The Most Stupid Things I’ve Done While Travelling

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Those of you who know me well will know that I have done many-a-stupid-thing in my life so far. In fact, I’m lucky if I can go a whole day without doing something completely ridiculous! Being a hapless idiot is just one of my personality traits unfortunately, but on the positive side it does lead to a very entertaining life!

So for your amusement I thought I’d share some of the most brainless wonders I’ve ever done on the road!

Leaving my entire suitcase in Slovenia

I’ll start with dumbest things I’ve ever done shall I?  There was this one time I was in Ljubljana, Slovenia. I had stopped there for a few days as part of a trip across Europe on my Inter Rail pass. To cut a long story short, due to a crying baby on a night train and a really awful hostel in Slovenia, I hadn’t slept in over 48 hours! I walked completely shattered into the train station and sat there waiting on my train (which was delayed by a few hours.)

I should probably note here that whenever I had to wait a while at a train station on this trip (if there wasn’t any seats available on the platform) I would just sit on top of my suitcase. Might sound silly but it was a way to get a seat when you’ve got a while to wait and the only few platform seats were already taken – which was often the case in smaller train stations.

Anyway, eventually my train pulls up. I remember checking I had my 3 bags, counting 1-2-3, before getting up and walking to the train door. I went straight to my seat and sat down. It was here that I noticed an old guy sitting across the isle staring at me. I remember thinking he had one of those weird “I’m-a-pervy-old-man” smiles. He was smirking. I blanked it and thought nothing of it. Strange characters are common on the road. You’re best just not to engage with them.

About an hour into the train journey I remember looking at my bags again. 1-2-3 I said to myself, 1-2-3. There’s 3 bags. Why then does something feel wrong? I only ever travel with 3 bags? Then I looked down in my hand again and saw the food bag I’d been carrying. I’d bought a pastie and a bottle of juice near the train station. It was in a plastic bag, in a bag I don’t usually carry. Oh shit. I can not seriously have done this can I? I could not have been this stupid? Please tell me I haven’t been this stupid??? I ran to the luggage compartment where you put your suitcases praying my bag would be there, but I knew already what I’d done. It was at this moment that I realised I was truly retarded. I mean, I’ve never been good when sleep deprived but this really takes the biscuit! Needless to say I now travel with a backpack that is STRAPPED TO MY BODY AT ALL TIMES lol. Sometimes I seriously don’t think they should be letting me out the house!

Travelling to the wrong CITY for my bus

Again, another tired induced mistake! Or rather, something I did on auto-pilot.

I had flown back home for a few days and had booked a night bus from Glasgow to London as I was attending a conference in the city a few days later. In order for me to get to Glasgow from my home town I need to take a train. There are two directions of trains from my little hometown of Linlithgow. One’s that go to Glasgow and one’s that go to Edinburgh – the two main cities in Scotland. You get on at one side for Glasgow and one side for Edinburgh. There are no other platforms. It’s possibly the most straight forward train station to navigate in the world ever.

Again, I should get my excuses in here while I can, but almost always when I’m getting a train it’s to go into Edinburgh. The city is closer, I used to live there, study there, work there, most of my Scottish-based friends are there etc. It’s rare that I take a train into Glasgow as I have family there so usually when I’m going through I’ll get a lift off my parents who’re going through too.

Anyway, for whatever reason (I assume I went into auto-pilot) I went and stood at the Edinburgh side for the trains. I waited on my train, got on, and as soon as the doors shut and the train started moving I realised I was supposed to be going to Glasgow!! I stood at the door banging with a slow motion NOOOOOOOOOOOOO! There were no other stops until Edinburgh and I knew by the time I got there and waited on a train back I wouldn’t make my bus in time. There were no other buses again until morning. It was a major fail that resulted in my having to go home and book a flight out the following morning, spending a lot of money I didn’t need to. I guess that is the price for stupidity!

