Rainy Day Contingency – Contessa Style
- Flexibility to change your daily agenda on your trip list
- Have a Plan B maybe even Plan C of alternate things to see and do
- Embrace the less than perfect weather days as they too can make for some unforgettable memories.
About that flexibility: while in Rome, YES, I did as the Romans and enjoyed walking thru breath-taking ancient sites and streets.
Sfera con Sfera” Statue, Courtyard of the Pine at the Vatican
When I traveled there for a friend’s special occasion, it was during October when the weather is still quite delightful, but as luck would have it, a couple of days were rainy; in fact one day was like a perpetual waterfall from the sky! THAT DAY turned out to be the best choice to spend hours inside the Vatican (despite it being a bit crowded as it was the weekend).
Although most of the tour was indoors, thank goodness, it did take us past partially open corridors where you could glimpse various courtyards and facades of the church and museum buildings. Despite there not being bright sunshine and blue sky as a back drop, the type of weather actually gave my fotos a different yet equally beautiful perspective. In fact, when the tour ended it was still raining and now dark outside yet the view of an imposing damp Vatican against softly lit antique lamp posts and St. Peter’s Square dotted with a few straggler passersby under umbrellas was a whole new work of art.
Rainy Night: St. Peter’s Square – the Vatican
I’m fortunate and glad that the wiggle room in my plans allowed me to stay mostly dry indoors that day and experience an even more unique view of one of the places on my “Must See” list for that trip.
Sometimes, however, you’re simply not afforded much flexibility in your travel agenda- perhaps you purchased nonrefundable tickets for a day excursion well in advance, committing you to it rain or shine; unfortunately these things happen (more below on my approach towards instances like that) but whenever possible, try and think ahead and have those alternate plans ready.
You can apply this whether you’re traveling solo or in a group, especially on family vacations to places like theme parks. If you’re already at the park but the forecast calls for afternoon thunder storms to roll around, find out what indoor attractions, restaurants or souvenir shops you can scope out during that time PRIOR to having to run for cover for an hour or two without much to do.
If you’re not yet at the park, what indoor recreational places are near or did you book a place that perhaps also has an indoor pool? It’s all about a little planning but keeping them loose. Note your “must see” places, what’s indoors, outdoors, wait times, distances etc. Based on that once you create your dream itinerary for each day, make an alternate list or at least give thought to what can be switched for different days.
Lastly, research other “not so notable” places at your destination. Places you might also find interesting if time were allowed and/or plans change. These back-up places may be: lesser known historical buildings, museums, art galleries, special interest venues for sports, music, relaxing spas, themed eateries, cultural centers or exhibitions- the list is endless!
Sometimes, not only will you find refuge during bad weather but the place may turn out to be one of the most unexpected favorites of the trip. You can usually find any one of these within cities, villages & hamlets, big or small.
While flexibility and alternate plans are not a full-proof method (nothing is) it may at least help you make the most of your trip no matter what the weather. Now, for those that prefer the “unscripted agenda & see where the wind takes me once I get there” route,
I applaud your carefree abandon but I say- maybe a little of this list planning may help you as well.
Bow Church Original Entrance East London
Bow Church, Main Gate East London
Don’t get me wrong, I too enjoy spontaneity, it’s the reason why I leave some room for unmapped strolling and any last minute “let’s do this” but having at least a little plan actually affords you more time to enjoy exploring once you determine places you do want to see while there.
When all else fails and there is no give on your limited time, nothing much can help the situation other than your attitude towards it.
At that point I say embrace the weather conditions and decide to enjoy yourself anyway- do a little exploring, as much as your umbrella and temperament will allow and shoes will absorb. Some of my favorite images and funny moments have been during drizzly raw days.
The memory of my adventure to find Bow Church in the East End of London during a very windy wet day comes to mind.
While we can never control what Mother Nature is going to do, even at her most relaxed moments, you can lessen the likelihood of complete cancellation havoc by checking and possibly avoiding certain destinations during the aforementioned periods.)
So, remind yourself to be flexible, have back up plans and if nothing else, enjoy beautiful pictures taken under different conditions.
To me, there’s a special quality in photos that have captured raindrops on them; a little artsy, perhaps even avant-garde!
Wellington Arch, Hyde Park – London
Entrance to St. Peter’s Square, the Vatican