I always say I’ve had the travel bug from a young age. I was very lucky as a child that my parents took my sister and me to so many different places and I have experienced so much of the world already, and that need to see it all has never gone away.
Now in all my years of travelling, you wouldn’t expect that everything’s always gone 100% smoothly, and you’d be right, it hasn’t. There have been plenty of slight holiday malfunctions and mishaps over the years, but as a child a lot of these didn’t seem like problems – probably because my parents always did a pretty good job of covering them up – but in more recent years, my travel nightmares have led to a lot of discovery.
Even if you’re travelling hand luggage only, make sure its a suitable bag
This is a fun story from a year ago now. I went on solo trip to Disneyland Paris and after a wonderful weekend away I got to the airport to discover my flight home had been cancelled. The airline were nice enough to get my on another flight, but this was at a different airport which I had to get a coach to, and then after walking the entire length of the airport to the gate for the second flight, that one was also cancelled. Long story short, I spent the majority of my day walking back and forth through a huge airport, and the bag I had chosen for my weekend’s worth of stuff? A shopping bag, kinda like a bag-for-life/Ikea blue bag style thing with a little grab handle, so I couldn’t put it on my back or over my shoulder, and my hand hurt so much by the time I got home – 9 hours later than I should have.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help from airport staff
On a flight to Japan, my sister and I had a VERY tight transfer time in Dubai, and by very tight I mean too tight. Thanks to a delay in our first flight, we wouldn’t have had enough time to make it to our next gate, so we did the somewhat sensible, someone stressed-fuelled thing to do and ran through the airport shouting for someone to help us. Well, we ended up on one of those little golf-cart things that the airport staff use and got shuttled right to where we needed to be, just in the nick of time!
Just because trains are reliable, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t check the timetable
This is another Japan story. Japanese trains are the most reliable in the world; they so rarely run late that you actually need a note from the train company to take to work with you to prove it was actually late. Well we never experienced a single late train, but we did assume that all trains ran super regularly, when in fact the train to the airport only ran once an hour on the day we needed to take it, and we got there 5 minutes after a train had just left. Another mad run through the airport..
Set yourself a reminder alarm on any train journey
So I don’t know about anyone else, but when I’m super stressed out my body likes to shut down and make me sleep whenever the opportunity arises. Well this occurred once after I stressed about my Eurostar home from Paris being late once, and as soon as I got on the train, I fell asleep. Luckily, I kept my phone in my hand the whole time, and a friend of mine who was sat in a different part of the train had text me to ask if I was ready to run of the train at our connecting station, which woke me up, but had I not I would have missed it altogether and rode that train all the way to Brussels. Oops.
Always check the pockets of bags you haven’t used in a while
This is one of my favourite stories going back to when I was in secondary school. I was in cadets, and had used the same rucksack to take away on a cadet camp early in the summer that I used as hand luggage for a family holiday. It goes through the scanner and gets pulled for inspection, where the security guard asks if I would have anything sharp or metal to which I proclaimed that I just remembered that there were some safety pins I’d forgotten about that I would have had in there from camp. Well it turns out I also had forgotten about the pen knife that I took to camp, which the guard then pulled from my bag. Yep..
Well I certainly hope you’ve been entertained by my little cautionary tales, if you haven’t learned anything from them yourself! Have you ever had any major travel faux pas?