Tourists Reveal Their Absolute Worst Travel Stories

Tourists Reveal Their Absolute Worst Travel Stories

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Ask anyone what they fear the most about traveling, and most will respond with typical answers like losing their wallet while away from home, getting stuck somewhere without a map, having their luggage lost, or coming back to their hotel to find something stolen. These are certainly disconcerting, but in the realm of “bad things that could happen when you travel,” they’re pretty tame compared to what a few unlucky people have been through.

Photo: creativecommons.org/Paul Beattie

From meeting your dad’s mistress and secret half-brother on a trip to Disney World to getting infected with hookworms while partying on a beach in the Caribbean or needing to be medically evacuated after a wrongful diagnosis in Europe, some people just have really bad luck when they travel. The people of the internet didn’t hesitate to share the creepy, hilarious, and downright wacky things that happened to them when they hit the road.

Sewage and Stolen Items

I was studying abroad in Thailand and went with a friend to the island of Koh Samui for the weekend. Soon after checking into our dinky little hotel, we rented motorbikes and cruised around the island, quickly getting lost on back roads. No big deal. We found a little tiki bar and drank the night away, thinking, “We’ll figure out how to get home…eventually.”

Photo: creativecommons.org/smjbk

Fast-forward to about midnight, and we’ve drank enough that motorbiking back to where we came from suddenly seemed like a good idea. It’s an island, right? Who gets lost on an island? So, we set back in the general direction of the hotel. After about an hour of riding around dirt roads, we passed something that smelled terrible, and I turned back to make a sour face at my friend, but I would quickly learn that was a big mistake….

In a flash, I went off the side of the road and smashed the motorbike off an embankment and into what I assume was a swamp…of the town’s sewage. By the time I realized what happened, I was almost fully submerged in it and trying to account for my body parts. We managed to get my motorbike running again, then slowly made our way back to the hotel while my bruises were marinating in sewage….

When we got there, I sprinted to the hotel room shower like my life depended on it. After a few minutes of obsessive scrubbing, I emerged to an empty room. Long story short, we were robbed while we were out. I had nothing but a Winnie the Pooh shirt and a pair of underwear. There was nothing we could do about it. To this day, it remains my most horrible travel/vacation experience…as well as one of my favorite stories to tell. Reddit User: Cmdr-Keen

Hooked on Jamaica

The trip itself was amazing for me, and for everyone else involved, until they got home to find out what they brought with them. We went to Jamaica with a 40+ person wedding party, and we were all dancing on beach, barefoot in the sand. When we got back to the United States, the people who went started texting in circles that everyone needed to get checked out…

Photo: creativecommons.org/MichaelTylerDaniel M. Hendricks

It turns out that almost everybody had hookworms in their feet and legs. Immediately everyone went to their doctors or local ERs to get checked, and we found out that only about 5 people didn’t get them, and I was one of the lucky few. Some people had the hookworms travel all the way to their knees. I’d never been so happy to be excluded from something in my life. Reddit User: EIemenop

Bitten on My First Day

On the first day of my two week trip to Borneo, I was bitten by what the locals call a black widow spider. I was scared before I started to exhibit any of the symptoms I quickly researched. The first thing I experienced was paralysis started on my hand in the spot where I was bitten. But that wasn’t the worst of it….

Photo: creativecommons.org/MichaelTyler

The paralysis traveled up my arm, and the moment that my life flashed before my eyes was when it started to affect my breathing. Borneo is a tiny island with no hospitals or modern medicine. The guides decided to take me to the clinic where they gave me paracetamol, which didn’t quite deal with the problem at hand. I don’t know how I’m still here, but I’ve never been more grateful in my life. Reddit User: on the balcony

A Sneaking Suspicion

I was traveling for work, and I had not been feeling well for several days. I had a sneaking suspicion that I might have appendicitis, but I left anyway; I quickly realized that it was a bad decision. After being there for a few hours, I decided to try to fly home and intended to go to the ER as soon as I landed….

