Things I ALWAYS get wrong when travelling

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: I’m a really bad traveller sometimes.

I don’t mean that in like a “I suck as a travelling companion” type deal, but all that technical stuff? I’m SO BAD AT IT. I continuously make the same mistakes before and after a trip. I know that most of my friends think I’m a flake, but I prefer to think I’m more…aloof. A daydreamer? Who knows. Alright I’m a goddamned flake. Happy now?

If you can commiserate with me on any of these travel mistakes, please do share. Or maybe hey, you’ve got a trip coming up and this will help jog your memory.

Thinking that every airport is like the St. John’s International Airport

I LOVE LOVE LOVE the St. John’s International Airport. It has one terminal. There are maybe eight gates. Going through security and check-in takes about as much time as ordering a Big Mac. I’m never in a rush to get there, and this unfortunately hasn’t worked in my favour lately.

The thing is, Newfoundland is growing. Particularly St. John’s. And there are a LOT of flights coming through nowadays, and so the airport needs to expand. Recommended check-in time: one hour in advance? Pfffft. Please.

Travel badness

I misjudge all airports, including this ancient one on Naxos island.
Except, no seriously, go earlier than one hour in advance. I missed a flight to Montreal once because I dicked around with this. And then I’ll find myself in a foreign country actually needing HOURS in advance to check-in, and I always underestimate things. Such was the experience in Croatia when I arrived late for my flight from Dubrovnik to Scotland, and had to fight through a line-up of hundreds of people while I wove in and out of consciousness in a sweltering terminal doing everything in my power not to collapse or puke in my handbag thanks to a crippling bladder infection that WOULD NOT QUIT. I was high on Imodium and painkillers. If I didn’t make it on that plane and out of that godforsaken country, I would have shot myself.

Not packing a hairbrush

WHY? WHY this thing? My hair is like three metres long and it’s a massive curly disaster if I don’t meticulously shampoo, condition, and then untangle the chaos with two of my brushes. Remember that time I came back from Croatia with Matt the Mat stuck in my hair, and my hairdresser had to cut it out, and I reminded her of the STRAY CAT outside her house? Or most recently, that time my hair started falling out in clumps? You’d THINK I’d be a little more conscious of my hair needs.


Not writing down the address of where I’m staying

Oh boy. I always forget those trusty immigration forms. A nice smile and good looks won’t get you everywhere (although it’s worked remarkably well in my case lately).

So after that whole awkward bladder infection thing in Dubrovnik, there was only one goal on my mind: get to Glasgow from Croatia where my friend Julia would take good care of me. Nothing else mattered. NOTHING! I landed in Edinburgh and went through customs and then the agent asked me where I was staying. Not only did I NOT know Julia’s address, but at that point, I hadn’t booked my connecting flight from Glasgow to Dublin where I’d be flying back to Canada. I actually can’t believe the agent let me in, but I’m fairly certain I was close to being detained.

Not writing down my return flight details

See above. I didn’t even have my Westjet flight details from Dublin to St. John’s. Because that’s a good idea.

Not checking in advance about travel restrictions and visas

I’m really dumb about this (as is obvious by now). I guess for the most part I’ve travelled many countries that don’t require visas, because the world generally tends to like Canadians. But obviously that’s not always the case, and it wasn’t when I was hitting up Turkey this year. Not only is a visa required in advance, but I needed to print it out AND I needed to pay $75CAD. I have no idea why the Turks hate Canadians, but there it is.

Fortunately, my Couchsurfing hosts in Greece arranged for THEIR friends to print me off my visa so I could make my way to Ayvalik, Turkey. My luck sometimes; it’s truly a wonder how I haven’t met any disasters yetINSTANTLY REGRET WRITING THAT SENTENCE WITH IMPENDING FLIGHT IN FOUR DAYS.

Injuries, constantly

Here are a few injuries that happened just this year.

Ass bruise

This epic ass bruise I acquired after falling out of bed in my Athens hotel.
Leg injury

Someone dropped a beer bottle on a dance floor, it shattered, and a piece of the bottled jumped up and slashed my shin. I STILL HAVE A SCAR.

Finally, I fell off a yacht tied up at the wharf, smashed my face into the pavement, and sustained several other pavement injuries.

Not packing the right power adapters

Why? Why, why why? Adapters and converters and why is this so hard for me?

What do you always forget?

In other news, I’m headed to Miami this Sunday where I’ll be hopping on a Carnival Cruise to Turks and Caicos, and the Bahamas. All thanks to Cailin O’Neil, and her bountiful Airmiles! I’m taking a real vacation, believe it or not. Turns out that if you complain about the lack of sunshine long enough, you’ll actually get it! Just not in Newfoundland. A little more south.

I’ve never done a cruise. I can’t wait to party in the sun with 40-year-old couples whom hate each other! Wish me luck!

  • November 20 2014
    Jill Kozak

    Damn girl, you bust up!

