Over the years we’ve messed up, like really messed up, but we’ve learned from it and become better travelers as a result. Here’s my “List of Shame” to help you learn from my mistakes, or just feel better about yourself!
1) Relying on my memory of the flight schedule. I never do this anymore. I have shown up to the airport on the wrong day, flown into the wrong airport, shown up several hours late and missed flights, and booked a flight for the wrong month. Seriously. It took all of that before I learned to triple check my flight details including date, time, and airport.
2) Not packing ID where it’s easily accessible. My husband gets the award for this one. After a lot of scrambling at the airport we decided it was lost and he went through the long arduous process of clearing TSA without ID. (Pro tip: this can be done, but leave yourself plenty of time because it can’t be rushed.) We eventually found his wallet months later. It had been in a weird side pocket all along.
3) Not writing down which parking lot my car was in. I was flying out of Charlotte and my car was literally right next to the shuttle so I didn’t bother to take a picture of the location like I would usually do. Well it turns out they had several different lots and I had to hop on and off different buses until I finally found the right one.
4) Not bringing milk on a flight to Asia. My 14 month old son had recently been weaned off the breast and we were flying to Bangkok via Beijing. I assumed there would be milk on board and that turned out to be a huge mistake. We had plenty of snacks for my son, but not the milk he was screaming for. If I’m ever traveling internationally with a baby that young again, I’ll probably invest in a high quality soft cooler and just fill it with milk and ice packs.
5) Not bringing gum for ear pressure. On the return flight from aforementioned Bangkok, my 2 year old daughter had severe ear pain. We tried everything but she was in so much pain she cried for hours. I had previously figured she was too young for gum, but after the flight I figured out that if I chewed some gum with her we could do it as an activity and spit it out before she had time to get distracted. (Pro tip: In addition to gum, I now always bringing tootsie pops, since they are a good combination of sucking and chewing.)
Ick. This list makes me sound like a terrible traveller and mother. At least I can say with confidence that I’ll never do any of these things again! And you know what? All these trips were still worth it!
What travel fails have you had?