You need a travel Plan B

With sky-high costs for travel, it always helps to have a back-up plan. This article recommends several ways to prepare and how a Plan B can help you save.

Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp's Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) takes off for a test flight at Nagoya Airfield in Toyoyama town, Aichi Prefecture, central Japan, November 11, 2015. Always have a Plan B for travel.

My time in the military molded me into someone who always anticipates alternatives in potentially stressful situations. It’s something we commonly referred to as having a “plan B.”

I find this quality particularly helpful now that I’m a financial planner. I advise people whose lives might not follow the financial plan we’ve designed. They often need a plan B.

Another part of my role as an advisor that requires plenty of plan B’s is my frequent travel. I fly or take trains all over the country to meet with my clients. As you can imagine, things come up: illness, flight delays or cancellations, and lost bags, to name a few. Again, you need a plan B.

Based on my years in the military, my travel experience and my penchant for having a backup plan, here are some ways to ensure that your pricey vacation isn’t ruined by foiled travel plans:

  1. Know the 800 number. Use it to rebook if the flight or other transit you plan to take is delayed significantly or canceled. You can also find alternative flights and nearby airports online.
  2. Be a frequent flier. Frequent flier status can help in many situations, especially once you’ve accumulated miles. Keep enough on hand to buy a ticket — this is usually about 50,000 for domestic flights — in case you have to change your plans or travel at the last minute. Amtrak also offers a frequent traveler program that can help you amass points for the day when you have to buy a high-priced, last-minute ticket.
  3. Make copies of identification documents. This includes your passport, driver’s license, credit cards, Social Security card, known traveler card and any other documents that could be useful in a pinch. Save them as pictures on your smartphone and in a folder in the cloud that you can access from someone else’s computer, if needed.
  4. Take a screenshot of your boarding pass on your phone. You never know when the app or email you use to board will fail to work.
  5. Research potential travel troubles. Sites such as and offer lots of advice about what to do in chaotic or risky situations. You can also get input from friends who travel often on how they plan ahead for potential disruptions.

Financial plan B’s

When considering the bigger picture of your financial security, it’s even more critical to adapt to whatever life brings. Working with a financial planner can help you find the best alternatives for you and your family when things don’t go as planned.

This article first appeared at NerdWallet.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Real news can be honest, hopeful, credible, constructive.
What is the Monitor difference? Tackling the tough headlines – with humanity. Listening to sources – with respect. Seeing the story that others are missing by reporting what so often gets overlooked: the values that connect us. That’s Monitor reporting – news that changes how you see the world.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to

QR Code to You need a travel Plan B
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today