  • November 20 2014

    Thank heavens I am not the only one! I just went to London and Wales and I had a car rental to drive from Bath to North Wales. Guess who consciously decided that two passports and a global entry card were enough id? $58 and a very exceptional neighbor got my license to me in time.

    • December 01 2014

      Oh YIKES. Hahaha. That’s rough!

  • November 20 2014

    Yikes! Some of those injuries look pretty nasty!

    I don’t think the Turks hate us. :p Most of the countries we need visas for only did it because we required visas of them. The same goes for Brazil.

    I got a SKROSS World Adapter PRO+ USB last year. It’s a little pricey, but it has adapters for almost every country all in one piece. Might be worth checking out!

    • December 01 2014

      Ooh I should look into that World Adapter thing

  • November 20 2014

    Your yacht injuries look so painful! I also injure myself frequently when I travel. Earlier this year I was on a cruise and managed to seriously sprain BOTH my ankles (from dancing too hard at the deck party- which is embarrassing to admit). Enjoy your cruise! And remember to wear supportive footwear at the deck party, ha.

    • December 01 2014

      Omg. Sprained from DANCING? That’s amazing.

  • November 20 2014

    Wow! Those injuries are pretty impressive.
    I think we all have our “terrible traveler” moments :) I always remember my hairbrush, but never my toothbrush. Also, I tend to assume that everywhere I place I stay has 24-hour check-in… this is not the case!

    • December 01 2014

      Yep! Done that before too. Especially when it comes to hostels.

  • November 20 2014
    Megan Buffett

    I ALWAYS forget to pack deodorant. Then I end up buying way overpriced, tiny ones at the airport or hotel. I also tend to forget makeup for my tan-to-be and end up looking ridiculous when I want to wear it. I use a packing list on my iPad now that saves my setting so as long as I use that faithfully, I’m usually all set.

    • December 01 2014

      I’ve done that before too, and now I have an abundance of deodorants because I’ve been unintentionally collecting them, hahaha.

  • November 20 2014

    Keep your adapters on a Grid-It (especially when not travelling) and your flight and accommodation details in TripIt. Works for me every time, but then I’m a data geek and a bit OCD with lists and the like.

    • December 01 2014

      I’ve wanted to buy one of those but they looked so expensive! Hmm, perhaps a Christmas present…

      • December 01 2014

        Mine’s actually a Heys brand one. I bought the medium sized one at Travel Bug for $24 I think the other year. Worth it for the peace of mind.

  • November 20 2014
    Sasha @ The Curious Zephyr

    I left my whole wallet at home once. I had my ID and my metro card, which was all I needed to get to the airport and through security, so I didn’t even notice til I got my gate and my stomach grumbled and I wanted to buy some food and I couldn’t!

    • December 01 2014

      Omg! Lol. Did you make your flight?

  • November 20 2014
    Samantha Bilkey

    So far so good with me… although I guess I always forget my nail file or nail clippers – so hard to find when I need it!

    • December 01 2014

      Agreed with those as well. I always forget how useful they are.

  • November 20 2014

    hahahah girl you are covered in bruises you poor thing! but this was an entertaining read as always :D I always say I’m a bad traveler, but I think you may be worse than me ;)

    • December 01 2014

      Bahaha. And I didn’t even tell the story about coming back from the Saskatchewan outback with 60 mosquito bites on my legs…

  • November 21 2014
    Rease Kirchner

    I always forget (refuse) to pack hydrocortisone. I am wildly allergic to tons of plants and bug bites, so half the time I end up over-paying for a tube that I have to buy on the go. I also suffer from severe clumsiness, and I got a really bad rug burn from falling out of a bed! I had issues in NYC, which is not even an outdoorsy place.

    • December 01 2014

      Rug burn! Lol. That’s hilarious.

  • November 21 2014

    I always forget my hairbrush! Or my toothbrush. Or my tweezers and I end up looking like Bert of Sesame Street. So glad I’m not the only bad traveler out there :)

    • December 01 2014

      Hahaha. I’ve definitely forgotten my toothbrush on a few occasions.

  • November 22 2014

    haha I do some of these things sometimes! The worst is when I don’t have a local sim card and I forget to pre-load emails on my phone. There’s been multiple times where I can’t get the address and I’m freaking out! One time in Taiwan I accidentally deleted the email with the directions as I was walking. I had to get some random strangers to call my hostel for me!

    • December 01 2014

      Gah! I always tend to write those things down. I don’t know why. I’m a sucker for a good notebook. Lol

  • November 23 2014

    I so always forget my hairbrush too!

    • December 01 2014

      Hahaha, maybe I should buy one to put in my backpack to just keep there all time.

  • December 07 2014
    Sandra Svensson

    Great post!:) So see myself in the part about the injuries! I haven´t had a bruise for years but since I started travelling I am covered in them as well as that I am walking with a everlasting limp since I keep hurting my ancle!

    • December 08 2014

      Bahaha. And that sucks. :( I seem to be prone to blisters….