“Sorry, the City Is Closed Today” — Reader Mistake Story

Nov 28, 2018

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Today, I want to share a story from TPG reader Therese, who scheduled an inopportune visit to an unfamiliar destination:

I was booking a trip to visit friends in London and Paris, and I had an extra day between them. Instead of extending my stay in either city, I decided to book a quick 30-hour stop in Luxembourg. I didn’t know much about the country but thought it would be a good opportunity to visit.

I arrived at night and checked into my hotel. I was exhausted so I slept in, but I woke up excited to check out Luxembourg City. As I wandered throughout town around 11:00 am on a Thursday, I thought it was odd that none of the stores were open yet and the streets were empty with no one around. I looked up what time stores open in Luxembourg, and saw they normally open around 9:00 am … very strange.

That’s when I decided to research a bit more and realized it was a national holiday. All shops and museums were closed, as well as many cafes and restaurants. While Luxembourg has many beautiful parks and nature to explore, it also happened to be raining and very cold all day. If I had known my visit overlapped with a holiday that shuts the city down, I would have spent that day elsewhere. Lesson learned: always research special events and holidays in a destination before booking a trip!

There’s something romantic about showing up in a new destination and not knowing what to expect, but as Therese’s story shows, arriving uninformed has a downside. Holidays, festivals and other events can impede your plans by closing down the area or conversely by drawing crowds and driving up the cost of your stay. Reading up on the local calendar is especially important if you only have time for a brief visit, since one off day can end up defining your whole experience. Even if the whole city isn’t shut down, the attraction that drew you there might be.

When your plans are disrupted and you’re looking for something to do, I recommend checking social media for ideas. An Instagram search for relevant hashtags (like #LuxembourgCity) may turn up sites worth exploring, or at least connect you to locals who have a pulse on the area. Facebook is another great resource, as you can find a trove of activities off the beaten path. Go into the “Discover” section of the event listings and you can search by date and city, or by neighborhood in some cases. It’s a shot in the dark, but in my experience, even so-so events carry a certain degree of intrigue when you’re in a foreign land.

I appreciate this story, and I hope it can help other readers avoid making the same mistake. In appreciation for sharing this experience (and for allowing me to post it online), I’m sending Therese a $200 airline gift card to enjoy on future travels, and I’d like to do the same for you. Please email your own travel mistake stories to info@thepointsguy.com, and put “Reader Mistake Story” in the subject line. Tell us how things went wrong, and (where applicable) how you made them right. Offer any wisdom you gained from the experience, and explain what the rest of us can do to avoid the same pitfalls.

Feel free to also submit your best travel success stories. If your story is published in either case, I’ll send you a gift to jump-start your next adventure. I look forward to hearing from you, and until then, I wish you a safe and mistake-free journey!

Featured photo by Davide Seddio/Getty Images

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs up to two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $80 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® after you apply through any Authorized Enrollment Provider. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
17.24%-26.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.