Baffled holidaymakers were left squinting and asking for help after checking the airport departures board – only to see it blur out of focus before their very eyes.
The information board at Liverpool Airport all seemed to be in order, displaying destinations, gate numbers and flight times as usual.
But as passengers approached it, things became more clear – or rather, unclear.
The set-up was created by Vision Direct to mark their trial of a contact lens vending machine for forgetful folks, who left their eyewear behind when going on holiday.
It came after their survey revealed nearly three in five travellers (58%) worry about forgetting something they really need when going away.
Barney Streeting, general manager for the contact lenses provider, said: “There are so many things to plan and remember for a holiday, it is no wonder people often miss something along the way.
“With most things you can make up for it when you arrive at your destination – buying replacement clothing or toiletries or underwear is relatively easy.
“But there are some pre-holiday blunders which are harder to cover, such as forgetting to take the right passport, losing car keys, or leaving prescriptions at home.
“We wanted to raise awareness of how life-changing wearing contact lenses or glasses can be – and how forgetting them can be the difference between enjoying a holiday and finding it unbearable.”
The study found four in ten have found themselves in a spot of bother following a momentary lapse of judgement prior to departure.
Travelling with an out-of-date passport, driving to a different airport, and taking the wrong currency are among Brits’ biggest pre-holiday blunders.
Other mistakes include going to the incorrect airport gate, failing to pack appropriate clothing, and even arriving for a flight a day after its departure.
Going over the baggage allowance, picking up the wrong luggage at the airport, and missing a motorway turning on the way also feature in the top 20.
And of those who have forgotten items for a foreign holiday, swimwear, foreign currency, and travel insurance are most often missed.
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As a result, three in ten have at some point had to fork out for something they forgot to take away with them on holiday – with the average pay out being a whopping £338.
Of those with a sight prescription, almost three-quarters (71%) would be mortified to turn up to their holiday destination without the right eyewear.
And 22% would be more worried about leaving their prescription glasses at home than any other item, with more than one in 20 saying that going without their contact lenses would ruin their trip.
When faced with a holiday without such essentials, one in five (21%) have had to cope without – experiencing blurry vision or risk of illness without medication.
But 16% of those polled, via OnePoll, have tried to source and pay for medical items, and a further one in ten have bought online at a holiday location.
Being in too much of a rush (31%), getting distracted (27%), and being pre-occupied with work (22%) are just some of the reasons people give for their mishaps.
Barney Streeting, for Vision Direct, added: “There are plans you can put in place to make going on holiday as stress-free as possible.
“Writing lists for everything you want to take – from contact lenses and medicines, to favourite outfits and flip-flops – is a great way to double check you have everything.
“And a rough run through plans the week in advance will also help to ensure things run smoothly on the day itself.”
TOP PRE-HOLIDAY BLUNDERS:
- Realised I'd packed entirely the wrong types of clothing
- Gone to the wrong airport gate
- Realised at the airport that my passport was out of date
- Bought the wrong currency
- Driven to the wrong airport
- Forgotten an essential item e.g. underwear or medicine
- Arrived at a destination to find my child has replaced the contents of my luggage with toys
- Packed for specific weather conditions only for the weather to be the complete opposite on arrival
- Mixed up holiday destinations and arrived at the wrong destination/accommodation
- Got stuck in traffic on the way to the airport/ferry/train station and missed the flight/boat/train
- Went over the holiday baggage allowance
- Realised after getting off the plane that something had been left onboard
- Picked up the wrong luggage at the airport
- Got on the wrong transfer coach
- Missed the motorway exit or another key turning and got lost/delayed and missed the flight/boat/train
- Lost my car keys and had to get a replacement
- Packed too many liquids
- Lost/forgotten my passport
- Booked the wrong accommodation/travel dates
- Turned up at the airport on the wrong date
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