Travel tips

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How does someone accidentally go to the wrong city?  It is a miraculous feat of neglect and stupidity but I managed to do it.  I didn’t notice until I was in line with the tickets in my hand.

Not being early enough to the airport was my gf’s first of many irritation tantrums on a tirade of horrible mood swings.  The second tantrum came when she noticed we were standing in the wrong line then realizing we are on our way to Bangkok and not Pattaya, Thailand.  Then she started to freak out about not having the migration form filled out.

“Give me money.”  She was standing there impatient with her hand out.  She was not in a good mood so to the old English guy in front of us it looked like was the servant of Super Queen.

She needed 1200 pesos to pay Philippine’s exit fee and I didn’t have enough.  I went to the ATM and that is when I discovered that my vacation money was short.  The money was suddenly 60% less and I didn’t know why.  I started to wonder if I had enough to make it four days in Thailand.  We didn’t start to argue until she started to panic.

Money was going to be a problem.  I had booked us to the wrong city and my gf was having very bad mood swings.

Lessons Learned:

1> Never be too busy to double check.  And if you are traveling with a partner have her TRIPLE check everything (tickets, itinerary, luggage, passports, etc)

2> Emergency back ups.  Have multiple accounts accessible just in case of a financial emergency.  Have contact information to the the local embassy of your country.  Have a cell phone with a local SIM.  Have some way of getting on the Internet.  Have one change of clothes in your carry-on.  Carry extra medication.  Carry a pocket translation dictionary.

3> Don’t panic.  It won’t help.  If you are with a partner, be supportive and helpful.  Don’t waste energy panicking, complaining and whining.

4> Ask for help. Guys have a problem asking for help (especially for directions).  If you need help ask, in most cases pride will not help when you are lost.

5> Be patient.  When things go wrong, we have a tendency to place blame because it makes us feel better.  But its more effective to be patient when someone is irritated or has made a mistake.  If they are irritated sometimes they are just expressing frustration.  If they have made a mistake, rubbing their face in the mess is not going to make your situation better.

6> Take responsibility for your mistakes.  If you mess up, man UP!  Its hard to accept a mistake but the first step to recovery is to realize there is a mistake then move on.

7> Explore alternatives.  Even the best laid plans sometimes don’t play out as accepted.  In some cases, it helps to look at other options.  And be ready to accept them.

8> Learn some of the language.  At least know how to say “Please” “excuse me” “Thank you” “hello” “good bye” “yes” “no”.  Any other words you can pull from your mini language dictionary.

photo by:

Adam Tinworth

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  1. […] first trip to Thailand was a disaster.  First of all, booked us on the wrong flight (minor oversight.. no big deal).. I […]

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