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

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

One thing you can count on when you travel is that you will make memories. Whether those memories are good or bad will depend on whether you know what to avoid when you travel. So, these travelers have you covered with this list of the most terrible travel horror stories that will either make you laugh or make you never want to commit the same mistakes. Check them out and vote for your favorites!


  • 1
    945 VOTES

    Didn't Look Close Enough At The Hotel And Got Swarmed By Bugs

    From Redditor u/doomladen:

    The worst hotel I ever stayed at was in Daraa, just over the border in Syria after I spent the day traveling from Jordan (this was 20 odd years ago). This place didn't look too sketchy at first glance. I fell asleep but woke a couple of hours later COVERED in bed bugs and bitten to hell. I end up sleeping on the floor. In the morning I go to the loo and it's like the Apocalypse in there. As if a prison dirty protest had been taking place for 10 years. Horse-sized cockroaches everywhere and somewhere beneath the smeared sh*t and detritus was possibly a hole in the ground where you're meant to sh*t. It was so bad that when Trainspotting came out in the cinema a year or two later, I laughed at the toilet scene because it was so tame compared to what I'd seen in Syria.

    945 votes
  • 2
    804 VOTES

    Flew With The Wrong Airline And Got Stuck For Eight Hours

    From Redditor u/StenFace:

    Getting stuck in Manila airport for 8 hours. It was supposed to just be a quick stopover.

    Some kinda wild storm started, the power kept cutting in and out, none of the food stores took cards as payment, there were no ATMs, the advertised free Wifi wasn't working, they changed our departure gate three times (and we only figured this out because we kept asking staff why our flight wasn't listed on the gate's TV), none of the staff seemed to give a flying f*ck about anything (some even seemed to be taking a nap at their station- leaning on countertops or leaning back in chairs with their eyes closed), the ONE toilet block they had for the entire terminal had 4 cubicles (one was being used as a storage closet though).

    And then as I was waiting in the f*cking huge line for this toilet, word spreads down the line that the water is now not working and the toilets are all out of order. So everyone just keeps using them, and piling more and more paper and waste into the bowl.

    Needless to say, the food on the actual plane sucked and I'm never flying with Philippine Airlines ever, ever again.

    804 votes
  • 3
    644 VOTES

    Accidentally Booked A Boat Instead Of A Hotel

    From Redditor u/ihopeyoulikeapples:

    Signed up for a three-day trip to Amsterdam that said it had good accommodations in the center of the city. It actually turned out to be a boat that was docked in a canal nowhere near anything. It was the middle of winter and there was no heat on the boat. The sewage system malfunctioned and leaked everywhere on the second day so the boat stunk. There was nowhere to even buy food nearby so I spent most of the trip huddled under a blanket feeling cold and hungry and wishing I had the energy to walk into the city.

    644 votes
  • 4
    617 VOTES

    Fraternized With The Wrong People In Belize

    From Redditor u/gottagetget:

    Was once almost beaten by locals at a dance club in Central America. In the same area, I also somehow found myself on an abandoned rooftop with no lights, accompanied by a man who called himself Cobra, having just met him that night, after he told me that he used to slay people from the bushes, like Scream, with the strength of Achilles. He then pulled out a knife and told me he knew where I was sleeping that night. Funny thing is, he actually did. Belize can be a weird place.

    617 votes
  • 5
    956 VOTES

    Got Soaked In A Public Bathroom

    From Redditor u/Adrienne27:

    Went to use one of those free-standing, self-cleaning bathrooms in Paris. I didn't know you had to let the doors close and let it run its wash cycle after every use. I went in immediately after someone walked out and got sprayed by dozens of jets loaded with water and blue cleaning fluid.

    956 votes
  • 6
    525 VOTES

    Had To Sprint Back After Hearing Their Mother Scream

    From Redditor u/Soy_tu_papa:

    My parents almost had their stuff taken in Colombia. My brother and I were about 50yds ahead of them and heard my mom scream in panic. Sprinted back, just in time, to see her swing her purse around and connect. Guy went down hard thanks to the $1200 Nikon in her purse.

    525 votes