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Travel Mishaps Part 2: Salt Water,Cell Phones, and Seat Turtles
There's obviously no easy set of rules or tips that can truly prepare you for the degree of craziness that tends to happen, at least here and there, on most vacations. Especially if you add in factors such as stand-by travel or a chronic illness. But mishaps are part of travel with or without extenuating circumstances.
I do, however, think my family has encountered some pretty interesting and outlandish scenarios, in addition to some fairly common ones, during our travels so far (and even considering the extra factors that increase or mishap risks).
Flying stand-by through my husband's summer job gives us some unique travel opportunities, but also increases the degree of 'moving parts' to our travel planning and our travel logistics, making for some pretty interesting situations.
Previous Mishaps, Continued
This particular set of mishaps occurred during the same trip as our experiences stranded at LAX (my previous Travel Mishaps hub). The previous hub left off with our arrival in Oahu after my kids and I were stranded in LAX for six days due to a global Delta airline shutdown in 2011 (which was just as much fun as it sounds).
By the end of those six days, after giving up on Hawaii but not being able to get home to Montana (we live near Glacier National Park), we ended up in Oahu after all.
We were traveling without my husband at the beginning of my chronic illness (adding to our 'moving parts' and higher probability of fiasco's). When we arrived, I was too sick to rent a car to start our intended search for sea turtles. We spent our first day in Waikiki while the friend we stayed with (more precisely, the very good friend we imposed upon) was at work.
While you can't be prepared for every type of mishap, there are some things you can do to be better prepared than we were. Also, it may be fairly safe assume that if your luck starts to get too good, you may be due for a mishap.
Serendipity and Sea Turtles
Our first day in Waikiki turned very lucky, so (given any universal 'law of averages') we should have been more ready for our first mishap by the time it happened.
Walking across a wall to get from one beach to another, we stopped to look at something far off in the waves. We stood and stared, joking that maybe it was a sea turtles’ head. We stood for quite a while. Just in case.
Then, amazingly, a woman came up to us and tapped me on the shoulder, and said, “I just thought you would like to know that there are sea turtles over by that wall.”
We made our way over and were in heaven. My kids were enthralled for the first half hour, and humored me for about a half hour more, then needed more to do than just stare at the turtles. Fortunately, there was water, waves, and turtles on side of the wall, and shallower water and beach on the other. So they could play next to me while I watched the turtles.
We probably stayed for close to three hours.....so we were clearly getting way to comfortable with our good luck.
The Price of Serendipity
I tried to take pictures with my phone, but packed it away with my wallet to keep it safe and dry. I tried for shots and videos with our little family digital camera, wishing I had my fancy camera with me instead.
I found a spot to stand on the wall with a few of the other longer term onlookers to get a better view. I’d stood there for at least an hour, when suddenly a wave hit me from the wrong direction. It bounced off the wall and the walkway, somehow, and surprised us from behind.
My then five-year-old son was worried about the camera and my money and my phone.
In comforting him, I showed him that the camera was fine.
Then I dug out my cell phone and wallet, explaining that my bag wasn’t wet, so the wave couldn’t have gotten through the bag and into the compartment where my valuables were.
Unfortunately, he was right and both were drenched. My picture of the sea turtles was my last on that phone. His fear that our money was ruined was too much for my little worrier after the week we’d had, and it was a good time to head back to my friend’s apartment.
What kind of travel mishaps have you experienced?
Little Lessons from Big Mishaps
The mishaps of that particular trap were well beyond any person's predictive abilities. So the idea of lessons learned is certainly also an exercise in 20/20 hind-sight.
Still, we did learn from the experiences and those lessons have helped us on future trips. I keep valuables in baggies in dry bags now, for example. And I have to keep my energy levels in mind when thinking about how we will get around when we get where we are going.
Because I travel standby and because I have a chronic illness, I learned on that trip that I can't count on regular transportation options such a rental car. I am pretty good at finding great rental car deals, usually through the standard, high profile, reputable discount travel sites. But, although ridiculously low prices are often most find-able at the last minute, there are not always affordable options at the last minute. And I'm not always well enough to drive when I arrive.
It is always worth looking at public transportation and general distances and travel times before you travel, just in case.
Cell Phone Travel Pointers
Replacing my cell phone was no walk in the park, and took up an entire day of my trip. I had to continue running around when I got home, partly due to no knowing or not having/doing the following.
- Know your pin for your cell phone account. Especially if you are not the primary person on the account, as not having the pin will require permission from the primary for any transaction on the account.
- Know your options for damaged phone replacement and be aware of included or added coverage for your account.
- Consider cell phone insurance plans.
- Keep every bit of paperwork you receive with your replacement.
- Be aware that kiosks and small stores are not always directly linked to the company and, regardless of what they tell you, your purchase with them may not mean anything in regards to warranty or replacement with the parent company.
Certainly Worth Trading My Cell Phone For
Three posts with this video, as a Hub Pages newbie, may seem a bit excessive. It's not even a high quality video. But in this post, that's actually part of the point. The sun was in the way, the quality was poor, but it was worth standing there trying to get them on video and in photos, even without my good camera in hand. We were just so excited to see them.
This experience was worth a hundred cell phones (though replacing one was over my budget). It was also worth trading other treasures to repeat the experience on later trips (which I did, in fact, happen to do).
Which is also why there isn't a heavy life lesson to this mishap, because I would (and did) repeat it later.
So perhaps the lesson is to never give up...but I have to credit higher powers with this magical experience, as I would never have planned on sea turtles in the middle of Waikiki on our first day on Oahu to see sea turtles.