Stupid Tip of the Day: Using The Day Before a Trip as Insurance
Note: Stupid Tip of the Day is a not-so-new regular feature of The Gate which will not be featured regularly — if at all — after today…or maybe not; but I am thinking of changing the name of this series; which depicts advice that is so well hidden in plain sight that it may seem too obvious to impart and that everyone probably knows about it, leading the person giving the advice to think that someone else might think it is actually stupid — and have second thoughts about giving it after all. Suggestions for changing the name of this series are welcomed; so please post them in the Comments section below.
“I have on a few occasions spent the night at the EWR Marriott because I had a 6AM flight out the next day. When I am looking forward to a trip to Hawaii for 6 months, the last thing that is going to derail that is a missed outbound flight because my car decided not to start, you get flat tire on the way to the airport, construction, or a car service that forgets to show up. When a trip is costing several thousands of dollars (or using valuable hotel points and air miles) a $150 room at the airport the night before in my opinion is ‘insurance’ well spent.”
The paragraph you just read is a great piece of valuable advice pertaining to using the day before a trip as insurance as imparted by Captain Kirk, who is a reader of The Gate; and I have allotted a spare day myself with an extra night in a hotel room to mitigate — or even eliminate — the potential jeopardization of an overall itinerary threatened by any unforeseen anomalies or irregular operations which could throw the plans of an entire trip out of whack and ruin it. A delayed flight or inclement weather are two of the many possibilities which could “throw a wrench” into what would otherwise be a well-planned trip designed to be executed smoothly.
Some people do like to “live on the edge” and not want to spend an extra day wasted on travel — perhaps to get that extra day of work in; or to spend more time with family — and will time their itineraries close with little room for error. I know I have done that at times and fortunately rarely have I been burned; but that depends on a number of factors — including just how important it was to me to protect the itinerary from going awry; how well I know all of the components of my itinerary; and the alternate plans I have available to me should the itinerary go sour from some unexpectedly unavoidable interruption…
…but there are times when arriving a day early and staying at a hotel property at a destination before embarking on something important which has been scheduled the next day — or arriving at a hotel at the airport of the origin of your trip the day before an early morning flight — gives that insurance about which Captain Kirk speaks; which was the result of reading this article I posted yesterday pertaining to 6 reasons why I usually prefer to stay at hotels near airports.
The nice part about that “insurance policy” is that it significantly lowers — or even eliminates — the chance of a trip gone awry; and you can simultaneously earn frequent guest loyalty program points for staying that extra night in a hotel room. The cost of the hotel room, parking an extra day at the airport if you drive there, and the purchase of any meals will add to the cost of your trip — but as Captain Kirk stated, it “is ‘insurance’ well spent.” It also potentially gives you peace of mind as you relax that extra night away from home.