Travel Planning to Italy – Trip Postponed

posted in: Italy Travel, Italy Travel Planning, Writing | 14

To all of you who have been reading my blog, thank you. I appreciate all of you and enjoy reading any comments you take the time to write as well. Between reading my blog and my book, you know that I have traveled to Italy with my brother Rick and my sister-in-law Monica on several occasions. In fact they were the ones with me on my very first trip to Italy in 2007.

In the Cinque Terre with Rick and Monica
In the Cinque Terre with Rick and Monica

I had not planned on returning to Italy so soon but last fall Rick decided that he wanted to go to Sicily and asked if I would like to join him and Monica. Naturally it didn’t take long for me to say yes and we started planning a trip which would include ten days in Sicily, four on the Amalfi Coast, and two in Rome. The plan was to explore the parts of Sicily that we haven’t seen and also return to the parts that we really enjoyed. On the Amalfi Coast we were going to be able to experience Stage 3 of the Giro d’Italia, Italy’s three week long cycling race, and Rick in particular was very excited about that since he is an avid cyclist.

Rick and Monica in Cefalu
Rick and Monica in Cefalu

You have read many times of my descriptions of him kicking my butt in Italy with his insistence on walking everywhere, simply with the goal of getting a lot of exercise. He really is obsessed with being fit. Too bad it hasn’t worn off on me. Anyway, seven weeks ago he suffered a cycling accident himself and broke a few bones and has been lamenting the fact that he just has to wait till they heal. He may even need surgery and although it is not a certainty, it was clear that he would not be in shape to leave for Italy in a few weeks as originally planned, although he was in denial about that for awhile.

Rick hiking in the Cinque Terre
Rick hiking in the Cinque Terre

So we cancelled our nonrefundable tickets from Delta, kicking ourselves that we had not bought travel insurance. Without it the penalty to change an international flight is $250 per person. On top of that we had made reservations at one of the hotels in Sicily for five nights and these rooms were also nonrefundable. What can you do? It is what it is. After a week or two of checking things, making phone calls, and securing another vacation at work for September, we were lucky enough to have Delta waive the penalty for all three of us after explaining the situation. We also lucked out with the hotel which we booked through The customer service people there were able to communicate with the hotel, through phone calls and emails, and they allowed us to change the dates without losing any money. Today I had a phone call from Dehan who gave me the good news that both rooms were changed successfully till September.

I was able to change the other reservations myself since they were not prepaid, and we have not yet booked the rental car. I learned two things from this situation. One is to always buy travel insurance. I even wrote an article about why it’s a good idea to purchase travel insurance and then did not take my own advice. The second thing I learned is that I will not purchase nonrefundable hotel reservations even if they are cheaper.

Rick after his accident
Rick after his accident

So everything is going well. Hopefully Rick won’t need surgery but if he does he is prepared to do what he needs to do. He has attracted a little fan club actually from readers who have grown fond of him, so I told him that you are counting on him to be good to go.

14 Responses

  1. Janice Heck

    The travel insurance is probably a necessity. Our family has learned to just go along and pay it. We have had to cancel one trip because of health issues and lost our whole deposit. We learned the hard way, too. You’ll enjoy the trip once you get there, and maybe the weather will be a little better. Enjoy.

    • imarancher

      Insurance is the first thing that people want to save money on but I never found it to be a good idea. You might “win” a time or two but sooner or later you will bite the bullet from a substantial loss. Just pony up the cash and consider it the cost of traveling. Bonnie D.

  2. Donna

    Glad to hear Rick is on the mend. Oh World Traveler – no insurance? Good that it worked out for you. I’ve never known Delta to be so accommodating, so congrats. I guess the delay was meant to be.

    • margieinitaly

      I know Donna. Shame on me. Ironically it was Rick who said we didn’t need travel insurance but that’s still no excuse! Live and learn.

  3. imarancher

    The best laid plans of mice and men gang aft astray. We biological creatures do have our flaws. Being a horsewoman I have had my share of broken bones so I sympathize with Rick. It really is a pain to have one small problem and not be able to do much of anything even though 80% of you is working just fine!

  4. Debra Kolkka

    It is good that you were able to change your bookings. Thankfully people were understanding. I always buy travel insurance, but sometimes I leave it until the last minute…not a good idea.

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