Photo: creativecommons.org/NIHClinicalCenter

I got on the plane and sat in a ground-hold for the better part of 2 hours. At this point, I felt really, really bad. I was close to ringing the flight attendant call button and explaining that I needed to get off the plane. We were finally cleared for take-off, and fortunately, it was a relatively short flight. I landed and drove straight to the ER. Three hours later, I was in surgery having my appendix removed. Reddit User: geekfly

Disney, New Family

When I was a child, my parents were in the process of splitting up. As a way to make it less stressful, my dad proposed a trip to Disney World, just him and his kids. It seemed cool. Then, the morning of, he picked us up, and there was a woman and her infant child who we had never seen before….

Photo: creativecommons.org/ozinnovation

It turns out that the boy was our new half-brother, and the woman was my dad’s mistress. We were trapped in the car with a woman who we hated, and we were angry that we were forced to go to Disney World with her. We quickly learned that this wouldn’t be the last time, and my siblings dreaded every minute of it. Every trip was horrible, and I hate Disney World because of it. Reddit User: tuna_pie

We’re Not Staying

A while back, my wife and I went to the Bahamas, and 6 hours after we got there, I started having stomach pains. Two hours later, we were at a local hospital where they did a CT scan of my entire body, which they then said was fine. My wife happened to be an oncologist, and when she asked to see my scans, she noticed that my gallbladder was the size of my liver….

Photo: creativecommons.org/NIHClinicalCenter

She immediately said we’re not staying here. We paid for a medivac to the tune of $22,000, and I was in surgery back home in 12 hours. My gallbladder was 13cm (normal is 7-8) with a 3.8cm stone in the middle of it. The surgeon said it was the biggest she had ever seen. I also got to ride in a Learjet, so I guess that’s something. Reddit User: guyincognitoo

The Cruise from Hell

I once took a transatlantic cruise from the Mediterranean to the United States onboard a Holland America ship, because we thought it might be more fun than flying back. As we were boarding, we were given notice that there was some kind of severe sickness on the previous cruise with lots of vomiting, but little did we know that the whole ship had become a vomitorium….

Photo: creativecommons.org/rafael-castillo

It was everywhere; elevators, hallways, walls, everywhere. Most of the amenities were shut down, including laundry facilities. They made announcements that the ship was being “deep cleaned,” but I didn’t see many signs of that, as our room was pretty filthy. We immediately made demands to have the room cleaned again, and it wasn’t much better after the second go….

After being on the ship for two days, we started to hear about people getting sick on the cruise and being quarantined in their quarters. I even saw it as we walked through the halls. At the time, we were at a port in Spain, and we decided to skip out on the rest of the cruise and just take it as a loss. Reddit User: RalphiesBoogers

Checking Things Out

A few friends and I were in Thessaloniki, and we were just walking about when out of nowhere, we saw a police motorcade full of motorcycles and horses in the middle of the street. We thought it must be some sort of festival or parade or something because a crowd was drawing, so we went over to see what it was about….

Photo: creativecommons.org/paul.orear

Eventually, we heard singing coming down the block, and there were hundreds of people marching toward the police. It was a riot. Once we realized what was going on, we tried to leave, but it had already started to go down. In trying to escape, we got hit with tear gas from the police and found shelter in a random apartment building. Reddit User: ReallyCleverName69

The #2 Express

I decided to take a Greyhound bus to go out of town for the weekend to meet up with a few friends. It was late, and I was sat at the back of the bus, near the bathroom. 10 minutes into the 2-hour bus ride, this guy wrecks the bathroom. I had to use the hood of my hoodie to cover my face. Every so often, I would reluctantly remove it for a short breathe of oxygen and a whiff of whatever the man released in the bathroom….

Photo: creativecommons.org/Ted & Dani

I eventually took it off and tried to deal with the smell as best I could. During the ordeal, I looked to my right and saw this lady with “the look.” She had her arms crossed and her posture hunched with a miserable look on her face. I looked at her every now and then waiting to see if this was really going to happen….

I was thinking of offering her a ginger ale when she suddenly relieved herself all over the floor directly to the right of me. I wanted to laugh because I couldn’t believe what I was witnessing. The smell transcended into a horrible demon. My girlfriend woke from her peaceful nap in the window seat from all the commotion of angry passengers. My transfer could not come any sooner. Reddit User: zEJAYz

Most Wanted Father

When I was about 11 or 12 years old, I was invited to spend 2 weeks in Florida with my best friend’s family at their condo. My best friend, Michelle, and her mom would spend the whole summer down there, while her dad would fly down just for 2 weeks so he could maintain the family business. I was to fly down with Michelle’s dad because I didn’t want to spend my entire summer there….

