Savvy travellers' secrets to making connections stress-free

November 27, 2014

We've all had to rush across an airport to catch another flight. Butsavvy travellers don't have to—they know the secrets to making connections stress-free and here they are...
Although it's possible to hurry through an airport or a train terminal to make your connection, with a little planningyou can avoid such stress. But how? Be sure to allow enough time for connections, whether you are travelling by plane, train or bus. By figuring out the best way to maximize your connection time, you'll assure yourself of a calmer trip.

Be aware of minimum connection times

Airports usually have a calculated minimum connection time that travellers need to pass through security and make it to the next terminal. Certain carriers guarantee minimum connection times to assist customers.

  • The calculation for international minimum connection times varies, so check with your travel agent for more details and keep it in mind when booking your travel.
  • A good general rule is to book one hour to connect for a domestic flight and two hours for an international flight.

Train and bus stations do not publish minimum connection times as airports do. These stations can be massive, so don't underestimate the time it will take to transfer.

  • If you are transferring in a major city, allow more time to retrieve your luggage, deal with possible solicitors and look after your children.
  • What's more, if your connection time is less than desired, pack up your items and use the restroom before disembarking.

Pay close attention to what happens in travel hubs

Certain airports are hubs for specific carriers, and hubs for major airlines are often busier than other airlines.

  • Check with your travel agent to see if any airport, train terminal or bus station is infamous for delays.
  • Airports and other stations generally publish maps that you can use to plan your itinerary.
  • Find out if you will need extra time to reach far away terminals or to ride a shuttle.

Sometimes it is best to avoid a major hub. If you cannot, book an early outbound ticket.

  • Delayed flights tend to back up over the course of a day, which could leave you spending the night on a station or airport floor. Booking a ticket early in the day decreases that possibility.

Know when you might need more time

  • Add extra time if you are travelling with a baby and/or small children.
  • Larger groups of adults will also take longer to move through security.
  • Inclement weather can delay planes, trains and buses. If bad weather conditions are in the forecast, board as early as possible. Trains and buses are better bets because there is more flexibility in re-ticketing if necessary.

To keep things moving along do a little research

Be sure that all the items in your carry-on meet the requirements for travel. Check the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority's searchable list of carry-on items.

  • When you are aware of the regulations, you can make your way through security without a hassle.

It's impossible to avoid all delays or emergencies. However, with a little preparation, you can allow yourself enough time to connect and make the airport, train or bus station a less stressful experience.

Savvy travellers' secrets to making connections stress-free
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