Don’t Freak Out, But Mercury Retrograde Is Probably Going To Mess With Your Holiday Travel

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If you've ever been on the internet, chances are good that, at some point, you've heard someone complain about Mercury retrograde. This astrological phenomenon has been blamed for everything from car accidents to relationship fights to technology-related issues. And, unfortunately, it's happening again just in time for the holiday season, and could potentially wreck havoc on your plans. Mercury retrograde can affect holiday travel, so if you're planning on going home or visiting a friend, make sure you prepare yourself first.

Mercury retrograde happens whenever Mercury rotates faster than the Earth, and it's happening for the last time of 2017 from Dec. 3 to Dec. 22. What can you expect? Mercury typically rules communication and clear thinking, so when it's retrograde, those things tend to get a little screwed up. It usually results in a lot of confusion, communication issues, and poor decision making — all things that are essential for a comfortable traveling experience. This December, Mercury is going retrograde in Saturn, which can actually make transportation problems worse.

According to Astrology King, Mercury retrograde in Saturn can bring about a lot of critical thinking that is best applied to challenging mental work. If you don't have a productive outlook for it, it can easily be turned into negative thinking, and that can lead to a whole bunch of other issues like difficulty communicating. Both of these things can translate into a lot of general travel annoyances, like making poor decisions you wouldn't normally make, or causing you to miscommunicate with someone and possibly screw up plans. And it might not even affect you directly — it could affect someone you're traveling with or to, and affect you in turn.

If you're traveling during Mercury retrograde, you'll want to watch out for mishaps that you have little to no control over, which means preparing as much as possible. Schedule everything now and make all of the important decisions before Mercury goes into retrograde. You should also plan for the worst and have backup plans ready. Astrologists advise against making hasty decisions during this time period, and a travel mistake could mean you have to make a quick decision — which is not ideal.

One of the major downsides to this situation? Mercury retrograde can also seriously affect electronics. If you're relying on GPS to get home, ordered tickets electronically, or plan on getting work done on your computer while traveling during the holidays, be prepared. Get old-school and print out or write out directions just in case something gets wonky. Keep backup batteries and chargers and hards drives close by. Print out any tickets you ordered just in case. A technology screw-up can really mess with your travel plans, so again, be prepared.

It's not all bad news, though. Mercury retrograde is a great time to reflect on the past, which is kind of what the holidays are all about. So, even if traveling becomes a nightmare, you definitely have more than one thing to look forward to. And hey, you can always use those long hours in the car or on an airplane doing some much-needed thinking.

Also, this Mercury retrograde is supposed to be at its worst earlier in the month. Since most of us don't travel home until a few days before the holidays begin, chances are your travel plans won't start until the end of this Mercury retrograde cycle. That's a good thing — while we are not completely out of the woods, we're definitely getting close. If you are traveling, try to make plans for later in the month to avoid as much of this astrological mess as you can.