The ultimate travel horror stories

My holiday gift to you is a look (and laugh) at other’s travel horror stories. Sometimes, there’s nothing more appropriate than a dose of schadenfreude, to feel better about your situation.

travel horror stories
Just when you think it can’t get any worse, guess what? It can!

Travel horror stories

We’ve all been there. Missed flights, lost luggage, food poisoning ruining your entire vacation. But these aren’t true travel horror stories. Rest assured, somebody always has it worse off than you.

So I asked my blogging pals about their worst family travel stories, and boy, did they deliver. There are a lot of horror stories out there, trust! When the inevitable happens to you, just remember, one day it’ll make for great dinner party conversation.

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kayaking in Belize
(Credit Leigh McAdam of Hike Bike Travel)

When it blew in Belize

One year we went down to Belize for a week of kayaking over the Christmas holidays. When we landed at the airport the first words out of my daughter’s mouth were,  “I could live here.” That feeling lasted precisely three hours.

What changed was the possibility of boa constrictors coming out of the ceilings at our rustic lodge, not to mention the distinct chance giant spiders might walk across you at night. She barely slept a wink. None of us did.

To make matters worse, her tent blew down on Christmas Eve. It was so windy outside and loud in our tent, we didn’t hear her yelling for help. Fortunately someone else did and she spent the night in their tent.

But then for Christmas dinner, the bugs – no seeums, were so bad that my daughter and I ate in a stuffy, hot tent. The moral of our story – ask a lot of questions of tour companies and keep your expectations in check. And don’t be swayed by photos with turquoise coloured waters. Leah McAdam, Hike Bike Travel.

electronic clock

The flight fright

We almost missed our flight because our alarm didn’t go off AND our hotel missed giving us a wake up call. We only woke up because they called when we weren’t there for the airport shuttle.

I’ve never gotten ready so fast! Both of our kids were still in their pyjamas and the baby was still in her nighttime diaper when we left our hotel room. The hotel had the shuttle do a special trip so we would make it on time. And we did! Dana Wheatley, Talking in all Caps

And they’re still married!

How about getting in a huge car crash with a one-year-old on the way to the airport and having to hold her in your bruised arms for a six hour flight while the really old lady next to you talked your ear off, so said child couldn’t sleep. Top it off with your husband not meeting you at the airport. Instead, he decided to go out with his friends even though he knew about the accident. Kathleen Shaver had to endure all that.

Mountain mayhem

We were driving through the mountains and my daughter Hannah got car sick. So we pulled over at a Tim Hortons to deal with the mess and I start peeling her clothes off. It was 30+ degrees out and hornets started attacking us to eat the barf.

You’ve got one kid freaking out, one mom throwing vomit covered clothing across the parking lot and one dad just standing there watching it all go down, because he ‘didn’t know what to do.’ Heather Eigler, Home to Heather

Friends in high places

My son spent part of the plane ride home from Mexico being held by a total stranger, because he was fascinated by the man’s moustache. Leslie Brooks.

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Two kid in car seats
(Credit Farrah Ritter, The Three Under)

Fast fashion

My family of five (plus two giant dogs) were driving home from Michigan to South Carolina at Thanksgiving. My twins had just turned one and my oldest was two-years-old. After 12 long hours on the road, we were putting the boys to bed and I went to look for their pyjamas, but they were nowhere to be found.

My husband figured out while unloading the car, the bag that held ALL of the boys’ clothing had flown off the roof rack somewhere on the freeway. He was afraid to tell me, but finally did when I couldn’t find any pyjamas.

The next day his parents in Michigan agreed to go look for them, driving up and down Highway US 23, in the rain and sleet. Amazingly, they found almost every single piece of their clothing and picked it up among the mud and grime.

They trudged along the median and collecting everything they could, before washing and returning them to me. Farrah Ritter of The Three Under.

What’s your worst family travel story? I’m sure you’ve got one! Please share it in the comment section below. [/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]


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About The Author

5 thoughts on “The ultimate travel horror stories”

  1. Yikes! They were all dreadful but hornets and vomit!? I don’t know if I could recover!

  2. Farrah (@Momofthreeunder)

    Thanks for the inclusion Jody! And uh, I think I might pass on Christmas in a jungle tent for a few more years 🙂

  3. Leigh McAdam (@hikebiketravel)

    @Jody These sure made me laugh – the only good thing you know will come out of a bad situation given plenty of time and space. Sounds like a few of the husbands need to play role reversal.

  4. how about…..destination wedding of my daughter’. A week before the flight the hotel resort in Mexico blew up. That was Sunday. After many call to travel agent and airline that everything was still as scheduled. Then Monday afternoon my credit card company called to cancel my card cause it was compromised and they wouldn’t send new one until after I arrived in Mexico (just call when you arrive at resort and we will send it to you blah blah blah) Then Tuesday daughter got call from travel agent that everyone (except us and two other wedding guests) going to wedding had to decide within 5 hrs if she still wanted her wedding at this resort or they would reschedule it somewhere else. Much hair raising calls to everyone decision was made to remain at resort. The airline me and husband were travelling with and staying at resort with called to confirm on wednesday that our reservations were still good not to worry. Our room that we were scheduled with was one of the ones blown up. We didn’t go with the wedding travel agent cause we had credits with airline to get rid of Friday at TEN MINUTES TO FIVE PM I get a call from the airline that our reservation was canceled (flight was not but resort reservation was) because the decision was made that ALL resort reservation were moved to alternative resort. WHATWHATWHAT…I could either go to other resort (35 miles away from wedding resort) or my card (that was canceled) would be credited for the resort portion. They left me high and dry with no reservation No card, No reservation two days before wedding. NOthing they could do for me…sorry. I called resort they told me to use alternative online travel site cause there were many rooms avail. But no card to use. Had to use credit card of family member for reservation with travelocity or someone like that…I forget which one I eventually used. Got a really good deal on the room after all was said and done.
    The resort was very attentive cause it was almost empty. No line ups for any meals. No line ups at any bars. The beach was almost empty. The resort staff and the guests were like 10 resort staff to every one guest ratio. There were only two wedding that whole week that remained at the resort when there should have been about 15. I’m surprised that the plane actually made it there. After the week of trauma before everyone even arrived – the week of the wedding went off really well. Oh yeah….I was stuck on the phone in the lobby for 2 hrs trying with the credit card company to get someone to understand what should have been done in five minutes. “just use this file no and everything will be okay” is what I was told the week before. And the phone bill to my room was $300+. My card did arrive on Wednesday. If I had gone to the “Meet and Greet” session with the rest of the wedding guest with their travel agent co-ordinator at the resort the company would have let me use their phone for FREEEEEEEEE. But I was stuck in the lobby-on hold-on the payphone talking to MORONS…..
    This was the first time we actually went on a planned vacation. Every other vacation we ever took ever…was a last minute thing. Moral of this story…..Never plan a vacation 9 months in advance.
    sorry for the length of this.

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