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.

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.

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.


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