Your next solar eclipse trip - what to know and do by Mark Sukhija

Planning a trip to an eclipse need not be a nightmare. Here's a couple of tips to help you plan your trip to the next eclipse trip.

Total solar eclipse as seen in Turkey 2006 by Paul Evans of Larne, Northern Ireland.   Image is Copyright © 2006 Paul  Evans. Image reproduced with kind permission.
  1. Know when and where the next eclipse is - Eclipse trips need planning in advance. Accommodation, flights etc can sell out quickly, sometimes years in advance, especially as some eclipses are in fairly remote areas such as Easter Island in 2010. Consult my eclipse calendar to find out when and where upcoming eclipses are. Knowing where you can see the total part of the eclipse is important to know where you have to be and when. You can plan a longer trip around these dates. Many tour firms take bookings years in advance of an eclipse - but be careful selecting one if you want to see the eclipse from the very beginning to the very end.

  2. Practice safe sun - Blindness can result from you failing to practice safe sun. Consult for excellent information on eclipse safety. Your retina is delicate and irreplaceable.

  3. Identify a vantage point early - Find a place with a clear view of the eclipse before the eclipse - there's nothing worse than turning up only to discover that there's a Chinese skyscraper blocking your view of the eclipse. Check the weather conditions published by Jay Anderson, a prominent meteorologist, to guide you to the right area and drill down from there. Some viewing areas will require you to book the area in advance and pay for it - so you may need to either arrange a group yourself or travel with a tour.

  4. Work with a local astronomical association or astronomer - Many astronomers and astronomical associations are interested in eclipse chasing as well. Often their most dedicated eclipse chasers will identify a good vantage point years in advance and will be able to help you out with booking a trip. I can recommend Journeys Worldwide (an Australian tour firm I used in 2009 and 2006) for eclipse-centric trips as they do excellent research on eclipse vantage points.

  5. Book early - Many eclipses occur in remote parts of the world - the 2010 eclipse is over the Pacific Ocean - so accommodation and flights can be limited to start with so early booking can be essential. Even in more populated areas accommodation can be sold out years in advance. Our motel in Ceduna (South Australia) for the 2002 eclipse was booked out completely two years in advance.

  6. Know what kit to bring - If you intend to photograph the eclipse, you need to bring the right kit with you. Bringing a telescope can be a good idea - but consider you will need to carry it with for your whole journey which can be a burden unless you're a proper astronomer - esp considering the customs requirements. Don't forget a mounting if you want to attach a camera to your 'scope. A wide angle lens will let you get some decent shots of the environment surrounding the eclipse. NASA publishes some excellent information on how to photograph an eclipse. If you want to know what you can achieve peruse some of these pictures on Flickr.

  7. Join the SEML - The Solar Eclipse Mailing List is an excellent resource for eclipse chasers. There's plenty of practical and technical information on upcoming total and annular eclipses - although very technical at times, most are dedicated eclipse chasers and are looking for good observation points for upcoming eclipses.

Related Posts

Why chase solar eclipses? Why I chase total solar eclipse all over the world
2012 Solar Eclipse totality seen from offshore of Port Douglas Video of totality during the 2012 eclipse seen from Port Douglas in Queensland
2012 eclipse information and schedule 2012 eclipse information and schedule in Queensland
2012 solar eclipse path - Australia map 2012 total eclipse path across Australia and the Pacific
2012 solar eclipse path - global map Global view of the 2012 total eclipse path
2012 solar eclipse path - Northern Territory map 2012 total eclipse path in Northern Territory of Australia
2012 solar eclipse path - Queensland map 2012 total eclipse path in Queensland
Queensland - 2012 eclipse time and durations Times and durations of the total solar eclipse in Queensland


Further reading

2017 Solar Eclipse - United States - Travel plans for the Total Solar Eclipse in 2017 across the mainland United States

Chase eclipses - 5 reasons you must - Chasing eclipses and why it's is a must-do experience in a travellers life

Eclipse chasing - Essential total eclipse trip planning information from 2010 to 2019

Eclipse Websites - A selection of websites with information about total solar eclipses

Solar eclipses - occurances and types - A brief description of the types and occurences of different types of solar eclipse

Why chase solar eclipses? - Why I chase total solar eclipse all over the world

Eclipse calendar - Calendar of forthcoming total, annular, hybrid and partial solar eclipses

Martigny - Amphitheatres and Erotic Rodin - Travelogue from a trip to Martigny in Canton Valais for the Erotic Rodin Exhibition

2017 solar eclipse - getting to Idaho - Overview information about getting to Idaho

2017 solar eclipse - getting to Wyoming - Overview information about how to get to Wyoming

Chile Tourism - Official website of the Chile National Tourism Service

Northern Territory - Official website of Northern Territory Tourism

Queensland Tourism - Official website of Tourism Queensland

Svalbard - Official website of the Svalbard archipelago

Tourism Australia - Official website of Tourism Australia

Visit Faroe Islands - Official website of the Faroe Islands Tourist Board

Wyoming Office of Tourism - Official website of the Wyoming Office of Tourism

About Mark Sukhija

Mark Sukhija is a travel and wine blogger, photographer, tourism researcher, hat-touting, white-shirt-wearing, New Zealand fantatic and eclipse chaser. Aside from at least annual visits to New Zealand, Mark has seen eclipses in South Australia (2002), Libya (2006), China (2009) and Queensland (2012). After twelve years in Switzerland, Mark moved back to London in 2012. You can follow Mark on Twitter or Facebook