Those were the words I had to utter down the phone last summer when Daddy E, Roo and myself jetted off to the USA to see Mickey and pals and indulge our inner children with a trip to Disney World Florida. For us it was a once in a lifetime holiday, something we had dreamed of doing with Roo for two years and saved hard to afford.
We spent ages looking on the internet for the best deal and the most direct flights and knowing how much we love our own space we opted for a family villa with private pool on a reserve just outside of Kissimee. The holiday was one to remember for many reasons and before we went we looked around for the best deals on travel currency and managed to get a great rate via our bank as we were preferential account holders (always worth checking before you go if you are entitled to any foreign currency deals).
The flight over went without a hitch and Miss Roo was so excited on the journey out, the plane was virtually empty so we had loads of space to stretch out enjoy her first flight on an aeroplane. Unfortunately, when we got to Orlando airport things went a bit haywire. Customs was a breeze and took us just 30 minutes to clear, but somewhere between us collecting our bags and us putting them on yet another carousel to make our way to the other side of the airport they became lost.
This meant that we ended up spending over two hours waiting for our bags. We’d already been travelling for 9 hours and on the go now for 15 and were all very tired and ratty. To top it off we were supposed to be meeting friends at Orlando who had taken time out of their afternoon to direct us to the villa and settle us in and lend us things like car seats and sat navs so that we didn’t have to pay the rental companies extortionate fees in hiring one.
This delay meant our friend couldn’t wait for us, we couldn’t contact him because we could only message him on Facebook and neither of our phones were set up to connect abroad unless on a known network because of the costs and so after waiting nearly three hours we had to bite the bullet and admit that we would have to hire these extras from the rental car company.
The problem here was that neither Daddy E or I believe in credit cards. We don’t own them, don’t like them and don’t use them. We just see them as dangerous tools that encourage people to spend money they don’t have. Equally we had all our money in US Dollars or on a Travelex card and had only bought enough to cover what we needed for the holiday and our Disney tickets. It was time to call home.
After the nice man at the Budget desk dialled the UK for us I managed to blurt out to mum that we needed help sending money abroad to pay for these unexpected extras. Dad works for one of the major high street banks so he was able to go straight through all the paperwork on the phone with us and once he had spoken to the man at Budget on where to send the money we were good to go.
This was a fairly chaotic start to our holiday and not one we had envisaged but it was great to see how quick and easy it was to send money in an emergency and also very reassuring. Morale of the story for us is to always take a bit more cash than you think you might need to cover incidentals like this as you never know what you might find yourself ringing home for!