When Travel Plans Spontaneously Change


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I wrote a post a couple of days ago about Women In Travel Summit (WITS). It’s a travel expo for women being held in the city of Boston at the end of March, 2015. While my sister isn’t a travel blogger, she loves traveling and wanted to attend the conference with me. The original plans were to fly in a day early on March 26th, which happened to also be my sister’s birthday. We were going to stay overnight in Boston for four evenings, departing back to Toronto on the Monday morning after the conference was over. I started to look up hotel and apartment information in Boston, started planning activities to do outside of the conference, and started to get excited about the possibilities of meeting fellow travel bloggers.

Then, the plans completely changed.

Has this ever happened to you before, where you were planning to visit one place and by the end of the day, you were fully booked to visit another? I am sorry to say that I won’t be attending WITS like I had originally planned. I really wanted to attend my first “real” travel expo. I’ve been to ones in the past where I’ve walked around and collected lots of information, but it seems nothing like WITS where there were many opportunities to network with travel companies, get advice and tips from pro travel bloggers, and get to meet so many like-minded ladies. It would have been such a great chance to meet online friends in real life. That was probably what I was looking forward to the most.

So, what made us change our plans? Well, we started looking at the costs of going to Boston. I really didn’t think that visiting a city that is fairly close to Toronto would be so expensive. We looked into the cost of the flights, the hotels, and of course, the tickets to the conference. Add on top of that the cost of food, and whatever activities we were thinking of doing outside of the conference, and the trip suddenly got very expensive. It started to look like it would cost us about $1000 per person, for a 4-night stay. Now, before you think, “They could make it work for less!”, well, this is true. But, if I’m going to visit a city that I’ve never visited before, I don’t want to go for just the conference and quickly leave. I would rather be able to explore a place and get a small feel for my surroundings and the city itself. I wanted to have a comfortable stay without traveling too far daily to get to the conference, while staying in a moderately luxurious place. I really like to find the best vegan restaurants in each place that I visit, and I likely wouldn’t have time to do groceries and prepare my own meals while making the most of my short time in Boston.

While I would really love to explore Boston, I also got to thinking that while it was the perfect opportunity to go to a travel conference, I’d also rather see Boston during the spring, summer, or autumn months. I am sure it is really pretty in Boston with all of the snow, but we have lots of snow in Toronto. I really like spending time outdoors when I travel, and I’d rather experience Boston when I don’t feel like I’m rushing from place to place just to get inside where it’s warm!

Robyn and I started discussing whether or not we still wanted to go to Boston. For less than that amount per person, we would be able to escape the cold and probably travel for even longer. After a little bit of research and many text messages being sent back and forth, we changed our plans from Boston to something completely different in the matter of a couple of hours! And, the trip is completely booked now, so there’s no turning back! Not like I would want to…because we are going to the Caribbean on a week-long cruise together! We’ve never done a sisters trip like this before. Unfortunately, Justin will be staying at home here with our cat while Robyn and I spend eight days in a tropical climate. It will be the first trip I will write about here on the blog that doesn’t include Justin. However, when I mentioned going on a cruise with my sister to Justin, he was 100% supportive and wanted me to plan a fun getaway with her!

The Itinerary

We are sailing about the Caribbean Princess from Fort Lauderdale. From there, we have stops at Princess Cays (a private beach in the Bahamas for Princess Cruises passengers), St. Thomas, St. Maarten, and Grand Turk. The cruise is seven days long, with two days at sea. We are flying in to Florida a day before the cruise sails, so we’ll have one extra day to soak up the sun. After a couple of months of a harsh Canadian winter, I will be glad to escape for the week to sunny Florida and some Caribbean islands!

You might wonder how much we ended up paying for our trip. Robyn and I booked the cheapest option for our cabin, which ended up being $493 for seven nights (yes, that comes out to around $70 per person for the room, food, entertainment on board, and of course, sailing from island to island). Our flight was $490 because we wanted a direct flight, and March flights are considered high-season here (it is spring break time for many schools). However, our flight to Boston was going to cost us $375, so it really isn’t that much more expensive than flying to Boston. We also got $100 free credit each, to be added to our on-board accounts, which will cover some additional costs that we may incur, like taking tours through the ship or alcoholic beverages.

