How to Improve Bad Travel Situations – The Boston Globe

Here are some common problems and solutions so you can try to make the best of your situation:

Problem: There are long lines at catering establishments, tourist attractions, and for check-in at hotels and cruises.

Before you travel, lower your expectations and assume you will have to wait a long time.

A person wears Beats headphones while waiting for a flight to take off at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, Virginia. Jenny Kane/Associated Press

The solution: Bring your own picnic, make a reservation, listen to a podcast or meditate.

Instead of BYOF (bring your own food), you can reframe the experience as something enjoyable like a picnic.

“When I pass by an airport now, I bring a picnic,” Newman said. “I bring sliced ​​kiwis, cheese and crackers – basically anything that travels well, like these individually wrapped Babybel cheeses.”

Since you cannot bring liquids to security, Newman also recommended bringing your own refillable water bottle. Most airports have water bottle refill stations near restrooms.

To avoid those long lines before you travel, you should make reservations as far in advance as possible for restaurants and tourist attractions.

“We’re now in a period of travel where if you don’t have a reservation, you don’t get in,” said Shelby Dziwulski, founder of Denver-based travel company Authenteco. “Even historic attractions require reservations.”

If you’re already at your destination and haven’t made a reservation, Newman suggested opting for somewhere that offers takeout and finding a nice outdoor spot to dine. “I’m looking for places that would generally have faster service because service has gotten slower everywhere.”

If you have to wait in line, try listening to a podcast, watching a downloaded TV show, or listening to a guided meditation. You can even use the time to learn a new language that might be useful at your destination.

Problem: You are stuck in an airport.

Flights are delayed or canceled, so if you’re flying, chances are you’ll be at an airport for an extended period of time.

The solution: You’re not stuck, so get a spa treatment or find an airport lounge.

You can reframe this situation by not using the word “stuck” and instead considering all the entertainment options available at an airport.

“I really like airports. Many have interesting architecture, wonderful art exhibits, dining and shopping options,” said Stefan Bisciglia, director of I Cruise Solo and co-owner of Specialty Cruise & Villas travel agency in Gig Harbor, Wash.

If you want to see art, Logan offers a public art program. You can use their interactive map (select terminals, your terminal letter, departures, then art exhibit) to view current exhibits.

Another option offered at airports is spa treatments. If the airport doesn’t have a spa, Newman recommends massaging your hands with an anti-stress lavender lotion (only 3.4 ounces or less to get through security) while listening to spa music on your noise canceling headphones.

Once you are done relaxing, you can find an airport lounge. Previously, lounges were an exclusive option for frequent travelers, but some are now available to anyone who wants to pay a fee.

“Traditionally, lounges were reserved for first and business class passengers, but many have evolved into membership models,” Bisciglia said. At Logan’s, The Lounge is available for $45 and includes unlimited drinks (including alcohol), food, newspapers, and workstations.

Problem: The airline loses baggage.

Many people have recently discovered that the airline routed their luggage to the wrong destination and sometimes the airport does not know the location of the luggage.

The solution: Use Apple AirTags to track your luggage.

Apple offers a product called AirTags that you can put in your luggage so you can track it during its journey. “Using Airtags, when the airline says your luggage is lost, you don’t go through that loop trying to figure out where your luggage is, and instead you can literally say to the airline, ‘This is is here,” says Dziwulski.

Problem: Having trouble booking hotels or reservations.

With everyone traveling these days, it can be difficult to book a vacation.

The solution: Hire a travel agent.

Most travel agents are free or charge a small fee. They are experienced in preventing problems and solving problems when they arise.

“We’re here to help, and you won’t be waiting for hours like you would with online businesses,” said Phil Patterson, president and owner of P&H Travel in West Bridgewater.

Another benefit of using a travel agent is that they are knowledgeable. “We all know the secret tips and tricks for not having to deal with the line. For example, if you are an active duty military, there is a secret line that no one knows about,” Dziwulski said.

Remember that traveling is a privilege.

Often people assume that a vacation means they’ll have a stress-free experience, but that’s not always the case. “If you want to travel, just be happy that you have the opportunity to travel,” Dziwulski said.

Newman said that probably one of the most important things to remember when using your packing checklist is to “be patient.”

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