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  • Handle last-minute travel changes with ease

    2013-10-13

    Sometimes, things happen when you least expect them - and when it is least convenient. Any number of surprises can pop up and throw a wrench into your travel plans, and globetrotters who are forced to work around these situations need all the help they can get to recoup their investment and rearrange itineraries.

    There are some things you can do to get the most out of these situations. While investing in some form of travel insurance may be a good place to start, there are several other strategies that can also come in handy. Here are a few travel tips and tricks you can employ to get what you deserve should a surprise force you to change your plans:

    Talk to someone
    It may be tempting to confirm a change quickly and easily online or with an automated system. However, you may be shorting yourself, and it can pay to talk to another person instead. They may be more apt to consider your particular circumstances and could even pull some strings to improve your situation - if you approach them in the correct manner.

    "Kill them with kindness," Carol Koenig, president of Group Trek Travel, told AOL Travel. "It doesn't help your case at all to be demonstrative and demanding. Say, 'I'm sorry to bother you, but I really have a problem.' Sound as sorry as you can be and ask if there's any way to help."

    Make your status work for you
    It doesn't matter if you're a card-carrying member of a frequent flier club or simply reached a special status at a hotel chain - you should make these accolades work in your favor. Not only do these designations allow you to access special deals, but they may also tip the scales in your favor. If a service worker knows you are a frequent, valued customer and have plans to continue your patronage, they may be more inclined to provide whatever breaks they can.

    If all else fails, go for credit
    Some businesses within the travel industry are incredibly strict when it comes to refunds or changes. While you may not be able to get a refund for a missed night at an accommodation or a skipped flight, you could at least recoup some of the value through a credit. This may be especially useful if you are simply postponing a trip for a few days or have plans to return in the future. Although credits are not always available, it may be worthwhile to ask what your options are.

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