I previously wrote about some of my travel fears, the chief among them being my fear of flying, which I’ve managed to deal with pretty well. I did start thinking about a few others that I have in connection with the link-up, though.
Fear of Losing Key Items
I can’t think of any worse feeling than being on vacation, looking down and realizing that your purse or bag is missing. Whether you left it somewhere or it was stolen, that always gives me a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. I’ve been lucky and I have never been pick-pocketed but I have stupidly left my wallet sitting on a dining table at a restaurant in Paris and another time I actually left my passport in the women’s room bathroom stall at Heathrow. Both times I realized it quickly, high tailed it back and was lucky to find both items still sitting where I left them undisturbed but that feeling of suddenly not having your credit cards, money, i.d’s and passports is terrifying.
To be on the safe side, I write down all the 1-800 numbers for my credit cards so I can call and cancel them if need be and I have an extra global entry i.d. card with my passport # on it that I always take out of my wallet and leave in the hotel safe. The global entry card can be taken to a U.S. Embassy if I lose my passport. I also usually only take one credit card with me each day and only what I think I need in cash and leave my other one or two cards and extra cash in the safe. So, if I do happen to stupidly lose my things or I get robbed, I have a backup and can quickly minimize any damage done. Still, nothing puts a damper on your dream vacation like sitting in your hotel room bemoaning your lost things.
Maybe I just have a fear of losing things period. I hate checking bags when I fly. I mean, I really hate it. I have never had a bag completely “lost” before but I have had them delayed and sent to me a day later, which is really annoying. Also, when I arrive at my destination, the last thing I want to do after a long flight is sit around the baggage carousel for 30 minutes waiting on my bag to pop out. I’m impatient and want to get on my way.
So, the easy solution is to not check a bag and I rarely ever do. I have even done 9 day trips to Europe with carry-on only. Some friends have remarked on my disdain for “bag checkers” and my usual comment if I travel with someone and they check is bag is “What is this? Amateur hour?” The good news is that carry-on luggage has vastly improved over the last few years in terms of maximizing space and becoming very lightweight so they are easy to carry on board. I will also usually pay the extra fee to board early since I know I need bin space. That being said, sometimes you just have to check but here is what I do – make sure you have a solidly attached luggage tag with all your information on it just in case it does get lost; put a unique identifier on your bag or just have a unique bag as most people have the same-looking luggage – black and square…get a brightly patterned bag or put a bright luggage spotter on the handle as that helps airline staff locate it; finally, if you can, bring your bag with you to the gate and ask to gate check it which will usually get you out of any checked bag fees and then you know for certain that it’s making it onto your plane.
Fear of Heights
As others have commented, I also dislike heights. You will never catch me bungee jumping or skydiving. Ever. I have been able to break out of my shell a tiny bit and did manage to go ziplining in Belize, which was absolutely thrilling. I also worked up my nerve to take the chairlift up to the highest point on Capri in Italy, which ended up not being all that scary because the chair itself is only about 15-20 feet off the ground the whole time so it wasn’t as scary as it looked from the bottom. In general, I can deal with heights if I am in an enclosed space like a funicular, elevator or gondola but anything where I am just hanging out there – like this ride in Las Vegas – is simply a no go for me. I’ve considered paragliding as well and hot air balloon rides but I’m not sold on either yet. Maybe one day.