Unexpected expenses on holiday can put a real downbeat note to any holiday. Especially if they are expensive, choices are limited and they then dominate your holiday. Nobody wants to come home poorer than they budgeted for but it happens sometimes.
Thankfully I didn’t suffer any major financial loss or health issues whilst recently away on honeymoon. Yes, after our wonderful wedding celebration we soon headed off to the beautiful Italian island of Sardinia for 2 weeks.
As a honeymoon this was always going to be an expensive holiday. No expense spared. We’d saved up and would enjoy ourselves no matter what. And we did.
However, I had a few unfortunate mishaps which meant that I paid for a few things I did not expect. As a frequent international traveller I also should have known better on a few occasions.
Our unexpected expense list began
Firstly I went wrong when I arrived at the airport. We had driven down to London and were staying in an airport hotel overnight. On arriving at the airport someone collected our car from us to place it in the long term secure parking. It was only on arriving in the hotel that I realised that I had left my best sunglasses in the car!
Not a major issue I thought. The following morning in Gatwick airport we wandered around Duty Free and found a pair to buy. I paid £18 for them. Thankfully I didn’t go for the high fashion ones costing £70-120 each. I just wanted a basic pair as I’m not a dedicated follower of fashion.
We flew Easyjet from Gatwick direct to Olbia in Sardinia.
During the flight we bought some drinks. I bought a cup of tea which was boiling hot. Somehow within moments of placing this steaming hot drink on the tray table in front of me the drink fell and spilled all over me.
I was drenched and at risk of scolding. I’d also spilt the tea all over my brand new Flights And Frustration tee shirt!
We were both worried that it might be ruined if the stain dried and was not cleaned in a reasonable period of time.
We arrived in Sardinia later that Saturday and drove to our wonderful 2 week honeymoon holiday villa. We knew in advance that we had a washing machine so we quickly loaded up my new tee shirt for a wash. This was our next little disaster.
We soon found out that the washing machine was not working properly, it was leaking. Not just a little leak but a big leak all over the tiled floor of the bathroom/utility room. So we spent about an hour of the first day of our honeymoon mopping up the bathroom floor with towels, wringing them out and mopping up again. How romantic.
The next day was a Sunday and the first full day of our honeymoon in this beautiful location. We had a hire car so began exploring the nearby location. It was an exciting adventure of discovery.
However, the curse of the sunglasses soon struck. As I was driving I noticed that one of the lenses in my not so expensive, although not cheap either sunglasses from Gatwick airport was falling out. Numerous attempts to put it back into place and keep it there failed.
In preparation for our planned trip to explore Budoni and the beautiful beach there I acquired a new pair of sunglasses. Again nothing too expensive. I bought them in a local supermarket with a bunch of food so don’t know exactly how much they cost.
Maybe this economy thing just was not working. These were bought on the Sunday and within 48 hours these were broken too! Nothing specifically broke them, unless they were too narrow for my not overly large head? They just began falling apart whilst I was driving.
This is not just a tale of sunglasses and tea stained tee shirts though, there is more to this tale of woe.
On this first Sunday, my bride and I walked along the beach front of Budoni. Those who know me and my bride (who knows me better than anyone), knows that I hate flip flops. That continuous sound of flip-flip-flip drives me berserk. Why would you want to wear something that keeps coming away from your feet, provides no support and is a hazard for slipping off your feet and making you trip?
The person who made these pieces of footwear (if you can call them that) fashionable has conned you all and made a killing. They are overpriced naff pieces of plastic/rubber and offer very little. A bit of a plastic heel with a tiny section to grip your toes at the front. Effectively very little material and charged at a price more than some adequate sandals.
So yes, you’ve guessed it, I am a sandals man.
Anyway I digress. Back to the tale of woe.
We were walking along this romantic beach and I was wearing some rather classy and expensive sandals. I’d bought them more than a dozen years ago whilst I was living in Saudi Arabia. For 12 years I think I’ve done well to get so much life out of them.
Anyway, these sandals were now worse for wear and I soon found out. The sandals were rubbing against my feet and causing lots of blisters. My feet were aching by the time we got back to the villa. So it was time to ditch the sandals and buy some new ones.
Off we went, into the town of Budoni again and bought some sandals. I only paid €12 for them but they are very comfy. In fact the range wasn’t massive. You might think I’m a cheap skate buying cheap sandals and sunglasses but I honestly thought they were fit for purpose.
Thankfully the sandals were. By the time my feet healed I was able to wear the sandals every day and I love them now. Definitely a good buy.
Those of you who have read my articles on Sardinia know that it is an island full of beautiful beaches. Who were we to miss out on this? We would happily explore at least one, if not more beaches each day.
This is where I made my next school boy error and I really should have known better, a lot better.
I was already suspicious of some blemishes appearing on some of my camera pictures. There was clearly some dirt on the lens. However in the moment of taking in the beautiful settings and even recording a motion of waves I somehow got sand into my camera. Yes, it was stupid of me I know. You always need to be careful of any camera on a beach.
By Tuesday night this was intolerable. We had one and a half weeks to go of the biggest holiday of our life. How could I take pictures to reflect on in future years (and how can I take pictures for my blog!).
On the Wednesday I made another trip into Budoni. (This small town is doing well out of me isn’t it!). We’d noticed a camera shop earlier in the week so I knew where to go.
The 2 ladies in the shop didn’t really speak English and I couldn’t speak Italian. Not to worry though. There is always a way of communicating through these things and the basic gist of the conversation can be made.
I explained the reason for my visit and one of the ladies took the camera for a quick look. She soon explained that she was not able to fix the camera and it would have to be sent away to the manufacturer for repair.
Well that messed things up a bit. I can’t really wait for my camera to be returned so I had to buy a new one there and then. I looked at some cameras and decided on a compact model, a slightly more modern version of my current camera at a price €99.
As luck would have it the camera shop also specialised in sunglasses too! Many were around the same price as the camera which I really was not prepared to pay. Remember I had a trusted favourite pair in my car in the UK. I only needed some temporary glasses.
I advised the ladies of my hypothetical budget and compromised on a pair for €45. They seemed like a winner really since my bride was complimentary and loved the style.
Thankfully after that Wednesday there were no more instances of unexpected expenses. Oh no hold on yes there was.
One of my pair of summer shorts split!
The good news is that the sunglasses lasted! I didn’t get any more sand in my camera. Our expenses were now food, trip and gift related. The usual things you would expect on holiday.
I find it a little ironic that I travel so much and rarely have unexpected expenses (although I did have to make an emergency purchase of a pair of shoes on a recent trip to Brazil). Yet some how this major holiday where you want everything to go perfectly proved full of unexpected expense.
Have you been the victim of unexpected expense on holiday? Feel free to share your experiences in the comments box below? Have I just been unlucky?