That thing above this text. That is an itinerary.
The thing is, I look at these itineraries at least 3 times a month. I travel for work often. I plan trips that require multiple stops, high level meetings, juggling of schedules. And, it is not like I have been doing this for a couple of months. Oh no, that would be too easy of an out. What I am saying is that I have traveled for work on international trips on average 2 weeks out of every month for the past 8 years. So why can’t I read one of these things itinerary things?
We started planning our trip to Turkey a few months ago. We booked our tickets on frequent flyer miles, and then we booked hotels. We found some cute hotels in downtown Istanbul, right in the center of Sultanahmet, just blocks from the Blue Mosque, the Hippodrome, the Bosphorus. We started thinking and planning and plotting our course.
We wanted to go to places to see things like this.
and of course this
But then there was the little thing about not being able to read my itinerary.
I have to travel to China for work the week before our vacation. My original plans had me traveling the week of the 9th, and returning on the 13th. But then things changed (as they often do for work) and I found that I had to also attend a meeting in Beijing on July 19. So, rather than travel to China twice, I combined the trips and set back my meetings in Shanghai to the week of the 16th. Easy Peasy. After a little juggling, it appeared my schedule above dovetailed nicely with my vacation plans because as you can see I arrive back in Singapore at 3:15pm on the 21st and I don’t leave for Turkey until the 22nd.
This is the part where I am an idiot.
As mentioned above, all of the hotels were booked our plans were made and I was ready to come home Saturday, spend the evening chilling out on our patio, drinking a few beers and enjoying a day of respite, before we spent Sunday packing and getting ready for our midnight departure to the airport and our 1:50 am flight to Turkey.
But then this week while working away at the “job” Jeff sends me an email. Said email reads and this is a direct quote “Our hotel check in is day later than our arrival”.
Now wait a blooming minute I think to myself. Didn’t we book the hotel for the 23rd? Yes, I know we did, because we leave Sunday morning the 22nd. Which means we arrive the 23rd right? And then, like a truck smacking into you at 75 miles an hour, I look at the itinerary again and realize, I am an idiot.
Flying out the early morning of the 22nd means SATURDAY NIGHT arriving in Istanbul SUNDAY MORNING. Yes, SUNDAY 1:50AM would be the same NIGHT as SATURDAY.
I told you, I wasn’t kidding, I am an idiot. One that apparently can’t read an itinerary, and yes this has happened before. There was the time my Mom flew all the way to China and wanted to see the Terracotta Warriors in Xian. We showed up a day late at the airport and as a result my Mom never saw the warriors. Can you say Dummy? Yes I am sure you can, and indeed I was, and apparently still am, a dummy.
But there is a small bit of light, all was not lost, thank the gods of travel…we still have two weeks before our trip and, even though it’s the high season and hordes of European travelers on holiday are going to Turkey, we were able to confirm a hotel check-in one day earlier. I know that I need to pack up and get ready for Turkey BEFORE I leave for my China trip, and if all goes well I will learn to read an itinerary one day soon. I know you all have similar stories to tell, what have you messed up in trip planning?
Thanks to my friend Jennifer Moody for letting me steal her pictures of Istanbul!