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4 Hard Lessons Learned on Our Trip

We recently returned from a family vacation trip, down to Brazil.

"Why Brazil?", you ask? Because that's where we're from! And most of our family still live there.

We had a great time reuniting with family and old friends. We were there mainly to celebrate my grandmother’s 90th birthday and attend my cousin’s wedding.

However, the beginning of this trip was not without its twists and turns, that's for sure! We learned a lot of practical and important lessons that we need to be mindful of before, and throughout our travels!

So I thought I would pass along to you, these 4 very important and hard lessons we learned, to save you the trouble we went through!

1) Double and triple check:

A) The Expiry date on your passport, to make sure there's at least a good 3 - 6 months on it, BEFORE it expires.

B) Check to make sure that you actually HAVE your passport with you, BEFORE you leave the house for the airport!

This is exactly what happened with us last year, when we took the same trip down to Brazil.

My mom had thought that she had grabbed the correct set of passports, only to discover -at the airport, no less, that she had grabbed the expired passports, instead of the new ones that had recently arrived in the mail! YIKES! Not fun. :(

2) Remember to COUNT all of your luggage BEFORE you leave the house!

It was only AFTER we got to the airport that we decided to do a head count of all the luggage that should've made it to the airport, only to realize that we had left one at home…Oops!

It was one of those “but I thought YOU had grabbed all of the luggage and put them in the car!”

“No, I thought YOU were going to do that!” conversations...

Thank God, our friend that dropped us off at the airport was more than willing to go back to our home and pick up the missing suitcase for us. A very important lesson learned the hard way!

3) At the airport, once you've done your check-in, don’t leave anything behind in the security checkpoint!

Make sure you have everything with you BEFORE you leave the area and start heading for your gate!

Because of the rush to recover the missing luggage, I ran late to arrive at the boarding gate.

When our friend finally arrived with the missing suitcase, I ran through to security to make it on time to the gate. And in my hurry to catch the flight and not miss the plane, I forgot my cell phone at the security!

I was almost a third of the way through the escalator, when I came to this realization! And then to have to turn around on the escalator, and run BACK, against the current, while carrying the missing suitcase (never mind the fact that I’m not in shape at the moment!) -I felt like I was running a marathon!

Thankfully no one was around to witness the pathetic scene! LOL

I managed to make it back to security, only to find out the guard had forgotten my phone INSIDE the machine! And because I didn’t see it, when I was frantically grabbing my suitcase and running for the gate, I totally forgot about it!

Praise God, I realized, as I was running, that my back pocket felt empty. That’s when I realized I was missing my phone, and had to turn around to go get it.

4) Make sure your boarding pass has the gate number written on it!

This might sound rather dumb and seem very obvious that the gate number should be printed somewhere on the boarding pass.

Well, I was shocked to find out that, as I was running for the gate, the gate number was NOT written anywhere on my boarding pass! And in the section of the airport I was in, there was not a screen to be found with the updated gate number for my flight! Crazy!

So I continued running, until I found an airport staff member who could help me. Together we finally found a screen, and were able to find the correct gate number for my flight...but precious time was ticking away, in my rush to board the airplane!

Thank the Lord, I was able to make it on time to my flight. I was one of the last ones to board the plane -but the important part is that I made it! WOOHOO!! :)

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