How to Cope with Travel Mistakes (Because I Can’t Stop Making Them)

lost from mistakes made while traveling
I make a lot of mistakes. Despite years of constant travel to over seventy countries, I can’t believe how often I still make rookie mistakes when I should know better. For example, in the last couple of months alone, I have:

  • Almost gone to the wrong airport – twice.
  • Mistakenly booked two plane tickets for the wrong day (yay cancelation fees!).
  • Overpaid for a taxi when I knew I was being ripped off.
  • Forgot to haggle for market goods (thus overpaying).
  • Forgot to buy travel insurance until three days into my trip.
  • Didn’t pack shorts on a trip to a tropical destination.
  • Forgot to pre-book accommodation during Christmas.
  • Didn’t rent a car in Curacao (despite knowing I should) because I am cheap and ended up missing a lot of the island because the bus didn’t go there.

Those are just the ones I remember off the top of my head in the last few months. There are countless other instances in which I break my 27 cardinal travel rules (hence why rule #27 is the most important).

After all these years on the road, I still mess up.

A lot.

Everyday, I receive a lot of emails from new travelers that are filled with worry, fear, and concern. Just a few days ago, a girl who was preparing to study abroad told me she thought she was making the biggest mistake of her young adult life. Looking at her two suitcases filled her with dread. Another guy worried that he wouldn’t ever really be “ready” to travel. And another reader was concerned about her lack of worldliness would only lead her to screwing up.

And like many, many other people, they e-mailed me asking help. How can they avoid mistakes? How can they ensure that everything is going to go smoothly?

It’s easy to look around and see travel writers as “experts” and “gurus” who seem to travel through the world with seamless effort. We glide through airports, make instant friends with locals, and blend seamlessly into new and unknown cultures. We’re like ninjas.

But I don’t know anyone like that. All my “expert” friends make plenty mistakes. I’ve witnessed many first hand. Obvious mistakes from people who should have known better.

But we are all human and humans make mistakes

Even the “superhuman travel experts.”

It’s natural to worry about problems that might happen on the road. It’s easy to let that worry and fear cripple you and cause panic. Before I went traveling, the worst case “what if” sceneries consumed my thoughts. How would I deal with this or that situation? What if I got on the wrong train, booked the wrong flight, or made the wrong hostel choice?

I have done all three of those things (and more). It’s easy to beat yourself up over the silly mistakes. Hell, how could I have been so stupid as to leave my passport on a plane?!

But you can’t let them get to you.

All you can do is move on past them.

I long ago stopped beating myself up over my travel mistakes. Now, I live with them because I know I’ll always keep making them. I can only move on, learn from them, and hope I don’t make them again (but I probably will).

So the next time you book the wrong flight, catch the wrong bus, or screw something up, know that you are not alone and that others, even the experts, have made far worse mistakes…and we survived and continued on.

Just take a deep breath and move on.

Because you are going to make a lot of mistakes on the road.

But that’s OK — no one is a perfect traveler.

And you’re only going to stress yourself out if you try to be one.

P.S. – I’m hosting a meet-up in Boston this Thursday. Come join, say hello, and talk travel!

  1. Tina

    Thanks for this Matt. Great timing. I’m just now going through visa issues, and I’m feeling that I’ve done it all wrong and submitted too late and royally screwing up. But I really did do the best I could. And it’s gonna be so worth it :)

    • Jacinda

      Thanks for this Matt!! Despite having previously applied for 3 visas, I still couldn’t get it right 4th time around and my passport is currently in another city awaiting a visa – and I leave in 2 days! Its good to know I’m not the only one who struggles with last minute issues!

  2. Mistakes are just a part of life….

    Some mistakes can turn out to be good too. Driving from Managua to Leon and friend and I took the “old highway” to say the least it was an adventure, massive surprise pot holes, cowboys roping steers and the some of the best roadside food I’ve ever had.

  3. I’ve definitely done a lot in the mistakes department. The worst one was probably that gullible moment when I fell for a scam in Iran! But there’s no better way to learn, is there? No regrets so far. And thankfully, no very serious mistakes yet!

