Campfire story: Travel Woes

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August 29, 2022
Maddie Lemay
September 23, 2022
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Every time we travel, we tend to have quite the mishap story to share.

It never fails... whenever we plan vacations, something happens that puts a big damper on the week, and then we get a refund (so it evens out, I guess)?

In April, we traveled to Puerto Rico for a cruise to the Virgin Islands, and we realized the day we flew out that our cruise line messed up our pre-stay hotel booking... so we didn't have a place to stay for our first two nights in San Juan.

So at 5 a.m., as we stood in line to board our flight to Puerto Rico, Matt was calling every hotel he could find in San Juan. NONE of them had any vacancies because we were traveling over spring break and every place was booked.

Our cruise line couldn't even find a place with vacancies for us, and basically told us we were on our own.

The only hotel we could find with any vacancies was the fanciest hotel in San Juan.

So as we stepped onto our plane, with no other options in sight (unless we wanted to sleep on a park bench), Matt booked a room at THE fanciest hotel. We gave them our credit card information and the plane took off. I think we both almost threw up from sticker shock! It was a depressing plane ride to what was supposed to be our most exciting vacation ever.

Then, right after the plane landed, the cruise line called us. They'd somehow found a place for us to stay...

That was a problem, because we'd just handed over a LOT of money to this big, fancy hotel with a no-cancellation policy.

So we grabbed our suitcases, sweating and hungry and crabby, and caught a cab to our bougie hotel we couldn't afford. We were underdressed and looked way too young and sweaty to be stepping foot in the lobby. Heads literally turned as we rolled in with our rickety luggage from Amazon.

When we explained our situation and begged the manager to give us a refund, by the grace of God, he did.

It was the most stressful first 12 hours of vacation I've ever experienced, but in the end, our first two nights at a far more fitting hotel (we're not five-star people) were free! Needless to say, we earned our cocktails at dinner that first night.

It's not the first time something like this has happened to us, either. In the last two years, we've counted five incidences in which we've received refunds for trips we've booked!

One of my other favorite stories was when we booked a nice getaway hotel room in Duluth, only to walk in and find frozen pipes. We didn't realize right away that the toilet water was literally frozen. Naturally, after a few hours of driving, Matt had to use the bathroom right away. Let's just say his pee splashed back up at him, and that alone was enough to earn us two free nights in an upgraded suite!

I could go on and on: the time we received a huge discount because the carbon monoxide alarms went off, the time we had to cancel our actual honeymoon to Glacier National Park due to COVID, the time we had to cancel our second trip to Puerto Rico due to a death in the family, and the time (just this summer) we had to cancel our trip to Yellowstone National Park due to an actual 1,000-year flood.

The moral of the story: don't travel with us if you want your trip to go smoothly!

Who else has a traveling mishap story?

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