Travel F*ck Ups
A collection of (my) dumb moves you can learn from—beginners edition:
- Check passport. The most obvious of all travel screw ups. Double check that passport expiry date— for many destinations it should be valid for 6 months after your return date. Or be forced to cry on the phone to the passport office, pay extra and wheel and deal with moustachioed Cubans to get to your destination.
- Keep an eye on your toes. The rain forests and waterfalls of Maui are breathtaking, but don't let your guard down. Count your fingers and toes before enthusiastically slamming the car door so you can move on to your next adventure. You'll be forced to sport an unfashionable purple toe and say goodbye to surfing.
- Don't eat food birds have landed on. Logic and your mother's words for warning ring true. Birds spread parasites and such, even the fancy trained hotel birds. Disregarding this rule just because you want that last piece of watermelon will result in the most nightmarish flight home ever, fever, nausea and the possibility of being detained at the airport.
- Check camera strap. Those babies are attached to the camera for a reason. Learn to fasten them, or say goodbye to photographic evidence of your partner in his skivvies during the Mister Villa Cuba contest, and other such memories.
- Don't embark on a two hour hike without water. Yep, bring along that eco-friendly water bottle, it serves no purpose on the dash of the car. Dehydration is dangerous and it ruins your day with monster head-aches and grumpiness. Being dehydrated in Iceland is double dumb since (as we learned too late) it has the cleanest water on the planet. You can happily drink it from streams.
- Double check your plane/train/bus/ferry tickets. Not having a return ticket, like you thought, may be just fine on a Serbian train because bribing the conductor is cheaper than the fare, but it really sucks at the airport and in any law-abiding country.
Stay tuned for the next edition. Until then, I will dutifully keep screwing up...