My younger son and I took a road trip to New York when my older son’s car broke down beyond repair. We planned to drive from Florida to New York with a used car and then fly home. With as cold as it gets in the Niagara Falls area, we knew my son couldn’t last long without his own vehicle even though he lived in a dorm. My younger son and I hoped there would be snow so we could go cross-country skiing. We also planned to check out all the local restaurants and visit Niagara Falls. However, our travel plans turned into a travel nightmare in February 2013 when the Nemo Blizzard brought heavy snowfall and hurricane-force winds to some parts. Looking back, we could have easily prevented some of the problems with better planning.
Packing a cooler
Our first mistake was not taking advantage of the fact that we drove a car from Florida to New York. We could have packed supplies so we wouldn’t end up stranded in a dorm room with only vending machines. It was impossible to leave the dorm to pick up food because the snow kept falling nonstop.
Preparing for the weather
My son and I were not at all prepared for the harsh weather of New York. We lived in colder weather states in the past, but never experienced the frigid cold that made my hands go numb. When we stepped outside the car in New York, we decided we wouldn’t be going skiing during our visit. We regretted not packing warmer clothing and blankets because we became stranded at my son’s dorm.
Bringing enough cash
Another travel mistake I made was not bringing enough cash and credit cards. My bank froze my account while we were literally freezing because of “suspicious” activity. They noticed charges made in different states, which seemed unusual. I didn’t realize I needed to call and alert my bank to the fact that I’d be travelling and charging items in different cities.
Our terrible trip went from bad to worse when we arrived at the airport to fly home. The plane was delayed, which meant we had very little time to get to our plane on time. My son and I had to run across the airport with our bags. We made it just as the flight attendants were about to put up the gates. I regret not choosing a direct flight home. My husband would say I was just experiencing “first world problems,” which is true. Ultimately, our trip was not about skiing and dining at a revolving restaurant overlooking the Niagara Falls. It was about rescuing our son stranded without a car in one of the coldest places I’ve ever been. Everyone was just glad we made it home safely.