  4. Its a great reminder that even the “pros” can make mistakes. I tend to look at my own as Travel Missteps instead of travel mistakes. Because all you can do is pick yourself up, learn from the experience, and just have fun! In fact all of my Missteps is what got me into writing, the stories were just too funny not to share. From filming my own injury on a zip line, having my hair getting caught on fire in Japan, getting lost multiple times, and other cultural slip ups. These are the unique memories I have from my own travels.

  5. I stupidly jumped on the wrong bus to the airport few weeks again and luckily noticed that The area looked a little different a few minutes in. 30 minutes to go had to pay for an emergency taxi to make the flight. Had to pay the hard way but will look more closely at the bus from now onwards.

  6. Beto

    No one likes making mistakes. Yet we can’t help it – if we are not making mistakes, we are not learning the lessons of life. I sure have several under my belt: pick wrong train at Schiphol (Amsterdam) – pick wrong subway (many cities, many times) – being ripped off a cab (Brussels) – Bought plane tickets on wrong dates – underestimating the size of a city in relation to the hostel/apartment location – and (not really a mistake, but) having my laptop computer go bust in São Paulo (I use to work remotely so try imagine the tragedy of fixing a machine in a city you don’t know and even knowing Portuguese it was a challenge to explain the issue). Anyways, I could go on but fortunately none of my mistakes has ever sent me to an hospital – yet. Live and learn.

  7. This makes me feel better about some of the travel mistakes I’ve made. I’m bad at doing currency conversions in the moment sometimes and I know I’ve definitely overpaid for things because of this.

    On my last trip I was beating myself up for not having done enough research on the area and planning.. I basically just booked the ticket and showed up. Spontaneous and fun, yes, but then I was left standing in the airport not knowing what to do after that. You really do just have to move on and hopefully learn for next time!

    • Marsha

      Laura — Well said. This is exactly how I feel.
      And when you make a mistake the first time, you’ll probably be more careful the next time or know how to avoid it.

  8. Although I am not what I would consider a well seasoned traveler I know I make mistakes all the time! I have a trip coming up in May that I’m totally worried about because I’m ditching the comfort of a car and relying only on public transportation – should be an adventure and learning experience for sure!

  9. Hello, Mistakes. Thanks for being the “things we remember” on a journey. Those memories stay with us for life. If everything goes “as planned,” we might forget them when the day comes that we become less mobile. Rock on.

  10. Humans make mistakes and experts are humans and therefore experts will still make mistakes.

    All you can do is plan the best you can and do things the best you can, recognize mistakes can occur and be ready to deal with them without beating yourself up over it.

    Live in the moment.

  11. I’m no sports fan but now I keep track of all the major championship games. After showing up in a city that was hosting a World Series Game and another city that was hosting the Super Bowl…both times without a hotel reservation. I had to sleep in my car both times. Years ago, I went to Panama City, FL during spring break (and I didn’t know it was spring break). Again, had to sleep in the car because all hotels were fully booked. I can laugh about it now.

  12. Georgette

    Thanks !!! I too continue to make “mistakes” and I totally agree with you in that I feel like there will always be things that go WRONG, but that’s just life traveling the world. I try to laugh and go with the flow hard as it may be sometimes. My “worst” mess-up’s seem to be routing my trips!!! At the time I know there MUST have been some real good reason for picking my flights, but when I’m living the NIGHTMARE I swear I have no clue WHY I did it that way!!!! Sometimes it’s a definite ” money” decision, but other times it totally escapes me!!!!

  13. great article! I get a lot of my friends asking me for advice as well and telling me they want to set off and travel but are too scared. Personally I think the making mistakes part is deep down the best part, its where your memories stay and your lessons are learnt.

  14. It’s never fun to make mistakes when as a ‘seasoned’ traveler I should know better. Yet, sometimes making mistakes while traveling can result in positive and memorable moments, especially when the result is experiencing random acts of kindness. Thoughts moments can be worth it :-)

  15. Thanks for this, Matt.
    Is always good to hear “don’t worry, be happy”, especially when you’ve forgotten about your vaccination and visa things shortly before moving from one Asian country to another :)

    Viva humanity!!!

