Old man winter has arrived and come barreling through the area with a vengeance. Of course, this is the time of year when snow birds head south and for destinations with warmer climates to escape the brutality that is known as winter. During one’s mad dash to escape the harsh weather, it is imperative that a few basic tips are followed so that one’s lovely trip out of dodge doesn’t cause them to fall into it.
- If traveling by air and you have a connection, try to avoid the airports that are notorious for flight delays and cancellations. This may not always be an option for everyone, but it is recommended to steer clear of airports like: Detroit, Boston, Denver, Philadelphia, Dulles, New York JFK, and Chicago O’Hare. These airports are well-known for significantly delaying (or cancelling) flights when the weather becomes “challenging”.
- Make sure you do not select a ticket with a very tight connection. I know sometimes these are the cheaper tickets and cost may be a factor. But, saving $10 or $20 on a ticket with a 30 minute connection may end up costing you much more in the long run. Especially if you are not Usain Bolt and can sprint from Concourse A to Concourse D at MSP in less than 10 minutes (go ahead, I dare you to try it). If you have the time and money, I recommend that you at least select a trip that gives you a one hour or better connection. You never know when the plan has to go to the de-icing machine (that takes at least 20 minutes on a good day to complete).
- Before you head out to the airport, bus station or train station, make sure you check for delays. There is nothing worse than taking 2 hours to clear snow off your car. Only to get stuck in the snow trying to get out of your development. Wait an hour for someone to help tow you out and beat it down the road 25 miles, only to find out that your flight is delayed 6 hours. Sounds crazy… Well, I guess I am because that was my story in January 2014. Unfortunately, I do not watch the news because I get tired of hearing negativity. Well, I have since learned to at least turn on the radio, log on to the airline’s website or cut on the tv before I depart my home, especially if I am traveling in the winter.
- If you have done everything in your power to prevent a delay, and you still end up with a delay or cancellation, make sure your travel itinerary is readily available at your finger tips. You want to alert your hotels, rental car agencies, ground transportation pocs, etc. of the delay as soon as possible. Not only will this possibly save you some cash (as you may not be charged for missing the first night in your hotel or the first day on your vehicle rental), but, if people are picking you up at the airport, they do not have to sit around for hours waiting for a flight that is not coming.
Good luck and safe travels!