Travel Horror Stories

Travel Horror Stories

We asked the people of Reddit to give us thier worst, and sadly they complied.

"What surprises me is how flexible and patient people are, without getting credit."
Rachel Hawkins
Editor

I was backpacking through Europe

with a friend after our freshman year of college. We had bought a Eurail Pass and were taking an overnight train from Prague to Budapest.

Around 3  in the morning we get woken up by banging on our compartment door. It turns out that we had been told the wrong train itinerary and were going through Slovakia on our way to Hungary instead of Austria as we had thought.

In broken English, the Slovakian conductor tells us that our passes don’t work in this country and we have to get off the train. It’s the middle of the night in some tiny town in rural Slovakia. So we decide to try and pay him off. “What do you have?” he asks.
We end up paying him all of our extra cash in 4 different currencies (dollars, pounds, euros, and korunas) but got to stay on board. Made it safely the next morning to Budapest.

The day before flying home from Costa Rica

I became deathly ill. I get to the airport the next morning still extremely sick and then finally sat on the plane, trying not to explode. To my horror, the flight was overbooked and I was the only one kicked off. So here I was stuck in Costa Rica without a hotel and having spent all my money. (I didn’t have a cell phone) I literally wandered down the street to the first hotel I found and it was run by an American expat. I basically threw myself at his feet, explained the story, and he let me stay the night for free as long as I sent the money later. I was so thankful. So I spent the next 24 hours glued to the toilet and shower, wondering “does Teeth Whitening expire“? I figured that must have been what made me so sick . (It was not) I flew out the next day and paid the man as soon as I got home.

Was drunk in a cab one time on the way home from the bar in Beijing

Tried to pay the driver, but he kept handing my bills back saying they were fake. A drunken argument in Chinese ensued until he finally took my money and let me get out. A few weeks later I was trying to pay an admission fee, and the cashier started flipping out on me because she had run my bills through a machine and they were fake. Turns out the cab driver had been switching out my cash for fake notes.

Flight back to Boston from Arizona had to be diverted to Philly due to a massive blizzard

slamming the northeast from NY to Maine. I wasn’t freaked out until I looked behind me (was seated in the back of the plane) and saw the flight attendants holding hands and one appeared to be praying (so that scared the &&% out of me). Landing was so windy that the plane was pushed to an angle and I could see the full runway that we were approaching by looking out my side window. Last couple hundred feet felt like we just fell out of the air and took a pretty good bump on the ground but was too elated to be on the ground to care. They couldn’t get us on another flight for at least a full day and at that point we were too freaked out to really get back on a plane so we headed over to the rental car kiosk to see what was available.

We had 2 options, a minivan for over $800+ or a Fiat 500 for like $250 (they kill you with the fees for one way trips I found out) so we went with the Fiat (did I mention it was a massive white out blizzard from NY to Maine?). The cherry on top was this Fiat was from one of their Ontario branches so the dash board was listed in KMH rather than MPH, so we drove through a white out in a tiny Fiat (while trying to guesstimate how fast I was going) leaving Philly at 9pm and arriving home just after 5am the next day. I must tip my cap to the Fiat, that lil bastard got me home safe in some of the worst driving conditions I had to deal with and I made it from Philly to Natick, MA on one single tank of gas.

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