Photo: creativecommons.org/Alec @ Taiwan

Michelle’s dad has a name very similar to a terrorist on the FBI’s most wanted list. It was very close, just one letter off. Being 11-12 at the time, my bags, tickets, and such were all in his name. We were stopped at every single airport and searched, even on our layover. People kept looking at the name on the reservation and had this look of panic come over their eyes. Little did they know that we were just a nice guy who ran a movie rental store and his daughter’s best friend trying to go on vacation. Reddit User: [redacted]

Delhi Belly

I was scheduled to go on a flight from Delhi to Frankfurt, and I never thought that I’d have to go through so much drama. First off, my intestines were ready to burst because of something I ate. To make things worse for me, the security officer went ahead and squeezed my stomach without any warning. I nearly went all over him….

Photo: creativecommons.org/osseous

When I got to the airport lounge, it was completely packed, so we just hung out in the terminal and visited the bathroom every 20 minutes until the flight boarded. Of course, when I got to my seat, there was a straggler who refused to get out of my paid business class ticket. So security got called in and dragged two girls off the flight. When we took off, my Delhi belly continued, and I was on the toilet while experiencing turbulence flying over Pakistan. Reddit User: ooo-ooo-oooyea

Peanut Butter Arrest

On my way back to the mainland from Hawaii with my children, I was stopped at security, and I later got separated from my kids for quite some time, all because I had a half-eaten jar of Skippy peanut butter in my backpack. At the time, the lovely people at TSA were acting like I was smuggling illegal substances into the country….

Photo: creativecommons.org/doviende

They wouldn’t let my kids anywhere near me, and they also refused to let any employees sit with them. They were just peering through the upper glass walls across the way, crying their eyes out, waiting to see if mommy was going to go to jail for a jar of peanut butter. I understand that they’re just trying to do their jobs, but my goodness. Reddit User: Sarcastic_Bard

Do Not Tamper

TSA does the strangest things in the name of security, but I’ll never get over what they did during my encounter. The TSA agent started to disassemble my CPAP machine (for my sleep apnea) with a screwdriver because she had never seen one before. When I attempted to stop her from tampering with a medical device that I need to not die in my sleep, and that is clearly marked “This is a medical device,” she had me flagged as an unruly passenger….

Photo: creativecommons.org/COMSALUD

She took it a step further and banned me from leaving the security area. I explained to her supervisor that I had contacted my loved ones and gave them her name and badge number in case I died in my sleep because my breathing machine had been tampered with. They eventually covered the cost of a replacement CPAP. Reddit User: neinta

Pet Poo

On my flight from London to Tokyo, which can last anywhere from 11 to 12 hours, someone decided to bring their little dog with them. I had no issue with it until the little dog began to whine. The owner decided to let their pet walk around the cabin floor where it casually just squatted down and pooped on the floor….

Photo: creativecommons.org/Loco Steve

The smell was overwhelmingly awful. No amount of air freshener could help the smell, which quickly filled the aircraft. Two hours later, the dog started whining again, and you guessed it, another pile of poop followed. I had no idea you could take a dog on a plane like this, but I’m surprised the owner made it off alive. Reddit User: Muffsaid

Room 8

While backpacking around Europe, my partner and I stayed at a hostel in Amsterdam, a room for 8 to be exact. We ended up getting chummy with the other two couples in there and chatted for quite some time. As we were getting ready for bed, a guy came in to take one of the other remaining beds, sat down, and casually pulled out a giant sword….

Photo: creativecommons.org/OnTask

He just sat down on the cot, took it out, laid it on his lap, and sat there silently, glancing at us every so often. We were all stunned, and we all went silent for a second because we didn’t know if he was serious. He ignored us and just sat there with his sword in silence. It took us a while to go to sleep. Reddit User: Vedmedyk

In Need of Help

I took a business trip to Las Vegas on a Friday that was 400 miles away from where I lived. I took my own car, and halfway there, my transmission started to go, and by the time I got there, my car wouldn’t go over 20 MPH. It’s under warranty, so I take it to a dealership, and they can’t fix it until Monday….

