Spring Break has sprung and Americans are traveling in record-high numbers again. Whether they are families looking for a new adventure and to reconnect, or college students seeking a respite from classwork, this is the perfect time for a getaway. Here are nine tips travel advisors can share with their clients about traveling to their vacation spot and enjoying their time in destination, to help them make this year’s Spring Break the most memorable.
1. Arrive early at the airport.
Kelli Bertram, travel advisor, Come & See Travel, reminds her clients that “things are going to be busy this travel season. The airports will be packed, so arrive early. The transfer line will also be busy, so it is even more important to do a private transfer.”
2. Use a carry-on only.
Christen Perry, owner and travel advisor, Classic Travel Connection, suggests that clients try to get to their destination with only a carry on. “There are many bumps in the travel road that can be avoided if you don't check luggage. The risk of delayed or lost luggage is minimized (and there's always a chance that the airline will ask you to gate-check).
“If you're not able to fit it all in carry-ons, you must put an air tag in that checked luggage. Even if you can't get to your luggage as quickly as you'd like in the event that you make it to your destination without your luggage, at least you'll know where it is. And sometimes, with an air tag, you're a step ahead of the airline.”
3. Plan excursions in advance.
“Let’s plan ahead for excursions and not wait until you arrive to book anything, so things don’t sell out,” Bertram recommends to clients. “If all else fails, just remember you are on an awesome vacation, and to have fun no matter what you are doing. All of this important because if you are uptight about your plans or don’t have some flexibility, then you’re never going to be happy.”
To her travel advisor peers, she says, “this is important for the travel advisor, because we need to be preparing our clients as much as possible for one of the busiest times of year, so that we don’t have extra work for ourselves later on.”
4) Try something new.
Bertram also encourages clients to “try something new! Destinations know a lot of travelers will be arriving during those Spring Break weeks so they might be offering new activities, things to do. Don’t jam pack your trip, where you never have time to relax, but also go try something new that maybe you didn’t plan for. This is how you keep any trip the most fun!”
5. Manage expectations.
“One of the things I've learned from traveling with my own grown children is that managing expectations for when we are traveling together is so important,” says Perry. “Have those ‘What are you expecting from our time away together?’ conversations before you depart.
“At the same time, have minimal expectations of your older children. If someone doesn't want to go to dinner or on a tour, that's ok! Or, if dinner together is non-negotiable, make that clear from the get-go … Knowing this ahead of time can really cut back on some disappointments, but it can also help you create some memorable experiences for your family.”
She also points out that just like young children can get tired and grumpy, so do older ones. Be sure to allow for some downtime and alone time, including for mom and dad.
6. Pack your patience.
“Let's face it, traveling can be stressful these days, and things don't always go as planned. When the unexpected happens, tempers and anxiety can rise, making everyone on edge. It's so important to tell our clients to pack their patience and their kindness,” says Perry. “Don't let the bumps set the tone for the vacation. In the end, it's all about the memories! Make the memories great - and don't have regrets for the words and actions that are negative when you're stressed.”
7. Be safe.
Bertram reminds clients to stay safe while traveling during Spring Break, especially since larger groups of people tend to venture out together at this time. She prepares clients for their journeys so everything goes as smoothly as possible, including booking private transfers and excursions with tour companies that she has vetted.
8. Stay connected.
It is also crucial to “stay connected, even when you're not physically together, especially if you're traveling to a foreign country,” notes Perry. “… Even if everyone is not on an international cell plan, download WhatsApp and commit to checking in periodically.”
9. Just have fun!
Both Perry and Bertram send off their clients with the advice to “just have fun!” Spring Break is a wonderful time of year to make really awesome memories with friends and family.
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