Travelers who fly to the port of embarkation know that day one of any cruise can be a really long one. Some of that time is spent in the air, with flights beginning early in the day. That often means getting up early on a day that can last late into the night onboard. Adrena(cruise)line energy and excitement tagged to being on board can provide the rocket fuel needed for a great first day of travel. But why burn it all up in one day? Instead of a marathon travel day to kick things off, make flying fun with these tips. Along they way, you might find gold.
the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry
The Flight Plan Is Just That, A Plan
Before we get too far into this, remember that the very nature of travel brings unexpected experiences along the way. Not to be feared, this is one element of the amazing, unpredictable world of travel that may very well be as close to fending for ourselves in nature that we will get. Embrace that thought and hang on to it for a moment, we’ll come back to that shortly.
Forget The Connections, Make It A Direct Flight
If available, a direct flight from a hometown airport to the port of embarkation is the best possible flight plan. These are the first flights to fill up, so booking air far in advance is a good idea for those who book on their own, either directly with the airline (suggested) or through an online search engine like Travelocity, Expedia or Kayak.
Enjoy The Connection, Make It Part Of The Trip
So you’re going on the cruise of a lifetime. A European river cruise to places you have dreamed about or only viewed from afar. Flights take you through a New York airport in January. That’s not the best plan but let’s go with it. Odds are better than average that a weather related flight delay can happen. Do this: fly to New York City early, spend the day and night then continue flying the next day. Plan ahead, see a Broadway show, or just walk by the theaters.
Map Your Steps Now, Have Fun Traveling Later
Once the cruise and flights are booked, think about that long travel day from beginning to end. It is rather easy and inaccurate to focus on total flight time as opposed to total travel time. Total flight time is just time in the air for the day. Total travel time starts when you open your eyes to begin the process of getting to the ship.
Check And Recheck Flight Reservations
Flights selected and paid for, the lion’s share of travelers think they can check that box: done with the flights. Those travelers are dead wrong. Airlines can and do change aircraft on published routes for a number of reasons ranging from mechanical issues to the fact that they just don’t like flying planes with lots of empty seats. When they do, your seating arrangement may change.
Also Open To Change: Ourselves As Well
Back to that part about how the very nature of travel brings unexpected experiences along the way. I have observed two distinct and common traveler reactions, both rather emotional: love and hate. Throw out the people who just like to complain about nothing. There is always some traveler along the way like that . They love having company to get down and wallow about in the muddy water with them. Part of me thinks that either the negative attitude is how they get joy out of life or they are simply unprepared to travel.
Thinking about getting to the ship in advance in all the detail that process demands will give time to embrace those unexpected experiences. And that’s where the gold is.
Photo Credit: Gietje – own work, public domain