Changing a trip can be expensive and add a lot of extra headache to what should be an enjoyable experience. Be prepared for any potential inevitability and save yourself the stress (and sticker shock!) of a missed connection or other delays.
1. Use Change/Delay/Cancellation Notifications
Whether you’re still at home, en route to the airport or already sitting at your gate, having the most current flight schedule at your fingertips is important. Most airlines allow travelers to sign up for mobile notifications. Use them and be the first to know when there has been a gate change, flight delay or weather cancellation.
2. Use a Flight Tracker App
The smartphone market is full of apps to track your flight. Our favorite, FlightAware, is available for both Android and iOS and tracks commercial flights in more than 45 countries. Check the status of all the flights on your itinerary with the swipe of a finger. A delayed flight at one airport could lead to a missed connection at the next; knowing what to expect can give you time to make other arrangements.
3. Try TripIt
TripIt is an all-in-one travel organizer that keeps every detail of your vacation in one convenient place. Lost confirmations and boarding passes are a thing of the past: with this service, you simply forward all of your confirmation emails and allow TripIt to create a unique itinerary just for you. TripIt Free allows you to create, save and share itineraries; TripIt Pro is only $49 per year after a 30-day free trial and provides mobile alerts, refund notifications, information on alternate flights and VIP privileges.
4. Carry Maps
Large airports can be a pain to navigate, and it’s easy to get turned around. If you’ve got a tight connection, getting lost in the airport can cause you to miss your flight entirely. Be sure to print out airport maps before you leave the house and stow them in your purse, wallet or carry-on. Many airports also have apps to help you find your way.
Despite your best efforts, itinerary changes are part of traveling. When they are required, it’s important to stay calm and focus on getting yourself out of the jam in the cheapest and easiest way possible. It’s always best to be prepared!