Travel Tips – What Can Go Wrong

Sometimes Shit Happens – A short list of some things that can go wrong when you’re traveling.

When you’re away from your home, things can and no doubt will go wrong. You can come as prepared and be as cautious as you want, but something will always happen. An old saying goes, “If you can’t rock ‘n’ roll, don’t even f-king come.”

While that statement may be vague, it rings true. If you plan on traveling, plan on cleaning some shit off the fan, because some will hit it.

Here’re just a few things that can happen while you’re braving the road less traveled.

Pocket Pillage

People like to steal things from other people. This started happening when one caveman stole a poking stick from another caveman. The thief was clubbed and eaten. In modern society, clubbing thieves is generally frowned upon, so being cautious and inconspicuous is key while traveling abroad. Don’t be showy, and keep your money and valuables close. If you go surf, leave your valuables somewhere safe. If you go out at night, take the bare necessities like your I.D., a few bucks, and a trusted local to show you where the best happy hour, dance floor, or massage parlor is.

Damage Control

Surf trips cause injuries. Yep, you’ll be bleeding from one thing or another. Whether it be hitting the reef, falling off a scooter, or snaking a local thug, some form of bodily harm is imminent. Cuts and bruises are badges of honor for travelers. You must have a first aid kit with you on your travels, but always figure out the closest hospital for more serious injuries like getting scalped by the reef, or stubbing and breaking your big toe on a dance floor in Bali.

Ailments From Abroad

Diarrhea, cholera, amoebic dysentery, genital warts, malaria, worms, typhoid fever, dengue fever, hernia, hemorrhoids, gout, whooping cough, syphilis, acanthocheilonemiasis, ciguatera fish poisoning, dysaesthesia, tiredness, alcoholism, avian flu, shingles, smallpox, leprosy, etc.-these are all things you better watch out for while traveling the world. Consult your physician before going somewhere weird.

I Fought The Law

Laws in foreign lands generally differ from the laws of your homeland. Did you know in Scotland, it’s illegal to be drunk in possession of a cow? Yeah, and in Singapore, if you chew gum in public, you can get whipped. Make sure you figure out the laws and local customs of the place you’re about to visit. If you’re a stoner and you bring weed to Indonesia, be careful. They’ll cut your head off if they find it-they couldn’t care less about your cataracts.

Luggage Loss

It’s fun to sit on the beach watching perfect waves go unridden because the airline lost your luggage, or more importantly, your board bag. There’s not much you can do about this situation except to make sure your bags are well tagged and have all your pertinent information on them-name, address, a few phone numbers, weight, height, age, favorite food, mother’s maiden name, allergies, etc. Oh, and forget those fragile stickers-they’ll only make the gorilla-like baggage handlers throw your bag that much farther.

Board Breakage

So you came to Bali with two shortboards and a 10′ gun-good job! You busted both shortboards and are now forced to ride four-foot Changu on a rhino chaser-moron. Here’s the thing, you need to research the conditions of the spot you’re going to and pack your quiver accordingly. No need to bring a stereo to a rock concert, so don’t bring an elephant gun to shoot a squirrel.

Insufficient Funds

Surf trips cost money no matter how you do them. It doesn’t matter if you’re sleeping on the beach in Sumbawa or drinking Courvoisier from a conch shell poolside in the Maldives-the need for fundage will always exist. Make sure you bring a little emergency fund with you when you travel. At worst case, make sure you have someone at home who can throw you a bone if you get in trouble. One time a guy couldn’t afford his beer tab at Tavarua, and theey made him clean all the toilets with his toothbrush.


There’s nowhere in the world that the waves are always perfect. Expect some downtime on a surf trip. A way to kill the boredom bug that may bite you in the ass is to find other activities the land around you can provide. For example, if you’re in New Zealand and it’s flat, go bungee jumping; in Fiji, go fishing; in Cabo, go to a bar.

-Chris Cotà‡