It’s been 17 YEARS since I first travelled overseas! I’m 1 country away from setting foot on 40 different countries worldwide and today I thought I’d share some of my travel mishap memories! It’s a known fact that travel isn’t always glamorous, but you know what, even during the minor inconveniences I wouldn’t change my travels for anything! Everything in this list helped me grow or challenged me in some way. Things can happen when you travel in your home country too not just when you’re overseas. I hope you have as much fun reading it as I did writing it!
The time I stubbed my toe in Tenerife – On my very first trip overseas in 2000, I was 10 years old and I stubbed my toe on a concrete block at a water park. It swelled up and turned black and back at the hotel we tried to ask the Spanish speaking bar staff if we could have a cup of ice, just a cup of ice. They couldn’t understand why we wanted no drink with our ice!
The time a bug bite blistered to the size of half a ping pong ball – The most recent of my travel mishaps! I’ve had what I like to call ‘3rd leg’ twice before, where a bug bite swells into a water blister. On my trip to Belize, the bite swelled to the size of half a ping pong ball and took almost 2 weeks before it finally popped.
The time I split my shorts in Cornwall, UK – I was playing a silly billy on a rope swing. I tried to flip upside down and successfully managed to split my shorts the full length of the crotch. I had to borrow my sister’s hoodie to attempt to cover myself up. I had to walk around all day feeling the breeze!
The time I got smacked in the mouth with a keyring – I had gone to a truck show in the UK and someone on one of the trade stands chucked a keyring into the crowd. It hit me smack bang in the mouth and broke my front teeth!
The time I fell down a rabbit hole – I was walking along a cliff in the UK and I stumbled into a rabbit hole. My ankle went CRACK, swelled up and went black and I nearly passed out. I spent the week stumbling around in a stretchy bandage we bought in a £1 shop and I soldiered on. I never found out if it was broken or not, I wasn’t going to spend my holiday in A&E!
The time I slipped over in a stream – HA, who am I kidding?! This has happened multiple times and it’s always when I have no spare clothes to change in to!
The time I dropped my camera in Portugal – I had just arrived in Lisbon, Portugal with my Sis for a weekend city break. I had taken SEVEN photos before I dropped my camera and it landed smack bang on its lens and refused to work. Thankfully I had my iPod and the use of my sister’s camera but I was still gutted! This was the last photo I took before smashing it under the archway at the far end of the shot…
The time we got stuck up a mountain in New Mexico, USA – It was 100f in Albuquerque, we were all wearing shorts and t-shirts and we decided to go on the ‘Sandia Peak Tramway’. As soon as we got to the top a storm rolled in. There was thunder and lightening, it started hail stoning. The plug sockets in the cable car station were sparking and we were trapped for an hour until it was safe to run the tram again. We never even left the top station!
The time I had to cross a river with my luggage balanced on my head – I stayed on a beach in Costa Rica for a surf and sea turtle conservation project. The only way to reach my accommodation was to cross a river. I was told it was only knee deep but as I waded further out it ended up reaching my chest! It’s amazing how much strength you have to hold 2 bags above your head when it counts!
The time our hostel in Australia had bed bugs – We had heard from other guests that one side of the hostel had been closed for de-fumigation because there were bed bugs. We were only staying for a couple of nights so decided what we didn’t know wouldn’t hurt us so just refused to inspect the mattresses. On leaving we braved it and all 4 beds in our room did indeed have bugs between the bottom sheet and mattress.
The time our caravan awning nearly blew away – It was the last day of our holiday in Devon, UK and we had to take down our caravan awning. The wind whipped the whole thing from our hands and it went flying over the roof of the caravan! Thankfully the only damage was a bent pole but it could have hit surrounding cars, people or flipped the caravan! We had to lay down on the ground sheet when we were trying to fold it up so they didn’t fly away!
The Transport Technical Faults
The time my Costa Rican long distance bus had a flat tyre – The bus pulled over in the middle of nowhere and we had no idea why. Next thing, the bus is being jacked up and the tyre was taken off! It was really interesting because this tiny little garage fixed it ‘the old fashioned way’, by setting it on fire! (Garage = Featured Image)
The time the plane ‘failed its safety checks’ in the UK – I won’t mention airlines in this one, but we were standing in the tunnel ready to board when an announcement was made that the flight was cancelled because it failed its safety checks…funny how when everyone was at the customer service desk getting re booked onto a different flight, a flight to Hamburg suddenly boarded our aircraft and took off, thought it failed its checks?
The time the plane had an engine fault – We had boarded our flight from Singapore to London and were all sat ready to leave. An announcement came over that the plane had an engine fault and they were just trying to fix it. Slightly concerning when we were just about to make a 13 hour trip on a plane with a faulty engine! Needless to say, we got back OK.