I woke up today thinking that I was going to finalize my Boston trip, and by the end of the day, I was fully booked to fly to the Caribbean and take a cruise for a week.  My apologies to anyone that I was planning to meet in Boston – it will have to be some other time (and I know there will be many more conferences and opportunities, I’m sure!).

Have you ever changed travel plans in an instant to something completely different? Do you spontaneously plan your travels?

28 Responses

  1. Preview: Women In Travel Summit (WITS) Boston 2015 - Justin Plus Lauren
    | Reply

    […] WITS have changed and I’m now going somewhere completely different. Please read my blog post: When Travel Plans Spontaneously Change. I am sorry that I won’t be attending WITS as I was really looking forward to connecting with […]

  2. Fairlie
    | Reply

    I do that all the time…start with one idea and end up with something totally different. Four days ago I was planning a Melbourne ‘stay-cation’ for January…now we’re going to Vietnam. I like spontaneity, as long as as its well planned :)

    • Lauren
      | Reply

      Wow, that’s quite the change! Pretty awesome though.

  3. Karyn @ Not Done Travelling
    | Reply

    Awesome! You will get another chance to go to WITS and Boston. :)

    Michael and I planned our New York trip completely on a whim (we started the day planning to go to Thailand and ended it planning to go to North America lol). In our case it wasn’t a good idea to do it so spontaneously because although we got a really good deal our refund options were limited and as you know it ended up that we had to cancel. So spontaneity isn’t always a good thing…but in this case it sounds like you won’t have a problem. :)

    • Lauren
      | Reply

      Yes, I think I’ll check out where WITS ends up in 2016 perhaps and go then! Or maybe I’ll be lucky enough to go to TBEX North America if that’s ever announced. I’m sorry that you guys didn’t make it to NYC…but I’m sure you will someday.

  4. Hannah
    | Reply

    I wanted to go to WITS too but same thing with the cost. Airfare from Ottawa is nearly $600 when I last checked… Add another 200 and that could get me to Europe! So I am also passing. Maybe I should look for a Caribbean cruise too… Haha.

    • Lauren
      | Reply

      You should look into some cruises! The flight for us was more expensive than the actual cruise! But only by a little bit. The warm weather is also incredibly tempting, isn’t it!

  5. Jessi
    | Reply

    I’m sorry we won’t see you at WITS! I understand the cost, though. If Tara’s family didn’t live there to provide us free room and board we probably wouldn’t have been able to afford it either.

    We hope to catch you at another travel conference in the future! Or, better yet, make it up to Toronto sometime! Enjoy your cruise — I’ve been dying to take Tara on one. She’s never been and they’re a lot of fun. :)

    • Lauren
      | Reply

      Hopefully we can catch you guys at another conference or Toronto for sure! Or…on a cruise! March 7th in the Caribbean…if you guys want a pre-WITS cruise ;)

  6. Katie @WorldWideVegetarian.com
    | Reply

    Even though I was looking forward to how the conference in Boston will go, I am happy you two decided to make better use of your time and money. Plus, the Caribbean in March trumps Boston’s post winter weather I am sure. I look forward to hearing about your sister’s cruise, I am sure you will have an amazing time!

  7. Laura
    | Reply

    I think I would have made the same call Lauren. As a fellow Canadian, I want to fly somewhere warmer in the winter months. I would have picked the cruise too. Have fun!

  8. Katie
    | Reply

    I’m glad the change of plans is for a good reason! I think I’ve come to the same conclusion about the conference, it will end up costing a decent amount of money for a short trip… I might hold out for a slightly bigger conference! :)

  9. Shaun
    | Reply

    You need to make the most out of bad situations! I missed a flight from Toronto to a friends wedding in the Dominican Republic once and ended up with a crazy night out in Montreal before catching the only other flight that would get me there in time. Win win really.


