When you need to plan a trip without the luxury of having enough time to pay attention to every detail, you need to know how to prioritize the points with the biggest impact, and how to make use of available resources to make the experience a smoother one. In this post, we will give you four actionable tips on how to organize a trip on a tight schedule in case you are running late.
You don’t have to sacrifice the quality of the trip, so long as you know what you’re doing and you’re aware of some points like your budget limit. Beyond that, it’s mostly a matter of using what’s available to you wisely and staying one step ahead of potential trouble.
Have a Backup Plan
If you’re planning things in such a way that they can go wrong in the blink of an eye, it’s a good idea to have at least one alternative trip schedule that you can follow if something gets messed up. Of course, this is not always possible due to certain constraints like your budget – you can’t just book a few plane tickets at once and only use the one that matches your trip. But with other modes of transport, especially when making use of public transportation, you should always have at least one alternative.
Set up your backup plan in a way that there are crossover points between it and your main one. That way, missing one connection may not be fatal, as you can just catch an alternative that takes you to the next stop.
Use Flight Radar to Keep Track of Events in Real-Time
If you’re worried that you might miss a connection, or you have to meet up with someone at a precise time, it can be a good idea to use an online plane finder like flightradar.co.uk to check on the current status of each corresponding flight. Flightradar will require an active internet connection, of course, and you will also need to know some details about the flight, such as its number. But when used smartly, this can be a very effective tool that can significantly reduce the delays incurred in waiting for another flight to arrive.
The cases when you will need to use this might be limited on some trips, but it’s definitely worth being prepared. On the other hand, tracking planes can be an entertaining hobby to do just for fun.
Using a Travel Agent Can Be Worthwhile
Depending on your budget, sometimes you can save yourself a lot of headaches by just leaving things in the hands of a professional who knows what they are doing. Travel agents might be a waste of money if you’re only going on a simple trip where you don’t need to plan anything in advance, but when organizing something more complicated, especially a trip that involves multiple connecting points, it can definitely be a good idea to know that things are being handled by someone experienced.
A travel agent can also help you in a pinch if it turns out that a flight has been delayed or canceled, for example – that’s usually part of the package, and you’d be surprised how well some agents handle can handle this part of their jobs too.
Finding an agent worth your money is a challenge in some cases, but once you’ve landed a proper connection with someone who truly understands what they are supposed to do, it can make all the difference in your future trips. You should make sure that you approach this with a responsible attitude yourself, of course, and know exactly what you are looking to get.
You can review some of the best and worst rated travel agents at Which.co.uk.
In most cases, you would probably want to skip the option of paying additionally for travel insurance, but this can actually save you a lot of money – and nerves – if you’re planning a more complex trip with lots of potential points of failure. Spending a little extra cash can go a long way when something goes wrong in your plans and a plane is delayed, and even though it’s better to hope that you won’t have to make use of that insurance in the first place, it’s still great to know that it’s there.
Different airlines and other travel companies will offer different deals on this, so make sure you familiarise yourself with what’s available before setting off if this matters to you a lot.
That’s not to say that you should pay for insurance on every trip though – just weigh your chances and go for it in cases where it makes sense when you consider the risks. That’s something else a good agent can help you with, although you should be able to make an informed decision yourself without too much hassle.
A trip doesn’t have to end up in disaster just because you were time-limited when planning it. As long as you know what your available options are, and make proper use of them, you should find the whole experience to be pretty easy to manage, especially if you have to do it multiple times. Here’s a great packing list to get you started. Enjoy!