Leaving Wiggle Room in Trip Planning

The view from my balcony at Sundial Lodge in The Canyons Resort. I bet it looks even purtier with snow.

I am an old work traveler.  In my previous life as a corporate worker bee, I traveled frequently, as in almost every week from week six to week 34 of my first pregnancy.  I learned how to scrupulously plan my business travel since I was often going multiple places in one trip.  I didn’t always fly from Point A to Point B and back to Point A.  Point C and D and maybe E might be thrown in. 

Free travel tip: Always rent the same color rental car.  At least you know what color to look for in the parking lot.  It beats walking around looking for the rental agency sticker.

Old habits die hard because I still tend to plan a lot of detail into my trips.  I am on a business trip this week to Evo ’12 conference in Park City, Utah.  I made my plane reservations two months ago.  I had all the info in my phone AND setup the smartphone check-in.  I was so ready. 

Until I got the email this morning informing me that my 1 p.m. flight had been cancelled.  Not rescheduled.  Cancelled.  So, I called reservations to find out what, why, how.  Seems the nasty storm that almost drowned us Tuesday night had parked itself over Houston and cancelled all the flights for the forseeable future.  Great. 

The very patient and helpful attendant on the phone suggested re-routing through Denver to Salt Lake City.  That sounded like a plan to me.  Except that flight left at 11:19 a.m., cutting more than an hour out of my morning of final trip preparations.  I stuffed my remaining clothes and personal items into the suitcase and hoped I had remembered everything (I didn’t), finished dressing, kissed everybody bye three times (instead of the normal five), and ran out the door.  I made it on time to my flight and looked reasonably normal.  Now to find a Wal-Mart to fill in my missing items.  Do they have Wal-Marts in Utah?

So, remember the golden rule of travel.  Leave wiggle room when planning, because no one else is on your schedule. 


P.S. A shout-out to the un-named United Airlines customer service rep who found me another flight.

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