Is The Trip Stacking Trend For You?

Oct 10, 2021, 15:24 IST

trip stacking - choice of two destinations - main

A new trend on the rise, trip stacking is gaining momentum among a select bunch of travellers

Travel brings us joy. Even planning travel brings us joy. It’s the whole prospect of getting out there like we used to before the pandemic hit, before lockdowns kept us home for over a year and a half.

But, even as the world opens up, and we rejoice with the news of every additional country welcoming vaccinated Indians once more – some with restrictions, some without – we still hold our breaths as we wait to actually get off Indian soil. Much of that uncertainty comes from not knowing when rules will change, when a country will suddenly close its borders to travellers again – in response either to a rise in COVID-19 case numbers at home or in the travellers’ home country. It happened to us with both the UAE and Kenya, and understandably so. Which is all very well, except that we’re left high and dry. Good cancellation policies might mean not such a great loss in financial terms, but what of the leave you've taken and, most of all, of that joyful anticipation that has come to naught? 

The solution, at least for some travellers, is what has come to be known as ‘trip stacking’ – it involves booking two trips in the same period with the hope that one will actually happen.

It’s like a talisman against our precious vacations being stymied by forces beyond our control.

sm trip stacking - packing for  two destinations


The trend usually sees one ‘daring’ (read: international) and one safer (domestic) travel plan being actioned. The fallback trip kicks in if the international trip fails for whatever reason. Of course, you might be lucky and find yourself able to take both, so the idea is to ensure that the 'safe' trip can be rescheduled or cancelled with minimum financial loss. 

On the downside, trip stacking can impact hotels, tours and other travel partners who must deal with last-minute cancellations, which, in the not so distant future, might cause flexible cancellation policies to be withdrawn. Additionally, trip stacking can artificially inflate demand and cause prices to rise, which is not great for travellers looking for good deals. 

Trip stacking depends on finding travel products with flexible cancellation policies. It also requires you to have enough money to fully book two different trips and be prepared to take a small hit on cancellations. If it works for you in these uncertain times, trip stacking might be a short-term strategy to try.

Images: Shutterstock

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