What No One Tells You About Traveling



This Blog is quite different from most I write. This one is about the things that can happen when we travel and some tips on how to be prepared.


As you may know, last week I was in Spain for a travel industry conference. It was a wonderful trip full of strengthening connections with industry partners and colleagues, visiting hotels, and seeing parts of Spain I had not yet visited.

Here are some of the things that went on that we should all prepare for when traveling…


FLIGHTS / TRAINS

The flight to Spain was delayed over 3 hours. Then the Madrid airport was incredibly crowded and making it though passport control took over an hour. Luckily, my connecting train to Sevilla was almost 5 hours after my original arrival time so I didn’t miss it.

TIPS: Anytime a nonstop flight is an option please take it, even if it means a couple of hundred dollars more or a bit of a longer ground transfer to your hotel. This way you prevent missing connecting flights when there are delays. Also, if you’re like me and always get hungry, take plenty of snacks in your carry on. You will thank me for it.


After my stay in Sevilla I took the train back to Madrid before my flight home the next day. About 30 minutes south of Madrid the train stopped for over 30 minutes due to some technical issues at a station up ahead. Again, always be prepared for delays.


My flight from Madrid to Newark was on time (actually scheduled to land about 45 minutes early). This made me so happy. Until… “Is there medical personnel on the plane? We have a medical emergency”. And several hours later we made an emergency landing in Newfoundland for the passenger to be transported to the nearest hospital. We were on the ground for almost two hours. When a plane has an unexpected landing they need to do maintenance checks, fuel check, etc. So it all takes time. Again, be prepared for delays. TIPS: have snacks, reading material, laptop.


COVID

The US is still requiring we test 24 hours before the return flight (when traveling internationally). My TIP on COVID is as follows: take at-home tests with you. If you feel sick anytime during a trip take the at-home test. If it is positive go get a PCR or antigen test as soon as possible. Here is why… you will need a valid document showing the first day you were positive. This means you will be able to go back to the US a lot sooner than if you don’t have a valid test. You will need to stay 10 days from the day of diagnosis (not until you are negative as that could be months for some). Since we are all at risk of having to stay abroad longer than planned… TIP: always travel with your work laptop.


These are my tips for how to best prepare for unforeseen circumstances. Please reach out should you have any questions.

Will I do it all over again? Yes!! Traveling is my passion, it is invigorating. I feel so energized by beautiful cities and scenery. I feel enlightened by meeting new people and learning about their culture and customs. Sometimes traveling (more specifically - flying), can be difficult and frustrating but I can’t imagine not looking forward to traveling again.

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