Travel Mishaps When Life Gives you Lemons…

October 17, 2017
October 17, 2017 Hilary

Travel Mishaps When Life Gives you Lemons…

I’ve been happily planning our family’s next big trip and I’m pretty excited about it! After a year of dreaming, pinning, reading blogs, and saving some instagood ideas I’ve finally booked my flights and accommodations!  We’ll be heading to London for two weeks over the Christmas holidays, a dream come true!


Now that our flights are booked, its time to narrow down, prioritize and finalize some of those fun ideas I’ve been thinking about all year. I’ve been booking tickets and tours, researching day trips, and making plans… secure in the knowledge that even with the most careful and organized planning I won’t get to do all of it… something will go wrong.


Yes, you read that right. Something will go wrong, something always does! The key is knowing that even though I don’t know what that something is or when it will present itself we make the best of it when it does.

As the saying goes:

“When life hands you lemons, you make lemonade.”


The boys and I put together this list of travel mishaps, most of which we now laugh about. Have you ever had a travel mishap? Were you able to make lemonade, or were the lemons just too sour?

Lost In Tempura

Life’s given you lemons when you think your dinner check will be on the very reasonable side but actually ends up costing as much as all the other meals on the entire trip combined! Whoops, we made a mistake with the conversion from yen to dollars…

That said…

Japan with kids #japanwithkids

Our meal was fantastic, in fact it was hands down the best meal we had the entire trip! Tempura in Japan was incredible and nothing like anything we’d in the States. The batter was light as air, the house made sauce was divine, and we learned a new way to enjoy tempura, a squeeze of lemon and a pinch of salt. It had been the perfect way to end what we all considered the vacation of a lifetime!

TempuraWant to read more about that incredible dinner or about our other Japanese adventures? Check out these related posts:

Japan! Adventures in Cuisine!
Japan! Tokyo… No Wasabi Kudasai!
Japan! Planes, Trains & Automobiles!

Last Chance for Gas

Life’s given you lemons when you’re driving a diesel car, but you put gas in the tank. Whoops! Having never driven a diesel it was news to us that American diesel cars and pump nozzles have different shapes preventing such a mistake from happening,

That said…


Not having a car meant cancelling our trip to the Dingle Peninsula, which although disappointing, turned out to be more than okay as we spent a lovely day wandering in the Killarney National Park. Located just across the road from downtown Killarney and about one block from our hotel it was just steps away. No car needed! The weather was somewhat unpredictable, but the boys loved walking into the wind and rain! The park path twisted and turned through forest and meadow and at the end a castle!

Killarney Ireland


Want to read more about our adventures in Killarney National Park or about our other Irish adventures? Check out these related posts:

Ireland! 50 Shades of Green!
Ireland! Along the way… Cork!
Ireland! Three Days in Dublin!

High Wind Advisory

Life’s given you lemons when you’ve traveled half way around the world to see the famous Benagil Sea Cave (listed as one of the world’s most beautiful places), and high winds, during the entire visit, prevent you from ever reaching the cave, which is only accessible by boat.

That said…



We ended up at the Praia da Marinha, listed by the Michelin Guide as one of the ten most beautiful beaches in Europe and as one of the one hundred most beautiful beaches in the world! The entire time we were there I kept thinking how amazing it was and that this couldn’t be real! The high winds and surf prevented swimming, but we relaxed on the sand, dipped our toes in the water and took many photos.

#beachbumTo read more about our visit to the Praia da Marinha or about our other Portuguese adventures check out these related posts:

The Algarve! Pinch Me! Is This real? 
Portugal! DETOUR… To The End Of The World!
Portugal! Beautiful Lisbon!

Every Cloud has a Silver Lining 

Life’s given you lemons when your night sky photo tour of Monument Valley is foiled when an unexpected storm complete with rain, wind, thunder and lightening suddenly blows in.

That said…

Monument Valley Utah #monumentvalleyEven with the heavy rain keeping us indoors, we spent an enjoyable evening in our little cabin and got some great sunrise photos instead.

Monument Valley Utah Arizona Family Travel #familyroadtrip

To read more about our visit to Monument Valley or the successful night sky photo tour in Bryce Canyon check out these related blog post:

Soaring Over Monument Valley
Exploring Bryce Canyon National Park Day & Night

Just Be Nice

Life’s given you lemons when fellow tourists behave badly. Our visit to the Las Vegas Neon Museum would have been perfect, but for the rude behavior of another guest. His strange and threatening attitude put everyone on edge, including the guide.

That said…

Things to do in Las Vegas with Kids Neon MuseumWe loved seeing the signs, and learning about the history of Sin City. The museum staff were kind and even refunded our admission.

Things to do with kids in Las Vegas Neon Museum

To read more about our visit to The Neon Museum, and our other adventures in Las Vegas check out these related blog posts:

Las Vegas The Neon Museum
Las Vegas: Beyond the Strip
8 Things to do in Las Vegas… with Kids

Planes, Trains & Automobiles

Life’s given you lemons when your kid throws up before during, or after a plane flight. My little one has thrown up in just about every airport, plane, or taxi from Paris to Rome, and everywhere in between. If there’s anywhere he hasn’t thrown up my older one took his place.  Whoops, there went the retainer!

That said…

Dublin Rental Car Agency

There’s nothing like a little throw up to speed up the check in process.

Travel with kids #travelwithkids

To read more about… ha ha! Okay, maybe you don’t want to read more about that, but here are some fun and thankfully unrelated posts:

Much Ado about Paris!
Roma! La Città Eterna!

