What happens when travel plans get derailed? Sometimes we can plan the perfect trip and things just don’t go as planned. Approximately five years ago while living in Germany I planned a family trip over Spring Break to visit five different cities in Italy. In planning this trip, the research was quite extensive due to visiting so many different cities in 12 days. Planning the itinerary for such a huge trip meant that everyone had to follow a tight schedule. I invited my father-in-law to come along on the trip as well. All he had to do was arrange his flight to Germany and the rest was covered. A lot of work went into planning this epic trip and I knew I would be the father of the year in my children’s eyes. The original plan was to travel from Ansbach, Germany to Milan, Italy which would take 5 hours. Then we were going to drive to Pisa, Italy which would take approximately 2 hours. We would move on to Florence, Italy which is a quick 45-minute drive. Next, we would head on to Rome, Italy which is about a 3-hour drive. We planned to visit to Venice, Italy which would take about 6 hours. Lastly were to head back home to Ansbach, Germany for a long 8-hour drive.
On the night before the trip I received a call from my father-in-law that he missed his flight. My father-in-law booked a shuttle company to pick him up and they were late due to “traffic”. Shock can’t even describe the emotion I felt in that moment. There was a lot of money that went into this trip. Decisions had to be made going forward. I knew that if I continued with the trip without my father-in-law, the family would be disappointed. There was some contention with the wife about the decisions that had to be made. Going forward I had to consider moving on as planned because I would be at a loss financially. My father-in-law was able to book another flight, but this altered plans significantly. The new travel plan going forward was to drive 5 hours to Milan and spend 2 days sightseeing. Unfortunately, my father-in-law missed out on this part of our family trip. I made a detour to pick up my father-in-law in Nurnberg, Germany and we drove on to our next destination. I drove straight to Rome, Italy which was a 14-hour drive. After visiting Rome, we drove back up to Pisa and Florence. Next, we drove to Venice which was an 8-hour drive. I will share the details of the trip to Italy in a future blog. For now, I have some great pictures of scenery from this trip for your viewing pleasure.
First, I would like to share that my heart goes out to Italy. I know that thousands of people have had travel plans altered or cancelled. Have any of you all had trips that have been altered, derailed or cancelled? Sometimes we can plan the perfect trip and life happens. Three things I’ve learned to better prepare is to always get travel insurance. Always have a thorough understanding of cancellation policies and be flexible. You can’t be so rigid with your travel plans because life does happen.