Getting robbed with all my valuables in one bag

Everybody knows (I think) that when you’re travelling you shouldn’t carry all your valuables in one bag. I mean, if you’re going to/from a destination with all your luggage there is not much you can do if someone robs and takes everything from you, but once you’re checked in at a destination it’s wise to leave some things at your accommodation. Ordinarily this is something I ALWAYS do. I always leave my passport or spare ID locked away at the hostel along with a small bit of cash and a spare bank/credit card. I also usually spread the rest of my belongings (while I’m out) across my person. This way if my hand bag gets nicked for instance, I haven’t lost everything.

This one day while in Amsterdam 2 or 3 years back I, for whatever reason, didn’t adhere to my own advice. I also broke the first rule in the book of travel safety by making my way home alone at night. I was also rather inebriated, so not only was I carrying all my main valuables in one bag, but I had made myself an easy target.

When my bag was stolen I literally lost everything that I needed to get by. I ended up on my own with no ID, no bank cards, and no money. The only thing I had was my laptop back at the hostel and a super helpful lady at ATAS (Amsterdam Tourist Assistance Service) who was really like my guardian angel! If it wasn’t for her help I’d literally be screwed and it gives me some solace knowing that for every bad person out there there’s also a nice person too!

– So these are 3 of the most moronic, stupid, ridiculous things I’ve ever done on the road! Thankfully they were all at least 2 years ago and I don’t appear to have made any major boo boos since… Lets hope it stays that way!

7 Responses to “The Most Stupid Things I’ve Done While Travelling”

  1. John says:

    Hahaha! The suitcase one is priceless! Never travel when you’re sleep deprived rule 101!!! 🙂

  2. Allira says:

    The thing that I still shudder about was leaving my passport in an Internet cafe in Barcelona. When we got to our hostel, the thing they drummed into us was to not carry your passport on you in public, which we did except for this time as we needed to check into our flights. Luckily it didn’t take me long to figure out I left it behind, and went back and received a huge lecture from the owners about how careful I need to be. Needless to say, it has never happened again!

  3. Pauline says:

    1. Got held up in Venezuela, which may not have been our fault but we really should have been more prepared and not just be reading our lonely planet book on the flight over (which actually tell us it is very dangerous and not to get in certain types of taxi’s)

    2. Deciding I dont need my sleeping bag in Thailand so leave it in the room with my travellers cheques inside before going for an early morning bus to another island.

    3. Me and my friends arriving in Hong Kong with the biggest & fullest backpacks I hhave ever seen and the first think we had to do is get 4 large boxes and post half the stuff home!!!!!

    Probably about another 20 stupid things I could think of but these are the first 3 that popped into my head.

  4. Richard says:

    Oh so very funny 🙂 My fault was falling asleep on the bus, missing my stop only to see me awake in the next town. Also in Spain leaving my camera in a cab, not once but twice. That was 3 purchases of a camera in 1 month.

  5. Heather says:

    I can totally see myself doing the same thing with my suitcase! I’ve left my glasses in a HCMC hotel room, my camera hanging from the hook inside a public toilet, and my passport in the back of a taxi. The glasses were the only thing I recovered, at a cost of US$75. Stupidity sure is expensive!

  6. Ha ha ha, good ones. I never did anything like that. But I did fly to Spain on my ID card and with no passport while straight from Spain I supposed to fly to Tel Aviv! LOL Big help from my mum and DHL saved me from returning home 🙂

  7. Barb says:

    Last summer I booked a Thursday red-eye flight to NY for me and my husband, with plans to rent a car and drive to a wedding north of Toronto the next day. We were staying with friends, getting ready to go to the airport for our late-night flight, and I was not able to check us in online. I tried over and over and finally called … only to discover that overnight flights leaving after midnight on a Thursday require you to get to the airport WEDNEDSAY evening, not Thursday evening. This was certainly not my first experience booking a flight, but somehow I overlooked this important detail while browsing for tickets and deciding on the cheap red-eye. $700 MORE dollars and a million apologies to my husband and friends later, we were rushing to the airport to catch the actual Thursday night red-eye.


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