I would like to say that I am a practical and efficient person and that everything runs smoothly once I grab my bags and head out to the airport. However, me, a well-known Planner among my group of friends, have made some mistakes that have caused some inconveniences, both major and minor. The following are some mistakes I made while traveling and what I learned from them:

Not Leaving on Time for the Airport

I can still hear the words of my father on the back of my head: “I told you so”. This is a tale as old as time and I never thought it would happen to me . When leaving Sweden to board a plane to Amsterdam, me and my friend left our Airbnb with around an hour and a half to go through airport security and reach the gate. Halfway to the airport, my friend realized she left her passport in the room and we had to turn back. Needless to say, we lost our plane and had to spend hundreds of dollars to get a new ticket. We did not only lose money, but we lost a whole day of our Amsterdam visit.

What did I learn from this?

I learned that these things do happen and that we need to plan for the worst. I also learned that if we had called the gate once we arrived on the airport and realized that we were seriously at risk of losing our flight, they would have waited for us (we had to board a small bus to take us to the plane – the bus had left when we arrived).

The view from the Stockholm Arlanda Airport were we spent 10 hours waiting because we were too scared to go out and lose our flight again

Thinking I Was Above the Law Because I Was a Tourist

I am a bit ashamed to admit that I tried to break the law while in Siena. We got out on the wrong station and realized that we would have to walk like 40 minutes uphill to reach the center of the town, or we could risk it, and take a random bus (without paying for a ticket as we couldn’t find anywhere that sold tickets at the time). So we decided to board the bus, and, as luck would have it, a police officer boarded the bus to check for tickets and we got a citation as souvenir.

What did I learn from this?

Just… do not try to break the law.

The road we should have walked through

Not Leaving Enough Time to Recuperate from Jet Lag

I had been on several transatlantic flights and I have never experienced jet lag. I thought I was immune to it and I would come back from my trip and go right back to work the next day. This all changed once I got back from a trip to Japan. Boy, was I wrong. I was in Japan for a little bit more than 2 weeks and it took me around a week to get over my jet lag once I got back. I was having stomach issues, I would go days without barely any sleep, and I felt like my mental health was taking a toll.

What did I learn from this?

I learned that I am not invincible and I am not 18 anymore. I try to leave at least a weekend before going back to work.

The streets of Kyoto after more than 40 hours of travel time

Thinking That Any Travel Partner Would Do

I used to think that I would enjoy spending time in a new country, regardless of who I was experiencing it with. After embarking on a journey with someone who is not compatible with both my personality and travel style, I came to regret making the trip and was even thinking of changing my tickets and going home earlier than was planned.

What did I learn from this?

I learned that I should have trusted my gut instincts, which were telling me it was going to be a bad idea. To this day, I think I would have had more fun if I had gone on my own.

I am now more experienced and savvy when it comes to planning for a trip thanks to these mistakes so I do not regret any of them. Do you have any additional lessons you have learned while traveling? Leave your comments below!

Posted by:Mariela Seijas

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