  10. Marissa | Little Things Travel Blog
    | Reply

    SO sad to hear this! But I would say a cruise is an acceptable reason :) Hopefully we’ll have a chance to meet at another conference! Happy cruising!

  11. Becky
    | Reply

    Sorry I won’t get to meet you at WITS! I agree that these conferences can be expensive (I’ve missed some in the past for the same reasons) and I definitely understand using your money for other travel…enjoy your trip to the Caribbean!

  12. Jolanta
    | Reply

    March may or may not be snowy in Boston. That’s the thing about the area – as they say, if you don’t like New England weather, just wait 15 minutes and it will change. But you probably will have just as much if not more fun on the cruise with your sister. And I do hope you will visit Boston and MA at some point in the future! I’ll be waiting!

  13. Sightseeing in London? Use public transportation! | Casual Travelers
    | Reply

    […] It’s a wonderful community of travel bloggers who write about every corner of the world! This post was linked up through Justin & Lauren’s “When Plans Spontaneously Change.” […]

  14. Toni
    | Reply

    That sounds like an amazing trip and such a bargain. Can’t wait to read about it and see the photos!

  15. Rachel G
    | Reply

    Wow! That’s going to be an awesome trip, even if it wasn’t what you planned on at first! Because of the nature of my husband’s and my jobs, we don’t get much advance notice on when we’ll have time off, so with our two most recent trips–one to Malaysia and one to Hong Kong, we had to do all planning and booking less than a week in advance!

  16. NZ Muse
    | Reply

    Boston absolutely astounded me with prices. Even outside of the city, motels are outrageous!

    I think the most dramatic travel plan change we ever made was when my husband had to go to hospital in Bangkok and we couldn’t leave as soon as we planned.

  17. Jenna
    | Reply

    I’ve definitely done this before! Sounds like a good choice though in the end–more bang for your buck is always nice. Enjoy the cruise! I was hoping to go to WITS as well, but won’t be making it either. Hopefully next year!

  18. kami
    | Reply

    don’t worry, there will be other conferences, Boston will wait for you and the Caribbean trip sounds fabulous!! I already can’t wait to hear more about it!

  19. Megan Claire
    | Reply

    There will be other opportunities for conferences along the way – I like to think whenever my plans see a forced spontaneous change it was meant to be. The Carribean sounds absolutely amazing – you’ll have just as great a time as you would have at the conference…and I don’t think anyone will really blame you :D!

  20. Katie
    | Reply

    I just spontaneously changed travel plans! I was headed to Malaysia for New Years, had everything planned out (hotels, things to do) just had to buy the plane tickets. Then I found a good deal on flights to the Philippines, so I switched plans real quick (and only consulted my bf about it afterwards..whoops!) and now we’re headed to the Philippines in a week! Have fun on your cruise, St. Maarten is one of my all time favorite islands. I have been 1-2 times a year since I was 15, so if you want any tips…let me know!

  21. Anna | slightly astray
    | Reply

    How exciting!!! We change our plans all the time, mainly due to money/cost reasons too. I think it’s more worth it to go somewhere where your money will last longer, or get you more experiences. Your Caribbean cruise is a great deal!! I’ve always wanted to go on one. I’ll be looking forward to hearing about it!

    And btw… I love the new look!!

  22. antonette - we12travel
    | Reply

    Oh yeah, this happens to me, too. I think every traveler has been there. However, I get your choice, being in the warm sun of the Caribbean vs. a conference … hmmm, easy I’d say :-) enjoy!

  23. Couple Travel: When Couples Take Separate Vacations - Justin Plus Lauren
    | Reply

    […] this was going to be more expensive than we thought. As I explained in a past blog post entitled, When Travel Plans Spontaneously Change, we switched gears from Boston to a Caribbean cruise (around the same price and twice the vacation […]

  24. hajj service chennai
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    Very intriguing story behind this cathedral. It must have felt weird to be there! Thanks for sharing!

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