This article was written by the The AstroTwins. Dubbed the “astrologers to the stars,” identical twin sisters Ophira and Tali Edut are professional astrologers who reach millions worldwide through their spot-on predictions.

Your flight is booked, passport dusted off, out of office message ready to go—woot woot! You’re so ready to get out of town. And just to keep the excitement going, you decide to check your horoscope and see what the stars have to say about your vacay. Then you discover that Mercury will be retrograde right in the middle of your trip. Screeeeech! Should you call the whole thing off and rebook for a more auspicious time? Brace yourself for a nightmarish getaway? Absolutely not! But there are a few precautions travelers should take to sidestep the snafus this cosmic cycle can bring.

So, what exactly is Mercury retrograde, anyway?

Three to four times a year, “messenger planet” Mercury buzzes by the Earth in its orbit around the Sun. Like two trains moving at different speeds, this creates the illusion of Mercury moving in reverse, or, as we say in astro-speak, retrograde. During this three-week cycle, all things that astrologers associate with Mercury can seem to go haywire: Transportation, scheduling, communication, mobile devices. This doesn’t have to spell disaster! Advance preparation can help voyagers plan around Mercury’s mishaps and even discover a few hidden benefits of traveling during this backspin. Here’s how…

1. Leave Early for the Airport and All Destinations

Since Mercury governs ground transportation—cars, cabs and trains—hitting the road early is your first line of defense. Good rule of thumb for Mercury retrograde: Multiply your usual travel time by two, even three. Schedule your airport transport to arrive a little early. Since trains may be delayed, play it safe and take a cab. Planning to park and lock? You could arrive at the short-term lot only to discover it’s totally full forcing you to shuttle from long-term parking. And don’t forget to check under the seats and around the trunk lest you jump out of that ride sans carry-on! Leave early for excursions throughout the trip so you don’t arrive at the dock three minutes after the dive boat has pulled away.

If you’re road-tripping, fill your tank early and often, check your spare tire and print out a map in case your GPS malfunctions. Even the most spontaneous among us might want to plan out rest stops and places to fill up ahead of time to avoid running out of snacks or gas at an inopportune moment.

2. Triple-Confirm Your Reservations

Planning to zipline through the jungle, tour historic ruins or take a black-light booze cruise with a live band? Follow up with the tour company to reconfirm a few days before you leave for your trip. Mercury retrogrades have been known to wipe out data—it’s the planet’s special way of telling you that it’s time to upgrade your devices. But, oh the havoc that can wreak! If you’re traveling somewhere rustic, relying on technology alone to track your reservation could be a sketchy proposition. Pick up the phone and introduce yourself to the agent who helps you—and get their name, too. Making a personal connection in advance will bring a warm familiarity to your outings.

If you’re booking a trip during Mercury retrograde, you’ll want to be extra careful about double-checking all the little details. Make sure your name is spelled correctly on tickets, and that you’ve chosen AM flights—and not PM—if you meant to leave in the morning! Are your travel dates correct? Did you select your seat? Mercury rules contracts, so read all the fine print before hitting ‘book’.

3. Write Down Important Phone and Credit Card Numbers—on Paper!

Speaking of disappearing data—Mercury reigns over our mobile devices. Call it an urban legend, but we’ve seen tech snafus happen more frequently during Mercury retrogrades. Batteries suddenly die, phones get left in cabs, cervezas spill on laptops, important contacts mysteriously delete themselves. Having an analog backup could be a lifesaver. Keep a notebook in your hotel safe with numbers for your debit and credit cards, doctors, health insurance, and passport if you’re traveling internationally. Make a phone list of emergency contacts as well as the mobile numbers of everyone in your party. For extra measure, email yourself a copy of that list!

4. Create a Share-able Trip Itinerary

With the messenger planet in reverse, misunderstandings can bring major communication meltdowns. To sidestep this, you’ll have to be a little less spontaneous during Mercury retrograde-timed trips. Assume nothing! You might love the authentic experience of dining on street tacos while another person in your party would be happy to have every meal at the local Margaritaville. Your travel buds may prefer a languid day at the swim-up bar while you want to pack in daily sightseeing jaunts, or vice versa. Bottom line: Get aligned before you board the plane—and don’t force 24/7 togetherness. For extra measure, create a shared calendar where you can plug in appointments.

5. Revisit Places That You Love or Reunite with Friends!

Now for the best part of Mercury retrograde: embracing all “re-” activities, like revisiting, re-experiencing, reconnecting. Invite a childhood BFF to jump in with your travel buddies! Mercury retrogrades can bring warm-fuzzy reunions with people from the past. If you’re still hunting for a destination, this nostalgic cosmic cycle can lead you back to places where you’ve dropped a Google Earth pin in the past. (And surely you haven’t seen everything the area has to offer.) One caveat: Mercury retrograde can bring blasts from the past, including those exes who should be permanently sealed in the history books. If an old “friend” happens to live in the city you’re visiting, don’t set up a drinks date to “catch up.” That could lead to all kinds of regrets.

What are your tips?

 

The AstroTwins
Dubbed the “astrologers to the stars,” identical twin sisters Ophira and Tali Edut, known as the AstroTwins, are professional astrologers who reach millions worldwide through their spot-on predictions.

Through their website, Astrostyle.com, Ophira and Tali help “bring the stars down to earth” with their unique, lifestyle-based approach to astrology. They are also the official astrologers for ELLE.com, Elle Magazine, MindBodyGreen.com and The New Potato. The AstroTwins have been featured in the UK Sunday Times, the New York Times Sunday Styles section, People Magazine, Domino, InStyle, Architecture Daily, Business Insider and much more media globally. The AstroTwins have collaborated with major brands including Vogue, Nordstrom, Revlon, H&M, Urban Outfitters, Ted Baker, Kate Spade and Herbal Essences, 20th Century Fox, among others. The sisters have read charts for celebrities including Beyoncé, Emma Roberts, Stevie Wonder, Jessica Simpson, and Sting. They are regular guests on SiriusXM and have appeared on Bravo’s The Real Housewives of New Jersey.

They have authored four print books: AstroStyle, Love Zodiac, Shoestrology and Momstrology (their #1 Amazon best-selling astrological parenting guide) and a growing collection of ebooks, including their popular annual horoscope guides (now available in print).