If you’ve been traveling long enough, you know crazy travel stories are exchanged on a daily basis every minute of the day in every corner of the planet. Here are the best of the best crazy travel stories I’ve heard over the years:
- Getting kicked out of a hostel in Madrid, and sleeping on the street corner near the train station.
- Getting kidnapped, knocked out, and mugged in Ibiza two blocks from the ferry terminal. Wake up in an ally way with nothing except boxers and one flip flop. Spend 7 days on the island trying to get a new passport needed to get on the ferry to get off the island (there is no embassy on the island, but you NEED a passport to get on the ferry), only to sneak into the back of a cargo truck to sneak a trip back to Barcelona.
- Getting locked out on the balcony of a hotel room on the 6th floor (top floor of the building). Not able to speak enough Spanish to explain the situation to someone across the street or down at street level. Have to climb onto the roof of the building, hop through someone else’s balcony to get back to the hallway and into your own room.
- Crashing a motorcycle within 5 feet of where the attendant gave it to you. Within 1 minute of touching the handlebars.
- Taking the wrong train from the airport and into Amsterdam. Got off instead about 45 minutes North of Amsterdam and had to turn around and catch a 40 minute train back into the city.
- Meeting a Nigerian thought to be a US Soldier at the bar, took him home for a fun night, left for work in the morning only to return to an empty apartment.
- Passed out in the lounge of a Vegas casino, and have to be carted back to the hotel room in a wheelchair.
- Getting to Milan train station 1 hour early for a train, board the train only to be told 1 minute before departure that the train was the wrong one and the correct one was 10 tracks over. Run to the correct train and chase it down the railroad tracks but miss it. Wait 4 more hours for the next train to Interlaken (not an entire fail since another cute girl did the same thing).
- Wake up to your plastic table and all the chairs thrown into the tomato garden next door. Realize someone got locked outside and passed out, woke up and got mad, threw your furniture into the garden next door.
- Not traveling — since then you have no amazing travel stories of your own to share with others.
Have any travel fails to add? Leave them in the comments..
[Photo via http://justchuckinit.com/]
…you can take this bit of advice from an unnamed source on Facebook
Step 1. Get Drunk
Step 2.Get shitty drunk
Step 3. Probably vomit.
Step 4. Repeat step 1…
It goes without saying — strive to keep things in order so you don’t have to abide by this advice.
My first backpacking trip was in the summer of 2005 following graduation from University of Washington. Once you decide you’re going backpacking for the 1st time, one of the first major questions to answer is “what to pack?”
My friend and I made the massive mistake of packing sleeping bags. We arrived in London in late June, realized hostels had sheets and that we were not going to need sleeping bags on our journey, knew we didn’t want to carry them around with us for 2 months, and 3 days later we shipped those bulky sleeping bags to my friend’s family’s house in Slovakia from a post office in Paris. Had we not been able to ship them within the EU, we would have just given them to someone on the street.
Lesson: you don’t need a sleeping bag to backpack Europe. And I can assure you beyond a doubt you won’t want to lug a bulky sleeping bag around day after day.
I’m betting every first timer makes a mistake — what’s the biggest rookie mistake you made on your first trip?
I have no clue, but someone is wondering as witnessed by the following piece of data from my Google Analytics:
What do you think? Whatever the number, it’s a sizable chunk — unless you are loaded with money and traveling your whole life instead of shorter stints hitting many places in a single go.
And yes, I think “never going backpacking” is a travel fail.
…in SPAIN of all places! Leaving your passport and an iPhone sitting in plane sight when you are not in the room is just asking for trouble. My roommate got lucky I have no desire for another iPhone and passport, but some people would find this too tempting to resist.
Backpackers should know better than to leave valuables out, particularly in Spain where pick-pocketing and theft is common.
My friend and I just booked our ferry ticket back to Santorini for tomorrow morning. The cost? 47 Euro (for the fast ferry)!! Considering we paid just 16 Euro for a ferry ticket to Crete from Santorini (slow ferry), it doesn’t quite make sense to me. We could have waited until Sunday and paid 40 Euro for the slow ferry (4 hours instead of 2) — but considering we have an empty apartment waiting for us in Santorini and would be forced to pay another 20 Euro a piece for our room here, we decided to book the 47 Euro ticket for tomorrow morning.
I would classify paying 3 times as much to get back as I paid to get here a travel fail. Wouldn’t you?
The breakfast seen below cost me 6 Euro. A tiny glass of orange juice, small coffee, and a banana. Talk about a crappy deal on breakfast!! Usually here in Greece, I can get a complete English breakfast with eggs, bacon, toast, juice, coffee, and beans for 6 Euro.
Note to self: Next time I go on a day trip, bring my own food so the locals can’t gouge me for all I’m worth again.
My buddy and I have been staying in Rethymno (Western Crete) for the past few days hanging out at internet cafes and hitting the beach. However, you can’t visit Crete without hiking the Sumaria Gorge; today was going to be that day for us. We went to the travel agent yesterday, paid our 30 Euro for the trip that was to begin bright and early at 5:30 am this morning, and then tried to hit the sack early to get some rest. But, alas, the trip was not to be — at least not today. We woke up at 5:15 this morning, packed our small backpack with two waters, a small towel, and a camera and set out to find the bus stop that was supposedly right down the street from where we are staying. We were a bit early (5:25), but there was literally no one outside at that hour and we didn’t see any sign of a bus anywhere in sight. We wandered around a bit and decided to ask the two men at the port security booth where the bus stop was. They told us to go to the main bus stop that was about kilometer away. We weren’t sure whether to follow their advice, but set out towards the bus stop anyway. We went a few minutes before realizing that, even if the bus station WAS the place the trip departed from (which we didn’t believe), there was no physical way we’d make it by 5:40 when we were told the bus would depart — so we ventured back toward where we thought the bus was to pick us up a block from our room. We got there a few minutes after 5:40 and saw an middle aged couple in hiking attire sitting waiting for a bus. They told us that they were indeed hiking the Sumaria Gorge, but with a different tour company. They also informed us that we had just missed a bus a few minutes earlier that was from the tour company we were supposed to go with. Hence, we missed our bus by a few minutes as a result of not trusting our gut instincts and instead following the advice of some security men who had no clue what they were talking about. You would think (and we did) that the security men at the port, working the graveyard shift, would know if a bus came by every morning around 5:30. But I guess not…
Instead, as a result of our epic travel fail, I’m sitting at Cafe Galero working again. We visited the travel agency again and he promptly booked us for tomorrow’s trip instead and told us to “not wander off again” – I don’t think there’s any risk of that happening again. Tomorrow bright and early, I WILL be hiking the Sumaria Gorge.
[photos via http://www.mlahanas.de]