Mercury Retrograde Travel Tips with The AstroTwins
Don’t let the stars interfere with your travel plans this Mercury Retrograde (Oct. 31- Nov. 20). In the first installment of this series on astrology and travel, guest host Christie Hudson sits down with The AstroTwins, Ophira and Tali Edut, to talk about how this cosmic cycle can make vacation plans and technology go haywire. Looking for more information on how to “retrograde-proof” your next vacation? Check out this post from The AstroTwins on the Viewfinder blog.
Christie Hudson: When you’re planning a trip you may already know how to fit everything into a carry-on. You might even know from our earlier episode what days of the week are the best times to book, but how do you plan around the havoc that Mercury Retrograde can wreak on a trip? Listen, this is the travel information you didn’t know you needed, but I’m here to tell you that you do. Mercury, that’s right, the planet is in retrograde from October 31st to November 20th. We’ll find out what that means, why it could possibly affect your travel plans and most importantly how to plan a stellar trip even when the stars don’t align. I’m Christie Hudson filling in for Nisreene Atassi and I’ll be your guest host for this astrological episode of Out Travel the System.
Here, with all the cosmic travel tips today are the AstroTwins, Ophira and Tali Edut. Identical twin sisters, Ophie and Tali are professional astrologers and authors. They’ve read charts for Beyonce and Sting, they’ve written astrology columns for publications like Elle and books that include their bestselling astrological parenting guide Momstrology. I’m so thrilled to have you both here, welcome to the show you two!
The AstroTwins: Hi, thanks for having us!
Christie Hudson: Couldn’t be happier, you’re my personal heroes but unlike me, I think some of our listeners might not be that familiar with astrology. Some might be like, “Why are these people talking about astrology on a travel podcast?” So maybe we can just level set for those guys. Why are astrology and travel related? Is astrology important to travel?
The AstroTwins: Oh 100%. I mean you want to know who you’re traveling with, what sign they are. That can completely shape where you go and how you deal with different traveling needs, the itinerary, and if you’re going to do everything together. I mean it’s everything. And also picking the right timing for a trip because there are different periods of the year that are more favorable for travel, some are better for work or staying at home. If you can plan some of your trips when there are stars aligning to make it more fun and adventurous, then why not?!
Christie Hudson: Yeah and to that point, I think Mercury in retrograde gets a bad rap. I know I personally blame Mercury in retrograde when anything goes wrong. When you can’t find your shoes, you’re like Mercury no! Mercury in retrograde especially comes into play when we talk about travel so why is that?
The AstroTwins: It’s a time when the Earth and Mercury are passing each other in their own travels and if you’ve ever been sitting in a car and you passed another moving car and it appeared that you were going backward that’s the same kind of optical illusion. Each planet has jurisdiction over different parts of our lives and Mercury rules technology, transportation, travel, communication and all the things that you want to work correctly when you leave your home for an extended period of time. Also, you’re scheduling and calendar and the way you communicate with people.
When Mercury is in retrograde, those areas that it rules tend to kind of get a little bit out of whack. You want to make sure you’re ordering the car to pick you up early or if you’re driving make sure the lots aren’t full or you’ve got the spare tire and double-check all your itineraries. You definitely do not want to wing it and show up and have an expired passport or whoops, we didn’t read those reviews and it looks like this hotel is actually not even a hotel.
You kind of want to take an attitude of anything that could go wrong may very well go wrong and bring extra entertainment if you’re flying because you may have to sit at the airport a few extra hours.
Christie Hudson: I think you guys really touched on something which is that travel, whether you’re going on a road trip or a flight, involves a lot of details. There are a lot of moving parts and there are a lot of ways that things can go wrong. How often does Mercury Retrograde happen every year? How often do we need to worry about this?
The AstroTwins: Well three to four times every year for about three weeks Mercury will pass the Earth. So those periods can be a doozy.
Christie Hudson: You’re pretty much bound to run into it at some point during some travels. Have you guys ever had any travel situations that got completely ruined or at least off course a little bit by Mercury in retrograde?
The AstroTwins: You know, never totally ruined. We did one of the retreats that we host in Mexico every year and it was starting at the very end of Mercury Retrograde and we were delayed at the airport 15 hours and then the plane had to stop in Atlanta because we ran out of snacks so they delayed it two more hours.
Christie Hudson: That’s a valid reason though. I don’t want to be on a plane that doesn’t have snacks on it.
