Adjusting your travel plans for the unexpected - Curt Yeomans

There is an old saying that "[expletive] Happens," and it can be a real pain when that saying becomes reality.

I was recently in an automobile accident, and my car ended up being declared a total loss.

I won't go long on the details, but let's just say I'm having to take a good chunk of the money that I have been saving up for my trip to Europe next summer to add onto a down payment for a new car.

Let's just say I did not see this one coming.

It points out that, sometimes, your plans for travel can go awry due to unexpected emergency expenses.

Fortunately, my trip is still several months away, so I can make adjustments and still get to the London Olympics.

One big adjustment that I have to make, however, is that I have to cut out planned visits to Amsterdam and Brussels. This will simply be a trip to London, and back.

I had not paid for any trips to the other cities, but I had put down a significant amount of money already for London (Olympics tickets, hotel rooms, etc.) The only pre-planning expenses I have left at this point is airfare to London.

This underscores why it is important to begin planning your travel as far in advance as possible. Because I have been working to set up reservations for several months now, I'm in a position where this incident does not completely derail my plans.

And, that's the key here. If you begin putting your plans together as far in advance as possible, you can absorb life's little unexpected expenses, and still make your trip happen.

Most travel web sites allow you to begin making your reservations close to a month in advance. That is the best time to make your reservations, because you pay those expenses right then.

Of course, that means you have to start saving your money far in advance before THAT. I'd say it's probably best to begin saving your money two years out.

That way you can pay for it when you are allowed to begin making your reservations.

That way, when you have an automobile accident 8-and-a-half months before your trip, you will only be out of some spending cash.

Otherwise, you will end up like me — having to amend your plans, and taking some money out of your vacation funds.

Curt Yeomans covers government for the Clayton News Daily. He can be reached at (770) 478-5.