15 Tourists Reveal Their Embarrassing Travel Stories So You Don't Make The Same Mistakes

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Travel experts: vote up the stories that taught you a valuable lesson.

Raise your hand if you ever got involved in an awkward situation while being far away from home. Did you get that burning sensation from embarrassment inside your guts? Don't worry, you are not alone. Read these embarrassing travel stories to feel a little bit better about yourself and also learn from others' mistakes. Maybe next time you'll know what not to do when you travel. Vote up your favorite stories!


  • 1
    6 VOTES

    Had An Unclothed Tent Adventure

    From Redditor u/armadillorevolution:

    This one's not so bad and entirely our fault, but I was camping at a popular campsite in an area with fast wind gusts.

    We had just arrived, and we wanted to hike over the dunes to the ocean before the sunset to take a quick dip, so we set up our cheap, poorly made tent very quickly and did not stake it down well at all, then all three of us climbed inside to change into our swimsuits.

    You know what's coming next - wind! A huge gust picked up our tent, with us inside it in various states of undress. Our sh*tty attempts at staking in the loose sandy ground did nothing, and the tent was blowing up all around us. In an attempt to hold the side of the tent down, my friend scrambled to the corner but tripped and fell into the side instead, knocking it over completely and snapping one of the poles.

    Some strangers came over to help hold it steady so we (still mostly without clothes) could climb out of our upside-down, now broken tent, that was blowing around like a windsock.

  • 2
    6 VOTES

    Lost Their Bathing Suit On A Cruise

    From a former Redditor

    The first day at sea on a Royal Caribbean Cruise I waited 20 minutes for the wave rider. I didn't tie up my shorts. Went on, flew off, swimming shorts flew off. Totally undressed in front of other passengers, probably 50+ people. No joke, tie your swim trunks on before getting on [a] wave rider. The water pressure is strong.

  • 3
    11 VOTES

    Bathroom Trip Led To An Uncomfortable Train Ride

    From Redditor u/AussieShacky:

    A few years back, my wife and I were traveling around Europe and were about to catch a train from Budapest to Romania. We arrived at the station about two hours before boarding commenced, as we wanted to make sure we found the right train and give ourselves plenty of time. We were lucky enough to find a conductor who stepped off the carriage that we thought we were going to be traveling on. He was a really lovely guy who actually let us on the train well before any passengers should have boarded and showed us to our private sleeper compartment while telling us in broken English that we would have to go back out onto the platform with our tickets just before boarding time.

    We settled in for about an hour and a half when we noticed people starting to cue up on the platform, [and] decided that it was probably time to hop off so we could hand over our tickets and reboard the train. I thought I would pop into the bathroom before we went outside and stood in line, so I ducked into the toilet at the end of the corridor just next to the exit, dropped my pants, sat down on the toilet and did my business... and a rather big business it was too, thanks to some dodgy Hungarian food the night before.

    The next thing I know someone is banging on the door, so I quickly finish and open the door to be greeted by the same "lovely conductor" who is yammering away in a mix of Hungarian and Romanian gibberish. As I stepped off the train onto the platform, I saw my wife's face, who was looking straight at me, wide-eyed, mouth agape, in what I can only describe as a look of pure horror... Wondering what the hell was going on, I looked at the rest of the passengers, whose faces ranged from absolute disgust to comedic hysteria. The conductor kept up his barrage and I heard the word "bathroom" and "station" as he pointed down at the tracks, right next to the steps everyone will be using to get back onto the train...

    This is where time seemed to slow, as the realization of what had happened slowly set in while I processed the conductor's strange and unexpected behavior, my wife's look of shock, and the various expressions on the faces of the thirty-something passengers lined up alongside the train. As I started to repeat in my head, "Please don't let it be what I think it is," I glanced down towards the tracks, and sure enough, there it sat... a big, stinking, steaming pile of poo... toilet paper and all... right in front of all the passengers.

    How was I supposed to know that the toilets on older trains empty straight out onto the tracks... (other than the sign I saw on the back of the toilet door that I didn't see on my first visit).

    I had to stand there in line with everyone for almost 20 minutes while everyone held their noses and gave me filthy looks... All the while imagining them witness the "plop-plop-plop" of my business falling the 2-3 feet from the underside of the train onto the tracks right next to them.

    Talk about an uncomfortable train ride... I was too embarrassed to step out of my cabin for the entire 26-hour trip.

  • 4
    8 VOTES

    Ate Bad Food And Ruined A Meditative Experience

    From Redditor u/samwoolfe1:

    Sh*t myself in a monastery during a meditation retreat after getting the most horrendous food poisoning I've ever had.

  • 5
    3 VOTES

    Was Accidentally Vain In Spanish

    From Redditor u/thewanderingblonde:

    I was traveling through Guatemala and was spending a few days at Lake Atitlan. I split up my stay there between two towns (Santa Cruz and San Pedro) and had just arrived in San Pedro and was trying to find my hostel.

    I ended up getting a bit turned around, and was getting annoyed at myself as I lugged my backpack around searching for it in the heat. At one point I walked past a group of five to six local guys, who shouted some sort of catcall at me.

    I just wanted to check into my hostel and shower, so I was like, "Screw it, I'll ask these guys if they know where it is." They seemed surprised when I stopped to talk to them but ended up being really helpful and gave me solid directions.

    Naturally, they also asked me about my travels in Guatemala and where I was from, and even though my Spanish is absolute sh*t I did my best to communicate with them. At some point, they totally lost me in the conversation, and I couldn't follow what they were saying at all until I heard them say how beautiful the lake was.

    Happy to finally understand something, I started enthusiastically agreeing with them, listing off basically every synonym for "beautiful" that I knew in Spanish. Then I realized that they all had these absolute sh*t-eating grins, and all at once they started hysterically laughing. I was obviously extremely confused and just had this blank stare as I tried to figure out what I had missed.

    One of the guys finally broke it down for me really slowly and explained that they weren't complimenting the lake, they were complimenting me, and I had responded by excitedly agreeing with them. (Having traveled alone in Latin America before, I should have known.)

    I'm pretty sure I instantly turned red and was just like, "Oh, thanks," which just made them laugh harder. So finally I just turned around and left, and I could still hear them laughing as I walked away.

  • 6
    3 VOTES

    Got Sick At The Worst Possible Time In Madrid

    From Redditor u/ooo-ooo-oooyea:

    The first time I went to Europe was on a "school" trip. Basically, pay $700 and you get to go to Europe for 10 days, a totally awesome deal! Well, a few days before the trip I get ill, but I power through it because, um, I get to go to Europe.

    So we arrive in Madrid, we have dinner, all is well. The next day I'm feeling pretty sh*tty, but wow, I'm in freaking Madrid - we need to see stuff! So we arrive at some sort of Royal Palace, and I start to feel my illness coming back. We are in a room with ornate oriental rugs, and I start vomiting... My dad (who was a chaperone... lucky guy) tries catching the vomit in his hat... but that did no good. A guard sees what is happening and chases us out of the palace, where we had to wait until the other people finished the tour.

    I had to skip the trip to Toledo and was in pretty bad shape the next few days. The good news is I recovered, only to get caught in a wave in Italy and hurt myself on some rocks and bleed everywhere.

    My big lesson from that trip is I really, really, hate bus tours... that and pay attention to my body and my surroundings.