So you had a vacation planned and it's just not going to happen. Whether it was a local trip to visit an aunt or an international trip of a lifetime, COVID 19 has put a damper on all our travel plans.
Maybe you already cancelled or perhaps you have been playing chicken with the supplier holding your reservation. Either way, there is a right way to unravel those vacation plans and I am here to help:
This can be frustrating and difficult, believe me, I understand. But if you want most or all of your money back in cash, it is essential to pay attention to the cancellation terms and dates.
Of course, if you were working with a travel professional, all this would be taken care of for you. Why would you want to sit on hold with multiple companies fighting for your money back when you could simply make one short phone call to a person you know and then get back to sipping wine while it is all sorted on your behalf.
When my dad found out he needed surgery 2 months before his cruise, he figured he would need to cancel his vacation. To his surprise, the doctor gave him some unexpected advice, “don’t cancel”. This is not just sound advice from one doctor or even a friend. There are actually studies that show that anticipation gives us happiness, sometimes even more than the actual event! It’s called the Rosy Prospection.
A vacation is something to look forward to, something to strive for and a reason to get better. It represents a sense of control, when we sometimes feel out of control. Despite limitations, going on vacation means you are choosing to do something for yourself. And, although brief, it is a respite from reality (especially during times when reality may not be all that great).
So go ahead and plan that long awaited vacation in advance so that you have something positive to look forward to! I will even help you get started, here are 4 of my favorite ways to help get excited for your next vacation:
1. Browse - find amazing pictures of any destination in books or magazines - plus there are usually lists of things to do, what to pack and where to eat. I am happy to mail out brochures, supplier marketing materials are beautiful!
2. Mental Vacation - whether reading a book or watching a movie, you can escape to a far away land for a little while.
I have many lists of movies set in different destinations to get you started, just ask.
3. Start Planning - many people are not ready to go on a vacation just yet, but it's never too early to start planning! Let me know if you are ready to have something on the calendar to look forward to.
4. Virtual Vacation - Follow along on a popular itinerary with Sunlit Travel (me!) or find an online experience that can transport you to a museum, art gallery, hike or any number of experiences! Check out a few of my favorites HERE.
5. Vacation Countdown - no highly anticipated vacation would be complete without an official countdown!
Reality will always be there, vacation is a time to indulge in the fantasy for just a little while. (until the next vacation!)
Holidays can be stressful, but travel doesn't have to be!
It's a popular time of year to be on the road, the rail or in the air to get to a celebration with friends and family.
I am sharing some helpful tips (and reminders) to reduce stress and increase happiness during a busy travel holiday season!
Leave yourself TIME
Being late and worrying about missing a plane, train or bus can be very stressful. It causes us to rush which leads to forgetfulness and clumsiness (yup, my headphone case spilled from my bag on my last trip and I was in too much of a hurry to look down and notice!) If you leave yourself plenty of time, you can travel more calmly and avoid a headache later.
If you are traveling by plane, consider taking a car service to the airport. Leave the driving to someone else so you can begin your vacation the minute you leave your home! (Perfect Limo is my go to and they offer my clients a discount, simply use the code SunlitTravel)
If you prefer to drive yourself to the airport, try a parking lot with a shuttle, such as The Parking Spot or Purchase Park 2 Fly. You can leave your car in good hands and shuttle directly to the terminal.
Bring an extra battery bar.
Phones are useful for directions, keeping track of travel plans, emergency phone calls or just simply passing the time. I don't care how old you are, you are probably going to use your phone at some point during your travels and you don't want to be caught with a dead battery.
We all know to pack medicine in a carry on bag but as a reminder - it is worth repeating! Also helpful is a small, laminated card listing your medical needs. I use the FARE (Food Allergy Research Education) chef card template to make cards for myself and my clients with allergies. It is especially helpful for translating to other languages.
My absolute favorite way to pack for ANY trip but especially to help keep organized for the holidays. These bags are understated by themselves, but use them once and you will be amazed! The compartmentalization can organize any type of traveler!
Don't Wrap Gifts
If you need to go through any type of security, they will likely want to know what you have hidden beneath the pretty wrapping and bows. Do yourself a favor and pack presents without the wrapping, bring the paper and ribbon for later, believe me, it's not worth the scrutiny. (yup, I once had to unwrap all my presents in the airport - wasted tons of time and left me an unorganized mess)
Bring your sense of humor (well isn't this just great advice for just about everything!)
Wishing you a very happy and healthy holiday season with great travel stories!
I love working with seniors! I thoroughly enjoy guiding clients through the planning process, from finding the right destination to organizing the logistics to hearing about the trip upon their return. I am a strong advocate for my clients when it comes to price, quality and service. Trust and building lasting relationships along with continuing education are all extremely important to my business.