6 Tips For Navigating Unexpected Travel Chaos This Summer

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    After over 2 years of WFH and exploring our own backyards, Canadians are taking back to the skies again. 

    The surge in travel (and some logistical challenges) has caused a bit of – well – chaos. From lost luggage to flight cancellations, travel hasn’t quite been the relaxing vacation many of us are used to. 

    We know how challenging it can be to navigate the unexpected. But fortunately, with a little planning and patience, it’s still possible to enjoy your upcoming getaway. 

    To help your summer 2022 travel plans go as smoothly as possible, we’ve rounded up some of our top tips for travel this summer.

    1. Carry On Your Essentials

    Carry-on baggage is your best friend this summer. Delayed luggage seems to be the theme of the summer, so if possible, it’s best to pack light and only bring a carry-on. You won’t run the risk of losing your luggage and you’ll just breeze right on through the baggage claim area.

    Large soft-sided backpacks are also a great solution to pack more items without your bag being overweight. Plus, they’re easy to carry around the busy airport.

    But if you’re travelling overseas or just a chronic overpacker, don’t worry – you can still check your bags! Just make sure to pack all your essentials (and a few changes of clothing) into your carry on. This way, you’re not scrambling if your bags are delayed or even lost.

    2. Track Your Bags

    If your checked bag does (unfortunately) get misrouted or delayed, the backlog of missing baggage means it could take days for the airline to locate your belongings. Savvy travellers have started putting trackers like the Apple Air Tags, into their luggage to help point airlines in the right direction.

    We can’t guarantee that this will work! But when your vacation is on the line, it’s certainly worth a shot.

    3. Leave Room In Your Travel Budget

    Many Canadians have an emergency fund to help cover unexpected costs in life. As travel continues to be a whirlwind, it’s best to do the same for when travelling. Plan for extra travel budget to cover any unexpected expenses due to changes in your travel plans. Think of it like an emergency fund for your vacation!

    If you don’t end up using it, you can either add it to your everyday emergency fund or put it towards your next trip.

    Another  great way to make sure that you’re not at a complete loss due to delays or cancellations is booking travel through a credit card. Most credit cards have travel insurance or protection benefits that can help reimburse you for disruptions, delays, and other unexpected costs.

    Travelling on points this summer? Learn more about what happens to your credit card points when you die.

    4. Prepare For Delays

    Unfortunately, with the ever-changing travel environment, it’s hard to predict if and when delays will happen. As delays become more frequent, it’s best to expect those last-minute changes in travel plans.

    When building out your itinerary, book your flights (and other activities) with extra wiggle room. Here are some things you can do to accommodate potential delays.

    • Avoid booking flights with super-short layovers
    • Travel a day earlier than necessary
    • Don’t book day-of-arrival reservations
    • Arrive to the airport early to avoid being bumped off your flight

    By planning ahead, you’ll avoid the domino effect of one delay derailing the rest of your plans. Lastly, don’t forget to pack snacks and entertainment for those extra-long waits at the airport.

    Pro tip: The first flights of the day tend to have the least amount of delays. You’ll have to sacrifice some sleep to get there, but it might be worth it to avoid the headaches.

    Need some extra reading material for the flight? Sign up for our newsletter and we’ll send our best estate planning tips and tricks straight to your inbox → 

    5. Make A Plan B

    Sometimes, you just have to pivot. (Where’s Ross from Friends when you need him?) Instead of scrambling at the last minute, consider creating a plan B ahead of time. What will you do if your flight is cancelled or delayed? Can you drive or take the train instead? Will you need to make new arrangements at your destination?

    While it’s not necessary to create completely separate itineraries, having a second option will give you peace of mind if something comes up! 

    6. Plan For The Unexpected

    While we all hope your travel plans go off without a hitch, it’s important to always plan for the unexpected before travelling. And that includes taking care of any affairs at home before take off. 

    Here are some things you should do before travelling:

    • Writing your last will and testament – In your legal will, you’ll be able to name guardians for any minor children and share your end-of-life wishes. Putting a formal plan in place will give you peace of mind while travelling, knowing your loved-ones are protected.
    • Creating your POA documents –  Power of attorney documents help protect your personal financial, and health decisions. You’ll appoint a trusted friend or family member to help make decisions for you, in the event that you’re unable to do so yourself.

    We know these tasks aren’t quite as fun as packing (although, we know a few Willful customers that might disagree!). But you’ll feel infinitely better knowing that you’ve made a plan in case the worst happens.

    Need to write your will before your next trip? We can help! Create your legal will in as little as 20 minutes with Willful. Start for free here →

    Time To Get Travelling

    Travel certainly looks a bit different this summer, but it’s still something to look forward to. There are many horror stories going around  and many things are out of your control. But with a little extra planning and preparation, you’ll be off exploring the world in no time!

    Read More: 5 Reasons You Need An Estate Plan Before Travelling Again

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