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Five Of My Biggest Travel Mistakes

November 16, 2019 No Comments

Five Of My Biggest Travel Mistakes

November 16, 2019 No Comments

If you have been following me on social media for a while then you will know that I’m absolutely hopeless when it comes to travelling.

Despite it being my day-to-day job to travel, I simply can not get the hang of travelling without experiencing any issues. From lost passports to spelling my name wrong on a flight, I’ve pretty much made every single mistake possible when it comes to travel. 

As everyone loves hearing my stories when it comes to my mishaps, I thought I’d put together five of my biggest mistakes into a (probably hilarious) blog post.

Spelling My Name Wrong On My Flight To California

It’s been almost 8 years since this happened and honestly, I still don’t quite believe that I could make such a huge (yet small) mistake.

In 2012 I was heading to California to spend four months working and living abroad and as I had to wait for my visa to be approved before booking my flights, I ended up booking them 10 days before my trip. Not only was it the first flight I’d EVER booked on my own, but I also had the added stress of applying for a visa too.

I’d saved money for my flight but to help reduce the cost of a last-minute trip to America, I thought I may as well apply for a student travel card that would allow me to travel at a discounted rate too.

Booking my flight and applying for my travel card was reasonably stress-free and it wasn’t until my card arrived in the post that my Mum realised I had spelt my middle name wrong. Instead of Leanne, I had put Leeanne as my Twitter name used to be KirstyLeeanne92.

As soon as the error was pointed out I called the flight provider to see if they could change it and as much as I didn’t want to fork out the money, I had to pay a very steep £170 to change ONE letter of my name. To make things worse, when I arrived at the gate to travel a few days later the airline had no record of me rebooking onto the flight.

CUE MAJOR PANIC.

It took lots of back and forth between the booking agent and the airline and after delaying the gate closure, I actually managed to make it to LA on time. 

Booking A Flight Home For The Wrong Day In Florida

On a recent trip to America with my brother, I was in charge of booking all of the necessary travel logistics both before and after our group tour had finished. Although I didn’t have to arrange EVERYTHING, it did mean I had to arrange our flights, hotels and transfers.

Everything was running smoothly, however, whilst we were on the last leg of our trip to Orlando I realised I’d made a huge mistake when it came to booking our flight home.

Rather than booking it to come home on Wednesday, I’d actually booked the Tuesday instead (due to arrive HOME on Wednesday due to time differences).

Not only did this mean I’d booked our hotel for an extra night but it also meant our trip was cut short. Whilst it could have been MUCH worse, I still consider this to be a mistake that could have been avoided if I had just paid more attention to what I was doing.

Thank god I realised my mistake before it was too late. 

Losing My Passport In Palma De Mallorca Airport

Okay, this is probably my BIGGEST travel mistake to date and the one that has cost me the most.

In a bid to save money on a girls trip to Mallorca I decided to book a late-night flight from Birmingham. As I was due to arrive just 8 hours before everyone else, I decided that it would be better to sleep in the airport than it would be to book myself an extra night at the hotel. I’d slept in airports before so I was really too concerned. 

After the worst flight I have ever been on (that’s a whole other story) I arrived at Palma De Mallorca airport at around 1 am. After I had collected my case, I tried to sleep by the baggage area but I was quickly moved along by security as they told me I wasn’t allowed to stay there. Unfortunately, once I was through the arrivals area, the seat choices were very limited.

I tried to get sleep on one of the benches and although I had ten minutes here and there, I was really really struggling to get comfortable.

Although I knew my chances of finding somewhere comfortable in the lounge were low, I decided to get a taxi to my hotel to see if I could stay there instead.

I arrived at the Globales Mimosa hotel at about 3 am and much to my surprise, the receptionist was kind enough to let me stay in a room that was empty free of charge. The only problem? I needed my passport to be able to check-in. 

I spent a good five-minutes searching through my bag and my suitcase but my passport was absolutely nowhere to be seen. I retraced my steps in my head but I had absolutely no idea when I would have lost it. Whether it was at baggage claim or whilst I was asleep, it was gone. 

I had my passport holder, but not the passport itself.

Thankfully the hotel receptionist let me check-in and after a couple of hours sleep, I spent the morning calling the local police station and the airport to see if anything had been handed in.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. 

With just 3 days in Mallorca, it was INCREDIBLY difficult to get an embassy appointment that I knew I’d be able to make before my flight home. I had 3 hours between my appointment and the flight and luckily, I was able to get an emergency passport JUST in time.

Most people lose their passport in Magaluf, me? I lose it in the bloody airport. 

Reading The Baggage Allowance On A Flight Wrong And Having To Ditch Half My Luggage

This is my most recent travel mistake and the one that prompted me to write this blog post, mainly because it wouldn’t be a trip without me doing something stupid.

Again, this was a result of trying to save money.

During a 9-day trip to both London and Lativa, I knew I was going to have to creative when it came to squeezing all of my luggage into one case. I didn’t want to spend £100 on a 22kg case and so I booked something called ‘Priority + 2 Cabin Bags’ with Ryanair.

I read and reread the details A MILLION times to ensure I had it right and feeling confident, I packed myself two cabin bags. Not bad for £12 each way, right?

WRONG.

It wasn’t until the morning of my flight to Latvia, halfway through the trip, that I realised the two cabin bags meant one cabin case and one handbag. The wording was REALLY misleading and honestly, I feel like Ryanair have done it on purpose so that people arrive at the airport with more luggage than they’re allowed. I posted on Twitter for reassurance and a lot of people agreed with me. 

As I was MILES away from home there was no way of taking my luggage home before my flight so unfortunately, I had to ditch a lot of the stuff I had brought with me.

It was hard to condense everything but by wearing hundreds of layers and leaving an empty suitcase behind, I managed it. Just. 

Breaking My Toes During My Work Abroad Programme In America

Finally, I thought I’d talk about a not-so-great memory from my work abroad programme in America.

During a VERY drunken day at the Labour Day street fair with my colleagues, I managed to fall out of a jeep and break my toes.

I’m incredibly clumsy and uncoordinated as it is but getting out a tall jeep whilst intoxicated made things 100x worse than they normally are. The best part about it? I didn’t realise I’d broken my toes until the morning after.

All I remember was walking around the street fair complaining how I’d forgotten how to walk. To most, that’s a pretty standard complaint that shouldn’t be taken too seriously. 

To be honest, I don’t think the fall would have broken my toes if it wasn’t for the fact that I’d broken them just days before I moved to America. I was still recovering from the injury and so the impact must have rebroken the bones that were still healing.

Luckily, because of my previous injury, I was used to walking with broken toes so it didn’t affect me TOO much. 

Other travel mistakes include not using enough suntan lotion in 40 degrees heat, leaving things in my hotel after checking out and almost missing a flight due to my phone not updating to local time. Maybe I should do a part two? I have a feeling it will write itself…

Have you ever made any travel mistakes? I’d love to know I’m not the only person who is hopeless when it comes to travelling. 

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I'M KIRSTY LEANNE

My mission is simple. I want to help change the way travel looks, showing both brands and society that plus size people really do travel too. In a community where plus size travellers are made to feel unwelcome, I want to inspire and advise people like me on how they can make the most out of their own incredible travel experiences.Join me as I share my own personal experiences, my best tips and tricks and all of the challenges I face along the way. It won’t always be an easy ride, but it sure as hell will be a fun one.

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