As the days get shorter, and the nights get colder, one thing is certain… the early months of winter are sneaking up on us. As 2016 comes to an end, we are doing something different. For the first time in two years, we are not traveling during Christmas break. I must say this is somewhat bittersweet for us, and I had to resign to this conclusion with initial feelings of resistance and some disappointment, which have now morphed into feelings of relief. We have several valid reasons for deciding to forego a Christmas holiday trip this year. Actually, as I look back at our travels, two of the worst trips we’ve had were the ones we did over Christmas breaks.
Our first Christmas trip was a southwest Caribbean cruise. Flying across the country in the dead of winter and the height of holiday travel is always challenging. We experienced delays that resulted in us running full speed across the Atlanta airport to catch our next flight so we could make the cruise on time. While the cruise was great, we found ourselves in a small floating city (a.k.a. a cruise ship) with about 1,000 wild, screaming kids, which was overwhelming for many passengers, including us. It didn’t occur to us how many families would be traveling this time of year. On the flights back, we experienced a mechanical issue with a plane, missed our connection, and ended up spending the night in Salt Lake City, therefore having to waste a vacation day at work as we made our way back home.
For our second Christmas trip, we decided to learn from the past and book at an adults-only resort. Of course the price on this skyrocketed for the Christmas season, but we found one that was within our budget and in closer travel proximity. This trip ended up being our worst trip on record. We had to catch our departing flight from Denver, but the interstate was closed the day we needed to drive there! Once we finally got to Denver, weather and mechanical issues caused us to miss our connection in Phoenix, where we ended up spending the night and therefore missed the first day of our vacation.It took us three days of traveling to arrive in Puerto Vallarta. When we finally arrived, we got one and a half days of vacation under our belts before my husband got food poisoning from food at the resort. It was just a mess overall and although we tried to make the best of it, really we couldn’t wait to go home!
Let’s face it, it is an incredibly hectic time of the year to travel. The airports are busier than ever and the weather generally is less than ideal. If you miss one flight, you could be stuck for days, as airlines get back logged with holiday travelers. On top of this, we both really resent the fact that airlines and hotels jack up their rates over the Christmas holiday to double or even triple the normal prices just because they can. And, if you’re asking yourself why we don’t just get in the car and drive somewhere, let me tell you…. We are geographically challenged in this respect! There really is nothing within a 4 to 5 hour radius of us, and the places that are in that radius are either ski resorts which will also jack up their rates for the holiday season, or places that we are burnt out on visiting (because they are the only places nearby). Combine that with the treacherous winter weather hazards that come with living in the Rocky Mountains, and you can see why we don’t want to hit the roads. So, after a great year of travels in 2016, we are simply saying ‘no’ to a final trip over Christmas.
But, that doesn’t mean we are slowing down in our travels! We are actually ramping up for a much anticipated year! And, during the week of downtime, I’m looking forward to doing some much needed updates and maintenance to my blog too!
Happy Holidays!!! Have you had a bad holiday travel experience you would like to share? If so, comment below!
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