Photo: creativecommons.org/maceelaine

I’m broke, and the company only gave me enough money for one night and one day. I call an ex, and he gets me a bus ticket home, but it leaves at midnight. I go all day walking from casino to casino until midnight (with no food). When the time comes, I go to the bus station, and they have no record of the ticket. My cell phone is dead. I break out crying at the ticket counter, and a bus driver hears and decides to do me a favor and gets me 50 miles away from my town, but not before the bus breaks down midway there….

I get my dead phone to turn on long enough to get a friend who lives nearby to come to pick me up, and I beg him to get me something to eat. He shows up 2 hours later without food. I’m grateful he picked me up, so I don’t complain. It takes 2 more hours to get home, and when I get there, I plug in my phone. There’s a message from the mechanic saying that my car was ready for pick up on Saturday morning. Reddit User: turbiw

Will You Marry Me?

I was exploring this little village in Vietnam, and I was going along my merry way when a guy comes up to me and starts talking to me in very broken English. Within 5 minutes of beginning the conversation, he asks me, a woman, “You married?” I say no. He then says, “You marry me?”

Photo: creativecommons.org/thetejon

I assumed he was joking, because we’d known each other for 5 minutes, so I said yes. He immediately began yelling something in Vietnamese, then grabbed my hand and started waving it around in the air. Within minutes we were surrounded by dozens of people who were all cheering and smiling and shaking my hand. I got out of there before I got my fiancé’s name. Reddit User: quailgirl

No Amount of Magic

My family went on vacation to Disney World, and it was bad from the beginning. Firstly, we arrived very late, very tired, and all we wanted to do was just get into our hotel, wash up, and go to sleep. My mom goes inside to talk to the hotel staff about our room and parking and comes out an hour later, and everyone is all frustrated….

Photo: creativecommons.org/kippster

It leads to a huge argument, and in her frustration, my mother whips open the car door and cuts open her face right under her eye. So guess where we had to go. To the emergency room, where we waited for several hours so that she could get stitches. We all wanted to go back home after that; no amount of magic could have saved that holiday. Reddit User: hiiammaddie

Mexican Nightmare

I’ve traveled quite a bit in my life, and there are a few occasions where I’ve felt like I’ll never go abroad again. In this episode, I somehow managed to get sun poisoning while on vacation in Mexico. As bad as it was, my sister got it worse than me. While ziplining in the middle of the Mexican wilderness, she had an episode of explosive diarrhea….

Photo: creativecommons.org/No Frills Excursions

After the embarrassment, we decided to go on a catamaran (boat) ride to try to enjoy the rest of our vacation. Bad idea. I got horribly seasick and threw up the entire boat ride, but that wasn’t the end of it. We then spent 3 hours at the airport getting scammed into buying different tourist location packs. Reddit User: hiiammaddie

French Nightmare

This horrible trip takes us to France. I was very young when I went to an amusement park with my dad and sister (who was also very young) in Paris, France. Our mother decided to stay home because she wasn’t feeling very well. While we’re on the Ferris wheel, we get a call from our mom….

Photo: creativecommons.org/AfghanistanMatters

She called to say that she had a stabbing pain in her back and head and needed to go to the hospital. At that very moment, the Ferris wheel stopped. We were stuck at the top of the wheel, and we stayed there for over an hour, screaming that we needed to get to the hospital. I just wanted to check on my mom. Reddit User: hiiammaddie

Tree Farm Drama

I had just married my current wife. She had a daughter in middle school. I had bought a camper a few months earlier, and we, along with some of my stepdaughter’s friends, went on a camping trip. We also took our two dogs. When we got there, and there was another dog running around the campground, so I told my dogs to lay down in the back of the SUV, and they did. We had only been there for 15 minutes, and my stepdaughter’s friend said that Jeannie wasn’t moving; she was dead….

Photo: creativecommons.org/FolsomNatural

Here we were, 5 hours from home on our first vacation, 15 minutes in, and the family pet dies. Everyone flips, naturally. My wife is screaming at me to do something, and my stepdaughter is screaming. I went down the mountain to ask for a shovel, and to make a long story short, I buried the dog on someone’s Christmas tree farm. They called the police, and I immediately packed up my family and left. Reddit User: [redacted]

Something to Prove

I have many travel horror stories, but this one definitely takes the cake, and I know that it’s all my fault. I was attempting to show off my skills and was making a fool of myself. I was studying abroad, and we spent about three weeks in the Netherlands, and it just so happened that we were there when the Netherlands lost the 2010 World Cup final to Spain….

