Look, we all have them. We all have a moment when we realize we screwed something up and an “oh, crap!” or other choice word flies out of our mouths. It happens to the best of us. This seems to especially be the case when we travel. Now mind you, you want to avoid huge errors, like forgetting your passport or visas for the country you are entering, but in everyday life, things happen. I am no stranger to this, and on my recent Eurotrip, I definitely had my…moments. Some couldn’t be avoided and some could. These are my latest travel blunders, and they were all on one trip.
Oops #1: Military Time Fail
Let me start by saying that I can read military time (the 24-hour clock). And let me also say that at one point, I really did know what time my flight was. This one, I blame on exhaustion.
On the first leg of the trip, we were in Paris. And we ran ourselves ragged. Like 24,000 steps one day and 17,000 on each subsequent day. Yes you read that right: 24,000 steps. We were exhausted, our whole bodies hurt, and we kept it up for four days. So by the time we took the train to London (which was another exercise in nonsense courtesy of Tyra), we were pooped. But I still had tours I had to go on and family friends to meet up with. But I definitely slowed down the pace in London, quite a bit.
Fast forward to Saturday, my departure date. I had gone to see Buckingham Palace, and then I went to Harrod’s. I had a very productive morning. At some point, likely when I booked the trip, I knew my flight was at 5:10 pm. I understood that, because that optimal time was why I booked the flight. But at some point in my exhaustion and running around and meeting up and hanging out with an old law school buddy who just happened to be visiting the country at the exact same moment I was, I forgot. And when I looked at my flight itinerary–and again, I blame exhaustion–I misread it. In fact, I can tell you exactly what I did. When I glanced at the time, I saw 7:10 but somehow missed that it was really 17:10.
Yep folks, I thought my flight was at 7:10 pm, not 5:10. So I, being the on time person that I am, showed up at London Heathrow at about 4:45. Because precautions. I had checked in already but I needed to check my bag, so I was waiting in line. At some point, I saw a woman walking with a placard stating if you were on a certain flight, then you need to skip the line. On the back of the placard was my flight number and time. Didn’t dawn on me yet. Until I was close to the front of the baggage line and I looked at the time on the screen. It said 17:00. I paused. And paused again. And looked at my boarding pass. And looked back up. And did quick math. Then almost cried.
This is the first time I have ever missed a flight in my history of traveling. I told the attendant and she took me to a special desk where I talked to a special woman and told her what happened. Maybe she felt sorry for me because I looked so dejected that she helped me out. But I was able to catch the next flight out for probably half of what I should have paid. That was an expensive lesson to learn. And you can bet for the rest of the trip, I double and tripled checked my flight times (even using my lifelines to phone a friend to make sure I wasn’t tripping).
Oops #2 That Time I Fell Out of a Shuttle Bus
Okay, if you know me, you know I’m clumsy. That being said, I don’t think this one was my fault. I was trying to be courteous. But I had to laugh anyway.
I was in Copenhagen, in the shuttle back to the airport after my whirlwind less than 24 hour visit. The shuttle was super high off the ground and had several rows you have to slide in. Because I am tall and not a twig, I decided to take the seat by the door so I could have a spot of leg room. When we made a stop at another hotel, my intention was to step off the bus so people didn’t have to climb over me to get off, with their small bags. Courteous, right?
Ever heard the saying, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions”? Well as I went to step down out of the bus, I failed to realize that the stairs didn’t extend the entire length of the doorway. When I say I KISSED IT, I mean I kissed the ground. I fell into the gap and to the ground hard as hell. My camera bag AND my shoes all went flying in multiple directions as I sprawled out in the driveway. It was catastrophic.
And all I could do was sit up and laugh. The entire bus (and the people in the driveway) were in a panic and freaking out asking if I was okay and totally worried. And all I could do was laugh. Because it was hilarious. I told them I was fine, gathered my things, slid my shoes back on, and got back on the bus. They still looked concerned and I reassured them I was perfectly okay. You wanna know how I know this wasn’t my fault? The bus driver told me that I wasn’t the first person who had done that. Ummmm, really sir!!! You may want to fix that situation. #LawsuitInTheMaking
Oops #3: That Time My Bag was a Liability
Yeah, so I am not #TeamCarryOn. Sorry not sorry. For the most part, it ain’t happening. But I was actually quite proud of myself for packing lighter than usual, and having room to spare in my checked bag (because I knew I would have stuff to bring back from the conference I was attending.
But even with the bag not completely full, it was a REALLY BIG BAG. Like super big. I probably should have brought a smaller checked bag, but again, I needed space for materials and swag. Catch 22.
But I handled the bag skillfully throughout most of my trip. Yeah there was the little situation where the swag made it go overweight but I had prepared for that. The only time I had an issue was on the dreaded Chunnel.
The Chunnel, for those who don’t know, is the train between London and Paris that goes under the English Channel. Well, the bag wouldn’t have been an issue on the train…except that some genius attendant told us that our correct car was 14, not 4. Well, after we had departed, we had to drag my big, heavy, really too wide for the aisle bag through 10 TRAIN CARS. In addition to my other small rolly computer bag. It was at that point where I just wanted to say “forget it!” (not so nicely) and leave my stuff behind. I was that through with that bag at that moment. That moment, quite frankly, was more frustrating than when I missed my flight.
So there you have it. Three of my biggest mess ups, all in a two week span. That’s probably record breaking. So what are some of your ‘oops’ moments while traveling?