Teams and officials are regularly travelling by air to international events. There are some things that should always be done so as to ensure problems along the way don’t prevent you competing due to you arriving late or not at all or your luggage being lost!
This was recently highlighted when a number of teams and officials had various problems while travelling to the World Cup in Yushu, China. It took one Official 120 hours to get there, but the Siberian team took 160 hours!!! Not that it slowed them down. But maybe a record for our rafting events.
What happened to cause such a delay you ask? Storms move through areas and can be so severe as to close the airports for 12 hours or more – the back log is so big that they just cancel the flights. Eventually the airline will get you on another flight. BUT – if you had connecting flights you will most likely miss them and you could find yourself having to buy a ticket to either continue your journey or to get back home!
So here are some tips to help reduce the chances of suffering a number of problems:
- Buy travel insurance! It may seem like an annoying extra cost – but if something happens on just one of your many trips, like you have to buy a ticket to continue your journey or to get home or you lose your bag or you break a leg – it will cost you a LOT more than all the times you paid for it. You can opt for sports travel insurance option that will cover most of your activities.
- Print out the copy of your travel insurance so you have it handy in case of any problems along the way. Don’t rely on the electronic versions.
- Print out the copy of your ticket and make sure the ticket number is clearly on there – when things go wrong, this is the number they need.
- Flight tickets – if you have a few connections make sure they are bought all as one ticket! Then if any one of those legs is cancelled it is up to the airlines to get you all the way to your final destination. Otherwise – if your first flight is cancelled so you miss your next connection, the next airline will mark you as a “no show” and cancel your ticket. Then you’ll have to buy a new one or go home.
- Always put labels on your luggage with your final hotel listed and the telephone number of the hotel or someone local so that the airport can get your luggage to you if it gets lost. Change the label when you start your return journey.
- And a practical tip to help reduce jet-lag: to keep well hydrated, which helps with reducing jet-lag, take an empty water bottle with you – all airports and planes have places that you can refill your bottle. Always make sure it is empty when you have to go through the X-ray security sections as they won’t allow liquids through. Otherwise they will confiscate it.