  16. Thanks for this post, Matt. I’m happy to see my husband and I are not the only seasoned travelers who mess up.

    Our biggest fiasco was misunderstanding the visa requirements and as a result Ecuador kicked us out. (Well, at least it made for a good blog post!)

  17. Great post Matt,

    Not long ago I got stuck looking for a hostel in Lisbon for hours because I failed to book in high season, and then got kicked out of my room the next day for failing to tell them I was staying another night… Followed this by missing three trains on the same day in France, and later hopped on the wrong one…

    It was certainly in these times that I couldn’t help thinking… after 8 years living out of a bag, and 4 plus years on the road, how is it possible to make such stupid mistakes?

    Glad to hear I’m not the only one who has travel brain aneurysms : )

  18. Dan

    A mistake is only a mistake if you don’t learn from it.

    Great post Matt, it helps to be reminded that even the experts make mistakes sometimes.

    Take care,


  19. Alex

    Great article, you can only learn from your mistakes so it’s actually good to make them.

    I forgot to figure out how to get to my hotel in Paris once, a delayed flight, last rushed tube journey, creepy night bus ride, walk through the ghetto into a deserted Parisian industrial estate with a broken suitcase and a rather unhappy Girlfriend later – things weren’t so gravy. Now I always plan where i want to go first, then figure it out from there.

  20. I’ve spent so much money over the years when I didn’t have to just because I was tired of traveling and tired of haggling. 5000 rupees for a taxi ride that I KNOW should be 3,000? Ugh. Fine.

    • NomadicMatt

      I do have a limit. I’m not going to waste 30 minutes haggling down 50 cents. It’s not a good use of my time and the 50 cents does a lot more for them than it does for me.

  21. I must say some of the mistakes are really hilarious like gone to the wrong airport and the booked two plane tickets for the wrong day. I just can’t understand how could you do these above two mistakes. For the rest of mistakes I make it every time and often has to pay a heavy amount for it.

  22. It’s definitely reassuring to know that even the most seasoned travellers haven’t totally nailed travel!

    Nevertheless, one of my lifetime ambitions will always be to glide through an airport like George Clooney in “Up in the Air”…

    • NomadicMatt

      That I can do! I should make a rant about how annoying people who keep forgetting their belts and bracelets. “You mean metal makes the machine go off?” GRRRRR

  23. I left my trouser in a hotel in florence, Italy and next time when I was about to check out from a hotel in venice I made sure I am not leaving anything but only found out I left a very nice jumper there when I unpacked my suit case in UK :(

  24. This is a great article. It’s so easy to beat ourselves up for the mistakes we make, but we will enjoy the trip more if we just let them go. I have booked a trip to the wrong airport to get places and have made countless other mistakes, but it’s all a part of the adventure that is travel!

  25. Kelsey

    Maybe something that should be pointed out to people who worry about potential travel disasters is to point out thousands and thousands of people travel the world with no problems, and the ones that do make it back alive! Even if something goes wrong, the chances it will ruin or end your life are extremely slim. Most of the time, it just becomes a funny story.

  26. Kylie Bacon

    Thank you so much for writing this. I have been on the road for 18 months now, pretty much mistake free. However, I have made the biggest financial mistake thus far. I booked a flight from Vietnam through to Launceston (Australia) at a coast of $360 Australian dollars. As soon as I clicked the paid button, I realised I need my visa for Vietnam and I am currently in a position where I can not send my passport off to the Vietnamese embassy for them to process the visa :( my flight was one of those cheap flights so I cannot rebook it…I am kicking myself it is like throwing all that money down the toilet, it could off been a weeks accommodation somewhere in a hostel…or money towards a new camera I would like to get….but I must move on…I would really like to here other similar stories so I don’t feel like a total idiot, especially when I should of known better…:(

    • Andy Watt

      Hey, I’m with you man. Had a whole 5 months of constant travel planned from New Zealand to Fiji to Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, India, China, Russia, Northern Europe and home. And not flying either (except the Fiji to Nam part and in/out India).

      3 days before finishing work in New Zealand and the break up for xmas and my awesome trip down to Queenstown and Milford Sounds I broke my foot at the end of the working day.
      Such is the damage that I will not be “fully” recovered until April.

