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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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