Arriving at your accommodation after travelling for hours to get there should result in a sigh of relief, and more times than not it really has. However it is safe to say that as much as I fell in love with Berlin as a city, I literally could not have been more unprepared. So as you may have read under my 'Booking' tab in 'Hotels' you will see that I often book through Booking.com for my hotel stays, this was the case for Berlin. I have always preferred to pay upfront or in instalments for accommodation and never chose to pay upon arrival as it is just one less thing already taken care of, therefore when we arrived at the check-in desk on this occasion I was more than shocked at myself.
I don't think there is anything worse than arguing blindly only to realise you are so wrong and you can't even take your attitude back... guilty. So set the scene, we are tired and recovering from frustration after the taxi driver couldn't find our hotel for a good half an hour of going in circles, all we want is to get into bed and we are greeted by a hotel receptionist telling us we had not paid for our booking. To be honest he had a little tad of an attitude too but this may have been because of mine so I'll give it to him on this occasion, I probably deserved it. I argued blind for at least 40 minutes that I had paid and confirmed my booking and I was not going to pay any more, in my defence though I did have a confirmation email stating which card I had used to book with and the in-app booking confirmation stating the money will be taken at any time prior to my stay. I was so ignorant that I genuinely went through my bloody bank statements online, at the check-in desk, at 11pm just to prove my point. It is definitely one of those moments that I half laugh/half cringe at now but at the time I literally baffled. After scouring my bank statements and emails and not finding a payment to the hotel or the website I had booked through, I began to realise the hole I had been digging myself is going to be rather embarrassing to get out of. Basically what had happened is when I made the booking months and months before I had enough money in my holiday account to pay. But I hadn't read the part where the hotel would take £1 to validate my credit card when I booked, for the benefit of their system, and charge me the rest at any point before I got to the hotel. Then when they did attempt to take the payment there was no money in the account because I booked another holiday with that money, thinking it had all been accounted for!
At this point you'd be thinking; just apologise for the miscommunication, pretend this is your normal tone of voice and just pay... right? So here is where it gets interesting, I had no extra money! I know, I know, why did you not have an emergency stash just in case? To be honest I think we had got so complacent as this was the 8th trip we were taking that year, that we just assumed I had sorted everything like usual. Nothing of this level had happened before and in hindsight I had gone from carrying a folder of essential documents in trip 1 to not even paying for a hotel in trip 8! Safe to say things went downhill fast, but don't stress I apologised and calmed down my boyfriend who (in all honesty) was more interested in the cool coffee machine than the conversation. We had to use our overdrafts to pay for the hotel otherwise we wouldn't have eaten for that whole trip and then spent the next few weeks paying it back off. It wasn't the worse issue we have faced abroad but it definitely forced me to take my own advice and actually check I'd paid before waltzing in and demanding a room! *cringe* Never again.