Taking the Kids: When the Best-Laid Plans Go Awry
It has happened to all of us.
No matter how well we plan, a blizzard grounds your flight and closes the highway or one of the kids or your mother-in-law gets sick or it rains when it's supposed to be sunny, or snows too much to ski.
All you can do is shrug off your disappointment, keep your cool and make lemonade out of a travel lemon.
For us, that meant enjoying a quiet "staycation" after Christmas instead of taking a much-anticipated diving trip to
Sure we were disappointed, but it wasn't all bad. Our tickets were refunded and since we were home we didn't have the unexpected expenses so many did being stranded far from home. Tip from travel agents: Invest in travel insurance to defray those unexpected costs (www.insuremytrip.com, www.travelguard.com).
"I don't care what season, but for hurricanes and storms, travel insurance is essential," said
Maybe it is time to consider using a travel agent, columnist
"When travel goes awry, travelers have enough to worry about. Call us and let us go to work for you," said
The key, I'm convinced, when these things happen is to make the best of the situation, even if that means being stuck in the snow rather than being on a
And sometimes that leads to unexpected benefits, especially thanks to social media. There has been considerable discussion about how the savviest travelers now are turning to Twitter to get their flights rebooked by sending direct messages to their airline. (I wish I'd thought of that.)
Even getting sick on a cruise ship can have an upside, according to another mom I know. She and her husband -- parents of a child with Spina Bifida -- had left him and his brother with their grandparents for a much-needed getaway, only to get sick two days into the trip. The ship's doctor, concerned that they might be contagious, confined them to their cabin.
"We were fine by the next day, leaving us three days in a 215-square-foot space," she laughed. "But that trip probably saved our marriage. ... We were forced to talk and to deal with things we would have brushed under the carpet in the ship's bar. It really was a gift we needed and I often look at it as a real turning point in being a special needs family that beats the divorce odds." Plus, Carnival gave the couple a free seven-day cruise.
The week after
We had a blast. (More about our adventure in an upcoming column.) And we managed to make it home relatively on schedule, despite the next storm that walloped the
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It's vacation and the teens are awake and ready to roll before 8 a.m.! The 22-year-old White has come down to Grand Cayman, his parents and sister in tow, to inaugurate Skate Cayman an 11-week summer program
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Kids on a Plane! 5 Fixes for Unruly Junior Passengers
Kids on a plane. No four words incite more acrimonious debate among air travelers. On one side, you have childless customers who just want a little civility while they're locked inside a pressurized aluminum tube. Talk about oil and water.
Children in First Class: 3 Suggestions for the Kids 'Up Front'
The overwhelming number of travelers I spoke with said kids should be able to fly in first class if their parents could afford to pay the freight. But they were quick to add that they expected the children to behave.
(c) 2011 EILEEN OGINTZ DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.
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