Consider arriving the day before you absolutely have to be there. You can have a delayed flight which causes you to miss your connection with a cruise, a train or pre-booked tour group. Even before you arrive you spend your time on the flight wondering how on earth you are going to join the activity you have been planning on for over six months. Travel the day before, chill out and relax. You will have an extra night’s accommodation to pay for, think of the expense as part of your personal travel insurance.
Watch for your airline offering free rebooking of your flight. If they are concerned that they may have to cancel flights, free rebooking of flights is an indication that connections are at risk.
Know that airlines will often take several days to get back to a regular schedule. There will be a backlog of passengers and to make matters worse for your booking preference is given to people who have scheduled flights. Cancelled flights means you are on a wait list.
Fly early in the day. If there are delays the earlier flights get preference. And you have a choice of flying later the same day if there are seats available. A plus is to pay for a full fare which is easily transferable to another ticketed flight.
Try to get a non-stop flight. Fewer airports means fewer chances that one is going to suffer weather or technical difficulties. And even worse your suitcases are mislaid in transit stop two.
Get travel insurance. If you had to cancel a trip because of severe weather you obtain a full refund as you are unable to join the trip start. Trip insurance will reimburse you if that happens.
Trains. If you have a choice of arrival airports choose one that has direct train services. Wide lifts and customer service people who are experienced at where to go and explaining details to people dazed by the flight assist in getting you where you want to be.
Trains. Remember to check the train website to view storage facilities onboard the train. As well as catering services.
Rental vehicle. If your rental car agency is not located at the airport check where the collection depot is located. Being put on a shuttle, travelling halfway across a large city to a remote location might not be the ideal start to your holiday.
Checklist for the rental vehicle agency
- Opening hours for the rental car depot
- Waivers in the rental vehicle contract for road accidents as well as damage to vehicle
- Fuel fill policy as well as the type of fuel the vehicle uses. Electric location of charge stations on your trip route to be checked beforehand.
- Roadside assist policy
- Child seat availability
Australia and New Zealand have well established intercity bus services. Major centres have public buses however in smaller towns the best connection is likely to be a road trip by car.
Day trips and connections
My advice is not to travel from your accommodation on day trips where 40% plus of the journey is spent in a vehicle getting you to your proposed destination. It is tiring, frustrating and when you arrive you do not have enough time to wander, ponder and soak in the atmosphere of the location you have travelled to see.
The day trips above are less than 2 hours one way. Consider the option of an overnight tour for a bucket list destination. If you do not have enough holiday time allocated for your wish list, there is always the option of a return trip.
The journey is worth it.