By sharing the worst decisions I have made while traveling, I hope to save you from this same agony at some point in life.
Assuming you can “figure out” transportation.
Assuming you can just “figure out” public transportation once you arrive is one of the biggest mistakes you can make as a tourist. Studying a bus route, subway map, etc. is the smartest thing you can do for yourself before taking a trip.
Chris & I spent so much of our time walking around D.C. when it could’ve been saved by taking the subway more frequently. We had the metro passes sure, but what we didn’t realize was how many places to hop on and off really existed. And what looked like “right down the road” was almost a mile away.. not to mention I was wearing a dress and not the best walking shoes.
Thinking you’re not too tired to drive.
It was the year of 2013.. the year I turned 21. I was so excited to book our first trip to Vegas for my 21st birthday. The departure had us landing in Vegas around midnight on Thursday and arriving at roughly 4:50AM back in Nashville, TN Sunday morning. At the time we were your average “broke college students”, so we made the decision in advance to land in Nashville and drive straight back that morning to Knoxville.. YOLO right?
Saturday morning before we left Vegas I woke up with a sinus infection. Neither of us slept in the airport before departing or while in the air. After landing in Nashville we drove to a 24hr CVS who told us the minute clinic didn’t open until 9AM. There was so much pressure built up in my head and I was miserable. Chris and I both made the decision to drive home and go to an urgent care in Knoxville, but we were both so tired. Chris jumped on the interstate with no music (silence because my head hurt), no A/C (I was cold so he turned on the heat), and we were on our way back.
We were in Cookeville, right outside of Knoxville, when it happened. I was asleep on the passenger side with my seat laid back and woke up to a nightmare. Chris had let his eyes look away for just a second and flipped our vehicle over the guardrail, off the interstate, and down the mountain. I suddenly woke up while rolling, screaming, and thinking death was straight ahead. Whether you believe in God or not, the only thing that survived the crash was Chris, myself, our luggage, and the Bible that remained in the middle of the backseat. God really protected us.
Driving to a long-distance destination.
After the crash in 2013, I have a really difficult time letting anyone drive me around. Chris and I decided to take a trip to Canada in 2014, but we calculated it would save so much money to drive instead of fly. Out of all the times I’ve driven, this was the worst drive ever. No, I am not being dramatic it was seriously treacherous. We really take for granted (minus the pot holes here in Knox) the roads in Tennessee. The roads up North are so bad. Not to mention driving from Knoxville to Niagara Falls to Mississauga to Toronto to Knoxville is so tiring.
I am now so burnt out on driving. Even if you have multiple drivers, I would still recommend flying wherever you go (if it’s within your budget). Super cheap flights with airlines like Allegiant makes flying an affordable option.
Hope these tips of what not to do to when traveling are helpful.
Comments are welcome below!
Until next time,