We're leaving later this morning for a stay at an all-inclusive Mexican resort, the Hilton Playa del Carmen. The two of us stayed here in January 2022, and this time Kathy's brother Tom and sister-in-law Ellyn will be joining us.
They don't leave Colorado until tomorrow, but we're flying from Bellingham to Los Angeles today and overnighting at LAX before catching a 8:18 AM flight to Cancun Tuesday morning.
In other words, it's a fairly simple trip, since we may cocoon at the resort for the entire week. Still, we always try to do some research just before a trip. What did we review for such an uncomplicated itinerary?
Like many if not
most travelers, we keep a travel checklist and review it before every
trip. We usually (occasionally?) have thought of everything, but every
so often we're surprised. We obsessively and compulsively check to make
sure we have passports, plastic cards, and cash.
Second, we look for any last-minute comments or reviews or complaints about the property on TripAdvisor and FlyerTalk. We noticed just this morning a recent TA reviewer complaining about arriving at the hotel and unable to make dinner reservations because the restaurants were full. Brian called the hotel on his cell phone's Skype app, and confirmed three dinner reservations, including a late one for our arrival tomorrow.
We also check our own blog. We've stayed here recently enough that we
can remind ourselves of various details, large and small.
We also checked
in advance a new tax for visitors imposed (rather poorly) by Quintana
Roo, the Mexican state we are visiting. We learned that the $20 fee is not
an actual scam, and also that it has not so far been enforced. We now know that if
we're requested to pay it at the airport, we can pay it without
thinking we're being ripped off.
Finally, we're constantly checking our TripIt itinerary and our airline's website (Alaska) to see if there are any flight changes, cancellations, or even (hopefully) upgrades.
Phileas Fogg, the hero of one of Brian's favorite childhood books, Around the World in Eighty Days,
written in 1873 by the great Jules Verne, said in regard to his own
travel planning to circumnavigate the globe, "The unforeseen does not
exist." While we've understood for a long time the irony of that remark,
we still continue to make the effort to foresee what we can, leaving us time and energy to deal with the unforeseen as it arises.