For me and my daughters the best time to travel is in the month of September. We just discovered this on our recent trip to Europe. This is also a more convenient month for me because tax season is over and although we have clients who have fiscal years as the end of the accounting period, this month is not as hectic as the first half of the year when deadlines are crazy. .
There’s a song that says “See you in September when the summer is over” and what a relief it is that the summer crowds are already gone by September. And a big advantage when you travel this month is that the cost is cheaper: rates and hotels are lower since this is not a peak month. The weather is also cool, but not cold. And as we have seen, we can enjoy more the places we will visit because there are fewer people than in the summer months.
We started our journey of “a thousand steps” on September 17, 2022 (you will see later why a thousand steps). The first stop is the Netherlands and we were anxious at first because of the recent news that there is a labor shortage at the airport. The problem is not getting in but flying out. As we will be flying from Amsterdam to Nice and my daughter anticipated the problem of long queues, she booked us in business class. It was the best decision as we saw the super long trail of people queuing up to check in and go through security. And of course, we enjoy the hall not only because of the many varieties of food but also because it is huge; thus, it is easier to find a good place to rest and even take a short nap.
We conveniently survived this challenge by leaving the airport for another flight, but we were also thinking about the future flight we have back to the Philippines since our departure airport is also Amsterdam. But there is no time to worry because we are about to start our trip to several countries in Europe.
It’s true what some people have recommended: don’t wait to travel until you’re too old to walk. International airports are huge and there is a lot of walking to get to the departure gate or the baggage area or immigration area. But I just see it as a kind of exercise since I walk every day at home anyway as my form of exercise, in addition to spinning, dancing and doing strength training like lifting weights. You also need to wear comfortable and good shoes, which you can take from the airport to the places you are going to visit. I only brought two types of shoes: rubber shoes and leather shoes that are so comfortable.
I am with my two active and driven daughters and I have realized that I am no match for their energy and vitality. It made me realize that I am getting old and not as motivated and energetic as them. I also see myself in them when I was their age, squeezing as many itineraries and activities as I can into such short days. Although I am nowhere near as relaxed as I am now, priorities need to be set so that I can enjoy quieter moments where I can simply relax and savor the place and the views. But my other daughter used to tell me – Mom, you’re still squeezing in a lot of your activities today! That’s the advantage of traveling with families, you see in what they tell you, traits that sometimes you don’t see in yourself since we all have blind spots (huh!).
However, you can still do business while traveling, which you should of course try to limit. But I have done remote management of our home office work with the use of the Internet. A word of caution though – don’t rely on roaming WIFI, signals are unreliable. I got better signals from airports and hotels and places we stayed. However, minimize using banking apps or accessing data that you don’t want hacked.
The longest airport wait I experienced was at Schipol Airport in Amsterdam on my way back to the Philippines. Since there is still a shortage of manpower, the wait at check-in was long but not as long as the line for security. It was the longest wait I have ever experienced in my life at an airport. We anticipated it but we did not anticipate that it would be worse than we can imagine. lesson? Avoid Schipol Airport in Amsterdam as much as possible unless you have the stamina to wait in those long lines or check before you travel to make sure the labor shortage issue has been resolved. It used to be one of the best airports in Europe but now it is one of the worst.
There have been ups and downs in the travels but I’m still looking forward to another one. Traveling is an investment – it gives us a perspective that life is more than our home, our job, our social circles and it made me believe more in a greater God who created such an amazing and wonderful world. As in Desiderata’s line “with all its farce and jobs and broken dreams, it’s still a beautiful world”
Wilma Miranda is the 2022 Chair of the FINEX Ethics Committee, the Managing Partner of Inventor, Miranda & Associates, CPAs, a member of the Board of Directors of KPS Outsourcing Inc. The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinion of these institutions.