Booking Blunder: A Geography Lesson


It’s been a few days since I’ve booked my hotels… I think I am feeling not that embarrassed about almost booking a hotel on the wrong place and am ready to make a confession.

The map below shows the place of where I did NOT plan to go, but came very close to booking a hotel there.Image 

This area is called the Canary Islands. It is closer to the African continent than it is to Spain, but it indeed belongs to the Spain. “Las Palmas” is a city on the island. And from what I have learned, it is the co-capital (along with Santa Cruz) and the most populous city in the region. In addition, I recently found out that there is a city in the northwest called “La Palma”

And to be honest, I didn’t know all this. All I know was that I wanted to go to Las Palmas, the capital of the Balearic Island, which is located on the other side of Spain – in the Mediterranean, not off the coast of Africa.

For some reason, I started looking for hotels in “La Palma”. It was late, so I didn’t pay attention to my grammar and I didn’t care if the word was singular or plural; I was just searching for the best deal. That night wasn’t the first time that I researched on the hotels in the Balearic Islands. So I had the idea of staying within the proximity of the downtown area and booking a hotel that will have a view of this one cathedral that is emblematic of the town. I jotted the names of some hotels earlier, but there weren’t a lot of options. In fact, I remember that I could find no more than 10 budget hotels in my desired destination. But somehow, on that night, I found more hotels with better deals. This one hotel was ideal, so I checked out the map to see if it was near downtown. Then I noticed that the shape of the island looked different, very different. Everything is out of proportion, even the airport was not where it was supposed to be. I looked to the east and saw Africa, not Italy… I was still a little too slow to realize where the hotel really was, so I checked the flight that would take me to that hotel. Turned out that the price was wayyyy more expensive and longer than the one that I had looked for earlier. It was then that I began to realize that “La Palma” is not a place on the Balearic Islands…
On a positive note, both the Canary and Balearic islands have places called “La Palma”… So can my ignorance be forgiven?

Lesson of the post: when researching, spell out every single letter. Do not assume that Google knows what you are talking about. If not, you may end up booking a hotel west of Africa instead of Italy.




4 thoughts on “Booking Blunder: A Geography Lesson”

  1. This happens a Lot!
    If you mention La Palma, as in the island of La Palma or as it often known ‘La Isla Bonita,’ people often jump to the conclusion that it is either Las Palmas de Gran Canaria or La Palma de Mallorca. And then there is a Palma in Florida and a few more besides.
    And of course the search engines might offer you a whole array of options no matter which place you were thinking of going to.
    So you are definitely not alone in almost arriving in a different place to the intended one!

    1. Thanks for the clarification! I didn’t know that La Palma is the same as La Isla Bonita… I still have a lot to learn.
      It’s funny because I have always wanted to visit the Gran Canaria some time in the future and I had almost booked a hotel there. One day I will intentionally visit Las Palmas, for sure. The place looks stunning!

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