Sour Lemons

Sometimes it’s just not possible to make lemonade no matter how much sugar you add to those sour lemons…


Life’s given you sour lemons when you go to load up the car after a fun weekend in Santa Barbara, and find it crawling with thousands of ants! I’m not sure anything could have prepared us for that! Four hours and a through cleaning later, we set off for home. Needless to say the ride wasn’t our most relaxing.

santa barbara-0901

Related post: Santa Barbara!

Food Poisoning 

Life’s given you sour lemons when your toddler falls ill with salmonella on the flight home from Hawaii and instead of heading to your house from the airport you head to the doctor.

What’s The Matter?

Life’s given you sour lemons when one day after you arrive for your vacation you fall ill with a rare and difficult to diagnose virus. Spending your vacation in the hotel room instead of out exploring, now that’s just rotten!


New Orleans! Lets Eat Lunch & Talk About Dinner!

Even though things don’t always turn out as planned, I’ll still take the occasional lemons if it means we get to have lemonade in the end!

Pin for later:

Travel Mishaps #familytravel


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I love to travel & explore the world both near and far! I do my best to make the most out of life each and everyday! I have two boys and they are, at the ages of 13 and 18, world travelers and all around go along guys. There isnt anywhere I cant take them. It is my hope this blog will be a way to share the fun things Ive learned while on our many adventures together!

Comments (32)

  1. It’s definitely not a trip if one thing doesn’t go to plan🙈😂 Loved reading your stories. At least you still made the most of each trip xx

      • 🙈 I don’t blame you! We had an infestation in our room in a hot country. They got rid of them but I was still paranoid x

      • I know! They seemed to be in certain areas of the room, but a couple got on the bed! Eek. Thankfully once the staff knew about the ants, they never came back x

  2. Hard to make lemonade with the ants!! Sometimes the things that don’t go so well turn out to be the funniest and most memorable parts of a trip. Christmas in London sounds fantastic!!

    • Yes, my older son still shudders at the thought of it! Very excited about our trip and to see all the lovely holiday decorations!

  3. OMG those ants! Definitely not a lot of lemonade from that! Cute idea for a blog post Hilary. For me one of the times we made lemonade was when our car got broken into with a window smashed in Barcelona, but the repair shop was right next to the Segrada Familia so we got “free” paring for the day while we visited the cathedral!!

  4. Clare Thomson

    I just love the sentiment behind this post, Hilary. Sometimes things happen and you’ve just got to make the best of it – perhaps it’ll even be better because of it. I’m still shivering at the thought of all those ants and all that vomit. Ugh!! And of course things will go wrong, it always does, but they often make the best stories…Lovely lemonadey share for #Farawayfiles

    • Thank you! I’m always so grateful to be traveling I try to keep an open mind, but there have been a few times, I just couldn’t get past the sour lemons, like those ants and when I got too sick to enjoy the trip at all, however for the most part we’ve been able to make up for it, and have a great time! We laugh about the Yen conversion all the time! It was the most expensive meal we’ve ever had and still is!

  5. Oh my – you’ve had quite your fair share of incidents Hilary. Love that positive attitude and I am sure it is rubbing off on your beautiful kids too. On our last trip there were huge thunderstorms and traffic jams on our drive from Venice to Lake Bled which meant we had to detour through Austria. Yay for strudel! #farawayfiles

  6. Ruth

    I have had a lot of travel mishaps. Some of them have been dangerous. I missed the blue lagoon in Capri because of the choppy sea and high winds. So bad you couldn’t enjoy the Neon Museum in Las Vegas. Not sure why some people just chill out and enjoy their vacation. Fingers crossed everything goes super good in London! #FarawayFiles

    • That’s too bad about the Blue Lagoon. I know how you feel. Even though these things have gone wrong I’ve still had many lovely experiences! That said… My fingers are crossed too!! Xx

  7. Travel mishaps are all about how you turn a bad situation into a good situation and sometimes always result in a better result than you had intended! These was a bittersweet post! #FarawayFiles

    • A little bittersweet, but fortunately we’ve had more successes than mishaps! Otherwise I’d be staying home more! Ha! 😘

  8. Oh travel mishaps will surely happen, one way or another. I love your positive attitude to see “the bright side of life” in order to make the best of the situation – that’s the spirit! Sometimes it’s not easy but a good reminder to us all 🙂 #FarawayFiles

    • Thank you! I’m definitely a glass is half full kind of person, especially when traveling when I feel so fortunate to just be somewhere new!

  9. Anisa

    Yes, it’s so true it will never go exactly as planned but that is ok and sometimes actually a good thing. I am excited for your trip to England. Can’t wait to see what you have planned! Thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard.

  10. Yup! Murphy’s Law. If something can go wrong, it will 🙂 But often those things also make for the best stories to tell later. Ugh, but all those ants in the car. What a nightmare. I hate them. And you can never get rid of all of them … can just imagine the uneasy ride home 😉 #TheWeeklyPostcard

  11. Great post and the right attitude! travelling is all about expecting the unexpected. We had our fair share of mishaps.
    The Las Vegas museum looks awesome, will check it out. #theweeklypostcard

    • While my car isn’t always the neatest, it actually wasn’t that bad… turns out the hotel had a problem and we weren’t the only ones who had this problem. They gave me $ off the room.

  12. I think one of the benefits of travelling is learning that so many things are outside your control, so you’re forced to roll with the punches! I’m by nature a bit of a control freak, but travelling has mellowed that side of me A LOT. haha. And yes – sometimes it’s not always possible to make lemonade, but at least you come out of it with a riveting tale 🙂

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