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How To Travel While Mercury Is In Retrograde

By Stephanie Ogbogu

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Here we are again, Mercury is in retrograde for what seems like the millionth time this year. If you’re into horoscopes and astrology, you’re already familiar with what this means and how it affects your day to day life. If you’re not familiar, Mercury Retrograde occurs three or four times a year. During that time, Mercury appears to be moving in the opposite direction of Earth. In astrology, Mercury rules communication so during this period it’s expected to encounter frequent misunderstandings, scheduling problems and disagreements with friends. You’re encouraged to avoid signing important documents during this time, be mindful of how you speak to your loved ones and most importantly, don’t travel if you don’t have to.

Mercury is currently in retrograde. It’s expected that the retrograde period will last from  July 7 to July 31. If you don’t believe in this type of thing, you probably haven’t noticed anything out of the ordinary. However, on July 8, I experienced my first travel related retrograde and it was not fun.

After a long weekend out of town for work, I was finally ready to get back home to my comfortable bed and my daily routine. I had spent the last few days in New Orleans for the Essence Festival and in an effort to cut down on travel costs, rather than fly back to Los Angeles from New Orleans, I chose to fly back from Houston, TX.

After hours of driving, I arrive in Houston just in time. I had already checked in the night before, and I only had a carry-on bag which meant that with the help of my TSA pre-check, I would breeze through security, grab a bite to eat, and find a comfortable spot to charge my phone and laptop before my flight boards. Unfortunately, Mercury had other plans.

Despite it only being 6pm on a Monday, TSA Pre-check had closed, which meant that I would have to go through the normal screening and endure a much longer and slower line than usual.

Eventually after a long wait, I make it to my gate. However, minutes before our boarding time, lightening began to strike. No storms, just lightening. I watched as the flight I was supposed to board was not allowed to pull into the jet bridge and deplane until the lightening stopped. This caused our flight to be delayed, first for 20 minutes, which was doable, but then it was another 20 minutes, then another, and then another, and then it was undetermined when or if we’d be boarding.

Long story short, we eventually board our flight 4 hours later following lightening delays and the flight crew timing out and having to be replaced with a new crew from a different city. It was a long and draining travel experience that has taught me to consider retrograde when making travel plans.

So, how do you avoid falling victim to Mercury Retrograde? Here’s some steps you can take

Keep It Simple, Stupid

Mercury Retrograde is not a time to complicate things. Keep your travel plans as simple as possible. That means, don’t be like me and try to fly from another city just to save a $300. Bite the bullet and keep your travel plans as simple and streamlined as possible.

Travel For Leisure

It’s actually encouraged that you travel for leisure during retrograde rather than for work.

“While the Mercury Retrograde havoc is affecting everyone around you, consider taking some time off and enjoy a trip solely for pleasure,” astrologer Kyle Thomas suggests. “The office will miss you and they’ll realize how irreplaceable you are while gone!”

On the flip side, Mercury rules commerce, so if you’re planning on traveling for business, be warned that business deals may not pan out during this time.

Check In Early, Arrive Early

Traveling during retrograde is all about preparation and the goal is to be as prepared as possible before you arrive at the airport. That means checking in to your flight 24 hours early online or via a mobile app and showing up about an hour earlier than you normally would. This gives you time to regroup should you run into any snags throughout the day.

Make Copies Of Important Documents

Mercury Retrograde is a time where things are known to come up missing so make sure you make photocopies of all of your important documents, including your passport, driver’s license, prescriptions and anything else you’ll need while traveling.

Label and Tag Everything

Your luggage, tag it! Anything that will possibly leave your hands, make sure it has your name on it. Make sure everything is legible and your contact information is available so that if anything comes up missing, it can be returned to you.

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Stephanie Ogbogu

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