The Pitfalls of Putting Off Vacations
What a timely subject for your humble author! Let me tell you the story. My wife Gail and I had a significant anniversary this summer. So, in the fall of 2006, we began looking around for an appropriate trip to celebrate the event. We were cruise “virgins,” so we decided to look into that possibility. A friend recommended a specific line with mid-sized ships offering excellent accommodations and interesting itineraries. Better yet, the line offered two-for-one fares and free air. We settled on the eastern Mediterranean area, looking at the Greek isles. Also we wanted to avoid the peak summer crowds in Europe and, of course, the 2007 football season was a consideration.
Chuck, the occasional procrastinator, got busy with other things like law practice and bar activities. When I refocused on the trip in early 2007, I contacted the travel agent who handles my son Charles’ entertainment clients. There was bad news and good news. Our selected cruise was fully booked (bad), but our travel agent had arranged for us to be number one on the wait list (good). He suggested a $1,000 deposit on each of two classes of cabins, in-cluding a penthouse.
Cruise lines require payment-in-full 90 days in advance of departure. This deadline for us was in May and I felt pretty good about our chances. Then we got a call that a penthouse accommodation had opened up. Again, good news. But the bad news was that the price was more than the cost of the first house I bought. And, although the free air was still available, it would prove a difficult schedule. Plus, the two-for-one fares had almost disappeared.
Guess what we decided? No cruise this year; instead we extended our stay in California to include a side trip to the Napa valley after the ABA’s August Annual Meeting in San Francisco.
All of us have done something similar at one time or another—we let some pseudo-crisis delay a journey. (You know what I mean—maybe this case will come up on a calendar or a big client will hire you.) Here are some lessons I learned from this situation:
- The old axiom of “never put off until tomorrow what you can do today” definitely applies to vacation travel.
- Plan early and make arrangements far in advance.
- The office will still operate—even when you’re gone.
- If this concept makes you nervous, arrange your communications in advance. There are Internet cafes everywhere.
- Arrange a set time for emails, if you must, and a set time to call the office.
Remember, you’re on vacation!
Chuck Driebe, editor-in-chief of SOL0, has a general practice in Jonesboro, Georgia. Contact him at email@example.com.