I consider myself fairly well travelled.
You may have bumped into me on a local bus in Hoi An (Vietnam), seen me arguing with taxi drivers in Phuket (Thailand), or spotted me planning complex train journeys, always checking timetables and any other available information.
I mostly travel alone, and careful planning makes my life a bit easier.
So how did I miss the news about the national train strike in Italy this weekend??? How did I manage to find myself completely stuck at a main train station, with no trains (or even buses) to reach the destination of my planned day trip???
I am staring at the board. “Cancelled”, it says. Second train I am trying to catch within an hour. Second cancellation. In both cases, trains were cancelled a couple of minutes before departure, and after I had validated the ticket. Someone’s having a laugh, I thought.
It looks like I am not going anywhere today. I quietly turn around and leave the station, and prepare myself for the online refund process, which isn’t as straightforward as it should be.But the doubt remains. How did this super-well-travelled chick manage to miss a national train strike in her home country? Ok, I don’t live here anymore, have been back only for a few days and don’t feel the need to be overly alert. But I should have known better. Or not?
I look on the Trenitalia website again. I had checked train times online the night before travelling, and all seemed good. I had booked the ticket online in the morning, with no issues. Now I spot a note at the bottom of the webpage stating that there is a national strike and train schedules may be affected. Why not putting that note right at the top of the webpage instead – this defies all logic to me. Yet, they had indeed informed us. I just didn’t read.
So here’s my piece of advice, for what is worth: when you are about to embark on a train journey, always check the news and ensure that trains are actually running… Even more so when you are visiting home: never let your “experienced traveller” guard down!
Now it’s your turn: feel free to share your experience of a time when an oversight badly impacted your travel plans :-)