Time is a construct, this we know. But when we collectively decide to literally move time, call it “Daylight Saving,” and claim that it’s supposed to help our productivity, it can be very unsettling and incredibly confusing. We lead such busy lives with ever-growing to-do lists, so the thought of the very structure of time changing, even by just one hour, is extremely unsettling. But, what if we gain one hour?
If you’re muddled with confusion, just remember that at 2:00 a.m. on November 3rd, we fall back. You get an extra hour of sleep or partying, depending on what you’re up to this Saturday.
However, it’s all the more stressful when it involves travel. Air travel is all about timing – you need time to get through security, find the gate, grab a snack, throw a fit about how expensive airport food is, and go to the bathroom before boarding. And this is all hoping time is on your side and you’ve managed to avoid a devastating delay.
If you’re traveling this weekend, my heart goes out to you: time is of the essence on weekend trips and too much is hanging in the balance for a timing snafu to bring it all down. So we asked a real travel agent if and how Daylight Saving might affect your travel plans.
Ashley Les is a luxury travel advisor at Protravel in New York City, and she will be our travel agent for the day. “It doesn’t necessarily affect the travel portion as far as timing,” she explains, “because everything that’s booked is always in local time. For example, if you flew from NYC to Mexico on the day of daylight savings, you’d be leaving NYC an hour earlier than the day before, but you’ll still land in Mexico the same time.”
But she warns that not all countries do Daylight Saving, and if they do, it’s not always as the same time as the US. “Europe actually does their Daylight Saving on different days than us which means for about a week we are sometimes only five hours different from them instead of the normal six (for most of western Europe that is).” It’s all about local time. Your days might be a bit distorted but you shouldn’t overthink this.
Basically, you should definitely not execute some “creative accounting” with the timestamps on your itinerary. If your flight is at 10:00 p.m. according to your boarding pass, it’s at 10:00 p.m. if you pay attention to the times on your boarding passes, train tickets, and Airbnb bookings, you will be on time.
But what about the 2:00 a.m. flights, you ask? Won’t there be two, 2:00 a.m.’s to account for? Say a flight is scheduled to depart from JFK at 2:00 a.m. and there’s a train coming in from the east at 40mph and a train coming in from the north at 60 meters an hour. At what time, then, will Tom collect all his apples?
Les responds: “I’m never booking myself on a flight that day at that time, I’d be too nervous I would screw up. Actually giving me travel anxiety as I think about it!”