This tip is like the #1 tip we previously shared: it’s a tip that really should always be applied, but it’s absolutely essential for this summer (because, unfortunately, the current chaos courtesy of the Canadian government won’t be getting any better soon). It’s a tip that seems hard to grasp for many people. It causes them major hassles, which is unfortunate since it can be avoided.
We’ll soon have even more pro tips you really won’t want to miss, but I want to share this one right away after also sharing the 6 tips for when your flight is delayed or canceled.
We also shared the #1 tip for the current chaos, which is obviously to travel with carry-on bags only as pro fliers always do, which I’ve explained at length to make sure you understand how feasible and awesome it is. The detailed post on exactly how to do that is coming soon, but basically, the concept is very simple: just bring less stuff.
Here’s another one that’s almost as simple.
The 2nd tip for the current chaos
This tip is as simple as the 1st one: always plan to fly a few days in advance if you have a very important event!!!
I’m not talking about a dinner with friends that can be easily moved, but something really important obviously. Like a wedding in the example below.
Leaving early is also something you can control, like baggage! Below, I explain how it doesn’t even necessarily cost you more to do that (even if it doesn’t save you money like the traveling light tip, of course).
However, unlike the 1st tip (and most of the upcoming ones), this one is harder to implement if you already bought your plane tickets (as is the upcoming tip on how to reduce the risk of your flight being delayed or canceled — yes, it’s possible).
But you need to know it anyway for next time, or to use it if your airline changes your flight schedule (which gives you the right to change whatever you want at no cost — another one of the upcoming tips)!
The example to avoid
No one wants to miss their wedding on Saturday because their flight on Friday night was canceled, for example (true story in the media, unfortunately)! 🤦
It’s definitely a regrettable situation, but you have to help yourself out a little, too! Delays can always happen in aviation, even in the best of times! Always!
So if you have a wedding, an expensive activity already booked, a crucial meeting, or anything else that’s very important: don’t leave the day before! Never!
It’s not always easy to make it work in your schedule for many reasons of course, but it’s up to you to decide if it’s really vital that you don’t miss the event in question (I’ll help you with that below).
This is another thing that seems obvious to me, but maybe not so much when you don’t know as much about the aviation world.
The importance of taking responsibility yourself
Because so many people still don’t know it, unfortunately, let me remind you of the best tip for all aspects of travel (which also applies here, since it always applies).
Be sure to take things in your own hands, take responsibility yourself and never depend on anything or anyone external!
There are so many things that are out of your control in the travel world, so at least try to maximize your chances of getting the outcome you want by taking charge of everything you can control.
You’re your own best advocate, so give yourself a 1- or 2-day wiggle room if you have something vital that you can’t (or don’t want to) miss!
(These days, if it’s really important, I’d leave at least 2 days early if you want to be on the safe side, or even more depending on the destination and the airline!)
Insurance is another vital (and free) thing that can help in some of these situations; I’ve told you about how to easily get free hotels and meals during delays, no matter the reason for the delay.
And as I just said, planning for the possibility of a delay isn’t even related to the current chaotic situation!
Delays can occur at any time
Aviation safety standards are stringent and can cause delays quite easily, not just now but at any time!
No traveler, no airline, and no flight are safe, ever.
Weather is the most common reason for delays and it often disrupts aviation operations, year-round (yes, even in the summer, contrary to the myth that it’s just in winter — I’ll explain why in another post if you’re interested)!
Because safety always comes first, regardless of the repercussions on travelers. Always.
(The fact they never hesitate to delay flights for safety reasons is part of why flying is 16X safer than driving, by the way. But then again, as we see with the irrational fear of not wearing a mask on a plane when all other indoor places don’t require one and have worse air quality: fears are rarely logical or based on facts!)
Anyway, it’s not the weather that’s to blame this time obviously (airlines bear some of the blame, but the government bears a lot of it too by keeping restrictions too long and especially never providing actual measurable and quantifiable benchmarks for when they’d be lifted).
But it goes back to what I’m trying to say: delays can always happen. It’s very “normal,” in the sense that it happens frequently!
It’s nothing new and most importantly, it’ll never change!
The decision to leave early or not
Since the possibility of a delay occurring at any time is a fact you can’t deny now that you know it, you have to act accordingly.
And these days, delays are more likely than ever! And Canada is literally one of the worst places in the world for that too (even the worst actually, to the surprise of absolutely no one who has observed the federal government since the beginning)!
So ask yourself: if my flight arrived the next day, would it be the end of the world? And if the answer is yes, take an earlier flight! Simple as that, at all times!
Having taken more than 400 flights, I know very well that a delay happens quickly! So I (almost) always take a flight a day earlier if I absolutely have to be somewhere! Simple!
Yes, even me! You know me, I’m really not a stressed person in life, nor the type to assume the worst is going to happen.
But delays are a fact: they happen, it’s a known reality. There’s no way to be 100% sure you’re going to avoid them. And the consequence of missing certain events can be dramatic!
So, if even I don’t take the risk of being at the mercy of an airline, of various federal government functions (which also manage the passport renewal fiasco) or of the weather, you can see that it’s not a luxury to leave in advance if you have something really important!
Again, delays happen! So decide if you want to take the risk or not. And that will depend on whether you can leave earlier at no cost or not.
How to take advantage of this tip without paying more
In theory, leaving a little early will cost you an extra day, right? In fact, in most cases, you can just come back a day earlier instead, at least if you had planned on staying longer after your important event.
Then it doesn’t cost you anything. Move your scheduled post-event travel days to before your event.
If you weren’t planning on staying longer at all, then yes, it’ll cost you an extra day:
- a day off work (loss of income), if you can’t do otherwise
- a day of travel expenses (if you go to a country where you can travel for $30 total per day, it’s pretty insignificant… but the vast majority of people still prefer to travel to touristy countries which are obviously more expensive — no wonder so many people believe the myth that traveling has to be expensive)
Consider these costs in your decision and when booking your plane ticket.
I’ll say it again: planning well and doing the math are things that are vital to travel more for less, and we’ll continue to help you do that with lots of tips!
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Another essential tip to make sure the airport chaos doesn’t affect your trip is to plan to leave a little ahead of time. It’s easy enough to do without paying extra, so you won’t miss any important events!
What would you like to know about this tip? Tell us in the comments below.
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Featured image: Bride throwing flower bouquet (photo credit: Allef Vinicius)
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