I’m certainly not the only person who does any traveling. In fact, we’re relatively pedestrian when it comes to seeing the world. However, our usual trips to the ocean, lake, or local tourist traps have been replaced with more adventurous excursions the past few years, and there are a great many “tips of the trade” I wish I had known from the beginning. For instance, an experienced traveler knows not to pack his phone and camera chargers in a checked bag. This little miscue cost me $90 worth of sundry cables, connectors, and extra batteries. An experienced traveler would also know better than to even attempt recovery from TSA, but I had no idea and wasted hours filling out forms, talking to idiots, arguing with liars, and trying to control my temper.
So, I thought since I haven’t done a top ten list in awhile, this would be the perfect subject to share with the world. I only hope this will reach you before it’s too late, and save you hours of grief and unwanted vacation stress. I call this list “Ten Things You Should Never Do Before, During or After a Vacation.” Keep in mind, the list consists of things that had yet to happen until this year’s trip on a seven day cruise to Bermuda.
1. Don’t let anyone use your car while you’re gone. It’s true that everyone will do their best to take good care of your pride and joy, but you could return to discover it’s been in two accidents. Not one. Two! (I still don’t understand it.)
2. Don’t forget to tell the bank you’re traveling. They’ll shut down your credit cards and you’ll be stuck telling a Cruise Director that you really do have the money. “Clean up on Deck 9.”
3. Don’t leave your things unattended on the beach. Several thousand dollars worth of camera equipment will be fine, but your umbrella will be long gone. Try explaining that to the attendant who has your $20 deposit.
4. Don’t forget to seek clarity when your bus driver says he’ll pick you up at the corner. There are many streets and many corners. Specificity is a must.
5. Don’t pack wet beach towels full of sand. It may deter TSA from doing a proper search, but you might also find them out of the plastic bag you meticulously packed them in. That being the case, everything in the luggage will be damp and smell like dead fish.
6. Don’t pack old underwear. The elastic won’t be sufficient and no matter how many weird gyrations you attempt, they’ll still wind up bunched halfway below your waist. Always pleasant while sitting on the steaming vinyl tour bus seat.
7. Don’t tell people not to call you on vacation. That will just encourage them. There seems to be no shortage of “really good reasons” to call once those roaming charges kick in. This is especially true if you’re overseas.
8. Don’t forget to run the garbage disposal before you leave. Inevitably, those you leave behind will be compelled to buy fruit-fly infested peaches that gleefully take up residence in the drain of your sink.
9. Don’t assume a squirrel won’t die on the porch while you’re gone. Definitely do assume that others will not dispose of the body no matter how decomposed it is. They’ll wait for you to return regardless of how bad it smells. “Welcome home!”
10. Don’t leave the bedroom door open while you’re gone. Your dog will miss you terribly and vomit all over the bedroom carpet. No one will bother to clean that up either.
Now I realize you are probably more experienced than we are, but the odds are that none of these things have happened to you – yet. Trust me – they will eventually rear their ugly heads if you’re not careful and very diligent. And yes, the dead squirrel smell lingers.
Voices From Forever by Randall Keller http://goo.gl/ZBBmj Available on Amazon
There Is No Silence by Randall Keller http://goo.gl/U6KY7 Available on Amazon.