How to Plan a Last-Minute Eclipse Trip


How to Plan a Last-Minute Eclipse Trip

How to Plan a Last-Minute Eclipse Trip:-It’s not too late.

If you weren’t planning on traveling to travel to see the total solar eclipse on Monday but are rethinking your decision, you should know it’s still possible to witness this rare celestial event. Here is a breakdown of how to get there, how to find a place to stay and which activities to do. (In case the ones we recommended earlier are sold out.)

Getting There

Is flying still an option? Yes. Although seats are more scarce than usual, reports, you can still find room on planes to nearly all eclipse viewing destinations, including Charleston, Nashville and Lincoln, Neb. Though Sarah Gavin, a spokeswoman for the company, suggested that you may have to compromise. “Availability is certainly more limited than it would be otherwise but not impossible if you’re willing to be flexible with connections and flight times,” she said. So you may have to fly out of the way to get to your final destination.

There are some nonstop flights, according to the airfare prediction app, which found plenty of availability between Aug. 18 and Aug. 20 for flights to eclipse viewing destinations from New York City, Los Angeles and about a dozen other major cities around the United States.

How steep are the prices? You should be prepared to pay a premium on those flights: the cost of a ticket from several cities in the United States to Portland, Ore., for example, which is within driving distance of several total eclipse locations, is 20 percent more expensive on this weekend than it cost be otherwise.

Hopper’s scan of nonstop flights to total eclipse viewing spot also showed sky-high prices. According to its data, a round-trip ticket for a flight from John F. Kennedy International Airport, in New York City, to Charleston a few days before the eclipse can cost as much as $970.

Is there any other way? If you can’t find a flight directly into an eclipse destination or don’t want to spring for the premium airfare required to do so, fly to a city that’s three to five hours away by car, get a rental and drive, said Paul Tumpowsky, the chief executive of the New York City-based travel agency Skylark, which sold several eclipse viewing trips. “You could fly into that city the morning of the eclipse, when there is plenty of flight inventory, or, to be safe, get there the day before, stay at a hotel and drive to the eclipse destination the morning of August 21,” he said. “This way, you don’t have to worry about finding accommodations in the location where the eclipse is happening.”

Alternative cities include Denver, about a four-hour drive from Casper, Wyo.; Charlotte, N.C., about a three-hour drive from Charleston; Chicago, about a five-hour drive from Carbondale, Ill., and Atlanta, about a four-hour drive from Nashville.

This strategy is likely to yield far more affordable airfare: according to Hopper’s data, a round-trip flight from John F. Kennedy International Airport to Charlotte Douglas International Airport between Aug. 19 and 21 on American Airlines can be as low as $330.

Are rental cars available? Yes. Fliers will likely need to rent a car to reach their eclipse destinations, and rentals are still available in both eclipse viewing destinations and in cities within a five-hour drive from these destinations. Silvercar, with locations in Denver and Chicago, has cars available for rent in both cities the weekend before the eclipse with prices averaging around $69 a day; the only vehicle in Silvercar’s fleet is a silver Audi A4 equipped with Wi-Fi, a GPS device and a car seat, upon request.

Hertz has limited availability in eclipse viewing destinations, according to Lauren Luster, a spokeswoman for the company, and Avis has some availability in cities near eclipse destinations including Atlanta and Memphis, said Alice Pereira, a company spokeswoman.

Where to Stay

Where can I find a hotel or home rental? Hotels and home rentals through sites such as Airbnb are hard to come by (several of the local convention and visitors bureau sites list the latest availability).

Where else could you stay? Some campgrounds still have spots for tents and are affordable. According to Hipcamp, an online campground booking site, there are more than a 1,000 campsites in the path of totality with availability; most charge a $100 or less a night, and many charge under $50 a night.