When you’re travelling it’s important to stay organised. It’s not like real life. It’s like hard work.
I know that might sound ridiculous. It sounds ridiculous to me too. But it’s true, travelling requires you to be more on the ball than you ever need to be at home because one little slip can lead to a landslide of errors.
We should know. After three months on the road, we started to let things slide. We stopped planning ahead and we stopped checking important dates and times.
Here’s what happened:
- We overstayed our visa in Thailand. We thought we had a 30 day visa but if you arrive overland as we did it’s only a 15 day visa. This meant we owed the state 500 baht a day each.
- Because we were in such a rush to get out of Thailand, we booked flights to Vietnam but didn’t look up visas. If we’d left a day earlier it would have cost half the price for the visa and 1000 baht less.
- We stayed in Hanoi with friends for five days. And enjoyed ourselves so much that we missed our flight back to Bangkok.
We managed to catch our new flight to Bangkok, which gave us one hour to catch our next flight to Peru. With only an hour to catch our connecting flight we weren’t confident we’d make it, but luckily those friendly Qatar staff had booked us onto the same flight we were getting on next so we didn’t even need to get off and change. And it was only $66 for the privilege even though it was our fault we missed our flight in the first place – Qatar we love you.
I’d like to say that after all this we’d learnt our lesson and were instantly more organised, but we got on the plane to Peru only to realise that we hadn’t checked visa requirements. Oops.
Fortunately for us bad luck really does come in threes. We managed to catch our flights and everywhere in South America seem pretty welcoming to people from the UK… although I think that’s probably because as a country we don’t really speak Spanish so as a result can’t do much damage. Still we won’t be testing our luck any further, from now on I’m back to writing lists, compiling spreadsheets and setting endless reminders.