Stupid or just lucky? Mistakes I have made on the road and how you can learn from them..

So I have my stupid moments and a lot of times when travelling it has been because of not using common sense…I’ve fallen for things I shouldn’t have. But overall I’d say I have been damn lucky! I’ve never missed a flight, never lost my passport and never had anything stolen…lets hope it stays that way.

Travelling the world solo is about being savvy, making sure you’re not walking the wrong places at night or carrying all your valuables around at once.. All obvious things, but sometimes you find things just happen to you.

I’ve been thinking about all the times I’ve literally been so lucky and I thought I’d share them with you (despite them being pretty embarrassing)

Bangkok – Thailand

Yesterday actually… I was walking around at night when I noticed my rucksack was wide open. Not sure if I left it open or if someone opened it.. Either way, my camera, purse, iPad and phone were all left untouched..

Fix: wear your day pack on your front at night. Make sure it’s actually been zipped up before you start walking..

2 days ago I fell for a well known Bangkok scam but it actually turned out to be quite useful for me and I lost no money. Next time I may not be so lucky..

Fix: Research scams in the area before venturing out.

Mumbai – India

Last week I trusted a local at the airport and took what I thought was an official taxi operator. Turns out it was part of a money making scam and the driver wanted 5x the amount I should normally pay. I refused to pay it so luckily didn’t lose any money but that could have ended badly.

Fix: Research where to get official taxis from if that’s how you want to travel from the airport. If you do take a taxi always ask for the meter to be switched on.

Bali – Indonesia

Last year I had a brand new waterproof camera, unfortunately during snorkelling the battery compartment came open and ruined the camera compartment. Voila..broken camera. I was lucky enough to find the memory card wasn’t fully destroyed and all my photos and videos were fine.

Fix: make sure the camera compartment is locked. Always back up your photos as you go along. Pay a little extra and invest in a Go Pro!

New York – United States

I was staying in a hostel and when I returned to my room after a day out I found my lock was missing. It had been unlocked (still not sure how) and stolen.. I wasn’t the only victim of this strange theft that day. The locker stored my camera, passport and cards and none were taken.

Fix: always double check you have locked your padlock. Take a spare padlock so you don’t have to attempt to find a new one whilst travelling- not all hostels stock them.

Oslo – Norway

Strange hostel I stayed in didn’t have lockers in the room, only in the common room. I locked my valuables up overnight and woke to find my padlock open. The lock combination had changed so I could no longer lock my things away. Strangely enough, no cash, camera, passport or iPad was stolen. I don’t know if somebody was just playing around and changed the combination for some reason.. I could possibly have left it open by accident but this wouldn’t explain why the combination had changed completely.

Fix: carry a spare lock. Double check you have locked your locker. Sleep with your valuables under your pillow if you don’t trust the location of the lockers.

Amsterdam Airport

I was flying to New York in 2011 and it completely slipped my mind that I needed an ESTA visa to enter the country. For some reason they had allowed me to fly as far as Amsterdam without checking my visa. When I arrived at the airport and tried to board the next plane they wouldn’t allow me to fly which resulted in me having a panic attack and passing out. Woke up in a wheelchair and had to attempt to rush to the Internet cafe, pay for Internet access and apply for a visa. (Process normally takes up to 72 hours) I had 15 minutes to get this done.. Managed it and it came through straight away somehow. Made the plane and learnt my lesson to always check my visas.

Fix: research what visa you need for the country before booking your trip. Apply for your visa at least a week before you go. Carry a credit card in case you are in another country and need to purchase something but don’t have their currency with you.

I think that just about covers the silly things I have managed to get away with.. Don’t make the same mistakes I did!

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