Whether you’re a seasoned traveller or it’s your first trip, sometimes situations arise that we’re not always prepared for. Here are some of the most commonly asked travel questions, so you’re in the know before you go away.
Do I really need to buy travel insurance?
In short, yes. Travel insurance is something that you really hope you don’t need to use, but when you do, boy you’re glad it’s there. However, it’s vital that you purchase comprehensive insurance that suits your travel needs; basic coverage won’t cut it if you’re heading to the Swiss Alps and have a skiing accident. Always read the fine print of any travel insurance policy, and talk to a travel and insurance expert to ensure the policy you take out will cover you for any foreseeable problems. Even if it’s a short trip in a familiar place, it’s important to be insured. You’ll thank yourself you bought insurance if you end up getting really sick while away.
What do I need to do if I’m unwell while I’m away?
Firstly, make sure you take out comprehensive insurance before your trip! Getting sick while you’re away can range from an annoying inconvenience to quite a scary ordeal, especially if you’re overseas in an unfamiliar place. If you fall ill, have an accident or require some sort of treatment, first call your insurance company to find out what you’ll be covered for. For serious circumstances, they should be able to advise on the appropriate next steps.
For less serious situations, like getting a common cold, it may be tempting to simply push through it; it’s annoying to disrupt a trip, whether for business or leisure. Resist that temptation; it’s important to rest, and although it may feel frustrating, you’ll have a better chance of recovery if you look after yourself, so you can continue to enjoy your trip once you feel perky again.
Don’t brush off symptoms of illness, either. If you feel unwell, seek medical treatment by way of doctor of pharmacy. The last thing you want is to ignore symptoms only for it to get worse and end up with a more serious illness.
How can I avoid getting sick while I’m travelling?
While sometimes this is easier said that done, there are a number of ways you can avoid getting sick, and being prepared if you do fall under the weather is key. Pack a small first aid kit with remedies for common travel ailments; think travellers diarrhea, headaches, motion sickness and gastroenteritis. Always wash your hands with soap and hot water to avoid spreading germs, don’t drink tap water in countries where it’s not advised, and ease yourself into new foods if you’re not sure how your stomach will handle a sudden change in diet. Consider taking a multivitamin while you’re away to boost your immune system and talk to your doctor about potential health risks in the country you’re visiting before you travel.
Note on these first three questions: this is general advice, and each situation is different. We are not medical professionals or insurance experts, so always seek the advice of a healthcare professional and insurance expert to get find out the best advice for your situation.
Is it possible to travel with carry-on only?
Absolutely! It requires discipline and a bit of compromise, but it’s achievable, especially for shorter trips. For carry-on only packing tips, read our article The Secret to Packing For Carry-On Luggage.
What do I do if my baggage is lost?
It’s a horrible feeling to be waiting at the baggage carousel, only for your bag to never appear on the conveyor belt. But don’t panic; speak to your airline straight away and let them know what’s happened. They’ll be able to let you know if the luggage didn’t make the right plane, track it down and file a report. For this reason, it’s important that you keep all your valuables and important documents in your carry-on, along with the baggage tickets you’re given at check-in that are used to track your bag It’s also a good idea to label your check-in bag with your name and contact number, so it can be easily traced.
Kate from Jayride.com once had her luggage go missing on a trip to Vietnam. Luckily, it was tracked by the airline and she was reunited with it two days later. She says having a well-packed carry-on bag is vital.
‘I packed a spare outfit, and two pairs of underwear in my carry-on, just in case this happened. It was annoying, but luckily I was prepared. I spoke to the airline, told them which hotel I was staying at and they dropped it off for me.’
What should I do if my flight is cancelled?
It’s the last thing you want to happen when travelling, but flight delays and cancellations are not uncommon, so it’s good to know what to do before it happens. First things first, stay calm and patient, especially with airline staff. It’s not their fault that flights get cancelled, and they have an entire plane wanting to know the exact same thing as you. A smile and some understanding will go a long way.
Find your airline kiosk as soon as you know your flight has been cancelled and ask a staff member what your options are. Find out what’s caused the delay and how soon you can get your flight rebooked. If you’re travelling internationally and have a connecting flight, let them know.
Will you get a refund? Maybe. Some airlines will offer compensation, but budget airlines often don’t. Your travel insurance doesn’t always automatically include flight cancellation either, so again it’s important to check your insurance policy. Unfortunately, cancelled flights are a part of travel, so sometimes you need to grin and bear it – it’s all part of the travel experience!
What’s the easiest way to get to the airport, and from the airport to my hotel?
That’s where we can help! One of the biggest anxieties for many travellers is working out the best way to get to and from the airport. Jayride.com is a search and comparison site for airport transfers – we work with thousands of different local businesses at airports around the world, so you can see all of your options in one convenient place. Shared shuttles, private transfers, even luxury vehicles are all available on Jayride.com, so you’ll be able to find the perfect transfer for your travel needs.
When’s the best time to buy a plane ticket?
While there’s no solid scientific data that shows the exact time when airline prices are at their cheapest, the general rule of thumb is about three to four months before you’re due to depart. Tickets are usually at a very high price when they’re first released, so booking too early means you’ll likely pay a premium, while last-minute flights are usually the most expensive as airlines increase prices significantly then, too. Some airlines will let you sign up for price alerts, and keep an eye out for unadvertised sales; you might just snap up a bargain.
How do I get access to airport lounges?
Did you know you don’t have to be a member of an exclusive airline club to gain access to an airport lounge? Yep, there are a number of options available if you’d like to enjoy the perks of a lounge without the premium annual price tag. Some airlines offer day passes to their passengers, other independant lounges have a one-off access fee, and some credit cards even have special airline lounge perks.
Want to learn more about gaining access to airport lounges? Check our this article – Airport Lounges: The Insider’s Guide
Is it safe to travel solo?
Travelling on your own can be an enriching, memorable experience that many travellers are starting to embrace. Solo travel is not inherently unsafe, as long as you use your usual caution and common sense while on the road. Some countries pose larger safety threats than others, especially for women, so it’s important to do your due diligence and research, research, research your destination before you head off.
If you’d like to know more about travelling on your own, especially from a female traveller’s perspective, read our interview with Marine Dansette, who travels all around the world by herself. Check out All You Need To Know About Going Solo.