It’s been a while. Between midterms and traveling out of town, I have been extremely busy and haven’t had a moment to update, so I will probably add a few posts to make up for it.
I’ve been thinking about what to do when things don’t go quite as planned when traveling, so I figured I could make a blog post about it. I have a few suggestions in here, which I have denoted with an asterisk (*).
I got back from Colorado about a week ago, and it was absolutely crazy.
When we landed in Denver at about 9 or 10 in the morning, it was below freezing and there was a bit of snow on the ground. It was what we expected, really.
When it was time to go, we heard that there was going to be a blizzard in Denver. We stayed in a town a couple hours from the capital, and we left roughly 12 hours before our flight was scheduled to depart because we knew we would have problems.
I had never experienced a blizzard. It was insane! The visibility gradually started to fade, and we all became anxious in the horrible traffic and deep slush. We hid in a mall for a while, hoping to wait out the storm, and there was almost no one in there because of the storm. We felt like we were in a post-apocalyptic movie.
After a while, we learned that the airport, which we could not get anywhere near, had been shut down, and we would not be able to get a flight out until two days later, which was when my mother and I had to go back to work.
In the end, we went back to Colorado Springs, re-rented our car, and made the 15-hour drive home.
Here’s a fun fact: Though I love to travel and would spend all my time doing it if I could, I am a horrible traveler. By that, I mean I get really sick. I get motion sickness, which has worsened since I went to Europe, and I usually lose my appetite and get sick easily while on trips. It’s actually incredible while also horrible.
So, as you can imagine, driving home was the absolute worst. I was weak, sick, and nauseated the entire time, and my Dramamine did not work well (It only made me sleepy but I was still horribly nauseated.) because I was so dehydrated. It was a terrible couple days.
Here’s the moral: Always have a back-up plan.
Staying in Colorado another couple days was not feasible because we had a work schedule. While I could call and let my understanding supervisor know my circumstances, it was not quite so simple for my mom, so we had to find a way to get home by the next day.
*I suggest planning for the worst-case scenario whenever traveling, which is why I always request off one or two additional days from work after I plan to return from a trip, especially if I am traveling internationally. Then if something unexpected happens, I can be more flexible.
We were lucky that this happened in Colorado, a state in which we have lots of family and friends, because if we needed to stay a night or two, we had myriad options. We were actually planning to wait out the storm with my aunt in the next town over from Denver, but we couldn’t even get to her because of the blizzard.
*Always establish contacts in cities you’re visiting. Even if it’s someone obscure like your cousin’s neighbor’s friend, it is best to have someone with whom you can connect in an emergency. I highly doubt that person would refuse to help in a difficult situation, and even if you never actually need to rely on that person, it is extremely helpful to have someone who knows the city and can either advise or guide you.
*Having a second choice for means of travel is also very beneficial if it is at all possible. Due to our strange circumstances, we were able to keep our rental car and drive it all the way home instead of to the Denver airport without paying an inordinate amount of money. We had another option. Whether it’s a bus, a train, or a flight with obscure layovers, you should always consider another means of getting home in case of an emergency or unforeseen circumstances.
Hopefully things will never go awry with your trips, but it’s best to prepare for the worst just in case.