Travel Mishaps: Part 2

Plus size blogger The Owlet stood by the funnel on a cruise ship

Hey Owlets,

A while ago I wrote an article called “Travel Mishaps: Everything that Happened” and in that I mentioned that I could’ve gone on for days about other stupid mistakes I’d made. However, not everything that’s happened while travelling was avoidable - either due to lack of experience, lack of knowledge or it was just one of those things. With that in mind, I wanted to make a part two to that article, but this time I want to focus on the things that have gone wrong, so you can have a laugh at my expense but also hopefully learn from them.

Getting Sick & Not Being Prepared

Sorry to start with a seemingly boring one, but this is the first thing that came to my mind when planning this article because I still laugh about it to this day. In 2018 I went on a cruise on board Independence of the Seas and I got sick. I got probably the worst cold I’ve ever had and despite feeling like death warmed up (is this a Bristolian or British saying, or have you heard of this phrase?) I couldn’t do anything about it. I’d packed clothes for every occasion, several different cameras and more lipsticks than I could possibly get through in two weeks, but could I find a single ibuprofen? Absolutely not. The morning I woke up feeling ill was a sea day as well so there was absolutely nothing I could do about it until we got to Cadiz the next day. I would say I speak a fairly decent level of Spanish, but I always come across words that I don’t know because I’ve not needed them before, and when I felt like my head was going to explode I really couldn’t face trying to work my way around the missing words. 

I stumbled off the ship & into the local pharmacy, and the first thing I asked was if the pharmacist was able to speak English (I know, but I felt like the meme of Spongebob where his eyes were sliding down his face). I’d never asked that before and after her reaction I will never ask it again, because she looked like I’d insulted her mother and replied “¿Porque? ¿No hablas Español?" in the most sassy (and terrifying, I might add) tone I’ve ever heard. I explained that I do but don’t know any medical words, and what ensued was a strange pantomime of acting out all the possible symptoms that come with a cold, much to the amusement of everyone else in the shop who stayed to watch. Why just using Google Translate didn’t occur to either of us, I will never know. Anyway, we worked it out, she gave me some medicine & sent me on my way. Being new to travelling I had no idea that Spanish medicine was stronger so I just took one of each and hoped for the best. There are two days of that holiday that I have absolutely no memory of, but I felt great. Moral of the story - pack for every eventuality, or just don’t take Spanish medicine. I’ll leave that one up to you.

Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines Lost Seapass Card Ticket

Being Clumsy & Unprepared (again)

When you go on a cruise, you’re usually given a card which acts as your bank card on board, your cabin key and ID for when you get off the ship so you don’t have to carry a passport (in most ports) so it’s incredibly important that you keep a hold of it. If you lose it on the ship it’s not the end of the world, you can just head to reception and they’ll print you a new one. Losing it on land, however, is a whole different ball game. I have a reputation for being unable to keep hold of my sea pass on a cruise, so we always buy a lanyard on embarkation day which means I’ll probably only lock myself out of my cabin around 5 times on the trip, instead of forgetting my card every time I leave go out if I don’t keep it on a lanyard. On this occasion, however, it wasn’t my fault - I had my card on a lanyard around my neck but the plastic card holder had become loose during the trip & it fell out somewhere around the port town. 

I only noticed when I got back to the ship and had to call my parents who were already on board to get them to send me a photo of my passport. Luckily, I’d forgotten that I had my driving license in my purse and the security team were happy to accept this as identification. There’s a reason why they always tell you to take alternative ID into port with you -  please make sure you listen. 

By the way, when I went to get a new card at Guest Services, the receptionist passive aggressively punched a hole in my card and personally clipped it onto the lanyard so I couldn’t lose it again. Don’t be like me.

Wing of a RyanAir plane flying over the Romanian countryside

The World’s Worst Hostel

This one will forever make me laugh, as it was a mixture of being inexperienced and taking the internet for its word. On this occasion, we were on a press trip (my first big trip that I’d ever been invited on) and I had no idea what the done thing was. We were told they’d booked a private room in a hostel for us (my first time staying in a hostel by the way) for the first night and then we would move to a hotel when the trip actually started the next day.

Picture me, emotionally exhausted, having stressed myself into oblivion about getting on my first plane. We land in *undisclosed city because I don’t want to get an angry email* at 1am and head to our hostel. The taxi dropped us off & vaguely pointed up a street. We ended up walking through the red light district and finding our hostel up several flights of sketchy looking (and smelling) stairs. We were shown to our 10 bed dorm (remember the private twin room? Me too) with 1 inch thick mattresses & beds that felt like they would fall apart if you actually led on them. The best was yet to come, however, as both the toilets and showers had wet floors & the smell was vomit inducing. We ended up looking for hotels but couldn’t find anything that would let us check in that night so we were stuck there. Luckily one of the girls on the trip spoke the local language, and she managed to blag us into getting access to the gym of a 4* hotel by pretending to be a guest there. We used their bathrooms to freshen up and sat on the sofas in the upstairs lobby until nearly 5am before we reluctantly headed back to the hostel, which was so gross that we slept in the clothes we’d flown out in before leaving as early as we possibly could in the morning, just to sit in a cafe for hours until we could check into our hotel.

I know many of you aren’t bloggers so it’s not likely to be a situation that you get into, but had we taken the time to Google where we were staying rather than just blindly trusting the organiser we would’ve found hundreds of negative reviews & would’ve just booked our own cheap hotel for the night. Yet again I didn’t prepare and ended up worse off. Even though it was a really stressful situation at the time I have to look back and laugh now. We took a nap on a sofa in the lobby of one of the most expensive hotels in the city, pretended to be a guest & my friend who was on the trip accidentally referred to the hostel as a hovel live on Instagram. I definitely learnt some lessons and grew as a person from that trip.

Plus size travel blogger The Owlet in Bristol city centre, UK

I’m going to leave this here for now as yet again I’ve talked way too much - I hope you’ve learned something or just had a good laugh at my expense. Just like with the previous instalment, I remembered loads more things that have happened while I was writing so if you’re still enjoying the mistake series, let me know and I’ll write a part three - I’m thinking this time we’ll go for cruise themed mistakes because I have a lot of those to share too. If that’s something you’d be interested in, let me know. And just like before I’d love to hear some of your travel mishaps so leave them in the comments below or tell me about them on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Love and Feathers, 
 The Owlet 💜 
You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Pinterest

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