Soon, we will be allowed to travel again! If you have gone from being a frequent flyer to being stuck at home for months on end, you need to make sure you book your travel plans efficiently. Keeping that in mind, let’s take a look at some mistakes you must avoid.
There are so many moments during travel that are wonderful and usually that is what is shared.
Today I am sharing the not so wonderful moments, because let’s face it, we all have “real travel” moments that are not wonderful at all, they are a total and complete disaster.
Table of Contents
Not finding out about any entry requirements
There are different entry requirements for countries all around the world. For some countries, you need a visa to enter, even if you’re only going to be staying for a day or two. For other places, you may need a visitor visa depending on how long you’re going to the country for and your intentions while there. Hiring experts like Irish citizenship immigration solicitors makes a lot of sense.
Unfortunately, I have made a lot of mistakes when it has come to transportation.
Getting stuck on the subway in NYC for 2 hours. I’m unsure what exactly went wrong, but the last time we flew into JFK, for our stay at Hampton Inn Chelsea, I decided to ride the subway into the city instead of taking an Uber. I wanted to save money. I did save money, but I cost us at least an hour of fun. There is nothing fun about being trapped down in the subway for an hour or two.
We did eventually manage to get off the subway. After being stuck for over an hour I decided we would get off and walk. Turns out our destination was quite a bit further away than I thought we were.
That time in NYC was not the first time we have ended up walking a ridiculous distance with our luggage. Here we are walking around an air base in New Jersey in July in 100 degree heat. It’s a long story, but we were flying around on military planes and got stuck on a base with no car. Thank goodness we travel light.
Flying into the Wrong Airport
Now this may sound unlikely, but when you are traveling back and forth to countries you have never been to, it can be confusing. In Europe, they have some really cheap airlines like Ryan Air. We flew from Venice to “Barcelona” only to discover that Ryan Air does not fly into Barcelona. They fly into somewhat near by Girona. We landed in Girona and then had to buy bus tickets to get into the city. The bus dropped us off at the main bus station in Barcelona and 2 AM in the morning. We were tired, confused, and it took quite a while to find a cab.
Overlooking baggage limits and costs
First and foremost, whenever you book a flight you should always look at your allowance in terms of baggage before you commit to the deal. Why? Well, the flight may seem cheap on the surface, until you discover you have to pay £50 per suitcase per flight. This can then add £100 onto a return journey! The added extras in terms of flights are where people often spend way more money than necessary and so this is something you definitely need to take into account.
In addition to this, you need to look at how many kg you are actually allowed. If you go over this, how much will you be fined? You will often discover that you are fined more at the airport than you are when you pay for extra kg on the Internet. This is where the assistance of travel management companies comes in extremely useful. They will be able to find all of this information for you and make sure you are operating as efficiently as possible.
Do you actually have a need to take a suitcase? Did you know that most airlines allow you roughly 10kg of hand luggage? If you are merely going away on a short business trip, for example, this is something you may wish to consider taking advantage of. However, please bear in mind that you will be charged if you have more than one bag. Some companies do not even allow this.
If you take all of the points that have been mentioned into account in regards to baggage allowance you can ensure that you do not spend any excess money or run into trouble once you get to the airport!
Years ago, I waited too long to buy air tickets back to Germany from Italy. We ended up having to travel by train. This isn’t a huge issue, but it took almost 24 hours of train travel on 3-4 trains to get there. Traveling all night like this with three kids is brutal. That’s jonah, Eden, and I after finally getting back to the base town we needed to be in.
Passport Issues – Again, you might think this doesn’t really happen to people. But two years ago I found myself at the airport trying to check the kids and I into a flight, but much to my surprise we were not allowed on. The kids passports were not expired, but they would be expired 6 months after we returned. Apparently some countries will not allow you in their country with a short amount of time on the passport. It didn’t matter that my passport was good for another three years. We ended up switching flights and going to London and that’s how I spent a bloody fortune in England for Thanksgiving two years ago!
I like to see as much as possible, but that can be exhausting. We did so much in 3 days in NYC that they all passed out in the Lyft on the way to the airport. Instead of running the kids into the ground, I probably should have extended our stay by one day.
Over the years I have made some pretty bad hotel mistakes. The three worst where Hiedleburg, Germany, Burleson, Texas, and Mykonos, Greece.
Hiedleburg, Germany – I saw a room that could accommodate a family of four and booked it. When we arrived there were kids everywhere. Turns out I booked us at a youth hostel. Teens and young adults were smoking, drinking, etc. not exactly where you want to be staying with your kids when they are 13, 10, & 7. The young adults partied till late and we could hear it since there was no AC and we had the window open to cool off the room. The partying did die down, but at sunrise the animals went nuts. Turns out there was a zoo next door!
Burleson, Texas – My family reunion is currently held at a campground, Jellystone Park. Here they have various lodging options: tent, trailer, and cabin. Everyone in my family managed to get a cabin except for me. Obviously, since the kids and I are flying in we are not going to camp, so I booked us a trailer. Now the trailers on their website do not look this bad. This is the trailer we stayed in and yes, that is a tarp over the room that leaks when it rains. There were dead bugs on one of the bunk bed mattresses, no hot water, and overall just disgusting.
Mykonos, Greece – Ibiscus Mykonos hotel the most disgusting hotel I’ve ever booked. It is an ideal place to stay if you enjoy sharing a room with well fed mosquitos and not bathing. I have never seen a more filthy bathtub in my entire life. I am still surprised my sister and I didn’t catch some sort of disease from staying here. At this hotel we got to enjoy views of a junk yard out back.
One of the scariest mistakes I made was when I decided to take the kids hiking in Hawaii. After a successful hike earlier in the week I decided we could handle a more intense hike. The trail split and we missed it. After two hours of walking around in the jungle lost we see a sign warning us to explosives in the area. We all felt quite happy we didn’t get blown up! We did find the trail and finish the hike. It ended at a beautiful waterfall. Which would have been amazing, but it was full of naked people and people getting high. #momoftheyear
Do not wait until right before you are leaving the hotel to do your laundry. Why? Because if your clothes do not dry in time then this will be you. Here we are drying our clothes across the dashboard of our rental car, because they didn’t dry in time. We did laundry right before it was time to head to the Munich airport.
Failing to look at the refund policy
And last but not least, if there is one thing that the past year has taught us, it is that anything can happen! Because of this, it makes sense to book flights and accommodation that offer free refunds. After all, the last thing you want is to end up not being able to go on the trip and losing all of your money. Sadly, this has happened to a lot of people over the past 12 months, and it can feel very unfair! So, always check the refund policy.
What is your worst travel mistake?