We all have our own shares of bad experiences during our travels. These are the moments we want to erase in our memory and just think of all the good times that we have. This is in despite of our efforts to avoid it by researching very carefully the place or country that we are going to. So, even if we wished hard to have a smooth sailing trip, we are still bombarded with misfortunes on the road.
By far, here are some of the misfortunes I encountered during my trips (and hope it won’t happen to you):
Unbelievable Fare Price
This is just because you are a tourist! Locals will be spared as they know the system but for someone like me who is new to the place, I will be too sorry for myself. At one time, when I miss my bus ride back home, I am too hesitant to ask the cab driver so I just observed the place for a while. Like me, there are also other travelers who needed to get back home. Lucky for me, I am just a solo traveler. The Taiwanese couple, along with their 5 month old daughter, is bargaining their way to the drivers. They are asking if they can lower the fare price since it is night time already and there will be fewer passengers. As you guess it right, the drivers stick to their fare price. With this, I did not ask anymore. I heard that the couple is also bound to the place where I need to go to and the fare price is just way too unreasonable. So, what’s the use of asking, right?
Misleading (Misguided?) Directions
I have learned the hard way. It only took twice to experience before I made Google maps my bestfriend. It is no joke that there will always be people who would take advantage of you especially if you are a tourist. Wanting to see the famous Taj Mahal, I embarked on a trip going to Agra, Delhi in India. It was not easy to go there really. With all the directions the locals gave me, I know have to be thorough at listening or someone (and intentionally) will try to get me lost! Someone even told me that there is a cab ride that will take me there for only a hundred bucks! Are you kidding me! No way, my friend! He eventually talked rubbish and all but I did not listen. Instead, I walked fast that time to get to the nearest safe point. A group of young Australian ladies, holding a map, is also looking for the Taj Mahal. It turns out that only few turns and steps, I am already on my destination. Thanks to those ladies I followed until we get to that majestic place!
Disclaimer: I am not trying to single out this country for doing so. In your trip, there will be similar scenario s like so just beware ALWAYS!
Rude Border Guards!
I have heard it before but, I guess, I just ignored it. This is because I never thought I would have the chance to go to any European countries. Well, unfortunately, It did not happen in any European country. It happened in a non-EU country. It is supposed to be a long train ride (a cheaper one!) so that I can experience again being in a train again. I chose it over a comfortable, short plane ride since I have been doing that for most of my travel. For a change, I chose the train ride this time only to regret it later. I learned how important it is to study not just your country’s geography but other country’s geography, too. I didn’t know that as I made my way to Venice I had to cross Budapest – the worst cross over I had in my life. Even though I told them that I will be going to Venice, they still insisted that I did not verify first if I need a different pass or ticket when crossing the border. Since this is the case, they made me feel like a fool and it is my entire fault! In the end, they ordered me and my friend to get off the next station and gave us directions (in a rude manner) on how we can continue with our trip! So much for my bad train experience that day, the next thing I was asking was how to get to the nearest airport! So much for the train ride experience!
A Re-route Tour
Somebody asked me once before – why do you look DIY (do-it-yourself) travel? Well, this is because I had a not-so-good experience in a tour before. The itinerary looks tiring – ten activities for the day and we have to go through all of that! At first, woah! We can get here in just one day? I said – awesome! Done all in one day is perfect for me. But during the tour, just when I am about to enjoy my stay in one of the places we visited, the tour guide keeps on shouting at us that we should get going and be finished whatever it is that we are doing! They even said that we will going to one of the finest historical spot but later I learned that it is not the original place we should be going to. They did it so that they can lure others in buying items that is not worth taking back home with me. Good thing I did not buy anything that time! Talk about your money’s worth!
How to Avoid
It is really difficult to getting your way around a new place especially if you are traveling solo. With this I learned two things. One, to act like a local, if you can, as much as possible. This is because if you think you are one of the locals, they will not have any reasons to lure you into something that a local would know it is a hoax!
Second thing I learned is to be street-smart. ALWAYS! Do not let your guards down when traveling. Every once in a while, yes, you may. But as for me, I am always eighty percent guarded. Getting lost in your country is fine and is not a big worry. However, if you got lost in a new place or country, getting lost is the worst experience for you. I have to ask people around for directions and we are just praying both that this is not another hoax for me!
This very informative article was written with the great assistance of Mary Jo Tomias. A great travel writer of our time. Check out her amazing works at her blog of http://www.darealitycorner.blogspot.ca/