Tis the season to be giving fa la la la la, la la la la.
Christmas is upon us and it means that those with a passion to travel will be waking up to find globes, maps and all sorts of gifts under the tree on the 25th.
However, I am giving out a warning. Some travel gifts are inaccurate and will leave your globetrotting niece or boyfriend looking like Rudolph when he couldn’t join in on all the reindeer games.
I consider myself to be a travel geek as I have an ability to recognise all the flags and recall all the capital cities of the countries in the world. Thus, I am not one to be fooled by companies cashing in on half arsed and shoddy travel gifts.
“Scratch Map”, designed by ‘Luckies’ is a perfect gift. A wall map of the world that allowed the owner to scratch off the countries they had visited. It was super! I began merrily scratching off countries until I realised something horrifying. Countries were missing!
How could a world map fail at its one and only task of being a world map?
Not just one country was missing, no, but over 20 countries had been omitted from the majority of continents. Never in my life had I been so angered. So say goodbye to the Kiribati, South Sudan and Palau for they had been omitted. Someone should notify the UN as it seems these places no longer exist.
Being small is not a justifiable reason to be kicked off a world map. To add to my disappointment overseas territories were also not featured – so sorry Tahiti but ‘Luckies’ thinks you are not worthy. Confusingly, New Caledonia was on the map.
I reached out to the company when this all occurred, notifying them of all their errors. I was hoping for an apologetic response acknowledging their glaring mistakes. Instead, I received an abusive, unfriendly response. ‘Luckies’ customer relations division had clearly been reading too much political fiction as I was compared to China for my heinous act of pointing out the maps defects… charming!
By the end of their scathing email where I was confirmed as being the only person to ever complain about the inaccurate map I was feeling anything but ‘lucky’.
Not only have I had to witness deplorable map sabotage but I have also been left bewildered by a board game. The game required players to move around the world, answering travel trivia in the process. The company behind the game was the established ‘DK Travel’; a name most of you will be familiar with as they are a big producer of travel guides. Surely, they wouldn’t make mistakes?
Yup, sadly even the elite are prone to errors – the Japanese proverb is proven correct ‘even monkeys fall from trees’. The game had numerous inaccuracies.
Q – What is the capital city of Turkey?
A – Istanbul
…Wait…no…surely DK Travel didn’t make such a rookie error. The answer is of course Ankara. I’m starting to think primary school students were providing the answers. In total, the numerous travel mistakes ruined the enjoyment of the game.
Fortunately, upon contacting DK Travel they were friendly and seemed genuinely sorry. They apologised and sent me a free travel guide of Malaysia and Singapore.
An endless pit of stupidity
Not only have the above companies failed at a job they are supposed to be experts in but also the ‘BBC’ and ‘Tiger’ can join the fallen.
It seems that these companies are inept but the frustration of the consumer fades with good customer service.
Now how do we avoid buying inaccurate travel products? Well, it’s difficult – especially if the product box obscures the contents. However, here are a few tips:
- If the map omits South Sudan the map is old [this is the most common error that I am still seeing despite South Sudan coming to existence in 2011]
- Look for the International Date Line (IDL). Which side of the line is Samoa on? If Samoa falls to the right hand side then the map is wrong. Samoa decided to forfeit December 30th 2011 in order to realign its time with the Oceanic region and thus the IDL was redrawn with Samoa sitting to the left of the line.
- In 2013 the African island nation of Cape Verde changed its name to Cabo Verde
- The capital city of Australia is NOT Sydney! It’s Canberra.
- If you think a quiz question is wrong, check it out.
- Check the date of creation of the product. The more recent the product the chance of it being incorrect will diminish.
So to all those jetsetters who are confusing Santa with their whereabouts, remember to seek out the best and accurate stocking fillers.
*The products mentioned may have been updated to be correct