Travel causes stress, especially when you seem to be running late! Sometimes the stress may be outside your control due to traffic, an accident or maybe even a flat tire. This is the first post of this series where I want to share mistakes I made traveling so they don’t happen to you.
This past winter, I decided I would try to save money by taking one of the earliest possible flights from Long Beach to San Francisco. At the time, I was living in L.A. I thought it would be an easy trip from my apartment to the airport. Fly out at 5:30am and get in to San Francisco by 7:30. I checked in at the 24 hour mark online the afternoon before and set two alarms on my phone just in case and headed to bed.
The first problem of the day occurred when my phone decided to update over the night. Normally I would have had my phone on the charger, but for some reason I decided I would have it prepacked ahead of time in my purse. My phone was dead when I woke up.
I was very very lucky that I was worried about something going wrong early in the morning and didn’t see much. I woke up much later than intended, but early enough I thought I could still make my flight.
I ran to my car with my bag and decided I would get breakfast when I got to the airport. Now because my phone was dead, I thought I would be able to figure out my way to the airport without the maps feature on my phone. I had a charger in my car, but in the meantime I thought I would just start driving.
This was my second mistake. I assumed I could get there without checking my phone, but because my brain wasn’t fully awake, I ended up taking the wrong freeway. If I had stopped to confirm my thoughts, I would have ended up at the airport much faster.
By the time my phone was charged enough, I was able to open the map app and reroute myself to the airport. I drove a little faster than I should have, but made it with about 30 minutes to spare. I parked in one of the short term parking garages, grabbed my ticket and ran to the terminals and security.
This was my third mistake. My flight had actually been delayed and then cancelled the night before! I had failed to check the status of my flight before I left my house. If I had done so, I would have noticed I received an e-mail and a text message that I had been rebooked on the next available flight. I would have been able to sleep in a little longer.
At this point, I had gone through security before I looked at the board and realized I could have made a stop at Starbucks instead of paying $6 for an airport coffee. My rebooked flight had also been delayed from 8:00 to 9:30. My morning was a huge bust! To add insult to injury, if I had parked my car in the long term parking garage next to the short term, I would have saved about $10 in parking.
Don’t let this happen to you. If you are relying on your phone as an alarm, make sure it is charging overnight just in case something like this happens to you. I always have a travel alarm clock now too just in case my phone doesn’t manage to go off.
I always ensure I screenshot the directions to my final destination now if I have an early morning start as well just in case I have any signal issues with my phone. We’ve come to rely on technology so much that when something goes wrong, we forget how to do things “the old fashioned way.”
Lastly, check on the status of your flight before you leave for the airport. Give yourself some peace of mind. You have enough to worry about. Happy travels!