City breaks, Holidays, Travel Timehop, Travel tips & gear

Travel Timehop #20: Prague 2009

Every week I share a memory from our holiday photo album – little snippets of travel fun from the past decade.

Today’s offering is probably the least scenic shot I have written about so far, as well as being the most out of focus. However, bear with me; there’s a good story behind it and some valuable travel tips to boot.

When are we time-hopping to?

It was 2009 and Mr Tin Box was on a four month deployment with the Royal Navy. Was I sitting at home pining? Hell no! I was on a pre-children, girly holiday with two lovely mates.

Where in the world? 

We were in Prague for a long weekend. One of my friends lives there and it was the perfect excuse for a visit to this beautiful city.

Timehop moment

This blurry image of me on the Prague Metro was taken after an unplanned shopping trip to replace the contents of my hold-all, which got left behind at Luton Airport. I’m clutching several shopping bags with all the essentials needed for a girly weekend of sightseeing and bar hopping.
It was the first and only time (so far) that my bag has gone missing on a flight and when this picture was taken I had no idea whether or not I’d ever get it back.
Our first few hours in Prague was interspersed with calls to our airline, Sky Europe, and making lists of everything I had packed. As a contact lense wearer I also had to find a chemist to buy a bottle of solution and a lense pot.
By our second day I had lost all hope of my bag catching us up so decided to hit the shops. Sky Europe had promised to reimburse me for any necessary purchases and about £150 later I had a few new tops, some pyjamas and toiletries to see me through.

Prague was fantastic. We saw the changing of the guard at Prague Castle, the ‘Fred and Ginger’ dancing house, Charles Bridge with its street artists and elaborate decorations, and the Astronomical Clock and Old Town Square. Getting around the city was so easy by tram or the Metro.

In the evenings we hung out at bars until the very small hours. I don’t remember many of them. This was a girls holiday after all!

My bag never did make it to Prague and when we returned we found it in lost luggage at Luton Airport. It never left the country because the airline label had fallen off. I got a bit of a telling off from the lost luggage handler as I also didn’t put a personal name tag on my bag.

Lesson one: always label your hold luggage.

Once home I filled out the paperwork to claim back my expenses from Sky Europe and sent off my receipts.

Then, nothing. A few weeks later I heard that the airline had gone bust – a lot did in 2009. Even though I had made all my purchases on my credit card my bank was unable to refund me without seeing the receipts, which I couldn’t get back from the defunct airline.

Lesson 2: if you have to make a claim for lost luggage expenses do it through your credit card company and let them chase the airline.

So, not only was Prague a great holiday, it was also a valuable learning experience for this traveller.

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