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atravelynn Dec 19th, 2008 06:45 AM

How often do you throw in a spare day up front on a trip?
If any of my 3 flights get majorly screwed up, the first 3-4 days of a 10-day trip are pretty much down the tubes. I have adequate layover times and am traveling in nice weather. But thunderstorms, fog, etc. can happen anytime.

Chicago O'Hare to Hatsfield Jackson in Atlanta

Then an overnight flight to Guarulhos in Sao Paulo

On to Campo Grande

Jed Dec 19th, 2008 08:08 AM

Almost always. In addition to it being a safety feature, it lets us rest up a day or get acclimated to the time/area. ((*))

FainaAgain Dec 19th, 2008 11:20 AM

I usually plan a "buffer day" at home, to get back into my time zone, housework, mail, unpacking...

If on a tour, no upfront time. If on my own, I don't plan anything for the first day, but not because of the flights, just to relax, to "shake off" the daily routine of hurrying to work each morning.

Carrybean Dec 19th, 2008 12:38 PM

Weather's not an issue here usually but I do as Faina & have a buffer day on the front end as well as the back. Gone are the days I can get in late at night & get to work the next morning.

patandhank Dec 19th, 2008 03:21 PM

If we're catching a cruise or an organized tour, we always have a buffer day (at least 1) up front and then have one at home before going back to work. If we're on our own, we just plan our itinerary depending on time zones, distance. Another option we're been kicking around now is to break up our travel to Europe by spending the night before catching the Europe flight segment, e.g. PHX to JFK (spend night) and then catch our flight the next day. We normally fly business class if we go straight through and are thinking we might try this option to see if we would be less tired and able to fly economy and save some money. Anybody do this regularly?

Elainee Dec 20th, 2008 01:29 PM

We have used a day or two in England to break up trips to Asia. We can fly JFK to LHR economy and then business to Asia. Cheaper than Business all the way. The two times we have taken tours we put in 2 days in front to adjust to the time change, flight, etc. before the tour. Works for us, but none of the other tour participants needed/did this.

atravelynn Dec 20th, 2008 03:53 PM


rkkwan Dec 20th, 2008 05:28 PM

Agree with patandhank. If it's to catch a cruise or organized tour, and the airfare is purchased separately, I think it's prudent to arrive a day early.

P_M Dec 21st, 2008 07:07 AM

As rkkwan said above, for an organized tour or cruise I think it's imperative to arrive a day early. As one who has been through many travel delays it gives me peace of mind to have this buffer zone.

As of my recent trip to Turkey I have now had 8 incidents of delayed luggage. So if I do arrive on time you can almost bet my luggage doesn't travel w/me. This is another reason why I prefer to allow an extra day so my luggage can catch up. Thankfully on the Turkey trip my luggage was delayed on the trip home and not going over.

letsgo39 Dec 21st, 2008 07:09 AM

We always go 1 or 2 days early for an international cruise or tour.

suze Dec 21st, 2008 09:29 AM

I'm not sure I understand what you mean by "a spare day up front"?

Where is this extra day built into your trip?

cary999 Dec 21st, 2008 08:12 PM

Suze - what don't you understand about- "We always go 1 or 2 days early for an international cruise or tour."?

Always do before a cruise (because always do independent air). And also every trip to Africa has at least one day cushion before going going on to comparatively expensive safari camps. Our fav way of is to spend a few days in Kruger on our own before the safari camps.

regards - tom

Pulley Dec 22nd, 2008 04:18 AM

cary999 - I believe suze was responding to the OP not letsgo39.

For international flights my wife and I always spend the night the US city we leave from. Last April we spent the night in DC before leaving LHR - BKK. We also opted for a 12 hour layover in LHR rather than 2. On the return we like at least two days before heading back to work, from SE Asia. When we go to the USVI we usually only schedule 1 day.

cary999 Dec 22nd, 2008 10:15 AM

Pulley - you're probably correct. The OP message title is clear. But her message/post itself is not clear as to the timing for what she is doing nor how it relates to topic.

regards - tom

Debi Dec 22nd, 2008 12:32 PM

I try to always get to the exit from the US city the day before I'm going to go international. Weather is not the only issue that can occur - there can be equipment problems somewhere, that end up backing up other flights. I figure as long as I'm in the city where the flight leaves to go overseas - I'm halfway there. PLUS - I get a really nice night's sleep before I go for the long flight... :)

sassy_cat Dec 22nd, 2008 04:11 PM

We often add a day upfront to get over jet lag going east or in case of bad weather at Logan. One time we opted to be bumped to the next day instead and suffered the jet lag to get vouchers for a free flight.

atravelynn Dec 22nd, 2008 04:52 PM

To clarify any confusion, upon arrival in Campo Grande, Brazil at about 9:45 am, a van picks up guests and takes them to a lodge several hours away. The van operates on Thurs and Sunday only (I believe).

If I missed my Thursday van shuttle, I might not be able to get there until Sunday. I have a week's stay.

I'll check on alternatives to the shuttle van and then decide about the spare day up front.

ovenbird Dec 23rd, 2008 05:24 AM

lynn, we always arrive at our destination at least one day in advance of the start of an organized tour for the same reason you're worried about. But we are Nervous Nellies and would rather not have the stress that would ensue with missing a critical connection. We also like to avoid the cost and inconvenience if we had to reschedule everything on the fly or worse, miss part or all of our tour.

We've been lucky and had only one close call where it would have made a difference. So I guess it's a matter of how lucky you feel!

If I remember correctly, you're traveling in June/July. Isn't that prime thunderstorm season along your US route? Regardless of the time of year, we usually build in at least 4-5 hour layovers...we get alot of reading done in airports.

We'll be in Brazil in Sept and decided to do only our birding tour. Our travel budget is getting smaller and smaller, so Caraca, Caratinga, and the Amazon will have to wait until another time.

Can't wait to hear about your trip to the Southern Pantanal!


clevelandbrown Dec 23rd, 2008 10:06 AM

We don't do cruises, so the day we arrive is not critical. I don't like to take an extra day somewhere between flights because you are no usually in a place that is interesting, and you don't have time to get to a place that is interesting, and I don't like a daily routine of packing and unpacking. Even if we had a day in Newark, for example, I don't think we could see enough of New York to make it worthwhile. So I just bite the bullet and get all the flying over with as quickly as possible; of course, we are fortunate in that both of us can sleep on planes. I might feel different if I couldn't sleep on a plane.

We like to stay in rental properties, and most of the ones I have dealt with prefer to rent for a week from Saturday through Friday. On occasion I find a nearby place I would like to visit for more than a day trip, so I just tack on a few days at the start of the trip and get a hotel at the interesting place. For example, we planned a two week stay in Paris in an apartment with a day trip to the invasion sites at Normandy. The more I read, the more I found I wanted to see in Normandy, so we flew to Paris five days early and caught a train to Caen and stayed there five days, then returned to Paris for our two weeks. I was glad to have the extra time in Normandy, which, in my opinion, is worth far more than a day trip.

It helps that I am retired and don't have to worry about getting back to work on our return; the lawn will always wait.

suze Dec 23rd, 2008 10:39 AM

cary999~ Obviously I understand what THAT means. But atravelynn didn't say anything of the sort!

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