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The Benefits of Being Comfortable with Change During Travel.

What our trip to New Orleans taught us about keeping our travel plans flexible.

We recently went to New Orleans. Before we could let loose and let the good times roll, we had to make some adjustments. We flew out on a different day than we originally thought we would and even went for a completely different reason than originally planned. This trip taught us that to travel we have to be flexible and become comfortable with change.

The Original Plan

We originally booked our trip to go to our cousin's wedding. We had bought the tickets for the plane and booked the Air BnB accommodations when we decided that we were for sure going to attend. With everything going on in the world in 2020 the wedding celebration was pushed back at least a year. They still got married on that day but they had a smaller ceremony in their home of Chicago. We decided to still have the wedding celebration for them, thus keeping our scheduled trip to New Orleans. Now we had to come up with a new itinerary that did not revolve around a wedding.

But the change would not start when we landed in Nola. We received 3 or 4 emails from our airline changing the time and/or layover location of our departure flight over the 8 months from booking to flying.

The Hurricane

We also found out that there was hurricane brewing at that time that was headed in the direction of Louisiana. The original track was going to go through New Orleans. As it went through the gulf along Cancun it appeared to switch west to not directly hit Nola. Living in Florida, a hurricane is something that we are familiar with. But how ironic is it to finally be able to fly after several years and the location you are visiting has a hurricane coming their way?

But thank God for flexible schedules! We originally planned to fly out on Friday to arrive the day before the wedding. With the wedding not being the centerpiece of the trip, we were able to shift our trip that was originally Friday to Monday to become a trip that was Saturday to Tuesday.

The Flights

Our jobs allowed us to switch how we took our four day weekend and a big shoutout to Southwest Airlines for allowing us to change the dates of our flight with no issues or additional fees. We did have to wait until the hurricane was for sure going to pass our destination on the day of our original arrival, but that was not a big deal. The travel advisory showed up in the agent's system and we were able to switch the flights.

We thought we would have to pay a lot more to change the flights on short notice. We thought the price would be a lot higher for this "last minute" flight in comparison to the price we paid for the flight 8 months prior. Or at least we thought that we would have to pay a large fee for changing the flight days. But none of that occurred. Woo!

The Air Bnb

With the flights updated, we then needed to check in with our lodging. We saw on Air Bnb that our host had the day after our departure from Nola still available to rent. She was not able to make the change on our her end, but we were able to make the update through the Air Bnb website. We even wound up with a $3 credit from the drop in price from the original dates!

The Airport Parking

Another aspect of the trip that we booked in advance was our means of getting to the airport. We booked a park and fly type shuttle where we drove to a parking lot close to the airport and they provided a shuttle to take people to and from the airport. This strategy saves you a lot of money compared to the daily price of leaving your car parked on premises at the airport.

They were very lackadaisical about making this change for us. We booked online which was pretty easy. The problem was that there was no way to change the dates once the tickets were purchased. When we called up to talk to someone, they told us not to worry about it. When we reached the Park and Fly location, we wanted to make the change before dropping off the car but they told us to make the update on the way out. We would have loved to just be able to switch the days of the four day trip back a day and have some physical proof of the update but no one at the company seems as concerned about this causing an issue as we were. I guess as long as the parking lot was not jammed pack it was not going to be a problem. This also turned out just fine and did not cost us any additional money.

The Airport

When we got to the airport we went through security smoothly and were able to get to the waiting section for our plane in plenty of time. We did make a mistake with our water bottles though. We thought we could bring in a sealed plastic water bottle through security, but that was not the case. TSA made us throw the water bottle away and gave us a slap on the wrist. I guess that rule only applies for sporting events. We also thought we needed to take off our shoes to go through security but that was not something we were asked to do.

The Trip

All of this change did us a lot of good though. We ended up with a $3 credit on Air Bnb and did not have to pay any more to change our parking days or our airplane flights. The weather in New Orleans on Friday (with the hurricane looming) would have been nasty and we would of had to stay inside all day. We ended up with absolutely gorgeous weather the entire time and it did not rain once. We learned a lot about change preparing for Nola. The biggest thing we learned is that change is not all bad and keeping an open mind and a flexible schedule can lead to having a great time!

Check out our New Orleans video on YouTube:

We were in search of praline filled beignets! Did we ever find them?

In this travel vlog to New Orleans we visited:

* The French Quarter

* The Original Cafe Du Monde Coffee Stand for beignets (french-style doughnuts) and cafe au lait

* Louis Armstrong Airport

* Envie Espresso Bar & Cafe

* Superdome and Smoothie King Center

* Jackson Brewing Company

* World War II Museum

* Greetings from NOLA Mural

* Race and Religious event venue

* Nola Street performers

Thanks for reading our blog on New Orleans! Talk to you next week. This is WITY TRAVELS.

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