No matter how much preparation you put into travel plans,
things can (and will) always go wrong.
Samantha, and myself if we're being honest, like planning with military precision.
And to her credit, we never missed a train or plane in the two weeks
that we traveled. So, hats off to her for that.
I'm going to share with you two of our best stories from free travel about plans
not working out quite the way you planned them. Both of these stories take place
during the first few hours of each of our week-long trips.
Our motto for free travel became "Under-prepared and Overconfident."
We finally made it to Milan.
Basically everything that could go wrong travel wise happened to us on the first morning.
We thought about getting an overnight train from Paris to Milan but that would put us getting to Milan at 5:30 AM and lugging our backpacks around all morning would get old fast. So we decide to catch the first train out of Paris…at 6:15 AM.
We think that the metro opens at 5, which would give up plenty of time to get to Gare de Lyon in plenty of time for Sam to double check the platform and all that information but as time starts ticking away while we are standing outside of a clearly locked Glaciere station, we start to worry.
Our only options are to either a) walk (which is not really a valid option) and b) hail a taxi.
So we divide up and try to flag down one of the 3 cabbies driving around Paris at 5:30.
Long story short, we are able to make it to the train on time, and all is well in the world.
Continuing on the way to Milan, there are issues with forgetting to validate the transfer ticket from Zurich to Milan because they do not have the same validating machines in France and Switzerland, wanting to grab lunch in Zurich quickly and forgetting that they are trying to be cool and not use Euros, and ending with train worker strikes in Milan.
Needless to say, we were happy to find get settled into our hostel that afternoon.
Field of yellow flowers we stopped at on a bus tour through the Wicklow mountains on our UK trip. Two minutes after this photo it started hailing. Just our luck.
The second story happened on our roundabout way of getting from Paris to London.
Travel tip: DON'T FLY OUT OF TOURS, FRANCE. EVER.
So the 4 amigos, loaded down with clothes and random souvenirs for three months, park it on a bench and watch Downton Abbey for a while. And then the cold sets in. And the airport still isn't open yet. And then this strange looking man starts walking towards us. He is a mixture between Russel Brand and Justin Bobby from The Hills. He’s kind of precious. And he asks if we are flying to Lutton, too. I immediately get excited because he looks like a fun character.
So he joins us and says that he had to catch a cab to the airport because his parents didn't have enough room in the car for him to ride with them. And he only has a shopping back for luggage and a quilted jacket with dress pants cuffed up showing white knee high socks with black tennis shoes. He walks around looking for somewhere to go to warm up. He find a tractor (“you know that yellow thing with four wheels over there”) that is unlocked and he would totally guard it for us if we wanted to take turns sitting in there for five minutes or so to warm up. No thanks, Al (our name for him.)
The Tours, France airport is the definition of sketch. Because of “renovations” there are wires exposed from the ceiling and plastic lawn chairs for seating in the waiting area. This is what you get for flying budget airlines. I don’t know what ever happened to Al. Once we got inside and before we went through security, he had fallen asleep and I don’t know if he ever made it on the plane. The rest of the week we kept expecting to see him staying at our hostel or walking around town.
Do you have any stories of when travel plans went awry?