No matter how well you plan your trip, no matter how many scenarios you plan for, things happen that are outside of your control. In some cases you may be prepared but in others you may need to change plans or rearrange plans. Let me give you some of the examples we have come across in our travels.
We had been in the UK for a family wedding and had headed to Ireland after the wedding. It just happened to be in 2010 and while in Ireland, the Iceland volcano eruption played havoc with flights throughout Europe. Of course our flight from Dublin back to London was cancelled. We had our flight from London back home to Brisbane booked two days after we were due to get back to London from Dublin (so we weren’t sure if we were going to get home either). So rather than a short flight from Dublin to London, we had a ferry ride from Dublin to Holyhead. From Holyhead we then took a train to London. The total trip took 24 hours. We did get home on our scheduled flight.
I travelled to Honolulu to present at a conference. Upon arriving at the airport I was told that my 9 hour flight home had been cancelled due to an engineering issue. The airline didn’t have another scheduled flight for two days. The airline was able to get me on another flight the following day (a related airline). It meant that I had to fly from Honolulu to Sydney, overnight in Sydney and get a 6am flight from Sydney to Brisbane the next morning. But that 20 hour trip home did mean I didn’t miss a big family gathering. But the cancelled flight did mean I got an extra day in Honolulu which gave me time to relax on the beach.
Attractions Closed for Unforseen Reasons
During a visit to Paris, we had planned a full day tour of the Palace of Versailles. While we were in Paris, a husband and wife, both police officers, had been murdered. On the day we had planned our tour to Versailles, it was closed in the morning for a memorial service for the officers. This terribly sad situation meant the Palace of Versailles was open in the afternoon only. We were able to do another tour that took us to Versailles in the afternoon and to Giverny in the morning to see Monet’s home and gardens.
We also got to stop at Fourges for lunch. While we did not get a full day at the Palace of Versailles we did get to see some of it. But we did get to see Giverny and Fourges which were absolutely beautiful and had not been on our list of things to see on that trip.
Strikes Do Happen
On our first day in Paris, we headed to the Eiffel Tower. The plan had been to take the trip up the tower before doing anything else. Well that did not work as on that day, the staff at the tower were on strike. So we went to the next thing we wanted to do in Paris. We returned to the Eiffel Tower a couple of days later and the staff were back at work so we got to go up to the top.
Rain / Storms
I’m sure you’re saying, but we take umbrellas or ponchos or rain coats. Of course, that’s just being prepared, but sometimes rain or storms can make you miss something you want to see or makes you rearrange your plans so you can return when it isn’t raining.
On our visit to Naples, Italy, we had set aside a day to visit Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius. It started out to be a beautiful, sunny day and we had an amazing time at Pompeii.
But as the day went on, it became overcast. After our visit to Pompeii, we started the drive up Mount Vesuvius. Unfortunately as we drove up to the top, a huge storm came through and it poured raining!
Because of the downpour, the track to the edge of the crater was closed and was going to be closed for the rest of the day.
So, we didn’t get to hike up to the top of Mount Vesuvius.
What Can You Do
Understand that things like these do happen. Having a level of flexibility with plans is important when the unexpected happens. One of the things we do is have a list of the things we want to do. If we can not do one, we move on down the list. If we can get back to the item we missed (like the Eiffel Tower) great. If we can’t, of course it can be disappointing, but it is out of your control.