      All those buses and flights and tours cancelled. Alas I was an idiot and never took out the flight insurance from NZ to Fiji. There goes $250NZ as it’s non refundable or even transferable to another flight (home). On top of that my grandmother died the day after breaking my foot. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so lost.

      But I realise, shit happens. I’ll do it all eventually. It’s just an irritating postponement.

      And money at the end of the day is that, just money. It’s a loss at the time but you’ll recover. As long as you’ve got your health. That’s my aim. Get fixed up. The money will come back to me…

      Now just hoping that the travel agent will give me my $800nz back for the Fiji to Nam. I’ve made a request. Just waiting. So glad I hadn’t booked the trans-mongolian train yet.

    • If you’re Australian there’s a legit way to get an invitation letter and you get to keep your passport. Then you get the proper visa once you’re in Vietnam using the letter (as long as you’re flying into Vietnam)

      So you’re all good, just get the visa on arrival making sure you have arranged for the letter first!

    • Sarah

      I got my Vietnam visa online without sending in my passport….The only downside is they send you an email with everyone elses passport numbers on who have done the same thing that day (so they get an email with your passport number). It worked out no problem though and I had it in 2 days (I had double booked as well and my passport was away getting a different visa). This is the website (I have a Canadian passport so your website might be different)

  27. My mistake is choosing to spend my New Year holidays in Bangkok on 29 December last year. Thailand has 5 public holidays from 29 December to 2 January and street protests are ongoing. I could not visit any airline office in town to pick up the inflight magazines that i was looking for as offices were close. I had to divert my travel itinerary to Phnom Penh. Thank God, I got better collectibles from my Phnom Penh trip and at Suvarnabhumi Airport.

  28. Andy Watt

    Will always say don’t worry about making mistakes travelling, because you’ll make them. Just try to learn from them. Is that not a mantra for life anyway? It’s fine to make mistakes in life so long as you learn from them.

    And as for those who fear they’re not ready, or not worldly enough. Remember everyone made that first trip. I’m sure even David Livingston and James Cook had a little bit of trepidation about going into the great unknown. And they truly were. Uncharted seas and lands without maps.
    Today we’re lucky. We have well beaten aviation routes, tours and Google maps.

    “Don’t worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as
    effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing
    bubblegum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that
    never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindside you at 4pm
    on some idle Tuesday.” – Baz Luhrmann -Everybody’s free (to wear sunscreen)

    It might be simple song lyrics but you could take far worse advice.

    • NomadicMatt

      That song has the best lyrics in the world. The woman that originally wrote that knew what she was talking about. I still listen to it for inspiration.

  29. Great post. If you travel you have to accept that you’ll make some mistakes sometimes, and that’s fine.

    I think this applies very well to money/budgeting as well. There’s always 10% of your money that just seems to evaporate due to stupid stuff … like someone overcharged you, or you took the more expensive bus by mistake, or you bought a thing you didn’t need in the end. Ultimately I see those imperfections as the ‘cost of doing business’… it’s just what happens sometimes, and you move on.

  30. This definitely made me laugh as I have totally done some these things. It just hurts the most when it costs you money and you don’t have any!

    You definitely can’t be a perfect traveller and sometimes the mistakes actually wind up with an interesting experience or a good travel article 😉

    Wish I lived closer to Boston or I would totally come. Any chance you are hosting a meet-up anywhere near Philadelphia? Happy Travels!

  31. Susan

    Now when I have travel ‘mishaps’, even while they are in progress, I’m telling myself that ‘this will make a good story’ when it’s over.
    I have:
    -left my wallet, including passport, in a taxi in Bergen, Norway. I had to work in Norway several winters in a row and was, frankly, tired of Norway. My first thought was “oh, no, I’m stuck in Norway longer”. However, taxi driver was tracked down by my hotel, 100 kroner paid for his fee, and wallet returned. I was happily off to Singapore.
    -misjudged customs on ferry arrival between Dominica & Guadaloupe. This necessitated losing a night’s accommodation money at a hotel I had splurged on in Iles des Saintes (gorgeous) AND having to spend the night in Pointe a Pitre, capital of Guadaloupe. This is the only time travelling I’ve ever seen food moving on my plate and had to sleep in my clothes with the lights on because of the many large cockroaches that came out when lights were turned off.
    -spent a night in a very small rental car in a police station parking lot on Oahu because I was too sophisticated to buy into ‘having to reserve a hotel room’ in Oahu after an all night flight from Australia with a three year old. There was a golf tournament on! See earlier post about knowing what sporting events are happening.

