After a recent trip overseas, I discovered a few tips on being a flexible traveler these days. Patience and flexibility come in at number one (and number two,) especially after COVID. Here’s why those travel traits are so important these days.

Plan Ahead – But Only to a Point

When I say, plan ahead I’m talking about researching open hours, booking your timed tickets, etc… You need to have a basic sense of where you’re going, staying, and what you’d like to see. Be prepared for the weather conditions and expectations from your fellow travelers. But you also need to have built in flexibility of unforeseen events that will come up.  Have an alternate plan if things don’t go your way, and the time to consider other options.

Have a Plan B

For example, my plan B during my recent trip involved an excepted railroad strike. My travel companions and I could not reach our booked destination within the time allotted for our tour in the countryside. This 5-day (unexpected) strike in the UK was locking down travel options, even to closer cities near London.

Our plan B was to take the Underground (subway) to a closer National Park, Kew Gardens. We explored an outlying suburb with unique architecture and a gorgeous botanical garden and “country palace.”  It’s a site we’d never seen before and the “newness” was just as fun as if we’d been able to visit the Yorkshire Dales. (Which we’ll visit eventually, I’m sure.)

See the Upside

The upside to not being able to visit York and the village of Grassington, is that our tour and hotel were booked with fully refundable deposits.  So always have that option open when planning your future trips. We easily added extra days to the current hotel we were staying in London. And we also made the decision to change plans as soon as we learned about the strike and its impact. Don’t wait, in case your options book up quickly.

Finally, see your change in plans as an adventure, not a negative. This flexibility also allowed us to have an extra full day in London and enjoy a picnic in Hyde Park. We saw so many other sites due to the strike and our change in plans.

Enjoy your summer vacations and let me know how you have bounced back from a sudden shift in travel plans. Was it the crowds, a weather event, or just “going with the flow” of your trip?

Happy traveling!