Sponsored post by Peter H. from moneysupermarket.com
It’s funny how quickly your opinion of a country can change, sometimes through no fault of its own.
I was full of excitement after booking up to go on short golfing break to Austria back in 2009. It seemed to be too good to be true as it offered the chance to marry together my passion for exploring the great outdoors with my love of a sport I rarely get chance to play abroad.
The plan was simple. Jet into Salzburg, enjoy two, maybe three rounds at Kaprun golf club at the foot of the breath-taking Kitzsteinhorn glacier, see the sights of Zell am See and head up the Schmittenhöhe mountain to test myself in some of the most challenging terrain I’ve ever experienced on foot. Then back to Salzburg for a quick tour of ‘Sound of Music’ country before returning to the UK.
As I said, that was the plan. In truth, the writing was on the wall that my solo trip to Austria was going to be a disaster before I’d even left Gatwick airport. Well, that’s probably because we sat on runway for three hours before we were finally given clearance to take off.
You’d think, given those delays, that when we touched down in the baking heat of Salzburg, all the passengers would’ve collected their belongings and been on their way quickly and with the minimum of fuss. Wrong. Oh so very wrong.
The luggage carousel started up as usual and out came a trickle of bags that all too quickly dried up, yet there was still a sizable group of us waiting…and waiting…and waiting. We were, eventually, put out of our misery.
“I’m afraid there’s been a problem,” shouted a stewardess from company we’d flown with. That was an understatement as we were then informed that the rest of the suitcases were back on English soil. This is when the realisation kicked in that I hadn’t got my belongings covered. It’s just typical that the only time I didn’t bother is when I actually needed it.
There was little point taking it out on the stewardess, who, by now, was being swamped by complaints, so I left my contact details and details of the hotel I was staying in with another travel rep and headed for Zell am See. It was 5pm on the Saturday night by the time I arrived in this picturesque city, which is located on a huge lake, and my immediate thought was to check in and then try and pick up some essential clothes and toiletries from the nearby shops. The receptionist at the hotel couldn’t have been any more helpful or sympathetic about my situation. She then, however, dropped the bombshell that the shops in the resort were now shut and that they’d remain that way until Monday morning at the earliest. There’s no Sunday trading in Austria.
I’d swapped rainy London for blisteringly-hot Zell am See, where the temperature outside was pushing 100 degrees Fahrenheit at early evening, and all I had were the clothes I’d arrived in, my wallet and my passport. It didn’t bode well for the outdoor activities I had planned.
Golf the next day was a nightmare in the heat. The course itself was spectacular, but my clubs were somewhere between England and Austria and my outfit was far from comfortable. Then came the walk up Schmittenhöhe, which was unbearable in my attire.
By the time Monday morning arrived, I’d worn the same clothes for the best part of three days solid and toiled in the heat. But the worst was yet to come. The price of clothes was astronomical. Now, had I taken out the best travel insurance policy I could afford, I would’ve have happily bought what I wanted and then claimed all the cash back. However, I wasn’t covered and I didn’t have the money to buy any new clobber whatsoever.
I was still, after all, hoping and praying that my case would arrive. And it did – on the morning of day four, by which point I was all set to leave! I was fuming. I might as well have picked up my case when I returned to Gatwick. The city tour of Salzburg at least proved an enjoyable way to end what had been a torrid trip, but, by this point, I just wanted to get home.
Will I ever return to that part of Austria? Maybe, but if I do I’d like to do so with my luggage this time!
This article was provided by Peter H. from moneysupermarket.com, the UK’s leading price comparison site. The moneysupemarket.com travel insurance service features a wide range of companies to help UK holiday-makers find the right cover for themselves and their family whilst taking a well deserved break.