Sometimes, members of your mission group are new to overseas travel, or simply haven’t traveled for some time. Here are some ways trip leaders can help team members who are travel novices.
Don’t make assumptions about your team when it comes to their level of travel experience. You probably will have team members who fly only occasionally, or who haven’t flown in a significant period of time. So, early in your team interactions, try to get a feel for each team member’s travel comfort level.
Talk through the travel process with your team. Make sure you address things like luggage weight and size limits, as well as the importance of making sure the gate agent puts the right tag on the bags. Explain the security screening process and the need to keep liquids in three-ounce containers inside a clear, quart-sized, plastic bag. Also discuss the boarding process.
Have a travel interruption contingency plan, especially if your team isn’t traveling in one group. You should have this plan even if you have a team of experienced travelers. For the infrequent flyer, this is vital.
Discuss what to do if a flight is canceled or delayed (see our past blog posts on Dealing with Airline Gate Agents and Avoiding Weather Delays for tips). If you purchase travel insurance through Ministry Travel, make sure that your team has the policy information and contact numbers. This insurance usually covers trip interruptions and provides 24-hour travel assistance.
Enlist travel buddies, especially for older travelers or those who are nervous about flying. Pair a team member who is an experienced traveler with someone who is not.
Explain how passport control and customs work, both for the country you are traveling to and for the U.S. on your return. These tips will help you greatly improve the rookie traveler’s experience.