Your reservation is set. Don’t skip these five crucial steps.
Your next trip is booked. Awesome! The big piece of the puzzle is done, but you want to make sure everything is set.
Here, 5 things to do with your travel advisor between booking and departing.
1. If possible, check-in or register online.
Traveling usually involves post-booking documents, such as completing paperwork for your upcoming cruise or tour. Do this early, and you can help guarantee the dinner reservation at the hot restaurant, the best times for spa treatments, a spot on the excursions you want, and more. “I like talking to clients about this and encourage people to do it ahead of time,” says Menlo Park, California-based Virtuoso advisor Suzanne Bouldoukian. “It gets them excited and it guarantees them the time slots they want.”
2. Watch your air itinerary.
With thousands of flights a day, flight changes, delays, and cancellations are an unfortunate but not surprising occurrence. “The airlines change flights constantly,” says Bouldoukian. “It’s important for people to go in and check their air itinerary, and I do this for my clients as well before I send them final documents.”
3. Read any pre-departure information your advisor gives you.
Often, your advisor will provide booklets, articles, or online resources (such as from a cruise line or tour operator) to help set and manage your expectations. Read timely and relevant travel articles and blog posts. “By reading, you bring to life the destination you’re going to,” says Calgary, Alberta-based Virtuoso advisor Geordie McDonald. “The suggestions offer historical, political, and cultural insights to where you are going. The more you know, the more interesting your trip becomes.”
4. Make sure you don’t need extra authorization.
Many countries require more than your passport for entrance, such as visas and vaccination records. Check on this shortly after booking, to ensure you have sufficient time to get everything in order before you depart (or risk racking up expediting fees). “Your advisor should let you know, but be aware that many countries require either an electronic authorization or a travel visa to enter the country,” says McDonald.
5. Mind the packing list.
Sure, you packed the snow boots, scarfs, and gloves for your upcoming trip to Alaska, but what about sunscreen for all that sunlight bouncing off the white snow? Your advisor may provide a packing list, which can offer insight on necessities for excursions, special dinners, and spotty weather, as well as luggage specifications and weight limits on puddle jumpers and safari flights. “The packing list is invaluable to be sure you have the right clothing and gear for your specific trip,” says McDonald.
Top photo: Getty Images/jpgfactory