If an unexpected car repair strikes, those snacks could become a meal.

Vehicle maintenance
Some problems can be thwarted by keeping your vehicle in running order. A quick oil and fluid level check and a look at the tires can help you find problems before they start.

My travels have mostly been delayed by car repairs and storms. A tornado nearly ended one vacation and a forest fire proved to be a headache on another getaway. Fortunately, hurricane related trip interruptions are rare. These experiences have taught me that preparing for travel interruptions is vital. Learn from my mistakes. Preparing for travel interruptions is time well spent.