When you’re looking forward to a relaxing holiday, the last thing you want is to get delayed, whether at the airport, the bus station, or even tapping your watch while you wait for your family to get their stuff together. Delays can throw a spanner in the works before you’ve even arrived at your destination. It can add unnecessary stress, and even add upfront costs to your trip.
So how can you avoid delays so that you arrive on time, every time? Here are six ways you can ensure you minimize the risk of being stuck in departure lounge limbo and can start your holiday as soon as possible.
Get All Your Documents Ready
No one likes that person at the check-in counter who has to rifle through their bag searching for their passport and plane tickets. Avoid this by prepping all of your documents before you leave the house and keeping them in an easily accessible pocket in your bag.
If you’re travelling somewhere that requires a visa or other types of travel verification, you must make sure you have this prepared. For the U.S., you can find more information about why you need an ESTA, while anyone travelling to Canada will require an ETA. Without these, you will not be permitted entry.
Make Sure Your Bags Meet Weight Requirements
Another common reason for delays is when your bag is too heavy for the plane. Most travellers are sick of the weight limits anyway, especially with the extortionate extra fees from being slightly overweight. But you don’t want to unpack and repack just so you’re allowed to board.
It’s beneficial to be sensible with the clothes and accessories you bring on your holiday. While you may want and need some clothes, ask yourself if you’ll wear them that often. Depending on how long you’re travelling for, bring enough clothes for a week and a bit, and then cycle back through them.
Layovers from connecting flights are cheaper than nonstop or direct flights, but they come with their risks. If one flight is delayed, then there’s the chance you won’t make it in time for the next flight. The airline will do all they can to squeeze you onto the next available flight, but if you’re on a very sensitive timescale, this won’t be enough.
Non-stop flights are the only way you can ensure you arrive at your destination. They can be long and boring, but they take the stress out of missing your connection.
Give Yourself Plenty of Time
You might remember your surnames being called to the departure lounge when you were younger because your parents were too laissez-faire about getting to the airport on time. Even though they’ve never missed a flight, it was still too close to comfort for your liking.
Getting to the airport as early as possible means you won’t have much to do, especially in the morning. However, it means you avoid the rush and won’t get stuck in traffic.
Pick the Best Times to Travel
Did you know there is a best time to travel? Did you know that it’s best to fly in the morning rather than any other time of day to avoid delays?
This is because there are fewer morning flights in general, so the airspace is not as crowded and therefore allows a clear passage. The weather also plays a factor. Thunderstorms and other delay-causing conditions don’t occur until the afternoon most of the time. You may need to get up earlier, but at least you’ll arrive at your destination on time.
If you’ve been burned too many times by one airline or another, you can look at the punctuality statistics of aeroplane companies. This allows you to compare different flights and find out whether they arrived on time or not.
If one airline commonly arrives late, there’s a strong chance the same will happen to you. This can convince you to look at other airlines leaving from the same destination. The more you know about these statistics, the more of a power traveller you’ll be, and you will never find yourself waiting around in an airport ever again.
You deserve to have a relaxed and carefree holiday where you don’t worry about anything but you’re topping up your tan, so avoiding delays should be a priority. While you won’t be able to avoid all travel issues, you can certainly cut them down enough so you’re never left wondering why it’s always you.