THE TOP TEN by THE TRAVEL ROOM
TOP 5 BAD TRAVEL DECISIONS
Would I make some of these decisions with the benefit of hindsight? Probably not, but after six months on the road and 3 days without a shower, your process of rational thought tends to lend itself to the wrong side of poor and your usually sound perspective is awry...
As you stand on the border the official puts his hand out for $30 for you to cross the imaginary line. After paying a dollar a night for accommodation and feasting like a king for another the last few months you decide in a fit of pique that $30 (or how it now is in your mind, a months rent) is soooo much money, you turn around and hop on a bus, heading away from that fresh new country you should have been in. Great decision, still haven't seen Nicaragua...
Lesson learnt: Seize the day. You never know when it may be your last. Also remember the true value of money!
It's a good enough hotel and the guy at the front desk seems nice enough. Sure, no problem in leaving your mobile phone in the room whilst you go out for a few drinks. Good bye mobile and thanks for all the texts to every female in my address book, random Egyptian desk clerk, we knew you looked suspicious as you were walking away from our room as we were walking towards it.
Lesson Learnt: If it has any value, either lock it up or take it with you, at least that way you'll know what happened to it and won't find out 3 days later and several $'s poorer.
Eating all the local food is a great way to mix with the locals and get a feel for the place you are in. What people eat and how they treat their dead are two very interesting gauges on a race of people. However, choose your food joints carefully, don’t do as I did day 1 in Mexico City and eat in a run down little café where the food was luke warm, 5 days of diarrhoea and another month of stomach problems lay testament to this bad decision.
Lesson learnt: Ask the locals where they recommend, make sure your food is cooked through and finally, here's a free tip, don't drink milk products if you have stomach problems, apparently they just make it worse! Now they tell me.
If I know all my credit cards are in one place, then I know where they are.... I will also allow the pickpocket on the chicken run bus in Guatamala to get their hands on all my worldy cash and bleed me dry. An expensive lesson.
Lesson learnt: Keep at least one card separate from the others and for gods sake don't just stick your wallet in your pocket where all and sundry can both see it and relieve you of it.
Standing in the middle of nowhere, waiting for the bus to take you back to town as the sun slowly sets and darkness falls, it slowly dawns on you, there is no return bus, not today anyway. At -30 degrees, just shy of the Arctic Circle, it is hard to prepare yourself for the 5 mile walk back to where you started the day.
Lesson learnt: What should be the most obvious of all, check with the driver or local or timetable that you can make the return journey, 5 minutes would have saved us 5 very long miles! This also applies to the metro in Osaka and Rome, buses in Slovakia, etc. etc.
Please help us to make our top 5 bad travel decisions into the top 10 bad travel decisions, tell us about your worst travel decision and we'll add it to our list!
And if you include your name and email we'll attribute it to you if we put it up on this page - and we'll add you to our mailing list as well!