I might as well start off my Tuesday Travels with some lovely little travel fails. Most of these center on my most recent trip to London (because I’ve thankfully blocked out previous misadventures). Anyway, I hope you enjoy!
Packing Too Much
I blame this mostly on anxiety. Really, anything could happen while I’m away for days or weeks at a time. I could be invited to a gala at the last minute, for example, or find that, during my trip to snowy Big Bear, a good ‘ol Californian heat wave will force me into a swimsuit. I usually bring about twice as many outfits as I actually use, and then end up lugging around a bulky suitcase.
This was my big mistake during my last London visit. I was trying to be frugal by booking what looked like a great — and cheap! — AirBnB room. What I didn’t realize was that my abode would be snuggled between the host’s main living room and kitchen. Also, the walls were paper thin. I didn’t sleep for the first two nights, and finally had to bite the bullet and find myself a hotel. It may have cost more, but finding a place that better suited my light-sleeper-status changed my entire trip.
I tend to forget what rain is. That said, I do not currently own an umbrella, rain boots, or a water-proof coat. I traipse off to foreign destinations in little more than a peacoat, flowery dress and a cute pair of tights. This was not fun during my late September romp in London. In heavy, windy rain. With a cold.
Not Planning for Subway Traffic
So I was ridiculously excited about joining a walking group along the Thames that was searching for ancient British relics. I checked the estimated travel time on Google Maps and figured that, since it was London and the Underground, everything would be accurate. I mean, it’s not like I was in Los Angeles. Right?
Wrong. So wrong.
I ended up stuck on a ridiculously crowded train, surrounded by silently fuming Londoners (not fun), and had to go back to my aforementioned AirBnB without a Thames walk or relics.
This is something I blame mostly on my parents (sorry, Mom), because quite frankly, I don’t do this much anymore. But back in the day, we only took cruises, stuck to the touristy areas, took tours mostly through the cruise line, and never, ever ate the local food at our ports of call. Sure, we were still able to see historically significant places, but we didn’t experience the local culture at all.
So my advice: Get out there and get dirty. Try weird things. Wear outfits twice. Don’t be Californian.