Photo: creativecommons.org/Maltesen

The group members and I watched the game on the big screen at a place where there must have been at least 60,000 people. As an American who was bandwagoning on the Netherlands team, I felt I had something to prove to the locals. I saw a group of guys that were trying to get one of those oversized 3-liter beer bottles opened but forgot a beer bottle opener. I grabbed the bottle from them and popped the cap open with my teeth….

I successfully popped that bad boy opened, and they all cheered, but as soon as I opened it, I felt a pain in my mouth. I then proceeded to spit out a large chunk of my tooth that I cracked while opening the bottle. I was upset, in pain, and felt like an idiot. My tooth was in pain for the rest of the trip until I got it fixed back in the US. To top it all off, the guys didn’t offer me any beer, and the Netherlands lost. Reddit User: Cool_hand_dude

The Don’t List

This happened to my in-laws, and I’m happy to tell the story because I’m involved. My in-laws went to Mexico for their 25th wedding anniversary, and I specifically told them not to leave the resort and only to drink bottled water. They ended up not doing both, and they practically got kidnapped after getting onto a boat alone with some locals….

Photo: creativecommons.org/Allan Henderson

Apparently, they told my in-laws that they wanted to show them another resort, but they ended up far away from their hotel and had to run miles to their resort after these people demanded money from them. They got back to the hotel safely but left Mexico with a not fun surprise. By the time they arrived home, they both had diarrhea for two weeks. It was from drinking the water. Reddit User: AmandaJoye

Trying to Be Amicable

My ex-boyfriend and I had booked a luxury trip to Hawaii about four months in advance, but midway through the time we booked and when we were supposed to leave for the vacation, we broke up. Since two of our good friends were going as well, we tried to be amicable and just go and try to have fun even though things were not the best between us….

Photo: creativecommons.org/Holidayextras

Because the universe hates me, the hotel messed up and booked us in a hotel with one bed rather than singles. When we tried to change it, they didn’t have any more rooms with singles. So, I was stuck with my super emotional ex, and every night we bickered about why things will never go right between us. Needless to say, we kind of ruined the trip for our friends. Reddit User: [redacted]

Vague Shapes

I was in Georgia with my family, visiting my older sister. I’m legally blind and have contacts, and back then, my insurance would only cover glasses or contacts. So, I chose contacts, but I was a little negligent and forgot my contact case and solution on the trip. So that night, I decided to put my contacts in water….

Photo: creativecommons.org/osseous

It was never a good idea but felt better than sleeping in them or leaving them on the counter. So I decided to put them in cups on my bedside table on the first night we were there. I woke up to find out that my mother threw the cup of water down the sink because she thought that it was just water. For the rest of my vacation, I saw vague shapes. Thanks, mom. Reddit User: [redacted]

Sketchy Driver and Fake Security

I, a female, was traveling through Tanzania with my sister. Unfortunately, our taxi driver from the ferry to the bus station was less than legit. When we got into the car, he asked us where we were going, and we told him Moshi. He gets on the phone and is speaking Swahili, but I distinctly hear him say “Moshi” and “mzungu” (white person)….

Photo: creativecommons.org/dodge challenger1

He drives us into a sketchy alleyway beside the bus station, and his friend pressures us super hard to buy bus tickets for a bus I’ve never heard of at 3x the regular price. They both get upset when we refuse, so we escape into the bus station, but there’s not a single tourist in sight. We need help. A security guard comes to our rescue and takes us to the hotel in the terminal….

It turns out he wasn’t a security guard, and he also tried to blackmail us into buying bus tickets for his company, and he even knew what room we were staying in at the hotel he brought us to. After being harassed, we managed to buy tickets at the legit place, and when the “security guard” asked us to purchase tickets from him again, he got super angry when he found out we had already bought tickets….

He starts screaming at us in Swahili and chases us into the hotel. We lock our hotel room, but we hear him in the hallway, yelling and banging on our door for some time. This was around 11 am. We stayed in our hotel room until 5 am the next day, with only half a bottle of pop and one stale muffin between the two of us. We couldn’t wait to leave. Reddit User: amahora

New York Bathroom Stall

I spent a week in New York City with some close friends, and it was one of the worst weeks of my life. We head over to Times Square to see the sites and whatnot, then decide to check out a mall we spotted. Several of the stores were closed, and it looked like the whole place was under renovation. I needed to head to the restroom, so I head over to the can by my lonesome and plan to meet up with the others later….

