For most millennials who took a GAP Year and did a month long Contiki tour, you'll know a thing or two about #NOREGRETS. And if you actually made it all the way through a Contiki tour, you know that there's actually #manyregrets.Take it from me, as someone's who's travelled and made #manyregrets, listen up and be prepared for the mistakes to avoid and the regrets that will inevitably occur on your ultimate, scandalous, adventurous and crazy trip abroad.
Pulling all nighters to save a night on accommodation
For some delusional reason, when you're travelling and broke AF, you tend to do crazy things to save money. One of them is making the decision to save a nights accommodation by catching an overnight bus or train. In theory, yes - this works, but in practice it leaves you angry, tired, hungry and questioning your own sanity. The first time I did this was catching an overnight bus from London to Paris. Whilst it was the cheapest option and I'd definitely recommend it, DO NOT DO IT OVERNIGHT. Between customs, border patrol, the ferry, the cold, and the cramped seats on the bus, you will not arrive in Paris fresh, excited and ready for the day, despite what the movies say. You'll look like a tragic mess and Paris deserves better than that.
Thinking you can 'do Paris' in two days
First of all, Paris is not that greasy one night stand that you 'do' on as quiet Thursday night bootycall. Paris is an elegant date that needs to be wined and dined. She's a classy lady and knows that all good things come to those who wait. It deeply pains me to hear that people completely write off a place after only spending a few days there; instantly jumping to the classic 'it's dirty, there's so many homeless people, I didn't get proposed to' bullshit that shatters their unrealistic dreams of a place like Paris.
They spend one woeful day there and then they're off to the next thing. Paris, and the great cities of the world were not created for you to 'do' and tick off your list. To really grasp and experience a city, you've got to spend a minimum of five days. And who knows what changing the pace will lead to, but I promise it will be more genuine and special.
Pulling an all night rager then catching a train across the country
Eleven hour train journeys are hard enough as it is. Do not, I repeat... DO NOT go out all night in San Sebastian, return home at 6am then catch your train at 6:30 to Barcelona on the other side of the country. If you look up the definition of pathetic, you would've seen my sorry hungover face on that page. Never before have I felt closer to death. Every hour I was either throwing up, passing out or sipping on water feeling sorry for myself. I completely missed all of the (apparently) beautiful scenery and I arrived in Barcelona just wanting to die. I know you’re probably going to do this anyway, but just know that it’s not worth it.
Thinking you can save money on accommodation and fit six people into a two-person room
OK smarty pants, you think you've fooled the system? You think you're a genius because you squeezed an extra four people into your small double room? You may be saving money, but you sir, are an idiot! It may be fine for one night, but eventually you need to ask hotel staff for extra towels, pillows and blankets. You try to rotate sleeping positions and always wake up with someone snoring in your ear and another spooning you with their sweaty chest against your back. Not good.
Every Hangover Ever
It doesn't matter where you are in the world, hangovers are the devil having a party in your poisoned stomach. Whilst you're travelling, you’re always on the go, with early mornings, late nights, being overwhelmed by history, culture, food and adventure... so when that 12th tequila shot hits, it's taking you down with it And trying to recover on a bus... well, just make sure you have a paper bag at the ready.
Thinking that German at the bar could be 'the one'
Now I'm all for being a hopeless romantic, but let's be honest, that mysterious German at the bar buying you drinks has no intention of becoming your significant other. Sure you'll flirt, get drunk, have sex, exchange numbers.... and then you'll never see each other again. Who knows, maybe one sexy German at the bar really is the one, (and for your sake, that would be cute as hell). But don't fool yourself into thinking that most travellers at the bar are looking for anything else but a free drink and a one-night stand, because deep down, that's probably what you're looking for too.
Not being able to read the ATM language and accidentally withdrawing $2,000 instead of $20
When you're abroad, it's important to have access to your money. How else are you going to buy all that super cheap vodka in Hungary? However, ATM's overseas aren't always the same as the ones here in Australia. You know when you go to buy some sushi and they only accept cash so you run to the ATM, rush to take out $20 without even looking because you know where the $20 button is and you need to satisfy that sushi craving asap? DO NOT TRY OVERSEAS WHERE YOU DON'T SPEAK THE LANGUAGE. I will never forget the time in Hungary when my friend thought he was getting out $20 Australian, and instead withdrew nearly $2,000! And to make it even worse... it was in Hungarian Forint which is super weak and hard to exchange. Make sure you pick an ATM that has an English option, along with a currency exchange app to make sure you don't withdraw your hard earned savings.
OK, so maybe they're not all regrets. They're more like mistakes and complete fuck ups that I kinda wish I avoided but at least now I have an awesome story to tell. And that's what travelling gives you. The good, the bad and the freakin’ ugly. No matter how many #regrets you have, at least you'll have some killer stories (and headaches).
Adelaide is a twenty something human and yes that is her real name. She doesn’t go far without her Doc Martens and a skinny cappuccino. She loves travelling and thinks it’s the best way to meet exciting men (people). When she’s not at uni or daydreaming at the beach, you will find her writing on her blog A Worldly Addiction.