Keep calm and carry on (holidaying)

News stories about the extensive disruption to travelling between France and the UK have regularly made the front pages of the newspapers as well as been the lead story on TV news and radio.  Many of the stories have included interviews with distraught, distressed – or just plain angry – British  holidaymakers trying to get away for their well-earned summer holiday. Not surprisingly, these tales of woe have had an impact on consumer confidence, and, as a recent survey has found out, 28% of those polled have resolved not to travel this year, compared with 25% last year.

So the choice becomes, whether to go on holiday and run the risk of getting stuck (in traffic, in airports, in the mud) or stay at home and run the risk of the vagaries of the British weather. Or its road network, or transport system.

Not surprisingly (as we’re a company that sells travel insurance) we at Explorer think that you should go on holiday, but that you should take all the steps needed to minimise the risk of it being ruined. Here’s a few tips and hints that might help you.

Become a weather forecaster

Weather forecasting has become increasingly accurate and open to the public. Numerous websites now exist that provide both short and long range weather forecasts. That’s’ not to say that they’ll be fool proof, but they can provide a reasonable indication of what the weather will be like where you’re going and so you can plan accordingly, or decide whether to go there at all.

Get connected to your travel organiser

Travel companies have made big investments in upgrading their customer services so take advantage of them. Make sure that you give them all your contact details so they can contact you and make sure you have all their contact details, so you can contact them. Make a note of all the ways  by which you can contact them , be it by email, telephone, facebook, or twitter and be prepared to use them.

Read the small print 

Make sure you’re aware what the contract says, and what your entitlements are. That goes for your travel insurance too. Be prepared to ask lots of questions before you travel ; ideally by email so you have a record of the answers. If you have time, visit the company’s website  and see if they have a Frequently Asked Questions page. The chances re somebody has already asked that question and the answer has already been provided.

Have a Plan B

The best crisis plans are the ones that are never used. So consider having a family (or group) discussion before you go on holiday  about what you might do if the holiday is cancelled or  ruined. OK. A day trip to a museum may represent a poor second, but it will dry a few tears and beats watching day time TV. Consider also an alternative way f getting to your destination be it by train instead of car, or via a different route.

Stay Calm

With so much importance attached to going on holiday, not to mention the cost and planning involved, its no wonder that people get so upset when their holiday plans are ruined. And letting off a little steam (Or ‘venting’ as the psychologists call it) is no bad thing. However,  there are times when you just have to let go! Mentally tough sportsmen and women only worry about the things they have control over and don’t bother thinking about the things they can’t’. If its good enough for them, it might help you too.

Sitting (or standing) in queues wishing you were somewhere else is dispiriting and demoralising. But rather than thinking about the time you’re wasting, why not put it to good use.? Take a pack of playing cards with you when you travel and suggest playing a game. Consider also taking along colouring books or crossword books. Use your device to learn about the country you’re about to visit, including a few words from its language. Start work on your Christmas shopping list. View the time you’ve just been given as an opportunity rather than a waste.

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