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Travel Plan Changes

What to Do When Your Plans Fall Through

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hurricane

Stuff happens.

Image by Susan Breslow Sardone.
What do you do when a last-minute snafu -- an island-flattening hurricane...a wildcat airline strike... a travel agent, cruise line, or resort bankruptcy... loss of your luggage... sudden illness... a robbery -- explodes your dream of a flawless holiday?

    1. You make the best of it, of course (if it's your honeymoon, this becomes excellent experience for marriage).
    2. You adjust your plans to fit the new circumstances.
    3. You go ahead and have a vacation, regardless.
    4. And when you get home, you pick up the slack (and regret it if you didn't buy travel insurance).

If travel plans screech to a halt, sit down and make a quick list of other places you might go on short notice. Do try to make it easy on yourselves; one set of complicated vacation plans falling through is certainly enough.

Drawing a blank on an alternative destination? These 10 Ideas for a Great Romantic Getaway may jumpstart your thinking. Also consider: traveling to a resort in the off-season, taking an open-ended driving trip, or even visiting a local attraction the two of you have never been to see.

Remember that no matter where your romantic getaway takes place, it's for the two of you alone. Regardless of how generous an offer they may make, how sympathetic they may be to your screwed-up situation, how tempting it sounds, avoid like the plague staying with family or friends.

You may find that you actually can afford to spend more now based on your original budget: Travelers who buy late often pay less than those who book ahead, since travel companies scramble to fill unsold seats by offering them at discount.

Surf the net for hot deals on air-hotel-rental car or cruise packages. New domestic rates are posted on Wednesdays for the coming weekend; discounts on international flights are posted on Mondays. If you belong to a frequent flyer club, check your favorite airline's Internet offers.

After you return home, deal with the disaster. If you've used a travel agent (assuming that he or she isn't part of the problem), that's the first person to turn to for help or refunds. Willing to write it off to forces beyond your control? Great! Then get on with your new life together -- and start planning now for that next fail-safe vacation....

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