8 Summer Travel Tips to Save You Time, Money and Sanity

8 Summer Travel Tips to Save You Time, Money and Sanity

It’s the summer of 2022 and everyone and their mother are trying to go somewhere. 

Having just been one of those lucky people (I just returned from my honeymoon in Europe) I witnessed this first-hand via crazy long security lines, a bevy of canceled flights, and lost bags. 

It’s pandemonium, people! But that doesn’t have to ruin your trip. 

Here are my best summer travel tips on how to manage the chaos, be prepared, and ultimately save yourself time and money while traveling this summer.


summer travel tips


1) Summer Travel Tips #1: Absolutely do NOT check a bag


The headache of having to rewear a few outfits is far less of a pain than showing up to Europe and being stuck with one outfit for 10 days! 

My best friend just had this happen to her after flying on a United flight to Greece. Her bag was lost by the airlines, only to eventually show up 14 days later at her home in San Francisco. 

There are videos circulating the internet of thousands of lost bags in Heathrow airport. Don’t let this be yours! 

Not to mention, the lines to check your luggage in with airlines are insanely long. Had we been checking luggage on our recent trip, we would not have made our flights. 


2) Pack essentials in your carry on


You’re probably trying to maximize space, so I’m assuming you’re traveling with a carry-on roller bag and a backpack. 

In your backpack goes your essentials, your electronics, as well as two pairs of underwear, and all of your medication. 

If the airline tries to insist you check your bag at the gate due to overcrowding, then at least you know one hundred percent that the essentials are with you in your backpack. 


3) Download the airline’s app before you fly


Check-in online if you can – but note that if you’re returning to the United States you will likely still need to queue up to show your documents. 

Having the airline’s apps will help expedite your check-in process, let you know the flight’s status and about any gate changes. 

It’s a quick way to save yourself some stress. 


Papers, a document labeled "Travel Insurance Policy, a map, a phone, a tablet, and a calculator are scattered across a desk, overlapping one another

4) DO NOT travel without travel insurance


You’re looking for “trip interruption” and “trip cancellation” in the fine print on your policies. With thousands of flights canceled per day, airlines are overwhelmed. Pleading your case with them may or may not result in you receiving anything. 

However, travel insurance will reimburse you for hotels, meals, lost luggage, etc, should your flight be canceled. 

My favorite travel insurance providers are Heymondo and Travel Insured (these are not affiliate links, I just like them). 

ALSO – try to book your travel with a credit card that offers some form of protection, like American Express or Chase Sapphire Reserve. They may be able to help if you find yourself stranded and need to replace some items. 


5) Give yourself days in advance to get somewhere


If you have something you absolutely can’t miss, give yourself plenty of time. 

So, if you have a cruise leaving July 8th from Rome, fly in on July 5th. Give yourself a few days in advance, just in case you end up missing a connection. 

If you’re booking itineraries right now, you need at least 3 hours minimum on your layovers to ensure you make your flights. 

If you can, fly direct. 


6) Know your rights when it comes to airlines, and the best way to reach them


You may or may not be entitled to compensation in the event of a cancellation or delay. Understand your rights by reading your contract of carriage, or just doing a deep Google of your airline and ticket type. 

It helps you not to travel on the cheapest seats on the plane. 

It helps when you’ve booked directly with the airline and not with Expedia, Orbitz, or another 3rd party. 

It helps you when you’re polite to an already frazzled and burnt-out crew. 

And it helps when you get creative with how to contact the airline. Phone lines might have 3-hour wait times, but how about their chat feature? What about tweeting them? 


7) Expect to get Covid-19


On the same note of getting insurance… I hate to say this but you need to expect that you’re going to get Covid-19 when you travel this summer. Especially if you’re traveling to Europe. 

Nate and I both found out we got Covid in Europe only after returning home. We are both triple vaccinated. 

It makes sense, having heard literally thousands of people coughing and sneezing all around us in museums, airports, and theaters. It’s everywhere. 

So, expect to get Covid. Bring some tests with you even if they aren’t required, definitely pack some Mucinex, and be vaccinated. 


8) Keep calm, above all else


Listen, I know it’s stressful when you miss a connecting flight or your flight gets canceled and you’re stuck in the airport trying to figure it out. But all you can do is wait, and see what happens. 

Travel with enough money to book a last-minute hotel if necessary (and then file a claim for reimbursement with insurance). 

Holding onto the stress in your body just adds insult to injury. You’ll get where you’re going eventually. Things like buying lounge access and/or massages in the airport go a long way. 


Airports to avoid:


  • Amsterdam Schipol: Due to security shortages, travelers are arriving to the airport 5 hours early and still missing their flights. We had a connecting flight in AMS and luckily, we had no issues. However, I saw the lines for people who were connecting to United States flights – and I saw many of them miss their flight.

  • Stockholm Arlanda: We flew out of this airport and arrived at 3 am for a 645 am flight to another EU nation. We waited in security for nearly two hours. Definitely give yourself time!
  • Dublin Airport: Long lines in security, but you will make your flight if you’re not also queuing to drop your checked bags! 


Okay, I know this article was all doom and gloom and scary – but if you implement these summer travel tips, I guarantee your flight experience will be better. 


Happy travels, gals! 

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