Our travel time is drawing to a close on this trip. Yep, it makes my physically sick, but we are in the middle of making plans to return to Australia!
It’s not really progressing past flights home which has led us to reflect on just how crap we are at planning!!
We usually sniff around the internet, book a flight that looks cool (and cheap) and then worry about the details later. This lack of planning has meant we have missed cool stuff by a day or so and arrived in new countries unaware that big events are taking place. Having said that, our lack of planning also is the reason we could spend a month in Denmark, a month in Egypt, enjoy Thaipusam in Malaysia and meet so many other travelling families!
For your reading pleasure here’s the list of stuff we’ve buggered up by a lack of travel planning:
- We arrived in Kuala Lumpur at Chinese New Year. I actually thought I had researched. I didn’t realise it meant the entire country of Malaysia was on the road going home to their families! We don’t really experience this in Australia to this same extent so we were unprepared!!! Lucky our host, Hassan, was so accommodating of us!
- We missed the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace. I’ve missed this twice in my life now! I actually thought I researched this! I knew they did it every day in summer and every other day when it’s not summer. So we rocked up to see it only to discover it was the off day! I should have researched the season – I thought it was summer in London, turns out it was autumn!! Oops!!
- We missed seeing Old Faithful erupt when we were at Yellowstone National Park. We didn’t think to check the weather forecast. We arrived in shorts and T-shirts in bright sunshine. We high-tailed it out of there 24 hours later in jeans, boots, socks, jumpers, coats and beanies as building snow threatened to close the road!!! We heard her erupt but we couldn’t see her through the blizzard!
- We booked very cheap flights Cairo-Kuwait-Sri Lanka right in the middle of the annual Feast celebration. Over a million sheep are slaughtered at this time and in many places work stops and cities shut down. We even heard a few tales of flights being cancelled!! What this meant for us was no outing in Kuwait and a very low-key 4 days in Sri Lanka. Except for the constant rain and the kids room flooding at 1am of course!!
- We missed seeing monkeys in Singapore. We didn’t research it and decided to go there on a whim. Trusted the bus driver to steer us right….he didn’t! We ended up riding the train for hours, walking in the rain and not finding any damn monkeys!! Lucky we’ve seen them in several other countries!
- We almost missed the closing ceremony of the olympics while we were in London! We wandered on vague instructions to find the big screen – surely it would be obvious huh? Nope! Luckily as we were wandering home in the dark through Kensington Gardens (which were now closed) we stumbled across a giant Russian tent that was promoting the winter olympics! After checking our bags for Vodka (!) they let us in to watch the ceremony with hundreds of cheering Russians!! That was actually kinda cool! And we were lucky not to miss the Spice Girls!! hahaha…
- Our $11 jar of Vegemite was confiscated at the Berlin Airport. Kate left it in her carry-on luggage not realising it would be counted as a gel. The security woman laughed hysterically as we crowded around the bin where it had been thrown and wailed pathetically “not the Vegemite!!”
- Gert and Jono had to skip LegoLand in Denmark. It was planned for years but no-one thought to check how far it was from where we would be. Over 2 hours each way was quickly vetoed by all parties!!
- We missed whole states that we wanted to visit in the US. No Washington and no Alaska!! We failed to estimate just how much we would spend there and how much fuel we would go through as we backtracked several times! It was worth it to visit the people we did though – no regrets there!
So the moral is even if you don’t plan everything will still be fine. We may have missed the cool stuff I’ve listed but we did loads of other things we would have missed if we had booked flights ahead and been locked into travel dates and activities!
This post is part of a writing project with a whole pile of other cool family travellers! To find out more cool stuff you’ll learn if you decide to take your own family travelling have a read of the below blogs! Some of these families actually plan – you’re bound to learn some great stuff!
BohemianTravelers.com: Travel Lessons: Can You Embrace the Unknown
The Nomadic Family: I Know Nothing (and 99 Other Things The Road Has Taught Me)
PearceOnEarth.com: 5 Life Lessons Learned from Traveling
TravelwithBender: So it’s been 6 Months – You won’t believe what we have learnt!
LivingOutsideoftheBox.com: 6 Life Lessons From the Road (why 6? I have no idea!)
A King’s Life: Two things I know for sure
Flashpacker Family: Lessons from the road of life
Family on Bikes: Complaining won’t change a gosh-darn thing
Family Travel Bucket List: 3 Things We’ve Learned While Living Outside of the US
RambleCrunch: 15 lessons I’ve learned traveling the world
Susan M V: By Any Road..Lessons from the Journey
Our Travel Lifestyle – Travel: Teaching us about ourselves
Hope you enjoyed the read!!