Travel Lessons Learned. The Hard Way.

Travel Lessons Learned.  The Hard Way.

While traveling I have had my very, very fair share of “WTH” moments. So, I am writing this to hopefully prevent someone reading to not have the same “WTH” moments as me! If only someone had warned me of these travel lessons  beforehand, I would have been much better off.  Read on to ensure your travels go as smoothly and stress free as possible!


Problem #1: Getting your clothes stuck in a washing machine. In Paris.

Yup. This happened. I was staying in an Airbnb in Paris and was so excited to finally be in an apartment that had a washing machine! Well little did I know, European washing machines and US washing machines are NOT the same! After I had run the wash, I could no longer open the door. My clothes stayed wet, in the washing machine, for a full two days before someone could come fix it for me.

Lesson: Google. Always Google. Before using machines in a foreign place read the directions! Apparently in Europe there is a silver door, inside of the washing machine you need to hook to close, before closing the outer door.


Problem #2: Not being able to check in after a long flight.

After traveling from the US to Dublin through the night, I arrived into Ireland at 5 a.m. I was jet lagged, tired, cranky, hungry…. you get the picture. I immediately got a taxi to take me straight to my hostel where I was planning on taking a quick catnap and freshening up, when I found out, I wasn’t even allowed to check in! Until 3 p.m.! Let’s just say that the rest of my day did not go according to plan.

Lesson: Always check “check-in” time beforehand. Call and see if you’re allowed to check in early. If not you may consider booking a different flight, or staying elsewhere.


Problem #3: Hostel drama.

My friend and I traveled throughout Ireland together, staying at different hostels in different towns. That’s when we got to Galway. We ended up booking a hostel that also served as a dormitory. Let’s just say we got absolutely no sleep that night. And ended up canceling the rest of our hostels and checking into hotels instead.

Lesson: Always do your research! Sometimes the cheapest places to stay don’t necessarily make the most sense. Try to book a single room hostel, or if money permits, check in to a hotel instead. Sometimes quality sleep is worth the extra money!


Problem #4: Losing your luggage.

At this point I was an amateur traveler. I was in college and traveling to visit my sister in Prague. It also happened to be my first time abroad. I ended up packing all of my stuff in one suitcase and checking it in at the first airport. Well, when I arrived in Prague a day later, my luggage did not seem to come with me.

Lesson: Learn to laugh. Also, always pack a backup outfit in your carry on. It was not fun to wear the same underwear, pants, shirt, bra, for three days. Yes, it took three days for my luggage to find me!


Problem #5: Choosing style over comfort.

This never rang truer than when I was in Belgium, climbing the many steps to the top of the Belfort Tower. In heels. Yup, ouch.  (Also to be exact… there are 366 steps to the top of the tower).

Lesson: Never sacrifice style for comfort! And if you choose to, you better have a killer pair of heels on.

Have you ever had a “WTH” moment while traveling?  I’d love to hear about it, share below!


Kylee splits her time between being a traveling NICU nurse and a solo traveler. Spending half her time at the bedside, Kylee has been caring for premature babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for over four years now. When she’s not doing that she’s traveling around the world sharing real and authentic experiences.

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