Travel Disasters

We had a minor snafu today during our vacation in Pawleys Island, SC. We went on a guided kayaking tour, and in the midst of the excitement, locked the keys in the van. Now, this wasn’t a big deal as I got a ride back to our house with our guide, grabbed the car keys and my cars keys and drove back, but it reminded me of my greatest travel disaster to date. I’m sure this will be minor compared to some of your experiences.

It was on our trip to Hawaii, and mentioned in our Travel Take Two. We had just arrived and driven out to Waianae to visit our friends Dave and Heidi. No sooner had we arrived than had I begun craving a Hawaiian Shave Ice. For those who have never had the pleasure, think of the greatest sno cone you have ever had, then use tiny shavings of ice that meld with the flavors into a solidified slushy. It’s magical. So we drove off to a nearby shave ice stand, and got out of the car to head to the counter. I went inside, ordered, and devoured my slushy (and Theresa had her first), then we perused a nearby shop and headed back to the car. Only then, over half an hour after we had left the car, had I realized what I had done. I had locked us out of the car, with the keys in the ignition and the car still running. Now, being a fairly instinctive person, I’m certainly prone to acting prior to thoroughly thinking about the ramifications of something. But as far as my brazenly stupid acts are concerned, this was pretty unprecedented.

To further complicate matters, we were over an hour from the nearest auto service, so I got to think about my silliness for a while before the AAA truck came. Worse yet, even he couldn’t seem to get into the car. He was trying to pop the lock wires inside the door using a coat-hanger like contraption, then we tried to pop the locks inside the car. Nothing was working. After around an hour of frustrating tugging and prying on the car’s doors, we managed to open up the car. The car ran the entire time. After three hours, we headed next door to get some more gas, and went on our way.

So while not the most disastrous story in terms of repercussions, it was definitely my most embarrassing so far. I’m sure with a full year to try to top it, I’ll manage to do something dumber on this trip. So what is your biggest travel disaster? When did you feel most embarrassed by your actions on the road?