The AstroTwins: I remember everybody was like “ok,” but the snacks that they stopped for were so bad we were just like, “Get us to Cancun!” So it was not worth it.
Ophie’s wedding had to be during a Mercury Retrograde because her husband’s from Holland and the Dutch get a certain time off every year during October so there were some issues with the hotel block, which was predictable and then the microphone.
Christie Hudson: Did you think about canceling? Did you think about maybe moving your wedding?
The AstroTwins: No, that’s extreme. We know Mercury Retrograde happens, we recommend just adopting that mantra. Mercury happens, you can’t cancel your life! It’s really important to know the hacks and the workarounds. We found another hotel for the people whose room was no good. And the microphone for the ceremony didn’t work, but we ended up getting a backup one and talking really loud so everybody survived and had fun.
Christie Hudson: I mean as long as the alcohol didn’t run out and the food showed up I think everyone’s happy right? The next Mercury in Retrograde is October 31 through November 20th and October 31 is Halloween. Does that mean this one is going to be very scary?
The AstroTwins: It is in Scorpio which is you know, a rather intense sign. A lot of years it’s during the actual holidays. I think there was a year that a volcano in Iceland erupted and all those people got stranded in Europe. That was the year that Mercury Retrograde was in Sagittarius, which is the sign of international travel so it really showed itself. It’s in Scorpio which is about power struggles and control and jealousy. If anything I would predict that family feuds about who gets to host Thanksgiving or Christmas or Hanukkah could erupt. Scorpio also rules the way we share and divide resources — who’s going to pay for that big expensive gift or who’s going to foot the bill for dinner.
A lot of negotiations around the balance of power and sharing. I do want to say something about Mercury Retrograde because there’s all this fear around it, but the breakdowns that inevitably do happen during a Mercury Retrograde sometimes have a hidden blessing in them because what happens is that we’re so accustomed to go go go with the plan or the schedule, I got it locked and loaded and sometimes we automatically just book at the same hotel, go to the same route, go to the same places and the snafu that a retrograde can cause forces us to look in other directions. And there have been times that I’ve discovered new venues or maybe a different car service that I wouldn’t have tried. That has become a favorite because you have to kind of backtrack sometimes to slowing down and just doing things a little more methodically, doing some extra research prefix re is one to think of when there’s a retrograde. Review, research, rewind and rediscover. To me, it’s a great time to actually go back to a familiar place or a sentimental location, but to actually go with a different mindset and see what you can discover.
Christie Hudson: Let’s dive into that a little bit. Are there certain types of trips or destinations that you would consider Mercury Retrograde proof?
The AstroTwins: Any favorite nostalgic place. It’s in Scorpio which is kind of that sexy sign. A couple’s trip somewhere where you know it gets the mojo flowing again is not a bad idea, especially because your home might be invaded by relatives in a couple of weeks so get that romantic trip on the calendar. Let’s just say, because this can happen during Mercury Retrograde, an ex resurfaces or maybe an old friend. You know reunions are great during Mercury Retrograde so going to see someone that you really haven’t connected with in a long time who’s meaningful that you can really let down your guard and be yourself around and really enjoy that. So that’s a positive use of Mercury Retrograde or a trip by yourself.
Yeah, it can be a good time for like a silent meditation or a yoga retreat. Get off the grid if you actually can do a digital detox since devices might be wonky anyways. Mercury rules our mobile gadgets which is another thing to consider if you’re traveling internationally. You want to make sure your phone is on the international plan to avoid a huge bill and the data charges, but also don’t just rely on apps. Make sure you do a paper printout of everything too.
Also, a staycation would be good for discovering a little more of your own town if you really aren’t craving some novelty during Mercury Retrograde. Checking out stuff within city limits that you haven’t done yet is maybe workaround for Mercury Retrograde.
Christie Hudson: That’s a great tip, especially because I think a lot of people aren’t traveling necessarily during early November, especially this year. Thanksgiving’s a little bit later so maybe you kind of want a little break from life. You don’t want to go anywhere crazy, but just going somewhere in your own city that you haven’t appreciated recently or haven’t explored.
The AstroTwins: As much as it’s tempting to go to like a “naked and afraid” tropical island, the boat may not come back for you.
Christie Hudson: Sometimes a permanent escape sounds pretty good. I know last time Mercury Retrograde happened my car ended up in the shop two separate times so I’m a big believer.
