Published on January 28, 2014 | by Laura Breiter Photography by Tiana Gordinho0
Travel lightly, leave your stress at home
Toronto Pearson Airport has been crowded with delays and layovers throughout the last month, but that’s not stopping students from planning a spring break getaway.
Last month, Ontario experienced some extremely cold weather with Environment Canada reporting temperatures as low as -20, shutting down airports and filling them up with thousands of customers all with another place to be. Laura Di Tomaso, a third year Guelph-Humber student was one of those people.
She was stuck in Detroit for over 24 hours and missed her first day of classes, which she blamed on bad weather conditions. “The lineup to rebook your flight was out of control. You couldn’t even see the zigzagging that was going on up front and the extension of it in the back. It was hours of waiting,” Di Tomaso said.
Di Tomaso was returning home from a trip to Orlando when the weather dropped to -15, covering runways with layers of ice and stranding planes on the ground.
“You try to get comfortable you try to scope out the area, and you talk to people. There are people that had been there for two or three days already; brushing their teeth in the washrooms.”
Di Tomaso’s layover was 30 hours. She’s no expert but the experience taught her something about travel. “Keep an extra outfit and toothbrush in your carryon, wear contact lenses if you need them, and pack some food. The goal at the end of the day is get home safe,” she said.
With the holiday travel season now over, airlines and travellers are beginning to prepare for the next big vacation, spring break.
Michael Gambacorta, a third year Public Relations student, is one of the many young people going away with friends over reading week. This year Gambacorta is going to the Bahamas and is making sure to take all the right steps to prepare.
“I’m organizing myself right now. I’m finishing all my homework early and getting any extra curricular things I have to do done so I don’t have to worry about it before,” he said. “This way I’m not freaking out the day I leave.”
Dawn Aitkin, a Professor at Humber’s School of Hospitality, Recreation and Tourism agreed that planning ahead and being organized is key to stress-free travel.
“Plan on being there early enough so you don’t have to be stressed out because if you’re running late driving to the airport or trying to get a transfer and you’re feeling all upset it doesn’t really matter- you’re not going to enjoy that first day,” she said.
Although buying travel insurance may not be as popular for students, Aitkin said if you pay the extra 50 dollars it could be beneficial in the long run to protect unexpected delays and cancellations.
“The weather is the one thing we can’t control. But you can control who you book with; airlines or tour operators that have better reputations of ensuring that their product is sold the way it’s advertised,” she said.
The first Monday of Guelph-Humber’s reading week is also Family Day, making the travel season twice as busy. Aitkin said this creates higher prices for students looking to get away.
As far as packing goes, Aitkin speaks from experience, “If you can live without it don’t put it in your bag.” Sentimental values and irreplaceable items are things travellers should leave at home.
“You’re going on your holiday to relax; to kick back and not worry about anything. You plan for the risk.”