Photo: creativecommons.org/airlines470

Right when I get into a stall, I hear a very angry man shouting and slamming the doors on the other stalls. He’s screaming stuff like “Where are you?” and making a big ruckus, then he stops at my stall. It was the creepiest thing ever. I turn around to see a hand clutch the top of the stall, and he tries to pull the door down as hard as possible….

I could see his face while I’m standing there mid-wipe, terrified that this may be my last day on earth. So many thoughts ran through my head. I heard a loud, booming voice say, “You better step away from that stall!” It was an NYPD officer. I’ve never been so happy to see a police officer. I hurried back to my friends and retold the story, but one of them started to mock me. Another one said to me, “When I saw the look on your face, I knew you’d seen enough of New York!” Reddit User: Alfredopotato

The Bartender

I went to Germany for a “work” trip with a team of people. Our first night there, I went out with a buddy of mine, hitting a few small bars after dinner. I had a few beers but was pretty sober, and I was taking care of my friend, who was pretty drunk. At the last bar, we each ordered a beer, and halfway through it, I suddenly felt drunk. From sober to drunk in half a beer, something wasn’t adding up….

Photo: creativecommons.org/matt512

My mind must’ve already been messed up, because I basically ignored it, and I let my friend walk off back to the hotel by himself when he told me he wanted to leave. In any ordinary situation, I would’ve gladly gone back with him then. The next thing I know, I’m waking up on the sidewalk outside somewhere, with my wallet and cell phone gone….

Pieces of what happened start to come back to me, and it clicks that the bartender slipped something in my drink, then he and his goons robbed me outside of the bar. Afterward, I remember finding a police station and trying to explain to them what happened, but they treated me like a drunk, told me to get out, and literally pushed me out of the police station. I went back to the hotel and passed out for the next 20 hours. Reddit User: CommanderKeen

Is This the End?

Now that I’m a little older, I can laugh about it, but back then, I thought that my life was ending at the age of 12. I was on vacation with my dad in San Diego back when I was in 6th grade. Midway through the trip, I got my monthly cycle (you know what I mean) for the first time, and I freaked out….

Photo: creativecommons.org/marviikad

I knew what it was, but for some reason, I didn’t think of it as being my monthly cycle; I thought that something was wrong with me and that I was dying. I didn’t tell my dad anything and waited until I got home and sobbed to my mom about how I was dying. She had a great laugh, and she keeps bringing it up to this day. Reddit User: xXBekachuXx

Give Me Your Camera

Back when I was shooting for a non-profit organization in Sudan, a local soldier/militiaman bruised my sternum with the muzzle of his weapon. He was mugging me because I was a foreigner in the middle of Sudan with a nice camera. Since he had no use for a camera, he asked for $5000, then $1000, then a pack of cigarettes….

Photo: creativecommons.org/Big_five

Then he just let me walk away, but only if I put my camera away. He didn’t speak English. He didn’t speak Arabic or Juba Arabic. He spoke some obscure tribal tongue. I got out of there pretty quickly. So, I had a lethal weapon in my chest while I played a game of telephone with the indigenous people of Sudan. Reddit User: texasphotog

In the Wrong Group

I went to Europe on a school trip, which I paid for myself through working every school holiday for years. When in Paris, we were supposed to stay in groups of 5 or 6. None of my friends came on the trip, so I was put with a group of popular kids. We were looking around a boutique when I went to look at some hoodies while they were looking at lingerie….

Photo: creativecommons.org/ilya_ktsn

We promised to meet out the front of the store at 2 pm, so at 1:50pm, I’m at the front of the shop waiting. At 2:10, I’ve gone on both levels of the shop and realize they’d left me here alone, and they weren’t going to come back. So I wait next to this massive security guard who keeps asking me things in French. I then leave and wander the streets of Paris by myself for half an hour….

