It’s almost as if Mercury retrograde enjoys meddling with vacation plans, one small yet crucial detail at a time. The planet is thought to make travel plans go haywire when it’s in its three-week long retrograde period, due to the fact that, according to astrology, it rules communication and technology. This summer, Mercury is retrograde from Jul. 7 to Jul. 31. That’s probably when you’re planning on vacationing, right? Same. Don’t despair, there are Mercury retrograde survival tips if you’re on vacation and are ~feeling~ this chaotic astrological energy.
Anytime I have traveled during Mercury retrograde, something has gone awry. The rental car breaks down. The hotel doesn’t have the reservation in their computer even though I have a confirmation number. The flight is delayed, but only once I’m seated on the plane, where of course the cool air isn’t properly working. No trip has ever been doomed by the retrograde, but frustration on a vacation doesn’t feel like a break from the stress of daily life. Which, correct me if I’m wrong, is what we take vacations for?
There are, thankfully, a number of ways to survive Mercury retrograde if you’re going on or are already on a vacation. “When Mercury retrogrades, all communication-focused activities like travel experience delays and interruptions,” Narayana Montufar, senior astrologer at Astrology.com and Horoscope.com, tells Bustle. While technology might let you down, these tips won’t. Having patience and ~going with the flow~ will ease you into an enjoyable, albeit wonky, time away.
1. Print Things Out
Don’t fully depend on technology. Confirmation codes and boarding passes could get lost somewhere in the pixels. Revert to the ancient ways of doing things: print out your boarding pass, or any other materials (like directions, addresses and hotel confirmations). Having a hard copy means you’ll stay calm when your phone freezes and you can’t access the address you really, really need.
2. Arrive Early
You know the advice about how you should show up to the airport two hours before a domestic flight, and three hours before an international one? During Mercury retrograde, I urge you to take it seriously. Lines are always long at airports, but during this retrograde, they could be even more backed up. Computers can go down, kiosks can freeze up, and all of this can cause back up of cranky travelers waiting to get through security or even just be checked in. Show up early for your flight. Even if check-in and security are a breeze you’ll be happy you won’t have to worry about missing your flight.
Also: Take into consideration that there may be congested roads on the way to the airport. Montufar tells Bustle, “Book your ride to the airport ahead of time just in case of traffic or something else comes up.”
3. Check The Details
It’s ~all~ in the details. So keep checking them. Your restaurant reservations, your flight time, your airport terminal. Feeling a little over the top is better than feeling a lot bummed when you show up a day early for your flight. Plus, as Montufar puts it, checking the details will prevent you from “running around like a manic.”
4. Have A Sense Of Humor
Things happen. The plane is at the gate for two hours past your departure time, or the car does break down in the actual middle of nowhere — it might happen. These situations are ones which you must ride out with an impressive sense of humor. Giving in to the turmoil of delays and mishaps makes the situation 1,000 times worse to endure. Going with the flow, and laughing about it, will make these frustrations easier. Plus, you’ll have a story to tell upon your return home.
5. Revisit Old Places
If you’re planning a vacation while Mercury is retrograde, go back to a place you know well and love. Mercury retrograde brings up things from our past. Revisiting a place you went to as a child could be powerful. If you’re already on a vacation — to a totally new place — revisit restaurants you’ve tried and liked. There’s comfort in becoming a temporary regular.
6. Triple Check Your Hotel Room Before Leaving
Before leaving your lodging, do a sweep or three to make sure you have every important document you need to get home. “Right before you leave your home or hotel, make sure you have your ID or passport, because, without them, you aren’t going anywhere,” Montufar says. The last thing you need is arriving at the airport only to realize your passport is still in your hotel room’s safe.
7. Slow Down
It’s a vacation. Take a second. Go sit on the beach. Plug into a guided meditation. Mercury retrograde has a reputation for being a chaotic time. When really all it’s asking of us is to slow down. Do that! Enjoy the small things. Re-read your favorite books. Journal. It’s a vacation! “Bring a good book/magazine or load some new podcasts in case your flight ends up canceled or the wifi is down,” Montufar advises. Think of cancelled flights as a chance to catch up on reading and the news.
8. Bring Battery Packs
Packing nine different bathing suit options isn’t exactly prepared with Mercury is retrograde. “Carry a battery pack with you in case you end up stuck inside the plane in one of those horrible, never-ending delays,” Montufar tells Bustle. Or, if your phone dies while you’re lounging poolside.
9. Stock Up On Crystals
“If you are into crystals, carry a pouch with a piece of amethyst, white quartz, and pyrite to attract good vibes and protection,” Montufar advises. Honestly, I’ll try anything to keep me calm when I’m stuck on the side of the road.