Every day travelers are inundated with horror stories of post-pandemic air travel with long lines, canceled flights, and lost luggage.
What can be done to combat the problem?
Start with packing a solution that is lightweight and inexpensive.
Karen Fournier owner of Four Stories Travel says, “Pack your patience. That’s the number one thing you have to go with when you’re traveling these days because we're not talking about just a Canada problem. This is worldwide, so it doesn’t matter if you are in London Heathrow or if you are in Houston Texas, or if you’re in Portugal, it doesn’t matter if the staffing is low and the travel is high, so you just have to be patient.”
Fournier says in order not to tax your patience, be proactive and give yourself lots of time before your departure. A good rule of thumb is double the normal amount of time to be at the airport ahead of your departure time. For an international flight, allow at least four hours; for a domestic flight give yourself a couple of hours at least. The more cushion time the better.
Fournier says, “Same with layovers, if you can book a layover that’s longer than three hours you will need that full amount of time typically during your layover.”
The other suggestion Fournier has for easing travel woes is to pack as light as possible. “If you can pack a carry-on, we tell everybody right now, it’s not ideal we don’t always love packing just carry-on, but if you can whittle your suitcase down and do laundry at the hotel once while you’re traveling, you don’t have to worry about losing our luggage because you’ll always have it with you.”
Fournier says some people are using Apple Tags in their bags so you can find your suitcase if it does go astray. Fournier warns, “But that still doesn’t guarantee that they have enough staff on the other end to go find the suitcase even if you can see where it is. So, really the best thing to do right now is to pack a carry-on. Pack light and pack patience.”
Other things to remember, if you have left the country, you still need to download the Arrive-Can App in order to re-enter Canada.
With regards to COVID protocols, Fournier says, “Within Canada, no you do not have to have any tests. No, you don’t have to have any vaccines and no you don’t have to have a vaccine to leave the country, but that doesn’t mean that the country you’re flying to doesn’t want you to have a vaccine or test.”
Do your homework on the rules of the country you are traveling to or better yet, get yourself a travel agent who knows the ins and outs of travel these days. Fournier says, “Yeah, somebody else looking at the rules for you and explaining everything and having the right resources is a pretty big deal.”