I’m pretty sure that someone’s following me and I’m terrified, so I run and wait in a coffee shop for a while until finally I see the teachers and stay with them for the rest of the trip. We run into my group, and they blame me for getting lost. I was only 15. I was bullied during the rest of the trip. Reddit User: [redacted]

Girls on the Internet

In my early 20s, I was very dumb and very lonely, I had just discovered the ‘joy’ of chat rooms and such and thought it was great and that it was a great way to meet girls. One of these was from the US (I’m from the UK), and I decided, despite almost every single indication that this was a really stupid idea, that I would go and visit her….

Photo: creativecommons.org/zhaohui008008

We spoke about it, and it was agreed that I would be staying with her aunt, and they would collect me from the airport when I arrived. I waited in the lobby, and waited and waited…and after calling me, they told me that I needed to get a bus. They said that I needed to figure it out, so I got a taxi instead, and it cost me $300….

The family greeted me, gave me some pizza, and showed me around, but there was something or someone missing. There was no sign of this girl that I was supposed to be meeting. They called her to let her know I was there, but she didn’t show. She came over the next day for a short visit, and within the first few minutes, I knew that I’d made a huge mistake; she clearly didn’t want me to be there at all….

I was due to stay for around three weeks, most of which was spent hanging around with this girl’s aunt and her boyfriend and kids. I rarely saw the girl, and she made almost no effort to even speak to me. I spent most of my time washing dishes and smoking. I had agreed to pay some rent for my stay, but the aunt used me to pay for her groceries too, so I spent the majority of my money on them….

Over the next few days, things went to garbage. Another aunt’s psychotic ex-husband, who threatened her, threatened to come over to deal with me. Then the aunt told me that girl I was supposed to meet does this kind of thing all the time. The aunt later called security on me, saying that I was flashing myself to her kids and that I was being violent. I paid £200 to go home the next day. Reddit User: Jim_swanky

Landing Headfirst and a Busted Knee

Years ago, back when I was a traveling musician, I had a show in Melbourne with some friends of mine, and we decided to make a road trip of it and drive there from Adelaide with a couple of friends. We would have to drive overnight, so we arrived early the next morning and found out that there was a party just off the highway in the Adelaide Hills that same night….

Photo: creativecommons.org/osseous

So we stopped off and had a lot of fun. After a while, I went to go chill in the car park and was sitting on the hood of the car. My posse came back and decided it was time to go. The driver also decided it would be funny to start driving while I was still on the hood. He wasn’t exactly flooring it, but I turned around and yelled for him to stop….

And he did. Very, very suddenly. I flew off and soared a good couple of meters and landed headfirst on the gravel, which took out a sizeable chunk of my right knee; you could see bits of fat. I felt a bit funny, but it’s cool, I’ll be alright, let’s just get to Melbourne. We stopped off at a roadhouse on the way, put some antiseptic on my knee, and that was it….

We got to Melbourne, and I got on stage later that night and made it through maybe two minutes before my busted up knee gave way. I had to hobble off, dragging my leg like a zombie in front of a full house. I promptly vomited all over a couch, passed out for a few minutes, and then spent the rest of the weekend in bed nursing a concussion. Reddit User: g-swift

Thanksgiving Escargot

My family and I all took a trip down to South Padre to spend Thanksgiving break in our beach house. On the first night of the trip, we were at a nice restaurant, and I decided to be adventurous and try the snails, and to this day, I still don’t know why I did. Around midnight my stomach decided that it was having none of that escargot….

Photo: creativecommons.org/coljac

I spent the next few hours trying to remove all traces of snail from my body. I spent the next few days living off of Alka-Seltzer and crackers, and I could barely even keep that down. Thanksgiving day was spent alone in a beach house dry-heaving while the rest of my family went out for a pleasant feast. Reddit User: iamintothat

The Reason I Don’t Travel

I don’t travel very often, simply because I’m lazy, but I was forced into visiting my aunt who lived two cities away. The trip would consist of one small trip to the Metrorail, and then a longer one on a proper train. Carrying all my luggage, I headed onto the escalator, which proceeded to break down. Fine, I thought, I’ll get up to the top level via elevator. Which then also broke….

Photo: creativecommons.org/srepetsk

I had to wait in a smelly cesspool for 15 minutes before it started back up. Finally, I make it to the boarding area, only to find the Metrorail would be delayed for a few hours, as someone willingly threw stuff on the track while a train was coming. As you would expect, one carriage required some cleanup. I stuck it out and just waited….

