I Have To Admit, I Am Nervous About My Upcoming Trip

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I Have To Admit, I Am Nervous About My Upcoming Trip

I have a trip coming up in less than a week, my first “big” trip since the pandemic hit.  No, I am not leaving the US, but going to Alaska kind of feels like going to another country, doesn’t it? The almost 8 hour flight is about how long it takes me to get to Western Europe after all. And if I am being completely honest, I am nervous about this trip.  It isn’t because of the pandemic or because I fear getting sick etc. I am starting to think that I feel nervous because I am travel rusty.

Throw in the fact that nothing is easy travel wise these days. I have been talking about how travel is going to be a hot mess this summer for weeks now and that doesn’t seem to be changing any time soon.  That plays a part in it for sure, but I think not being in the swing of things does as well.

Travel Feels A Little Different Now

Normally I am going somewhere every two to three weeks or so. During my normal travel year I average between 20-25 trips, a point where it felt like too much honestly. It got so bad that I admitted to being addicted to travel and that I needed a break. I never thought a pandemic would be that much needed break but here we are. Did I cause this thing all on my own? I wish I had that much power 😂, so moving on.

So I am used to fitting travel in on a regular basis.  And while I traveled a few times during the pandemic it was nowhere near normal. I would also say that the trips were pretty straightforward.  This upcoming trip is anything but.  We are talking about some moving parts, multiple hotels (finally used some Choice points!) and multiple cities during our visit. That normally wouldn’t be much of a daunting task but when you are rusty as 💩 it puts doubt in your mind.

Shaking Off The Built Up Rust

Normally I am confident in what I am doing, I am a well oiled machine. But now hiccups mean long wait times or hours on chat to get fixes. I mean our flight to Anchorage has only changed time like 7 times now.

I find myself double and triple checking our bookings and I just hope car rental carmageddon hasn’t hit Anchorage for the busy summer season quite yet. You guys all know how much I looooove renting cars too. There seems to be so many potential pitfalls that it gives me pause, or better yet anxiety like Bethany Walsh said during our recent chat in the MtM Diamond Lounge.

I guess my point of this post is to say that if you have been feeling the same way that you are not alone.  We have been homebound for the better part of a year, or more, so rust is bound to build up.  While we may not be worried about the act of traveling we could still have apprehension about our rusty skills and trying to get from point a to b. God forbid something goes wrong.  We used to be carnival acts that could jump through any number of hoops, now it seems like we are playing against a stacked deck in the post pandemic travel landscape.

Final Thoughts

But this is all likely fear without cause.  At least that is what I tell myself.  We know what we are doing and to be honest it will probably be like riding a bike.  So whenever you get to scratching that travel itch, know you aren’t alone having anxiety about the ever changing rules or double guessing all of your bookings. Realize that many of us are right there with you. Just remember, we haven’t forgot how to pedal that bike! All we need is a few trips under our belts to get back into the swing of things!

Mark Ostermann
Mark Ostermann is a father, husband and miles/points fanatic. He left the corporate world after starting a family in order to be a stay at home dad. Mark is constantly looking at ways to save money and stay within budget while also taking awesome vacations with his family. When he isn't caring for his family or taking a weekend trip, Mark is working towards his goal of visiting every Major League Baseball ballpark.

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  1. Mark welcome to Alaska. Long term follower I was born and raised in Anchorage but am in Costa Rica until June 11th staying at the Marriott Las Suenos. ( Nice property by the way). Going to Seattle 11-13th.
    Back in Anchorage after that. If you are there when we get home love to buy you a drink.

    • We are heading back later on this week so I am going to miss you unfortunately 🙁 – would have loved meeting up though. Maybe next time! Save travels and have a good trip 🙂

  2. I live in Anchorage. Nice summer so far. Kendall Auto Dealership and U-Haul may be more reliable choices for vehicle rentals here this summer, although I believe U-Haul charges for mileage.

    • I went through National and have status with them so I am hoping that works out well. I imagine I’ll be beating the summer rush (or hope at least) so they hopefully will have cars etc. 🙂

  3. Like you, my July flight to Anchorage has changed more times than I care to count. My concern is the arrival time for my car rental is now a couple hours later than my original booking. Totally afraid to touch my reservation. I plan On calling the car rental place directly during my layover. There are no car rentals to be found in Alaska this summer unless you want to spend $300 a day with Turo. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you, and let me know how it goes.

  4. I don’t get it. Are you serious or just generating clickbait? Unless you have no money for random issues that inevitably occur when you travel, you need to grow a pair. Jeez. Disappointed Mark.

    • Sorry to disappoint by being honest with you. We have a tight schedule with a lot of money already involved and correcting issues isn’t the easiest right now, I’m rusty at all this stuff and I will have my young son with me which adds to it all. If I was traveling by myself it would be a different story.

  5. Good post. I am hoping to start business travl in a few weeks myself. Planning a winter trip to the UK but that is 50/50% right now with the current restrictions. Things would need to chnage where I would not need to be quarantined etc.

    • Hopefully everything is good by then! I would imagine most (all?) restrictions should be gone by then.

  6. I traveled to Vegas last month and it really didn’t feel that much different at all. I think the reason is that I had been traveling during the pandemic to places by car. I was up at Foxwoods a couple of times; hiked in the Berkshires and spent a few days at Lake Placid.
    So staying in hotels, and packing and unpacking didn’t seem that much different. It was the first time I flew on a plane since the pandemic, but I flew first class which obviously made the whole experience a little easier.
    I’m headed to Seattle in two weeks and I’m looking forward to getting back on the road.
    Happy trails!

    • Have a great trip to Seattle Rick! My trips to Vegas and Florida etc. didn’t feel all that different but with this one being a bigger trip with more moving parts it has me uneasy for some reason. Hopefully I am worrying for no reason 🙂

      • But I’ve always found that there’s joy and planning for the contingencies; Like when I find that use my Swiss Army knife that I packed, or when I’m really happy that I packed the duck tape to hold a suitcase together that broke …

  7. I am just hoping when I get to Tampa they have a rental car but at least if they don’t we can Uber to Clearwater (if we can find an Uber). Last resort will be calling my sister in law and asking her to drive from Sarasota to come get us! Could also check out Turo but probably most will be booked up or expensive for last minute bookings.

    • It is nice to have options. One of the biggest fears is that I can’t Uber etc. the places we are going so I need to get that car or we are dead in the water. I think I’ll be fine but you never know these days.

  8. Right there with you. Taking the family to Turks and Caicos at the end of this month and while we are all vaccinated, I find myself most worried that one of us will test positive just due to an exposure somewhere along the trip and then either be turned away at the front end, or forced to stay for 2 weeks longer on the back end.

  9. I get it completely. I made my first trip and it was a just a simple non-stop PDX to ORD and back for 4 days. I must have triple checked my apps to make sure all was good and I didn’t have to deal with a rental care. For what it’s worth, a great way to reduce the stress is to make an actual, pen to paper checklist. You can then add items, check them, etc…Trust me..this simple act goes a long way to restoring your travel reflexes. Let’s be honest, travel before covid was a grind, with lots of road warrior tales of disasters. We know that support staff levels are not back to pre-pandemic levels so in the back of our minds, we can’t help but think, well if something goes off, how is airline X or rental car company Y going to try to help me? Can I get ahold of anyone…make your check list…and then smile when you feel that aircraft landing at your destination, and you have just checked into the cleanest hotel room you will ever have! 🙂

    • Great point about the checklist and how hiccups are gonna be tougher than ever to deal with. Here is to hoping I have smooth sailing 🙂


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