Plan B

by Vanessa Ullman

photography courtesy of Amanda Willis

It’s 8:59 a.m. You’re waiting at the entrance of the Museum of Modern Art in NYC. A minute passes and the door is still locked. You wait five minutes until a quick Google search informs you the museum is not open for another hour and a half.

These types of mishaps can happen to anyone. From seasoned travelers to tourists, there are a lot of ‘Plan B’ options used after unexpected circumstances. Here’s some inevitable mishaps to watch for that can happen to any seasoned traveler.

Make sure to have options.

Restaurants can close early, museums can temporarily shut down and theme parks can get rained out. It is important to plan out each day of a vacation with a backup plan, especially if the activity you are doing requires good weather or a certain venue to be open. Always check in advance if something is open, and make sure their information online is accurate. Yelp is a great tool to confirm that other people have visited a certain place semi-recently, and their reviews can help gage if the place is worth it as well.

Good weather does not outlaw flight delays.

Although snow and rain are notorious for delaying or cancelling flights, there are a handful of other reasons a plane can takeoff two hours after your scheduled departure time. If the inbound flight arrives late, the next flight will typically be delayed as well. If there are mechanical problems with the engine, the airline will often change planes.

Cancelled flights are a whole other endeavor. Plan ahead and get the app Next Flight for $2.99. This helpful smartphone application will show you all of the connecting and non-stop flights from your current location to desired location. Though sometimes you prefer to fly a certain airline, the threat of a cancelled flight ignores those rules. Whether it’s Jet Blue or Southwest, this app will help you get to where you need to be in an efficient way.

Hotel check-in times vary.

Have you ever gotten out of a car after a long road trip and wanted nothing but to nap in a hotel bed? This dream might not always turn into a reality if your hotel check in is in the afternoon. The average check-in time is 3:00pm, which might mean a two hour wait in a hotel lobby or nearby coffee shop.

This depends on your hotel, but many allow you to you can call ahead for an early check-in time if you are planning on arriving before noon. For the hotels that do not allow this, be sure to research ahead of time and pick out a few low energy activities to do after a day or two of traveling. Even just the thought of picking out a nice brunch place to waste an hour before a hotel check-in can help the trip go smoothly.

Weather can be unpredictable everywhere.

Just because you are out of Boston does not mean that you miss out on sporadic rain showers or snow storms! Though some places are notorious for bad weather, it’s important to be prepared for any scenario. Packing an umbrella or foldable rain poncho is an easy tip to use during the fall and winter months.

As the months slowly get warmer make sure to keep hold of your sunglasses and light jackets. It’s important to layer up as weather conditions can change throughout the day. One minute it might be 40 degrees and windy, and the next it could be 65 and sunny. With a sweatshirt or vest you can easily transition from different climates in the blink of an eye.