Travel with Extra Time

by James & Miel on August 1, 2008 · 0 comments

The lesson of the day from here at DINKs Finance is to plan in extra time for your travel.

My flight this afternoon was delayed due to “light rain” in Chicago, thereby missing my connection to London – where I was supposed to spend the day in London with a friend. In the end I was able to get on a flight 7.5 hrs later – note that my new flight now has further delays listed, so who knows.

In my world of travel, an eight hour delay isn’t the end of the world – especially since I was in the lovely city of Portland and was able to jump on the MAX and have dinner with my twin sis and her family.

However, this could have easily had grave consequences had I not budgeted in extra time. See the thing is, as an expat working and living outside the states – I’m limited to the number of days I can be in the states and still be exempt and the first $70,000 of my income. With the delay in flight, this means that I’ll have one more day marked in the states, so it is ultra helpful that I’ve built in a cushion for travel delays.

A lapse in being in the states for longer the the given period could have cost us DINKs approximately $7k in our 2007 taxes, not to mention our 2008 taxes!

While I realize that most of our readers don’t have to worry about tax exempt status while working outside the states, it does pay in general to give yourself some flexibility with travel. Otherwise it can not only be sorely disappointing, but often expensive as well. Leaving the states the last time around I faced delays in London with a group of folks who missed their flight to Delhi. Two of them missed their own weddings from the delay!

Plus, with the way flights are scheduled these days, you might likely be able to get your plane ticket paid for if you are willing to get bumped!

Better to plan ahead and give yourself more time. You’ll travel easier. Just make sure you bring snacks to the airport.



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