It’s no secret that most of my fellow travel agents are ashamed of the facepalm-worthy mistakes we’ve made along our travel journeys. You would never imagine the travel mistakes made by travel experts. But what good is having a platform if you don’t share the mistakes you’ve made along the way.
Here are some fun and laughable travel mistakes made by travel experts.
Remember when you were young(er) and thought you knew everything? Yeah, so did I.
My first travel mistake happened when I was in my 20’s. I found a “really good deal” and booked it online for me and a friend. Back then we didn’t have a lot of money so we decided to drive to a lake oasis in the middle of the state. The resort was located on the lake and included complimentary breakfast every morning, use of non-motorized watersports, free bicycles to ride into the little town, and plenty of outdoor activity.
We were really excited and I was so proud of my find. At the start of our journey, we were set with plenty of snacks as we sang our hearts out to songs on the radio.
When we arrived in the small town, we couldn’t find the resort. We asked at the local fuel station and the attendant told us about the dirt road that we needed to take to get there. She even chuckled a little.
THAT was my first uncomfortable moment.
We found the dirt road on the other side of the lake from where all of the activities were but thought “that’s OK, it’s still on the lake”. Except it really wasn’t. Our “resort” was nothing more than a 6-room motel. Granted it did have wood siding so there was no deception with teh description oof “authentic wood lodge” (insert eye roll here).
It gets better! The resort wasn’t even on the big lake, but something that looked no larger than a pond overgrown with lily pads. The room did have 2 beds as stated but it was a twin bunk bed! Our complimentary breakfast included toast with margarine, weak coffee, and a powdered orange drink that I struggle to call juice.
We both cried! Then we decided to make the best of it and thought it would be an adventure. It was the worst but that memory is priceless for both of us…”remember that time we drove….”.
Here are a few other travel agents mishaps
I once booked a couple at Harrah’s Laughlin when I thought I was booking them at Harrah’s Las Vegas. It was a non-refundable rate and a costly mistake.
A Christmas to Remember
One year over Christmas I decided to book my travel through vacation by owner company because it was so much cheaper than a resort. When we showed up in Puerto Rico we were shocked to find that the address didn’t exist. I had to scramble to find a place for my family.
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
My family decided they wanted to see 4 European countries in 14 days. Which turned out to be 12 days because we didn’t account for our 2 travel days. When we arrived from the US we thought we would just “hit the ground running” so we stayed awake all day.
Our last planned activity that day was a dinner reservation at 8 pm. Half of my family fell asleep at the table and the other half was just crabby. The next morning and every day thereafter we were awake for 6 am excursions Schedules on planes, trains and automobiles being what they are we ended up not seeing all that we wanted to. I will never again try to squeeze in that many places for that short of time.
For some reason, I decided that I was NOT going to do laundry on a vacation. I set out for 10 days to Australia with my checked bag at 51#s and a carry on suitcase at approx. 20#. HUGE mistake. For inter-country flights, I paid a lot of money for luggage, I personally had to carry my suitcases onto the train, and I STILL shipped home a box with souvenirs!
Travel Guides are Great
My family thought they were being smart by borrowing travel guides from the local library. No one really paid attention to the date. When we got to our destination, there were so many things we missed after talking to some locals. When we returned home, we learned that the travel guides were 12 years old.
Once I had to have my elderly parents wire me money by Western Union. I completely blew my travel budget because I neglected to add up receipts and when I went to pay for my last hotel nights and meal in the hotel, my credit card was declined. I was so embarrassed but we got it paid and the staff was very understanding luckily!
Not Enough Layover Time
Once and only once I let my husband take care of the vacation. He booked our international flights and took care of accommodations. I was pretty impressed until I saw the airport layover on the way back was less than an hour. In Atlanta, one of the busiest airports, AND we had to go through Customs. We would never make it. He said it was the cheapest flight and he wanted to try. Needless to say, we did not make our connecting flight and got home 8 hours after we were supposed to.
Leave Your Jewelry at Home
On an anniversary trip to Mexico, I packed some expensive jewelry that I loved and wanted to wear for our anniversary dinner. It was a lovely dinner. As we were walked from the town back to the resort, some men really liked my jewelry too, and took them. Moral of this story? Leave your jewelry at home!
Looking to create your bucket list? Check out my recent article to help you out!
Hi, I’m Sandy Haddick, owner and Travel Dream-Maker of Dreams are Forever Travel. I’m a certified Travel Leaders Vacation Specialist with IATA credentials and several vacation destinations & vacation brands certificates.
With a degree in Business Administration & Marketing, over 20 years in Supply Chain and my passion for planning and travel, the move to open my own agency was a natural fit: instead of moving product, I move people.
Planning a vacation can be a daunting process. There are so many details–flights, hotel stays, car rentals, and activities. The internet is a great place to look, but not the place to book! Working with Dreams Are Forever Travel ensures everything is arranged, scheduled, and paid for before you leave the house, allowing you time to enjoy your vacation. Every detail is taken care of, so you don’t have to worry about a thing. There’s never a cost to use our services, all you have to do is pack your bags!
I love making travel dreams come true; let’s start planning YOUR next dream vacation!