Last week, I had the good fortune to travel back to London for my master's graduation. Living in London for a year was the best experience of my life so far, so naturally I was more than a little psyched to be going back, even if it was only for a few days. I decided to take my not-so-baby sister with me. At 19, it was her first time in Europe. We did all of the super-touristy things you forget about when you live in a city and it was a great trip. With that being said, it was anything but a cheap trip, especially when you take into account the many things I didn't take into account for. The little mishaps started to add up and I realized that the "whoops money" I was spending was no small change. Here are a just few "whoopses" to watch out for on your next European trip.
Whoops...I forgot my camera's memory card at the hotel. £20 ($33)
When you're on a tight sightseeing schedule, the last thing you want to do is waste time going back to your out-of-the-way hotel to grab your camera's memory card when you could easily buy one at the pharmacy you see across the street. Convenient? Yes. Frivolous? Maybe.
Do you have your ticket for the tube? Yes [fast forward to the tube station] I can't find my ticket. Whoops...I left it on the table in the hotel £8 ($13)
This one's more annoying than really costly. I already bought you a tube ticket for the day and at 5:00 p.m., buying another one is just a waste of money.
Whoops...The nearest tube station is closed and we have reservations across town in 20 minutes. Cab anyone? £20 ($33)
This happens more often than you think. We took the tube to Notting hill and went to go back in and it was randomly shut down. When you're on a tight tourist schedule, sometimes you have to dig a little deeper into the pockets.
Whoops...I realize I hate fish and chips after ordering. Can we stop in this pub and grab a burger? £15($25)
No matter how many times you warn new travelers about trying the local cuisine, they will try it and they might not like it (especially kids!). Be prepared to have multiple dinners at least once on your trip.
Whoops...I lost the hotel room key. Wait, they charge you for that over here? £10 ($16)
Yes, a lot of hotels in Europe will charge you for your lost room keys (even the crappy plastic card ones that we lose almost the second we walk in the hotel room in the U.S.) Keep track of your room keys, it'll save you!
Whoops...I bought too many souvenirs and needed to buy another duffel for the flight. Oh and I need to now bay the baggage fee. £75 ($123)
Rookie mistake for new travelers. Don't overpack and make sure you bring a light duffel in your suitcase on the way over (trust me, you will use it).
Whoops...I didn't move fast enough to get on the tube and the doors closed and separated us. £More than money$
This is probably my worst fear come true (and it did, our first hour in London together). I yelled through the closed door that I would meet her at the next stop. Try to remember when you're traveling with newbies, they may not move as fast as you do, especially in London's underground.
Total Whoops Expenses from our 5 day trip: £148/$243 and a near heart attack.
The bottom line is, no matter how much you prepare for your trip, there will always be whoopses. In a way, our 'whoops' moments made for the funniest parts of our trip. Instead of feeling angry towards them, learn to embrace the whoops. Start putting a little money aside each week in anticipation of them on your next trip! Not only will it get you pumped for the trip, but it will also give you a little peace of mind when a whoops comes your way...
Follow Christina Kelly on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ckelly26