Mrs. Lite Adventurer and I will be heading to the town of Cleveland, Tennessee this evening and staying the night for an opportunity to see the total solar eclipse on Monday. Until just 2 weeks ago, I had no clue how rare these events were in the United States. I started nerding out when I realized the significance of this particular eclipse, but by the time I started looking online for hotels in the totality zone (where the sun will be 100% obstructed by the moon), everything had already been booked for months.
In a stroke of good fortune, I was randomly browsing booking.com early Friday morning – that would be 3 days prior to the eclipse – and noticed that several rooms in cities within the totality zone had suddenly become available due to last minute cancellations, so I jumped on the chance and got a reservation at a really nice hotel for the night before the eclipse. Huge win. Now we won’t have to stress about waking up at the crack of dawn and getting on the road with who knows how many other drivers with exactly the same plan. It will be very interesting to see exactly how bad the traffic is on August 21; if it’s a disaster like the media is predicting, or if it’s another Y2K dud and everyone’s getting all huffy for nothing.
My recent personal experience illustrates a great piece of travel advice: cancellations happen, so just because something might be booked up doesn’t mean all hope is lost.
Keep looking, and occasionally good stuff can happen.
I got incredibly lucky by doing a hotel search within a time span that couldn’t have lasted more than a couple of hours. When I rechecked booking.com just 2 hours after I got my room, everything was completely gone again. Be persistent and check often!
All that’s left is to hope it’s not cloudy that day. I’ll post an update on my experience in a few days. Happy eclipsing everyone!