Close call: our vacation was almost over before it started.

I almost made a mistake that could have cost us our vacation.

Spoiler alert: everything worked out. But it was a race to the finish for sure.

Here’s what happened…

This week has been a little bit of a rollercoaster, but our huge family fight on Monday really did clear the air. I think we were all just kind of anxious about different things, and the fight was like a pressure valve – it released a lot of tension that had been slowly building up for awhile.

So on Tuesday, we were back to being excited and having fun, and on Wednesday, we were starting to check things off our list for real. We still hadn’t packed, nor had we done our final deep-clean (we have house sitters for the month that we are gone), but we were starting to feel like we would actually be able to (just barely) get it all done in the two days we had remaining: our flight left late on Friday night.

And then something happened.

Our jet lag prep was in full swing, so we were all up late on Wednesday night. At around 1:30 am, I was washing my face. Water always clears my mind, and this aquatic interlude was no exception: as the warm water hit my face, I was also hit by a shocking thought.

Our flight was tomorrow. It was a full day earlier than I’d thought. 1:20 am on July 18 meant a late-night flight on Thursday the 17th, not a late-night flight on Friday the 18th.

I ran into the living room and announced this news to Josh and the kids, then we all moved rapidly through various reactions: stunned silence, incomprehension (from the kids), celebration (from all three of them), and massive anxiety (from me). 

But mostly – we were all so grateful that we had figured this out beforehand, or we would have completely missed our flight.

We now had twenty-three hours until we were leaving, six of which would hopefully be spent asleep and three which we would need to get to the airport and check in, which left fifteen hours. This may not sound too intense unless you could have seen the condition of our house (tornado), our laundry pile-up (Everest), our kids’ scheduled appointments (haircut and doctor), or our surprise last-minute to-do list (a complicated financial transaction involving three nearby cities and a work “emergency”).

I literally started to sweat as I thought about it. While I knew we were getting on that plane – even if everything didn’t get done – I knew that it certainly wasn’t going to be the relaxed, vacation-y vibe we had been going for. In other words, as soon as our eyes popped open in the morning, we would need to hit the ground running and not look up until we were in the Uber on the way to the airport. And clearly I needed to cancel the family appointment we had booked at our favorite community acupuncture center. 😉 No pre-flight treatments for us.

We really barely made it.

I’m still reeling from the day. It was one of those days where you look back and laugh hysterically while at the same time you wonder how you did it. It was a total whirlwind of cleaning, laundry, driving, banking, packing, and trying to remember to breathe.

An amazing friend came over with the best flight care package ever: heat wraps, Emergen-C, mints, nasal spray, travel journals, and a few other thoughtful traveling necessities and luxuries. Hottie offered to clean our house if we ran out of time to do it ourselves. Other friends texted and called with encouraging and funny messages – which I so appreciated but couldn’t even respond to at the time (apologies to all of you! xoxo).

Somehow, we did it. We pulled it off.

We felt like superheroes. Josh was literally wringing out the mop as I was ordering up an Uber to get us to the airport. We pretty much cleaned ourselves right out the door and into the car. But we made it.

And now we’re in Taipei in the EVA Air lounge, waiting for the flight that will take us to Tokyo, the first stop on our gigantic vacation.

Never a dull moment indeed.

And lesson learned: on a late-night flight, double-check your departure date.

Has this ever happened to you? Did you make it?


  1. yikes! So glad you made the flight and realized early enough!!

  2. LOLOLOL – I actually have a story about making your same mistake. But instead of realizing my mistake, I completely missed the flight!

    • Points Pixie says

      Dovertime – Thank god I like to wash my face, or I definitely would have been in the same situation.

  3. OMG, really? FCQ will have “comments”…

    • Points Pixie says

      Gene – Josh has comments for him, too…mostly involving my “on the plane” look. He wants to commiserate.

  4. Soooo glad you all made it to your flight. Now, you can relax and enjoy your adventure. I can wait to read about it!

  5. Stephanie says

    Glad you made it!!! This hasn’t happened to me yet, but we have had two really close calls involving running through the airport and being the last ones on the plane. Whew. Hope you are having an amazing adventure!! 🙂

  6. I lived this. Several years ago, my sister-in-law called to wish us a good trip, and mentioned that we seemed relaxed for people who were leaving for the airport in an hour. Of course, we thought we were leaving for our late night flight the next day. Freaked, we ordered a taxi, threw our clothes in suitcases and hyperventilated all the way to the airport.

  7. DaninSTL says

    The closest I’ve come to this is booking a 14 hour home from Asia with a connection in ORD landing at like 9am with the connection flight at noon the NEXT day after messing up the international date line change. An unexpected layover in Chicago 🙂 an hour flight home remaining.

    • Points Pixie says

      DaninSTL – Hope you were able to experience the city a little, at least?! Sounds like you are giggling about it now.

  8. I don’t get it. So your flight was at 1:20am Thursday morning, but you thought you were supposed to leave Friday morning at 1:20am? You realized it a full day in advance and didn’t think you’d make the flight? Sounds like you may want to consider staying within the U.S.!

    • Points Pixie says

      Richard – Too late, I’m here in Japan. Hope I make it back!

    • Richard. It’s quite clear. Did you read the article? Nowhere did she say she actually thought they would miss the flight.

      “we were all so grateful that we had figured this out beforehand, or we would have completely missed our flight.”
      “…I knew we were getting on that plane – even if everything didn’t get done.”


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