I will address future at year end*******
Its October First and you know what that means! Columbus Holiday Travel Plan 101.
Okay maybe that is not completely true because everyone loves to travel The Day After An Election!
Alright, I will be serious here. Between today and the end of the year most people will travel from 50 miles to 5,000 miles in one day. I am not talking commuting to work either. This year families are gathering, friends are visiting friends (HINT!) and many are finding / reconnecting or looking to try something new.
In what is probably the great escape you will be traveling during the holidays with up to and this is just the early estimate , you will travel with nearly 14,000 children, 200,000 elderly individuals, and a mere 90,000 newlyweds along with 175,000 college students which doesn't include Doctorate or Post Graduate this is comparing to over 65,000 educational professionals planning to travel to foreign countries like Nebraska. ( Check your numbers at these sources (Trekksoft.com or USTravel )
Okay I am sorry about the Nebraska there, but honestly people are traveling this holiday season so, what should you do ? Stay Home, Join the massive herd or outsmart them all?
In my humble opinion you should travel smart and here is a few ways to do that. First, make sure your flights, hotel, car rental are all refundable either thru your credit card or membership save yourself the hassle of the What If with answering the question "And Then..." . Having the option for refund is reassurance when you are at the airport and the snow bank moves in, arriving at the hotel where the workers have gone on strike, getting to a car rental and finding flat tires on all the cars.
Second, pick early morning flights because whether mechanical or actual sudden snow storm the planes will be a the gate instead of waiting for your flight to land. The same could be said for Late or the Last flight but there is a higher percentage of delays because the earlier in the day issues and the snow didn't melt. There is a mantra to travel when you want to so, 2pm and 4pm are your preferred time well by all means do so by flying private jets. The cost you spend for using a private flight will outweigh the 40,000 people in the waiting area for your seat on the 2:40pm flight to Pittsburgh.
Third, you don't need travel insurance unless you are going out of the country but, double check for travel insurance thru your credit card. Fourth, Emergency Alternative Fund is your back up to your back up and supplemental to the refundable ticket. These funds are so you can jump into a hotel room where you are stuck, to grab a train to get to a nearby airport to grab a new flight home, and for the Doctors' office because trust me when facing an Emergency Appendectomy is not fun but having the funds to cover the emergency room visit is.
Five, Get ONE Bag for two weeks or two days. Seriously, the GO bag is a must and if you can get a bag like so many compression bags save yourself the agony of being the real-life carryon bag. Amtrak or the local bus system.
Also one bag makes it easier to utilize Alternative Travel like
Finally, give yourself time cramming everything in 24 to 48 hours is great if you are doing one thing. The reality is recently I spent a full day going from event to event to event and it was not fun.
Travel is great whether going to visit or stay you can do it better.
*Thanks to Unsplash for great photos to utilize for this post.*