Are you the superstitious type? If so, there is much to watch out for while traveling around! In fact, this article will present you to some of the most popular and common travel related superstitions. Even if you’re not particularly prone to such notions, chances are you’ll enjoy reading this. From number related superstitions to country-specific charms, good luck charms and back luck omens… there’s something here to cater for every sign you will possibly come across while traveling.
Hotel rooms 666 and 1313: believe it or not, but even modern hotels tend to skip these room numbers – since they’re associated with bad luck and evil, in the western countries of the globe. For the same reason, floor 13 is traditionally skipped in many hotels.
Row 13 in aircrafts: likewise, many western aircrafts usually go from rows 12 to 14, since 13 is usually regarded as an unlucky number.
Lufthansa’s missing row 17: since the Roman numerals for this number (XVII) are associated with the Latin expression for “I lived”, Italian airline Lufthansa also skips row 17 in their planes.
Japanese death and torture: additionally to the number 13, some Japanese airlines (Such as Nippon Airways) tend to omit rows 4 and 9, since those numerals are referred to by words reminiscent of “death” and “torture”.
Missing airport games: for the same reason as above, many eastern airports (such as Seoul’s Inchon) tend to omit the unlucky numbers (4, 9, 13) from their gate numbers.
Sit on luggage for good luck: in some countries in Eastern Europe, people think it’s good luck to sit on your luggage (or stand next to it) and gather your thoughts for some moments before leaving on a journey.
Wet clothes in baggage: according to many, arriving somewhere new with wet clothes inside your bag will bring you bad luck (or in the best case scenario you’ll catch a cold from wearing damp garments).
Black luggage is bad luck: since the black color is often associated with death in western countries, it follows naturally that using a black colored luggage is a sign of bad luck.
Green luggage is good luck: many travelers make a point of getting a bright green luggage set, because that is supposed to bring good fortune – or at least it’ll improve their luck by making it easier to spot their bag while leaving the airport.
Empty luggage in New Year:in some countries (such as Mexico), people will run around the block with an empty luggage in New Year ’s Eve, since that’s expected to bring good luck and plentiful traveling.
Country specific beliefs
Irish magpies: many Irish folks believe that seeing three magpies together while traveling is a sign of misfortune – if they’re banded on your left side; if there are only two and on your right side, then it’s a sign of good fortune.
Spanish don’t travel on Friday the 13th: they’re not the only people to avoid traveling in that day, but the Spanish actually have a popular saying that goes along the lines of… “in a Friday the 13th, neither get married nor go on a trip”.
Orientation of Japanese hotel beds: since Japanese traditions require the body of the deceased to be laid with the head pointed North, this position is regarded as unfortunate orientation for a bed; as such, you’ll be hard pressed to find a Japanese hotel bedlaid out in such placement.
The Moroccan bathroom goat: if you ever use a public bathroom in Morocco late at night (between midnight and 2AM), beware of the dreaded Goat of the lavatories, an evil spirit said to manifest in places with flushing water! It’s very common to see the locals doing a small prayer/incantation in such circumstance, asking for the spirit’s permissiveness.
Jasmine garlands for good luck in Thailand: when visiting Thailand, you may notice how many taxi drivers keep a jasmine garland (PhuangMalai) hanging from the rearview mirror, since it’s believed to bring good luck. It’s also fairly common for people to hang those garlands strategically (anywhere from their luggage to their necks) while traveling.
Good luck charms and bad luck omens
Lucky stalker: in many cultures, it’s a sign of good luck when you’re traveling and you happen meet the same person by accident on the same place, three times in the same day. Chances are this superstition does not apply to hotel attendants, though.
Meeting someone on a train: when you’re traveling an you happen to meet a friend on a train, it means that person will be a friend for life; this is possibly because the train is see as a metaphor for life in many cultures (particularly eastern).
St. Christopher’s got your back: many people like getting a charm allusive to St. Christopher, who is regarded as the saint patron of travelers. Carrying this charm in your briefcase is supposed to keep you protected while you’re on holidays.
Do not let wallet touch the ground: when traveling, it’s a sign of bad luck to drop your wallet, or let it for some reason touch the ground. According to the superstitions, that means you may have money problems before going back home.
Do not forget anything: it’s also a sign of bad luck when you forget something and have to go back home once again before embarking on a trip. This would indicate unexpected complications during your journey.
How about it? Are you a superstitious person while traveling? Do you recognize (or practice) any of these rituals? If so, make sure to share with us by writing your comments below.