The first three steps of travel occur before arriving to a destination. They are planning, packing and departure. Planning for the trip can take quite a while. My upcoming river cruise (sailing from Basel, Switzerland to Amsterdam) was actually two years in the planning stage. We would spend five nights in Switzerland Pre-cruise, then sail for one week, then end with two additional nights in Amsterdam. Eight of my group members would be together for this full schedule, and six additional travelers would join us when we reached Basel. Every piece of the puzzle was perfect!
I began packing just two days prior to departure, and in the midst I received an email from Crystal Cruises telling me the Rhine was low and my ship, Crystal Debussy, could not reach Basel. Our ship would now depart from Andernach, Germany and Crystal was asking for passengers to switch their flights to arrive into Frankfurt instead of Basel or to take a short flight from Basel to Frankfurt. Crystal offered a reimbursement credit up to a set amount for the adjustment. At this point, two couples were already elsewhere in Europe and decided to fly into Frankfurt instead of Basel. The remaining ten of us where looking forward to our time in Basel.
I quickly pulled up my map and determined that Andernach was only a 3.5 hour drive from Basel, which was about the same time it would take to get to Frankfurt, taking the waiting time at the airport into consideration. After consulting with my fellow travelers (the remaining ten), we all agreed we would prefer to drive to Andernach, seeing the countryside and stopping for a nice lunch along the way. It was now Friday night and eight of us were leaving on Sunday, so I needed to act fast to make a change! After contacting Crystal for approval to transfer by land instead of air, I quickly messaged my in-Switzerland contacts to assist with this new necessary arrangement.
Rule number one when traveling by river cruise: Flexibility is the key! Do not let unexpected changes hamper your enjoyment! I am so extremely thankful that my travel companions know how to go with the flow (pun intended)!!