Travel Mistakes We've Made - Part 2
A few months back, we wrote an article about mistakes we have made while traveling that was a big hit with you - our readers! Well, we just got back from a two month backpacking trip, and in an effort to remain authentic we want to share some of the mistakes we made this time around. Even the most experienced of travelers can make mistakes; it's part of what makes traveling a challenge. But in the end, overcoming those challenges will leave you feeling inspired and more self-confident than ever. Check out some of our not-so-shining moments from our most recent trip...
Not checking the conversion rate:
When we hopped off the train in Prague, we decided to be proactive and withdraw money from a cash machine in the train station in case we needed it for anything that night. How responsible of us! Excpet for the fact that we had literally no concept of what the conversion rate was. We had just come from Budapest where $1 was equal to 285 Hungarian Forints. Assuming the conversion rate would be similar, I took out a bunch of money loosely following that conversion rate. Oops. Turns out in the Czech Republic, $1 is equal to 25 Czech Crowns. Literally way different. I took out way more money than I intended. In the end it worked out fine, but I'll definitely be checking the conversion rate next time.
Changing a reservation last minute:
Everyone says you will end up staying in Budapest longer than planned, but we didn't believe it would happen to us. Well, it did. We ended up extending our stay a few nights which meant we had to change our reservation for the next city. We were booked for a 6 person dorm, but after changing our reservation, we had to be moved to a 36 person dorm. It was INSANE!
Not double checking the time of your train/plane/bus:
This is a very, very basic component of travel. However, the Guinness got to us in London and we read our confirmation email incorrectly. This led us to waking up at 6:50 for a train that left at 6:55. Joy. We ended up having to quickly Google search an alternate method of transportation and were lucky enough to find a 7 hour train to Brussels that was leaving in about an hour. We husltled to get all our stuff together in time and had to run full speed through the streets of London. We ended up making it in time, but life could've been a lotttt less stressful (and cheaper) if we had just made our first train.
Getting too drunk the night before you have to leave:
This quickly became a theme on our trip. Time after time, we met amazing people on our last night in a city and stayed out until the sun was coming up. This lead to many hungover train rides. One thing you never think about as you're throwing back shots at a bar at 3 AM is that check out from your hostel is probably at 10 AM. In Florence, I basically crawled to reception in my pajamas and begged for extra time. Luckily I looked hot-mess eough to get a later check-out time for free. In Amsterdam, we were so hungpver while leaving that we forgot to get our passports back from reception. Somewhere between our mutual bathroom puking and our MISERABLE train ride to Rotterdam I realised I couldn't find my passport, but was still too hungover to deal with it. We napped in Rotterdam for several hours then finally felt well enough to go all the way back to retrieve our passports. Just don't follow our example, please.
Having no wifi and not planning ahead:
We decided against getting European sim cards because we knew we could manage with wifi, and we did - mostly. There were a few times when we really could have planned ahead better. Like, trying to find our bar crawl in Zurich. We knew the neighborhood to meet in and for some reason thought we would be able to find it. Well, we couldn't. And, we had to beg the girl at the counter of a Korean cafe to let us use her wifi without buying anything. Or literally every single time we arrived in a new city. We went to 14 cities. That means we arrived in 14 unfamiliar places and were prepared in exactly 0 of them. We definitely should have looked up directions to our hostels ahead of time. Honestly, thank the travel gods for McDonalds wifi.
I'm sure we made several other mistakes along the way as well, but it's all a part of the travel game. We learned so much on our trip, about traveling and about life. And as cliche as that sounds, it's totally true! Making mistakes is a part of life, especially when you're 22. Half of the fun of life is figuring it all out. And if you goof up a few times, it'll make for a great story in a few years. So if you're scared of making mistakes, don't be, just go and I promise it'll all work out and you'll only be better off from it.