I’m standing on this mountain, the mud from the trail, or non-trail (it’s sketchy path), more on me than under my feet. A�I pull my camera from my rain pants to video the silly insanity that is unfolding. A�Mid-explanation, the camera fizzles, overloaded with too much information. A�I’m now just talking to air, looking a bit like a crazy, unable to “save-my-craziness-for-later,” as my only audience are the trees and possible bear who I hope is not lurking anywhere near me. A�You say, “Just grab your extra memory card?” A�Lovely thought. I have no extra memory card.
You would think, or I would think, that with my job and the frequency of travel in my life, I wouldn’t make these novice travel mistakes. A�Wilderness survival classes always put a strong emphasis on preparedness, but somehow, I ADHD-d that out of my life, and I often forget the essentials for the road, stowing me right along with the other amateurs.
In honor of my shortcomings when it comes to actually being a put-together, professional traveler, I’m going to share with you common Novice Traveler Mistakes, with hope that you won’t make them too.
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Novice Travel Mistakes
Packing One Shoe. Last I checked, I had two feet. It’s problematic when I open my suitcase, want to going running, but realize shoe number 2 is 3000 miles away. A�Hopscotch anyone?
Damn that crying baby, and I can’t sleep with the light on. A�Never leave home without ear plugs or an eye mask. A�You never know when you’ll be staying at a Motel 6.
The Water Bottle. A�I’m going to tell you a secret, but this is just between you and me. A�I have this fear of being caught water-less somewhere, without a means to securing water, or having water in my possession. A�I could probably be on the show Hoarders with all of the water bottles that I make certain are within close vicinity to me. That sounds really bad, but it’s really not that big of a deal. A�Really. A�In psych circles they would say I’m in a stage of denial. A�That’s all besides the point. A�The point is: A�Stop being irritated that TSA won’t let you bring liquids through security (annoying, I know), airport inflation causes you to gasp, or that some airlines charge you for water. A�BYOB.
“What?! You don’t take cards?”A�Always carry some cash on you, especially change or small bills. A�Usually, the first thing you have to do when arriving in a new country, is catch a bus, train, or taxi, and it helps to have small bills. A�I like leaving Europe with Euros for two reasons: A�it’s an excuse to return soon, and if I’m leaving the continent with money, when I do return, I won’t have to find someone to exchange large bills for small ones. A�Just makes it easier to have a little bit of cash in your wallet.
The Minimalist Mistake– The Minimalist Mistake is when you travel without backups; no extra memory card, batteries, sweater, or thinking you won’t need a camera because you are just “going to the grocery store.” A�There is this fine balance between packing too much and not being prepared. A�And, a word to the wise; never leave home without a blanket. A�Airplanes are cold, and it’s not the flight attendant’s responsibility to pack your diaper bag, even though it often feels like I work a babysitting gig.
The Key Is To Bring The Lock.A�Usually hostels have lockers, and often you need to have or buy your own lock. A�Having a lock with you is always handy, just don’t forget the combo like I did:/ (Yes, if you’ve been reading the blog for awhile, we have already established that I am a hot mess).
This Is Just A Day Trip. A�I find that when I’m having fun traveling, I most often have extended my trip to include more days. A�Day trips have quite often turned into a few day trips, and it’s always good to at least have one change of clothes, or the essentials.
I bring up these travel mistakes, because these are travel mistakes that I have made and make, but mistakes that are easily remedied. A�And trust me, this isn’t an all-inclusive list. A�Traveling is a great teacher. A�There is always something that I’m learning.