The AstroTwins: Well this is one question we do get asked is that some people were born during Mercury Retrograde, including us. If you do your astrology chart and you were born at a time that Mercury was retrograde you may actually find that the period is fruitful for you. My take on it is it makes you really even more thoughtful about every word that you choose. We end up actually getting our cars and signing contracts during Mercury Retrograde even though you’re supposed to not do that.
Christie Hudson: Mercury might be your superpower. You mentioned Mercury rules contracts and I tend to think about airline tickets as a type of contract. What are some tips you have for booking when Mercury is in retrograde?
The AstroTwins: That would be the time to get the travel insurance and read the fine print. Don’t forget to book your seat at that moment too. You might wind up right by the bathroom in the middle otherwise.
Christie Hudson: Check that you spelled your name right and you didn’t book p.m. when you meant to book a.m. How do different astrological signs tend to handle the curve balls that Mercury Retrograde might bring to a trip?
The AstroTwins: Well the fire signs such as Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius can be a mixed bag. They’re a bit more short-tempered and maybe the ones to scream at the rental car agent when they realize the car isn’t ready at the moment they arrived even though they are 20 minutes early, but the spirit of spontaneity is one that they can roll with better than most. Once they have their little explosion meltdown they’re turning it into an adventure.
Earth signs that’s Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn they like to plan, they like to know what’s coming up so they can really get thrown off by Mercury Retrograde with a change of plans, cancellations or a situation where a reservation doesn’t work out. Definitely have a plan B, choice C, and alternatives and not trying to enforce a group itinerary. You know it’s letting other people go do their thing and making sure that as long as you get to do what you want to do then fine if you’re an Earth sign.
Now signs like Gemini who is actually one of the two signs ruled by Mercury, Libra, and Aquarius can be very spontaneous. If they get moved to a different seat on the airplane they’ll probably become BFFs with the person sitting next to them and annoy the entire plane by talking for the flight, but they tend to roll with it. They’re really people-oriented but that can also be the problem because they may wind up having little personal skirmishes and storming out and things like that and saying the wrong thing?
Christie Hudson: What about our water sign friends?
The AstroTwins: So the water signs Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces tend to be very sensitive, emotional and take things personally.
Christie Hudson: How dare you.
The AstroTwins: Right, you’re going to really have to work hard not to take things personally like if somebody wants to sleep in or your partner wants to get up and jog down the beach when you wanted to stay in bed and cuddle and order breakfast. Like really mood management is going to get you through those Mercury travel moments when everything seems like it’s being done to you when it’s not.
Christie Hudson: If we’re talking about tips, like you said the best way to combat Mercury Retrograde and still have a great trip comes really down to planning and going over the details. I love the tips to leave early for the airport. Make sure you have arranged for parking, filled up your gas tank, all that sort of stuff. Triple checking your reservations, don’t rely on technology, have some paper printouts. I love that. If you guys could each pick your top three tips for traveling successfully during Mercury Retrograde what would they be?
The AstroTwins: Bring lots of stuff to read. One really important tip — Mercury rules language and communication so if you’re going somewhere where there’s a different language spoken or dialect do your advance planning and learn how to say “hello,” “please,” “thank you.” Get the translation app, but don’t just rely on it, write some things down in your notebook to just be aware of the cultural norms where you’re going so that you can flow in without making a major faux pas.
Make it about the trip and not the pictures. We’re also addicted to our devices and taking photos. This is not an Instagram influencer moment, just be where you are.
Well, I would just say embrace surprises you know embrace the unexpected instead of trying to control the itinerary because that’s how some of the most exciting discoveries can come.
Christie Hudson: Tali, Ophie we can’t wait to have you back again. Thanks so much for joining us for this episode of Out Travel the System brought to you by Expedia and thanks to you the listener for tuning in. You can visit us on social @Expedia to share your travel tips and what you’ve got planned for Mercury Retrograde from October 31 to November 20th, mark your calendar. You can find all of The AstroTwins tips for having happy travels during Mercury Retrograde on the Viewfinder blog and on astrostyle.com. We’re going to have The AstroTwins back on the show next time we’ll find out what the planets have to say about travel in 2020 and they’ll be back to give us the inside scoop on how astrological signs can help you choose the ideal travel partner. Subscribe now so you don’t miss the thing. I’m your guest host Christie Hudson, happy travels!