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What To Do When Weather Problems Cause Vacation Chaos!

It’s been quite a winter! Last week alone saw a huge ice storm in the southeastern US, impressive snowstorms elsewhere in the country, a rare heavy snowfall in Tokyo, and in London, after the wettest January on record since 1766, the Thames River burst its banks causing massive flooding throughout the region. Here’s what you can do if you’re faced with weather disruptions during your vacation.

1. You May Not Be in the Storm, But Your Plane Is…
Before you leave your lodge or hotel, be sure to check weather.com for weather events at your destination (and your connecting airports). If there is a big storm causing delays, call or tweet with your airline so see if they’ve modified their change policies due to the weather, so you can rebook without a penalty.

2. There’s a Cancellation…
Even if you are traveling by plane, train or boat, mechanical and weather related cancellations can occur. Almost every US airline offers the option to alert you about flight changes via text, email or automatic phone message. You can set the reminder to be as little as 1 hour to 4 hours before the scheduled departure and adjust your schedule accordingly. If traveling by train or boat, talk to the company and ask if you can get re-booked and upgraded for the trouble caused.

3. You’re En route & Connecting Flight is Delayed…
This happened to our family over the Holidays. We were en route from Austria and were informed upon landing in Copenhagen that our plane was delayed for 5 hours (which later changed to 8 hours). The original delay was too short to take a day trip into town, so we went to one of the airline lounges and asked for a “refresh room”. These rooms have a clean, comfortable bed and private bathroom with a shower – all for free! For those who do not have automatic access to the lounges, ask if you can pay a daily rate thereby providing access to their WiFi, food, drinks and refresh rooms.

4. Consider Travel Insurance Coverage…
These policies, which cover medical, trip cancellation and trip interruption expenses for a variety of scenarios, are worth their weight in gold if you get stuck at your vacation destination. Read more about travel insurance.

Check out some tips for taking a winter flight

Photo via Wikipedia Commons.

 

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