When it comes to air travel, so many things can go wrong. Sometimes we create the problems ourselves by doing such things as packing carelessly (resulting in extra luggage fees) or scheduling a too-tight connection (resulting in a missed flight). Below are some common air travel mistakes — and tips on how to avoid them.
1. Not allowing enough time for connections
It's a miserable feeling to be in transit on a delayed plane, knowing that when you land you will have missed the next flight and will have to scramble to make alternate arrangements — arrangements that might also warrant an overnight hotel stay.
How to avoid: Allow — or insist on, if the airline books it — at least 90 minutes between connecting flights; some experts recommend two hours.
2. Not doing your packing homework
Planning to fly with carry-on luggage only? Size limitations vary by airline and type of aircraft. And, yes, Hawaii should be beautiful in June, but will there be rain? What about the temperatures at night? Will you need for a jacket or wrap?
How to avoid: Check the daily forecast in your destination and look on your airline's website for luggage information; while checking carry-on dimensions, look into what it will cost to check bags, including weight limitations and the fees for exceeding them.
3. Not preparing for your arrival
Do you know where your accommodations are in relation to the airport? Do you know what your transportation options are and what getting to your hotel will cost?
How to avoid: Determine your hotel's proximity to the airport. Is it a five-minute cab ride or a 50-minute endeavor? What's the going rate for cab fare? Are fares fixed or metered, or do you have to agree on a price with the driver before heading out? You should also find and price out at least one other mode of transportation to the hotel; shuttles are often available.
Next page: Important passport and credit card tips. »