Despite what Instagram leads you to believe, holidays and travelling aren’t always picture perfect. Everyone knows that when you step out of your comfort zone, there’s a risk of serious unfortunate events occurring, be it lost luggage, crime, or a ‘holiday belly’ – if you know what I mean. But, even if the logistics of your holiday goes swimmingly, there’s always a chance of a classic #travelfail.
‘What is a #travelfail?’ you ask. Well, it’s an experience that’s either embarrassing, awkward, or ridiculous, that takes place when you are travelling, and trust me, I’m #travelfail prone! I’ll be posting the most awful, but hilarious stories of my experiences in the UK and elsewhere.
Trigger warning: don’t read while eating or if you have a nauseous disposition.
In 2017, Dan and I visited Dubrovnik in Croatia. Although we tend to stay in B&Bs in England, we have to have our luxury when we go for a week abroad, so we decided to stay in the five star Rixos Libertas. Although not quite the standard of Caribbean all inclusive, the hotel was another level of European luxury – the rooms all looked out onto the Adriatic Sea, and in the distance, we could spy Lokrum Island, which formed the basis of one of our days out.
Our room was charming and modern: we had a large comfortable bed, a sitting area with a bouncy sofa, a TV that had English channels (we spent a LOT of time watching Can’t Pay We’ll Take It Away) and free, ice cold water delivered every day.
We also had our first experience with one of the new style bathrooms that are totally in fashion at the moment – where the bath and sinks are not separated by a door but are built into the room itself. We did have a door to protect our dignity on the toilet though – a frosted glass door with no lock! Thankfully, Dan and I had been together over a year by that point, so we didn’t mind too much.
Everything seems hunky dory, so how could a #travelfail possibly occur? Let me enlighten you…
In a seven day trip, we only spent two days relaxing around the pool. The hotel is built into a cliff, so the front doors are on the 12th floor and the pool is way down on the ground floor at sea level.
While immersing myself in a book, sat on a sunbed beside the pool, I realised that nature called. The hotel had public toilets in the gym beside the pool, so in a very covert way, so as to uphold an illusion of dignity, I told Dan where I was going and began my journey.
To my relief, the public toilets, which only had two cubicles, were empty, so I picked one and tried to make myself comfortable. Perhaps the second my derriere touched the seat, I heard the unmistakable slaps of flip flops hitting tiled floors. I was no longer alone. Then, to my horror, more footsteps entered the room, and I realised that I was there, in one of two cubicles, with at least three other people waiting. I couldn’t bring myself to face the mortification of leaving when it’s obvious what you’ve been doing in there, so I quickly flushed and exited.
‘Dan, I need the key.’ He looked at me with a puzzled face, but I said I’d text him to tell him the story. He nodded in agreement, and I made the long ascent to our room. My stomach was in agony as I bobbed side to side in the empty lift hurtling up to the 10th floor.
I dodged the housekeeping trolleys like it was Mario Kart and dived into my room, slotting the keycard into the wall to activate the electricity, so I at least didn’t have to sit in darkness. At last, the stress ebbed from my body and a wave of relief flooded it.
A click. A creak. Someone was opening my door.
We only took one keycard downstairs. It wasn’t Dan.
The horror of the public loos were nothing compared to this.
I stopped my journey, adjusted my state of dress, and went to greet the visitor. To hide my recent activities, I should have simply left the room and pretended to have been brushing my teeth. Alas, habit got the better of me, and I flushed.
Our eyes locked. He handed me two bottles of water, and quickly evacuated. O, the shame. I can only hope there wasn’t an odour, but for some reason, Dan and I stopped getting our daily delivery of water. Lesson learned – always put the do not disturb sign on your door, people!