Stefan thought he was booking a hotel in San Sebastián, Spain, but it turns out he was in Puerto Rico | money flops

Stefan thought he was booking a hotel in San Sebastián, Spain, but it turns out he was in Puerto Rico |  money flops

money flopsEveryone sometimes makes a mistake that has small or sometimes big financial consequences. In this series, people talk about their financial mistake. This week Stefan (51) who booked a hotel for €400 in the wrong part of the world.

Stefan*: ,, It’s 2019. We’ve been going to the same campsite in the south of France for years. That year we thought it would be a good idea to go to another campsite, in Saint-Jean-de-Luz, near the Spanish border. We were going to stay there for a week and then go to Spain. This was something different, nice. But that turned out to be very disappointing.”

The camp was a drama. It was a little cheaper than the campground we usually go to, but it looked just as good on the pictures. But when we got there, it was hit or miss. There was no wifi and no range and we got a place all the way through. An hour after checking in we checked out again. We didn’t even unload the car and turned around almost immediately.”


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I found a hotel in San Sebastian that looks great, has a pool, and nice pictures. I booked it immediately for two nights

Steve (51)

Where did you go?

“We first booked a hotel in the village tonight to locate us further. What were we going to do? We often went to San Sebastian, which is a beautiful city in Spain and not too far from where we are. On booking.com I found a hotel in San Sebastian that looked great with a pool And beautiful pictures. Immediately booked it for two nights.”

How much did that cost?

“This costs €400. Best in price, but we thought: This is a nice stay! We deserved it then with this camp. We thought, let’s treat ourselves well.”

When did you realize you made a mistake?

“After I transferred the money with my credit card. I looked again and saw that this hotel was not in Spain at all, but in San Sebastián in Puerto Rico; an island in the Caribbean!”

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Didn’t you notice that it looked more tropical than Spain?

,,no! In hindsight, we did it way too soon. We often book a hotel on impulse, but this was the first time we made a mistake.

I immediately called booking.com. They said they couldn’t cancel it for us because we didn’t take out the cancellation lock. But they will try to contact this property in Puerto Rico.”

“They didn’t understand it. They couldn’t do anything else for us. We made the mistake ourselves. We threw 400 euros away.”


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Of course we were bumped like a clog. But the things that get done don’t change

Steve (51)

Did you manage to save that vacation for the end?

“Of course we were very disappointed. But the things that get done don’t change. We quickly booked another hotel to forget about this mistake. This time something cheaper, without a pool. But still, San Sebastian is a very beautiful city and swimming in the sea is free.

What did you learn from this holiday?

,, you have to book something quieter and always check if you are booking the right thing. But also: stick to the tried-and-true recipe. After San Sebastian, we returned to our usual camping site in the south of France, where we always went. Because vacation also means rest.

I’ve been coming there for thirty years, have many fond memories, know my way around, and know what to expect. Even if a new campsite is good, you always have to get used to a new place for a couple of days anyway. We just have to drive here while we’re home.”

Due to special circumstances, Stefan does not want to be called by his last name. Stefan’s full name is known to the editors.

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