Vacation Worries

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We leave for vacation on Friday. I know that is still a bit in the future but vacations have a way of sneaking up on you. Travel always kinds of brings out a little bit of stress in me. Mostly it is the getting from place A to place B that causes the anxiety.

It doesn’t help that I have this recurring dream of running late to a flight and then having a series of obstacles preventing me from actually getting to where I need to go. I used to get those when work got crazy but I had one last night so maybe my mind was just on this upcoming trip. In this particular one, we were actually at the airport but security people had claimed our carry on stuff but we decided to just leave it and go to the gate. In my dreams, the airports are always a maze. There are signs giving you directions to the gate but then the gate we want is never marked. I think we actually found the gate to see that the plane had left and then I woke up.

I have no idea why but I do get seriously stressed if we are running late. So we do tend to get to airports far earlier than we should but I’d rather sit in an airport than be sitting in a car hoping that we get there on time. We usually get a ride because I hate parking at the airport so the first bit of stress is waiting for the driver. My mind starts to do these mental calculations of how long it is going to take to get there and get through the line. We’ve never missed a flight for that reason yet but it doesn’t stop me from stressing a bit if the driver runs a bit late.

Another issue with travel is that where I live there are very few places you can get to that don’t require a change of planes. Well we can get to every hub in the country but those are typically not our final destination. I hate tight connections. You hit the big hub and try to find your next gate and hope that you can negotiate the airport. If you are lucky, it is a short walk. I hate the ones where you are in a different terminal and have to rely on some kind of tram because that’s just more waiting. I do better actually moving – even if it is slower because it just feels like you are doing something rather than waiting for something to transport you.

Then there is always the weather to worry about. Storms just seriously mess up the whole airline hub thing. There was one time we were going to Savannah and there were thunderstorms around Atlanta so they diverted our plane to Huntsville Alabama where we sat on the ground waiting for Atlanta to clear up. By the time we got to Atlanta, the flights to Savannah were long gone and the airline couldn’t even get us on a flight until two days later. So I rented a car and drove to Savannah – getting in around 3 in the morning. Turned out to be a great vacation but it is the getting there and back that is the problem.

Oh and once you land, there is the waiting for the luggage and hoping you win the luggage lottery and your bags made the connections. Nothing sadder than watching all the happy people pick up their stuff and then the thing stops turning and you have nothing. It means heading to some dark corner in the basement with some poor overworked person filling out forms to describe your bags and where you’ll be and hoping they get there in a reasonable time.

Also, we always rent a car because we like to be mobile and a lot of times we don’t spend an entire week in one place. The packing and unpacking isn’t pleasant but if you only have a week in a place and there is a lot to see, it becomes a necessary evil. Is there anything that takes longer than having car rental paperwork filled out? I’ve joined at least one premium club because it was free and, in certain airports, it allows you to just go to your car and drive away. With all the advances in technology, I don’t know why this process still seems to be so slow.

And all this has to happen before the vacation really starts. Once you get your luggage and your car and start to head where you need to go, it is usually stress free. Unless you get lost and can’t find your destination.

I do enjoy vacations a great deal. Once you finally get to where you are supposed to be and get some stuff unpacked, it finally feels like I can relax and start to enjoy things. It is just that stress of trying to get to a place that is a problem.

At least I’ve never had this happen:

Blogging while on vacation depends on the amount of free time I get and whether I have things to write about. I suppose I could put together a couple of posts and just have them automatically published while I’m away but then they wouldn’t be about the vacation and what fun would that be?

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