15 People Reveal Their Holiday Travel Horror Stories So You Don't Make The Same Mistakes

List Rules
Travelers and holiday lovers: vote up the worst holiday stories you don't want to replicate.

The holidays are already stressful. When you've got to hop on a plane to visit your family they get even more complicated. There are plenty of holiday travel horror stories, and they can happen to any of us. To avoid them (or to revel in their misery), check out this eye-opening list of stories that happened to these holiday travelers! 


  • 1
    9 VOTES

    A Stressful Thanksgiving Was Spent At The Airport

    From Redditor u/cuppycakeofpain:

    My wife and I booked a flight back in November to leave on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving at 6:00 in the morning. As we came through security, we got a message via the intercom that our flight had been delayed due to mechanical troubles. After this, they would push back the flight's ETD by an hour every hour. This continued until about 12:00 PM, when they announced the new departure time was 1:00 PM. About five minutes later, they amended their announcement to an earlier time: 12:30 PM. "Ah-ha!" We naively thought, "that means we're going to go!"

    No such luck. It took them until 2:00 PM to cancel the flight outright. Then, we started the fun of waiting in line to figure out what our options were. The only message we got from airport personnel was that they were taking some time to 're-organize.' After an hour, my wife decided to call the airline and we got helped right away. This whole time, the line hadn't moved at all -- the genius customer service person at the front was not doing anything to move the line, and there was only one person for everyone on the flight who was delayed.

    We found out we were booked on the same flight the next day (Thanksgiving Day) at the same time.

    So we got up at 4:00 AM again on Thanksgiving Day. A nasty fog surrounded the part of town where the airport sits. Not a good sign. Immediately upon entering the airport, we saw a massive line at our airline's ticket counter. We waited two hours in line with no contact from airport staff. We finally got re-booked and got to our destination by Thanksgiving dinner time.

  • 2
    9 VOTES

    Driving After A Snow Storm Almost Ended Badly

    From Redditor u/nocturnalpotatoes:

    Driving to my parents for the holidays after a snow storm, got to the top of a very steep hill. Luckily, I was driving slow enough to realize that the road had become sheer ice and there were many cars off to the side and zig zagging their way down. I took a deep breath woke up my passanger and said "here we f*cking go," it took a good while to get safely down the hill and it was really intense, but I did it.

  • 3
    6 VOTES

    Broke An Ankle In Amsterdam Over The Holidays

    From Redditor u/brazillian_nut:

    My wife and I went to Amsterdam for the holidays, the Mecca for cyclists. On the second day, we rented bikes and were on our way to breakfast. About 1km in I decided to stop and check my map. She was stopping behind me, lost her balance, and fell on her own, breaking her ankle. The trip ended right there.

    Spent the rest of the day at the hospital, to find out in the very end surgery would be required. The 40-day minimum recuperation period made us decide to come back home and do everything from here. A 20-day trip through 4 countries where we would meet friends and family along the way turned into 4 days in a room at a stranger's home (Airbnb).

    The kicker is I was also denied restitution for my re-scheduled flight by the insurance company.

  • 4
    14 VOTES

    Didn't Get Invited To Disney World For Christmas

    From Redditor u/nawmynameisclarence:

    Child of divorce. Dad remarried someone with a child and had 2 more. For Christmas, the big gift was a trip to Disney World.

    I wasn't invited.

    47 and still salty. That one hurt.

  • 5
    16 VOTES

    Everything Went Wrong On A Trip To Disneyland Paris

    From Redditor u/G1Yang2001:

    Me, my sister and my parents all went to Disneyland in France for the holidays when I was very young (3 or 4 years old I think). I don't remember everything, but I did ask my mom and dad about it so here's some of the stuff that went wrong:

    The suitcase with mine and my mom's stuff was lost at the airport and got sent to somewhere in Africa (I have no idea how it got on that flight from our Britain to France flight, but whatever). We would only get the suitcase back on the day before we left (It was really bad for me because my teddy bear was in that suitcase. Don't worry, nothing was taken out of the suitcase and I got my teddy back)

    Our original hotel had no rooms even though we had booked it so we had to go to a different hotel.

    In that hotel, we were given the keys to a room that people were already in so we had to go back downstairs

    For whatever reason, virtually none of the rides were operating while we were at the park so we couldn't even go on them.

    On the day we were going back, someone had left their suitcase at the airport. The French authorities decided to evacuate the area and blow up the f*cking suitcase. We know that it was blown up because someone ran past the taxi we were in yelling "Bomba! Bomba!" which was then followed by a loud bang. So, that meant we were slightly delayed leaving France while the authorities blew up the suitcase.

    Honestly, looking back on the entire thing it feels like we got stuck in some wild Monty Python sketch.

  • 6
    10 VOTES

    Made The Trip To A Farm For Christmas, Came Back With A Cold

    From Redditor u/carmelacorleone:

    There's this place called Mike's Farm about two and a half hours from my town and at Christmas, they do a hay-ride through their Christmas light set-up, it's always stunning. The food is great, too. The year I turned 9, my great-grandmother, then 92 years old, wanted to go see the lights so myself, my mother and grandmother, great-grandma, and two of my grandma's sisters, all made the trip up. Just before the hayride it started raining, hard. And, it was about 36f out. The farm was still going to go ahead with the ride and great-grandmama insisted so we went. I was little and wet and cold. I cried the whole time. Great-grandmama, a cold and mean woman, kept pinching me to make me stop crying, a tactic she used on all the grand and great grandchildren at various events. The cold and wet must have lowered my resistance to illness because two days later I woke with one of the worst colds I've ever had; coughing so hard it felt like my ribs would break, so stuffy I couldn't sleep, throat was raw and sore, and I was achy and shaky.

    I spent Christmas in bed and couldn't even enjoy opening my presents.