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Europe is Overbooked This Summer - 3 Ways to Prepare for Your Travel Experience

Updated: July 6, 2022

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Positano, Italy

Positano, Italy

If you are traveling to Europe this summer, the headlines of harrowing travel challenges may have you worried as your departure comes near. While you should look forward to the beautiful summer weather and your chance to visit the iconic cities, gorgeous countryside, and sparkling seas, you will also want to travel with your expectations in line with current realities.

Due to unprecedented demand for European summer travel along with the continuing impacts of Covid-19 and staffing challenges, it is possible that canceled flights, weather delays, lost luggage, staff strikes, and more may play a role in your upcoming vacation.

These simple tips can help you better prepare for your travel experience and possibly avoid challenges later on.

  1. 1. Be Proactive and Vigilant with Your Flights
  2. 2. Be Flexible, and Patient, with Current Travel Realities
  3. 3. Buy Travel Insurance

1. Be Proactive and Vigilant with Your Flights

The most significant issues we see this summer revolve around flights, primarily flight cancellations and delays. While the July 4 travel weekend saw fewer cancellations than the week prior, it is still wise to prepare so that you can act quickly to reduce any disruption to your travel plans.

Use this checklist to familiarize yourself with your flight itinerary before you leave for the airport, and have the details you need handy should any cancellations or delays occur.

  • Download your airline’s app. Log in and use your confirmation code to add your trip to receive text updates and mobile notifications about your flight itinerary. Most apps will also be the best way to message via online chat with your airline customer service staff.
  • Review your itinerary. A direct flight is always preferable but not always possible. If you are booked on connecting flights, consider the amount of time between your flight connections - three to four hours is ideal. Work with your travel specialist, or call the airline if you suspect you will need more time to catch your connection.
  • Collect your contact numbers. Make a list of your airline's customer service numbers for easy access while you are traveling. If you booked with credit card reward points or through a travel agent, list their numbers too. Having a small notebook with these numbers and a pen or pencil readily available can help as you make calls and collect information.
  • Confirm your mobile coverage. Confirm your international data and calling plan with your mobile phone carrier before your departure. Most carriers offer a reasonable international plan, and you should add this to your phone for the length of your trip.
  • Consider your luggage. If you can travel with just your carry-on bag, this is the summer to do so. You can travel for two weeks in Europe with just one bag if you pack carefully. If you must check a bag, be sure that your carry-on includes essential toiletries, prescription medications, glasses, and anything else you could not live without.
  • Use FlightAware. Download the app or access Flight Aware through your mobile phone browser to do real-time checks on whether your flight is being delayed or canceled. You can set up free email alerts that should notify you when the pilot files a flight plan, when the flight departs and arrives, and if the flight is delayed, canceled, or diverted. A flight plan is usually filed several hours before departure; when it is, it’s a good sign that your flight will depart.
  • Enroll in Clear and Global Entry. For easier access and speedy movement through US airports, enroll in Clear and Global Entry, which come with TSA PreCheck. When departing from or arriving in the US, the expedited security screening can save you hours.

If you are already at the airport and your flight is canceled or delayed, you can secure the best alternative flight itinerary by working quickly and proactively.

  • Walk and Talk. Using the list of phone numbers you created before you left home, dial your airline's customer service number while you walk to the airline desk. Because hold times may be lengthy, and lines at customer service desks will be long, you will want to do both simultaneously.
  • Access the Airline Apps. If you are traveling with someone else, we also recommend using their mobile device to pull up the airline mobile app, as many carriers will offer you updated flights that you can accept.
  • Use Chat and Messaging. Consider any offered chat apps or texting options from your airline, as well as Twitter, to reach a customer service agent. By leveraging every available platform, you can receive assistance as soon as possible from whichever platform offers the fastest service.
  • Be Flexible. Recognize that most flights are fully booked, and your options may be few. Being kind and flexible with your airline customer agent is the best way to get the best options. In many circumstances, your options may be limited, and you will need to accept the choices in front of you.
  • Search for Flights. If available, you may also wish to immediately book a refundable flight with another airline in case your original airline cannot book you on another flight within your timeline.

For more travel tips, read this article from Today, Travel woes? What to do if your flight is canceled or delayed and watch this video from The Wall Street Journal, Three Best Travel Tips for Navigating Your Summer Vacation.

2. Be Flexible, and Patient, with Current Travel Realities

While European destinations historically offer high standards for luxury travelers, reduced staffing across the entire European travel industry, combined with a sharp increase in demand, may lead to slower service response times with a cascading effect.

As service providers try to keep up, many of them, including Zicasso travel specialist partners, prioritize their responses to travelers with the most immediate travel dates. Thus, you may experience slower response times, but know that everyone is doing their best to ensure that you will enjoy an excellent trip.

Despite the possibility of potential disruptions and reduced service levels, most Zicasso travelers who have returned from European trips this summer have written five-star reviews. If you have an upcoming trip, chances are, you too will enjoy a magnificent journey.

Matching your expectations to the reality of European travel this summer is about adhering to the adage that travel is about the journey, not the destination. USA Today’s article Coping Strategies for Crazy 2022 Travel Season: Take a Breath and Lower Your Expectations offers more advice on how to enjoy your overall travel experience.

3. Buy Travel Insurance

Given the higher chances for disruptions, travel insurance is a great idea. Travel insurance can give you peace of mind when dealing with the uncertain challenges surrounding traveling to Europe in the summer of 2022.

Not only can it help cover the cost of medical emergencies, but it can also help mitigate losses due to canceled or postponed flights.

Visit our travel insurance page to learn more about travel insurance and to get a quote designed around your trip.

Our Commitment to Excellence

Even with the current travel realities, European travel still delivers many magical, memorable, and unique experiences. Indeed, the majority of Zicasso travelers who returned from Europe this summer have had an excellent experience and shared rave reviews.

The travel tips we recommend here are to help you obtain the best experience possible during your summer 2022 Europe trip. As always, Zicasso and our local travel specialist partners are committed to ensuring you have excellent services for an unforgettable vacation.

If there’s anything else we can help you with, call our Traveler Care team at 1-888-265-9707.

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