The time the plane had a dodgy wing – Just like the flight above, our departure time for my flight from America back to the UK was getting closer and closer and a whole bunch of people were gathered around the wing, shining torches and looking confused. There was a hydraulic leak but they managed to fix it with only a small delay. Still, you put trust in these planes and so there was a lot of praying that it didn’t go wrong during take off or landing!
The time our Australian camper van had a flat battery – Don’t get me wrong, I loved our camper van. We were told that driving the distances we were going each day would be more than enough to give the battery a full charge each day. However, once we had parked up, it’d only ever last for around an hour before the fridge would go warm and all the lights would go out. There was a lot of sitting around in the dark with head torches!
The time my holiday rep left me at the airport bar in Jamaica – The rep was sorting out all the arriving passengers onto their correct resort bus. There wasn’t many staying at my resort and the bus hadn’t yet arrived so she told me to wait on a bar stall and she’d be back. She forgot me but thankfully I used my initiative and after a while decided to go and find the bus myself. She saw me at the meeting the next day and was like “oh no! I forgot you!”
The Cancelled Tours
The time the Australian ticket agency went bust – I rang up the night before our white water rafting trip to confirm the pick up when we were told they had no record of us booking. I had the ticket in my hand and it had all been paid for! Turns out the company had gone bust between me booking and the day of the tour so they had never passed our money or booking details onto the company. We ended up rebooking with another company and ended up in their promo video!
The time not enough people were booked on the tour – One of my personal favourites. I’ve attempted to go river surfing 3 TIMES in 3 different countries and each time the tour has been cancelled because not enough people have been booked on it. Guess I’m destined not to do it!
The time the company got the day wrong – When I was in Whistler, Canada, I had booked to go wake boarding. I got on the bus to the next town along, went to the meeting point at the lake and there was no boat or any people, the place was deserted. I rang up the guy and he tried to tell me that I had booked for the following week and had the date wrong, despite having my confirmation email in my hand telling me I was definitely there on the right day. Apparently I wasn’t the first booking that had happened too. The tourist information centre even said they were no longer going to advertise his company because of how unreliable he was.
The time the ticket machine change return in Budapest was plugged – I actually wrote a full post about this experience which you can find in my post “How To Avoid This Budapest Scam“. I discovered the note return hole had been plugged with wet tissue but I managed to dig it out and force my change out with a key. After we walked away, our group spotted the guy re plugging it and get on the train…he then got off at the next stop and repeated the process again…
The time we got scammed by a taxi driver in Mexico – We could NOT find our hotel transport after my flight into Mexico was delayed. There was nothing with my name or the hotel name written on so we had no choice but to get a taxi, which was bad enough because I had already paid for the transfer. It made things worse when we discovered we’d actually been charged twice the going rate by the taxi that ended up taking us to our resort. I was annoyed because I hadn’t looked into this because I assumed there’d be no need considering we had a pick up booked! The hotel didn’t want to know. They had just marked us down as a no show so it was ‘our fault’.
The time I was ‘Henna-ed’ against my will – We were walking through Jemaa el-Fna square in Morocco when a lady grabbed my hand and started drawing on me with henna ink. I tried to pull away but she just held tighter. In the process the henna smudged all over me and when the lady finally released me she demanded money saying I was rich and I had to pay. I refused because she wanted $60 for something I didn’t ask for and it was a big brown smudged mess. I had also just popped out for a drink so was carrying next to no money on me anyway. The sad thing is I was planning on having one done, I just wish she’d have let me choose a design rather than forcing one on me that looked like a 4 year old had attacked me with a Sharpie.
The time I was pushed through a Metro barrier in Barcelona (and in London) – Yep, this seems to be a common one. Ticket dodgers will push through the barrier behind you, essentially getting through on your travel card so they get a free ride. It happened in Barcelona and it’s happened multiple times in London (but I used to live near London so I don’t really count that as travelling!)
The time we were threatened by a Trump hater in Chicago, USA – We were happily minding our own business in our Uber, when a young lad got out of his car, strolled across a busy main road without looking and started shouting ‘F*** TRUMP!!!’ through our car window. We were all stunned into silence just thinking is this kid for real?! I bet his Mum was proud…oh yeah she was…she was sat in the driving seat laughing her head off.
The time someone threatened to stab me in me my sleep – I saved the best until last! I was working on a summer camp in New York and one of my campers (A CHILD!!!), who fancied herself as a bit of a gangster, kindly told me she was going to stab me in my sleep because she didn’t want to do something that I had asked of her. Needless to say, her parents were called and she was removed from the camp as there had been several cases of her displaying threatening behaviour!
Have you experienced any travel mishaps? (Or am I just an accident magnet?!) Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to read them!!