The Dumbest Travel Mistake Ever

photo4v2I like to think I’m a pretty savvy traveler. Wait, scratch that: I’ve traveled extensively, all over the world, and just visited my 99th country, so when it comes to international travel I pretty much know what I’m doing. Or so I thought.

Julia and I had been up and traveling since 4:30am. After nearly 10 hours spent in various airports and security checks and immigration lines, by the time our taxi delivered us to the front gate of the resort in Cancun, Mexico we were both quite ready to bask in beach and sun.

Not so fast.

“There’s a problem,” we were told.

No big deal, I thought. Minor problems are a fact of travel life, and can usually be resolved in a matter of minutes.

The hotel manager, brow furrowed, explained that he could not find our reservation. Never heard of us. OK, that’s a bit odd, I thought, but easy enough to resolve: after all, I had a confirmed reservation.

I gave him the confirmation number, but he still couldn’t find us. So I asked for and was given access to a computer to look up our actual confirmation details, and when I pulled it up I stopped cold.

In a sudden moment of disbelief and horror, I realized exactly what the problem was: I’d booked the wrong resort.

Instead of booking the resort in Cancun, where we were, I’d accidentally made the reservation for a resort of the same name in Los Cabos, Mexico. That’s 2,000 miles away. And our reservation was non-refundable. And the resort in Cancun was fully booked.

Oh. My. God.

I couldn’t believe it. That’s like showing up in Miami when your reservation is in San Diego. The sheer absurdity of it made me (but not Julia) laugh. Is it even possible to make a dumber travel mistake?

In shock and wondering exactly the same thing, Julia asked the resort manager if this was a common mistake. Nope, never happened before. Apparently it takes a very special individual (i.e. a moron) to show up at the wrong place 2,000 miles away from his actual reservation. In fact, over the next few hours every new staff member that was told of our predicament would glance at us in disbelief and then break out laughing. Discreetly, of course.

Many hours later, a solution was thankfully found to our colossally dumb conundrum. No thanks to my genius reservation and geography skills.

Savvy traveler I may be, but there are two resorts in Mexico that clearly would beg to differ. I now top their list of “most clueless traveler ever.”

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14 thoughts on “The Dumbest Travel Mistake Ever

  1. Gabriel, I wish to give you my sincere thanks. Now, almost any travel blunder I could ever make will seem so insignificant. Again, much appreciated, no really πŸ˜‰ Well, except for the fact that I’m still in this winter, snow and wind ‘paradise”, and you two are laughing on the beach!

    • It’s true: any travel mistake you commit from now on can forevermore easily be put into perspective with a “well, at least I didn’t pull a Gabriel.” lol.

  2. I’m glad that we got another great story and laugh out of it at least! Hope that’s some consultation!!
    Keep up the excellent travel!
    By the way, what happened???? Where did you end up???

  3. Did you end up getting to stay at that resort? Any chance the other resort will give you credit so you can go visit later?

    • Yes, credit would have been a good option. We did ultimately find a way to stay at the right resort, although it took the combined efforts of both resorts and our 3rd party booking (Hotels.com) to help make it happen. They were all exceptionally nice and helpful about it, but it was still quite a process.

  4. Interesting that you have not posted the eventual solution, Gabriel….however, I can vouch that Julia claims it was a wonderful, relaxing vacation on the beach at Cancun…..happy ending?

  5. Does this make you feel better: My business contact in China asked if I needed an invitation. I told her – oh, no … I feel very welcome, thank you. Blissfully flew to Narita, Japan on January 7, 2013 – barred from boarding flight to Shanghai – why? I had no VISA! – 3 days of traveling back and forth by bus/taxi/train etc from Narita to Chinese Embassy in Tokyo …. discovered the importance of the “invitation”. Yep – need an invitation to get the visa to get passage into mainland China. All was well that ended well – had a fabulous experience and cemented my relationship with the factory for good:) Travel is a great education.

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