Travel Fails

Travel Fails of 2019

I like to look back at all our travels at the end of each year and reflect on all the things that went… well.. not so smoothly. Sometimes it gives me a laugh, but more often than not it’s just a reality check that things sometimes almost never go according to plan. We keep our plans loose, and generally just have the Airbnbs and flights booked. Everything else is up in the air as you never know when your toddler will need to go potty 16 times in a row, or take 5 years to put on their shoes. It happens.

So, without further ado, here are all our major mishaps of 2019!

1. Thinking we could make a connection between two separate international flights in under 2 hours.

Our big month-long Chile trip was initially meant to be a Peru/Chile trip. I bought roundtrip tickets to Lima and we were all set to go.. until I chickened out (see #3 below). We quickly changed our plans and decided to go on straight to Chile, and just buy additional roundtrip tickets from Lima. To keep things exciting, the flight we got out of Lima was less than 2 hours after we would have landed in Lima.

Of course, our Lima-bound flight arrived late, and we had barely enough time to run to our gate for our Chile flight; let alone get out to claim our baggage, recheck said baggage, get boarding passes, go through security, random inspection, and then to the gate like any sane person would have to do. So, instead, we went straight to the gate that was already boarding passengers to Chile and told them we had no boarding passes since we just arrived from the US. They quickly crafted us DIY boarding passes on a piece of paper they pulled out from the trash, misspelled everyone’s names, made up some seat numbers, handed us the scrunched up piece of paper and told us we have priority boarding because, kids. Score!

They said not to worry about the luggage and that they’ll send it straight on to Santiago.


It took three days in Santiago to track down our luggage because all the customer reps from both our airlines were sending us to the opposite airline. Eventually Danny just drove to the airport and begged it out of them.

Moral: Never book two separate international flights within 2 hours of each other. In case that wasn’t obvious.

2. Needing an Urgent Care after a trip to Chipotle in Arizona

We had a 3 hour drive from Sedona to Tucson and decided to break it up by going to Chipotle for lunch. Our 3yo had a lot of energy from sitting in the car for all of 1 hour, so she was running around the dining area while we were having our burrito bowls. At one point she was running back towards Danny, tripped on her own foot and went flying head first into the side of a chair.

It was bad. There was a visible dent on her forehead, and she was screaming bloody murder. I panicked and we rushed her to the closest Urgent Care which happened to be across the street.

Doctor checked her out and said it was just tissue damage. Thankfully nothing was broken and it was not a concussion.

Moral of story: Don’t take kids to Chipotle.

3. Chickening out of visiting Peru

And then worrying about the super duper extra fancy stuff we ate at Central during our 48 hour layover, to the point where I had full body shakes. Everyone was fine, I was just a nervous, anxious wreck.

Moral: Don’t Google stuff when stressed.

4. Almost reversing our car into a ditch

Everyone is fine, as is our car.
1700$ later.

This short and cheap Albuquerque, NM, road trip ended up being a whole lot more expensive than I initially budgeted for. We took a weekend to go to the largest international Hot Air Balloon Fiesta in the world for our 1 year old’s birthday. The 7 hour drive went fairly smooth until we reached our Airbnb. It was pitch black outside, I was behind the wheel since it was Danny’s turn to entertain the kids, and I started reversing slowly to try to see the number on the house we just passed. Then we all heard that awful grinding sound your car makes as the bottom rubs up agains a pile of very large rocks, and the car started sliding down into a ditch on reverse. I quickly hit the gas and with a whole lot more grinding – our car made it out.
When we saw the size of the ditch the next morning, all I could think was how lucky we were to get out of it without the car rolling over and everyone safe. Our car however, needed extensive work to get the bottom fixed, but I think that was a small price to pay all things considered.

Moral: I’m not sure.

5. Letting the dog drink from an Aspen lake

If you want to avoid waking up to a house full of $h!t, don’t let your dog drink from any of the lakes in Colorado, or really any lake. Still water tends to breed bacteria and when ingested can lead to some serious tummy troubles (running water is generally fine). I think we’re almost out of the woods with this one by now, but it was a long way to recovery for our pup.

Moral: don’t drink the water!

6. Getting scammed on Airbnb

I’m pretty sure this was a scam, but if you get a text like this, outside of the Airbnb app you should definitely be concerned:

Dear Dayla, I am the host from Phoenix Arizona. You are planning to stay at my home tomorrow. Unfortunately I had a guest that was disrespectful to my home and you have small children. I want a professional to inspect my home. As a mother to mother would you be kind to cancel tomorrow. When you cancel they don’t give the full amount but I will send it to you as a host. Many Thanks for your understanding. Jozsefne

Red flags:

  • Messaging outside of the app
  • Asking to cancel the night before
  • Asking ME to cancel
  • Saying they will send money outside of the app

After speaking with Airbnb and some more back and forth messaging with the host, we were able to get the full refund through Airbnb and got a whopping 12$ for the inconvenience of needing to book another accommodation last minute! Score..

Moral: never trust an Airbnb host who asks to handle money outside of the app.

7. The countless times we forgot diapers/change of clothes or spent all day trying to get the girls to sleep

I won’t bother listing these all out individually, but some that stick out are that one flight to Chile where we had three poop accidents and no change of clothes, that time we spent 5 hours getting our way-overtired-and-hysterical 3yo down for a nap, that one drive where our 5mo had a blowout and we had no change of clothes and I ended up washing her clothes with our only water bottle and letting it air dry in the desert while we walked around with a naked baby 😀

Oh and that one bus ride in Albuquerque where our 3yo let everyone on the bus know that “DAD I POOPED IN MY UNDERWEAR” for the entire half hour drive. Good times

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