Have people forgotten how to be good travelers during the pandemic?

Shelley Hunter says she had a meltdown before a recent flight from Reno, Nev., To San Diego. The reason? She had forgotten one of the basic travel requirements: a picture ID.

“While I was in the security line, I could not find my wallet,” she remembers. “I thought, ‘That’s it, I can’t go.'”

Christopher Elliott, the Travel Troubleshooter

Hunter is one of perhaps hundreds of thousands of travelers relearning travel essentials this summer. After enduring shutdowns and travel bans, Americans are vacationing again. Along the way, they’re discovering that they’ve forgotten things they used to know – and that there are some new things they need to know but don’t.

I get it. I’ve overlooked so many basic travel practices in the past few months, it’s embarrassing. I’ve forgotten to check in for a flight, neglected to print out my hotel confirmation and returned a rental car without filling the tank first.

So did Hunter make her flight? She phoned her daughter di lei, who remembered that the Transportation Security Administration would accept several forms of ID. “I had my Costco card,” says Hunter, an innkeeper from Quincy, Calif. That worked. “I got on the flight with my Costco card.”

She notes, though, that it wasn’t a pleasant experience. A TSA agent searched her belongings di lei and gave her a pat-down before she could get through security. And she almost missed the flight.

She’s not alone. Kimberly Davis says her clients’ travel skills have deteriorated dramatically during the pandemic. “I have had to walk clients through some of the most basic travel questions,” says Davis, founder and CEO of the travel agency Trouvaille Travel International. “I now insist on seeing their passports before working on a trip with them. That’s because of the number of lost, expired or close-to-expiring passports I’ve encountered. “

Her customers have basic questions about changing money, packing, getting through immigration and booking tickets. “And those are the experienced travelers,” she says. “It’s like everyone is starting over.”

One of the most common things travelers overlook: visa and passport requirements.

Christina Tunnah, general manager of the Americas for travel insurance company World Nomads, says people are forgetting to check their passport renewal dates. “With many passports sitting idle for years due to border closures, travelers haven’t noticed they’ve expired,” she says.

Even Steffanie Rivers, a veteran flight attendant, neglected to look up the visa rules when she recently flew to Dubai with her mother.

“Before takeoff, I got a text from a company with a name that appeared to be from the Dubai government that said I needed a visa,” recalls Rivers, author of “The Do’s and Don’ts Of Flying: A Flight Attendant’s Guide To Airline Travel Secrets. ” “So I scrambled to pay upward of $ 500 for my mother and me to have the visas they told me I’d need.”

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