    Yet, I continue to travel and make very few mistakes in the big scheme of things. It’s all relative. I think the travellers who are in the greatest danger are those who actually believe that they can control every detail.

  32. My most embarrassing travel mistake was to leave my passport at home….after I put it on the kitchen table and telling my wife that I am putting there so that I don’t forget. Great article. You are always an influence for my travels. Thanks Matt!

  33. Matt, I’ve been travelling virtually every month since May 2000. It is very true what you say. From time to time we forget something, we do something in a not so smart way. But I think you express clearly that we are more relaxed and adaptable to it.

    I have such things as packing a suitcase off to a relatively fine art yet I often have a risk of forgetting something. For example I always have a pre-packed toiletries bag ready to throw in. I sometimes take this for granted and forget that maybe I need to replace the toothpaste tube. I’ve also done the forget to bring shorts for hot climates etc. You live and learn and go with the flow.

  34. Hi Matt,

    Great article. I have definitely made my share of mistakes in the past – I managed to miss a flight from Melbourne to London in 2004, and got ripped off daily in Vietnam because I kept confusing myself with the exchange rate and various different denominations!

  35. I made the first mistake you listed on my first trip … went to KLIA instead of the LCCT in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia … barrreeellyyy made my flight.

    Good times.

  36. I’m also guilty of that travel mistakes. Overpaying the taxi and not an expert haggler. Geez. But I’m always trying to be organize and in order. HAha..Thanks for the reminder.

  37. Hi Matt, thanks for this post.
    Ha! I’ve been travelling for years and you would think I know better but two years ago, we went to Tuscany and I couldn’t remember which hotel we were going to. The very same hotel that I had spent time researching and which I had personally booked.

    I had booked it one year previously and didn’t print it out so that by the time I remembered six months later, the details had gone! It was supposed to be our splurge hotel too. All I could remember was that it was a 200 year old river-side hotel in Pisa and that I had originally seen it online.

    I eventually found it in the New York Times and I got the hotel to re-confirm with me. Phew!

  38. Hi Matt!

    What a timely post – I had a flight from Edinburgh to Zurich via Frankfurt (cheapest ticket, through Lufthansa) and had a healthy layover in Frankfurt. As I am time-challenged, I kept looking at my watch to make sure that I wasn’t going to miss that 6P (=18:00) flight. I had already found the gate assignment, so around 5:15 I went to look at the departure board one last time (Was it A2 or A6?) and… NO LISTING!!! ???!!??!!!

    Oh, yeah … right … the UK is an hour earlier than western Europe. Oh, dirty word. That plane was g-o-n-e. After 15 minutes of a very kind agent at the service counter checking flights (only one left for that evening – for 500 Euros!!!) and trains to all sorts of destinations to get me to Zurich, she finally looked up and said “I can make you a round trip ticket for 200 Euros”. Talk about relativity! After “500 E”, “200E” sounded good! So I have a ticket that I can not possibly use, and neither can anyone else, of course. D-oh! I KNOW that the UK is an hour earlier than the continent, but that knowledge didn’t kick in when I needed it. A most costly brain fart – I am just thankful that the agent was willing to be so creative. Happy New Year to ME! And to you and your readers! IB

  39. I’m constantly making mistakes while i travel too. I find i get so wrapped up in the idea of taking great photos that i lose track of everything else. I’m constantly getting lost and i already have a bad sense of direction! It can get scary sometimes but others I’ve found spots i never would have gone to.

    There’s always a plus to everything that happens! Some of the best things have happened to me when I’ve done something i didn’t intend. I’ve NEVER regretted anything i’ve done so far.

