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Vacation Regrets and What I've Learned

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I was cleaning out some old clothes the other day and came across a box of T-shirts, purchased from various past cruises and land trips at a time in my life when I liked wearing T-shirts. Most in the pile were too small and never (or hardly) worn, and should have gone out to the donation collection a long time ago. This re-discovery got me to thinking about small regrets about my vacations past.

By regrets, I don’t mean missed flights, excursions gone wrong or hotels from hell, but those memorable little things that I deem now to have been a waste of time, money or just poor judgment. In the case of the T-shirts, for instance, while I have one or two that did become favorites, the rest turned out to be too small, too big, ill fitting, or just really not my style. Crew neck shirts choke me, for one, these days, which made having all those shirts now pointless. Still, I kept buying them “just in case”. In the end, I really hate T-shirts. Here are a few other past vacation regrets:

Running out of iPhone memory. I don’t take video often, but last spring while going through the Panama Canal, I thought it would be really cool to record the Coral Princess going through the locks. It wasn’t long before the dreaded “memory full” words came up, forcing me to use up precious time to go in and delete stuff. Instead of one grand video to show the folks back home, I wound up multiple footage of about 10 seconds each, and spent the rest of my day deleting old stuff to make room for new. I have since upgraded to a phone with more storage, so I have some time before I reach capacity (I hope)!

Overpacking. I’ve gotten pretty good at judging the weight of a bag and avoiding fees, but the real issue came about while on a drive-trip with the family around Portugal several years back. The trunks (or boots, depending where you live) of the rental cars had limited room, as you can imagine, necessitating me to consolidate, toss out a few things, and leave one of my empty bags in the hotel we were staying in. To validate my “charitable donation”, I chose the worse, oldest bag in the bunch. What’s the the moral of this sad story? Always figure in what, how and where you’ll be traveling when packing and choosing luggage.

Not adhering to the family meet-up rules. Probably because I was so mesmerized by my surroundings or, more likely, because I have a severely limited attention span, I would inevitably miss the words “we’ll meet [here] at [such and such time.” I once spent an hour searching for my family in Disney World. Some mother, huh? They were all where they were supposed to be. I was not. This was in the day before cell phones, so cut me some slack.

Not learning to read a map. Finally, the last and probably most important thing that would have saved me and my family a lot of grief was to learn how to read a map. My husband will tell you that I am the worst navigator. Now keep in mind that this was the day and age before GPS, when going to the local AAA office for maps, guidebooks and TripTiks was a requisite for any trip. My husband learned early on to put our 10-year-old in the navigator seat of the family car, because she could be trusted, and I could not. As one who has hated asking for directions, I probably spent many hours of my early life driving in circles. GPS, these days, still has me going in circles, but those circles are now smaller and less frequent.

What are your little vacation regrets or annoyances? Maybe you have some greater than mine. Feel free to comment.

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I did spend a little too much on souvenirs in the past.  Had to pay more for my luggage on the plane on the way home.  And except for my shot glasses to show in the case,  I rarely used anything.  Did buy the T-shirts for the kids& grandkids.

Did leave behind, once on the ship, a jacket that I really liked and had just bought. 

The worst I can remember was not getting a flu shot.  Everyone at work was sick and I was about to cruise on my vacation to Hawaii.  I had dreamed of going to Hawaii all my life.  So the very first day we board the ship, after spending two days in Oahu, I start coughing so bad that I thought I had pneumonia...sure enough it was the flu...stayed in my room for a couple of days to not spread it around, but when the coughing quit we did take some tours and I took medicine and tried hard to not get too close to anyone...didn't want to spoil their time in Hawaii.  We had two days back in Oahu when we got off the ship...I was better by then, raring to go, but then Marc got sick and spent those two days in bed at the hotel...after that I always got the flu shot.

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Shari, you're leaving behind a jacket just reminded me of another vacation regret - I must have blocked it out of my mind ...

While in Alesund, Norway, I inadvertently left behind my backpack on a bench we were sitting at. David had gone back to the ship while I went to check out a couple of shops. I suddenly realized I didn't have my backpack and probably had left it on a bench we were sitting on. Of course, when I went back to see if it was still there, it was gone. Fortunately, I carry everything of value on my person, so the only things in there were my rain jacket, David's sweatshirt, sunscreen, a pair of sunglasses, and maybe a map and sightseeing flyers. I do miss the jacket, though - it was a new LL Bean rain jacket. I replaced David's beloved New England Patriots sweatshirt when I got home, so he wasn't mad for long.?

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Bummer that you forgot that...but so good that you didn't have anything serious in there.  I also carry valuables on me. I did also miss my shirt Jacket, but I found out later that I could still get another one, and it was on sale...so I did OK.  Just spent more money...LOL  So nice that you could get David his special sweatshirt.  Sad that you lost the LLBean rain jacket.  LLBean has some pretty good stuff.  When we were in Maine with friends a few years back they took us to original store, LL Bean... and other places to visit...was a fun day.  I almost walked out of a store a few weeks back without my purse...have never done that before...always watch out for my purse...have to keep my mind on what I am doing...LOL

Edited by Shari2

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