Traveling for Tragedy

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arlington2Traveling isn’t always about sunshine, beaches and relaxation.  People travel for business, adoption and sometimes the inevitable tragedy.  Your day to day routine is brought to a hault when the call is received that a loved one is in need of serious care, or even worse – they are gone.Everyone deals with grieving in their own special way and every situation is unique, but what to do when your family is across the country, or more than a car ride away? 

One thing not everyone knows is that airlines will provide you a discount for this kind of emergency travel, from 5 to 50 percent with some airlines.  It’s considered a bereavement or compassion fare, to make traveling easier and more affordable during this difficult time.  If your in the mood for airfare shopping then definitely do so, but then make sure to call the airline directly to book your ticket to receive your berevement fare.  Airlines will require a letter from a doctor or the funeral home upon your return flight home.  This is easily obtained by the funeral director or hospital and nothing to add to your worries.

During this time it is sometimes so sudden and overwhelming that the consideration of doing anything besides be with your family is inconceivable.  But in other instances maybe Grandma lived a long and happy 99 years and is in a better place, or maybe your taking your children and want to make them feel more comfortable about what has happened.  I traveled solo on a compassion fare a few years ago for my Grandfathers funeral and just two weeks later a trip with our family to visit my husbands unexpectedly ill Grandfather in California.  On our trip we tried to make the best of the situation and took a day to Seaworld and spent the rest of our time with family.  It helped us to make the trip memorable in a good way and lessen the sadness of the situation.  We had spent special time with Grandpa during those couple of days, he had been given 3 months to live and less than a week later, the day after Christmas, we lost him.  We are thankful we rushed down to see him and still have great memories of that trip.  It was our daughters first time flying, our first time to Seaworld and sadly the last time we saw Grandpa.  I believe even in the worst of times, great memories can be made and cherished forever!

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