The trip to the train station wasn’t bad, but I couldn’t help but notice that the number on the train was 666. At this point, half of the remaining crowd turns around and leaves. Forget that. I proceeded to board the train. The trip was fine, and my aunt’s house was awful. See why I prefer to stay at home? Reddit User: LotoSage

Doing It on My Own

When I was about 6 or 7, I went on a trip to an indoor water park in Wisconsin Dells. I had already had a couple of years of swimming lessons, and although I was good for my age. I had to go with my parents on all of the rides. On one occasion, my dad, who was in front of me, let me go alone. He went first, then I followed by myself….

Photo: creativecommons.org/jchessma

On this particular ride, you had to use a raft, so I set mine down in the entry shoot, and the lifeguard held it while I got in. Then he asks, “Are you ready?” and I say, “Yes,” so he kicks the raft, and it just flies out from under me. I try to grab for anything that could stop me from going down but couldn’t….

So, I’m going down this ride scared that I’m going to die, or we will get kicked out. The next thing I remember is flying out of the ride and hitting the water so hard that I just sink. I distinctly remember looking up at the top of the water wondering, “What do I do?” Next thing I remember is the lifeguard at the bottom jumping in and grabbing me and handing me over to my father. Reddit User: cornhuskers12

Boiled Eggs and Whipped Cream

Flew down to Florida to meet my friend and join him on a road trip back to Seattle. We stayed at his grandmother’s apartment that she was just moving out of, as she had gotten a new place at a retirement home a little ways away. When we got there, the only thing left in the apartment to eat were some old boiled eggs she had left in the refrigerator and a can of whipped cream….

Photo: creativecommons.org/Teresa Trimm

I ate a couple of boiled eggs, and my friend ate boiled eggs with whipped cream. Flash forward a couple of hours, and he starts to have bad gas inside the car. We’re on the freeway, traveling at 60+ mph, and I have my head all the way out the passenger window, and I was still gagging because the smell was so atrocious. Lesson learned. Reddit User: RiverDriver83

A Stop in Aruba

Back when I was in high school, I went on a cruise, and when we got to Aruba, we went on a “3-hour” van tour around the island. People were allowed to drink in the van, but this one lady took her drinking to another level. She was so drunk that she, in front of her 8-year-old, got naked at the beach….

Photo: creativecommons.org/matt512

To make matters worse, she was there with her “cousin” who was some dude she was clearly having a relationship with but just didn’t want to explain it to her daughter. A little while goes by, and not only does she puke everywhere, but then accidentally goes #2 on herself. Then we had to drive 20 minutes back to the ship. It was awful. Reddit User: juskajo

Doggie Don’t

My parents, aunt, my dog, and I went on a car trip to Las Vegas. The ride was about 10 hours long, and about half-way through, my dog is shaking slightly as she’s standing in my lap with her head out of the window. I’m slightly perplexed about this behavior but brush it off as her being slightly cold and hug her a little closer….

Photo: creativecommons.org/InternetBullet

Suddenly, she releases all the diarrhea she’s been holding in since we left. All those days of walking her didn’t prepare me for this mess. On the grass, it seems a reasonable amount to clean up. But on top of me, that was a massive flash flood of lumpy and watery godforsaken horror. To add insult to injury, I puked a little from the smell….

My aunt was freaking out since she was sitting next to me, and my dad nearly canceled the trip because he was so angry. We ended up throwing out the entire second-row seat along with my soiled clothes. The multi-shaded seat belt remained (unfortunately), and my dog had to stay on the floor of the car for the rest of the trip. Reddit User: 3liPunk

A Weekend Getaway

A few years back, I took my girlfriend at the time to St. Louis for a weekend getaway. I got a pretty decent hotel room and made a bunch of plans. I paid for everything on the trip, but little did I know that she had plans of her own. I found out that she was cheating on me with her ex-boyfriend on the first of three days we were there….

Photo: creativecommons.org/dallasfloerphotography

I tried to salvage the trip by telling myself it was all alright, but I was angry. The big nail in the coffin? I carried all of our stuff out and asked her to grab my guitar. I get out to the car, pack everything, and she comes out and shuts the trunk. I think she has my guitar in the trunk, so I drive off. Get home and realize she left it in the hotel room. Reddit User: Black Plazma