Our Easter has not gone to plan.
Right now we are supposed to be in Rome, wandering around the Colosseum perhaps, or enjoying a pizza and a sneaky glass of wine.
Unfortunately, the Cub got chicken pox a couple of weeks ago. While she has recovered, poor Bee is due to develop it any day now. Looking after a poorly toddler, far away from home and being unable to fly back was not a risk worth taking. Morally, too, flying with a potentially contagious child isn’t something that we wanted to do.
We did the only thing we could and cancelled the trip.
So instead, we’ve come down to Dorset to stay with the in-laws. It’s a little cold but the sunshine is out and the kids are happily running around the garden. Things could be worse.
This got me thinking about other holiday mishaps. I’ve had a few. Here’s how to take the shine off a trip, according to me.
Oh dear god. This is something I dread when travelling. No matter how careful I am, all too often I get sick. The first twinge of cramps across my stomach will now send me scuttling to the nearest pharmacy, begging for antibiotics.
It is not something that you want when on a felucca trip along the Nile for two days. Feluccas don’t have bathrooms.
It is not something that you want when on Koh Phi Phi, Thailand. Scuttling quickly to the pharmacy didn’t help this time; the antibiotics didn’t work. So I lay shivering in bed, occasionally getting up to do battle with the cockroaches that kept trying to get into the room, while my friends did some paradise island hopping. I recovered in time to leave.
It’s also a good way to ruin a romantic trip to Santorini.
Also in Santorini, earlier in the trip, the husband and I decided to take a boat trip around the island. We paid for a small group trip, but we were the only people on board. Private boat trip? Score!
Until we got past the caldera in the middle of the bay. The water wasn’t that choppy. I’d even taken a seasickness tablet. But nothing stopped me throwing up for the rest of the trip.
I felt particularly bad for the chef, who’d made me a vegetarian feast; I couldn’t eat a bite.
Choose your companions wisely
There’s no better way to ruin a dream trip than going with the wrong person.
Morocco springs to mind here. I went with my boyfriend at the time; things weren’t going brilliantly and we thought a trip might patch things up. But a spectacular fight on the first day put paid to that.
A miserable few days ensued before we flew home and never spoke again.
Making the wrong sort of new friends
Backpacking around Vietnam was fantastic.
As many backpackers do, at one point I made some new friends. But unfortunately my new companions were only there to take advantage of me. It’s one of the pitfalls of staying in cheaper places I suppose.
Scabies are not the kind of new friends you want to make.
Know your limits
Ha Long Bay is an absolutely stunning place. My friend Dawn and I wanted to visit Cat Ba Island and didn’t want to spend the whole time we had there on a junk. So we decided to go kayaking around the bay.
This was not a wise choice. Neither of us are exactly athletic and I am a terrible kayaker. I just cannot sync with my partner, and we ended up going nowhere fast. The two days involved a lot more kayaking than we thought, including battling the tide as it swept out with our guide yelling at us to paddle faster or be carried away.
By the end of the second day we were quivering wrecks. We were looking forward to sailing back to the mainland but, in a cruel twist of fate, there was no wind. A little part of me died as our guide handed out the paddles, again.
Watch out for scams
I’ve probably been scammed many times without even realising, but one sticks in my mind.
It was the end of our honeymoon and the husband and I were leaving the exotic spice island of Zanzibar. As we got out of the taxi, our driver said something about departure tax being included in our ticket.
We rushed into the anything-but-exotic airport and were met by many helpful baggage handlers who told us we needed to pay departure tax, and they would take care of it for us. How kind of them.
It only occurred to us after we’d handed over some nice, crisp dollars that surely we should have handed any departure tax to to the official guy behind the glass checking passports and not some random bloke who just shoved it in his pocket and sauntered off to look for the next gullible idiot.
Check the little details before you go
This is one from the husband.
He went to Riga in Latvia for his stag do, along with 10 or so mates. A whole weekend of fun had been arranged by his best man, including snowmobiling, a tour of Riga, and I’m sure, many other unmentionable activities.
They arrived in Riga. Nobody was there to pick them up at the airport.
After a while, when it became obvious they weren’t going to be collected, the best man rang the company to ask where they were.
But you’ve booked the tours for next weekend, they said. They weren’t wrong.
Check your dates!
Do you have any horror stories from your travels? Share them in the comments!