I have a healthy respect for travel insurance. In fact, I always insure my big trips. I’ve never quite defined a “big” trip in great detail, but for me, a trip that costs double my monthly mortgage payment feels about right. Otherwise, I don’t bother, and simply “self insure.” In other words, if something happens, I’ll just have to eat the cost and hope for better luck next time.

MrsMJ and I have flights booked for Friday morning at “0 dark thirty” for Miami. Our plans were to camp out in the airline lounge in Miami for a bit, then head to a favorite restaurant for lunch prior to boarding a ship for a quick weekend getaway/thaw out. Then, this happened.


Doesn’t look like much, I know, but it is all sleet. Now, today is Wednesday, and our flight is Friday. We’re not in real trouble with the trip yet. One option might have been to suck it up and leave yesterday. Unfortunately, the airline storm policies offering travel flexibility do not include Friday, and I’m not sure we could have pulled it together to make it happen anyway. In fact, it’s entirely likely based on the forecast that our flight operates on Friday. As long as we do not lose power for days, we should be able to clean off the car and get out of here for the airport Friday morning.

But what if? If we lose power, and don’t have it back by Friday morning, I cannot leave the MJonTravel orange herd to their own devices in a cold house, pet sitter, or no pet sitter. Boarding might be a possibility, but we’ll have to see. What if we wind up with a bunch of freezing rain and a tree limb laying upstairs? We won’t be able to leave, even if the roads are clear and the flights are running. We’ll be out the money. Fortunately, it’s not that much, but still enough to lead me to have a “self help” plan in place to get there.

We’ll know sometime tomorrow if the weather is clearing early in the day as scheduled, and it looks like flights will make it in Thursday evening for the Friday morning launch. If that falls apart, I elected to go ahead and make a reservation for an SUV for pickup tomorrow afternoon. The ATL area is doing a much better job with road management this time around. People are staying off the roads, and crews should be able to make some progress tomorrow morning with clearing roads, especially the main highways like I’ll need to take towards the south tomorrow evening.

In the end, I’m not going to do anything unsafe just for the sake of getting there. If the worst happens, and we can’t make it on Friday, it is what it is. Heck, if we can’t get there Friday, I might even fly down Saturday and spend a few days in a Miami hotel just to warm up. Based on the amount of dollars invested, I am comfortable with my decision not to purchase travel insurance, just as I am comfortable with the backup plan I have in place. Stay safe out there.

-MJ, February 12, 2014