  40. Taylor

    I’ve overpaid for taxis plenty of times! They all take you way out of the way just to earn an extra buck…that’s why I always follow along with my GPS now! Let them know ahead of time and they won’t have any tricks up their sleeve.

  41. good to hear that the biggest travel blogger in the world also has his travel mistakes :-).

    Making mistakes is a big part of how we learn and they always make good stories afterwards.

    I can totally relate to this article because I have made most of these mistakes. Countless times I have been stressing and moving between airports because there was more than one in a city. Or people told me about scams so I was aware of them and still I fell for them.

    Thanks for this article and I’ll be sure to share it!

  42. Yes, what a timely post! I haven’t made any detrimental travel mistakes, and one of my main mantras is, “There’s always another bus, there’s always another bus.” Which has often worked out for me, except for the unexpected night I spent in Guatemala City. And then the grand ‘mistake’ of flying stand by while the Polar Vortex decided to cancel all these flights across the U.S. So I’m currently “stuck” in Chile. While that sounds really actually wonderful with the warm weather down here, I’ve been needing to get back to the U.S. So I might have made a “mistake” and bought a last minute ticket back to the U.S. And then there’s the other mistake I made last week (thinking it was my last day) buying souvenirs, and realizing later that I spent $30 on a mug, patches, stickers and a spoon.

    Anyway, it’s a bummer that these mistakes happen, but it’s comforting to know someone who travels more than I do still makes ’em. It’s how you deal with them that matters!

  43. We always do mistake. Cause we don’t know much about place to be visited. Your blog is helpful taking accurate step for starting a journey. Information is great ……………..

  44. Hi Matt

    it seems like a lot of us can identify with this. Only last year, I simply got the flight time wrong and completely missed a (domestic) flight. That cost me $250.

    I guess the nature of travelling is that there are a lot of arrangements, we are (for most of us) outside our usual environment, so it’s inevitable things will go wrong occasionally. Roll with the punches I guess.



  45. Your write up is such a refreshing and candid confession. I travel quite a bit and am a flight attendant, some think I am the perfect traveler. I have several to ask me advice on travel and then when I have mess ups like…checking a bag when I know I shouldn’t (I know what can happen with those bags), lost my d.l. in Istanbul, almost caught a flight to the wrong island, how I confused St.Martin and St. Thomas (felt like a dope when I realized it lol) lost on the train in Dubai, and the list goes on, I feel how can advise someone else when I still make mistakes myself. I now realize mistakes will continue to happen, I’m not just a traveler, I’m an adventurer, mistakes are not so great at the moment, but they do make for a hell of a funny story. Moreover, I have learned that my mistakes is what makes other feel comfortable with travel as well, I’m no different from the less traveled and that really inspire others other out there! Thank for this write up, it

  46. Foqrul

    Seems like I have already made a couple of sames mistakes that you did. I should have read the post before my trip to Nepal. Nice write up Matt.

  47. Sugar

    My first travelling experience was egypt few years ago.I travelled with 7 of my other friends and we were all students.All of us trapped in the egypt riot which started just the day we reached there.How unfortunate!We got stranded in the train station,witnessed explosions in the public,and most the time we were running from one state to another to find a safer place until the end of our visit.We nearly missed our flight since all the roads were blocked due to the riot and no access to the airport so we had to book a new domestic flight and the story goes on.But still it was a lifetime experience and most of all we survived!..the next day we appeared on our local newspaper.haha.After 2 years I gathered my guts to travel again..Just hope all goes well…

  48. I find a positive attitude and a spin on things goes a long ways. Lost luggage? Stuff can be replaced. Took a wrong turn? I love to explore. Wedged in middle seat on a 8-hour flight? Well hello neighbor. That shell fish you bought on the beach smell a bit off? Meh, I could stand to loose a few pounds etc…

  49. GW Lawyer

    My worst mistake was in Paris, I was meeting my hubby there, he was on his 2 week R and R from Iraq. Not knowing the city very well, I booked a hotel on line before leaving home. It was where we were going to stay that the last few days before he went back to Iraq. We decided to drive by to ck it out the day before. WELL, this was in the worst part of Paris. We canceled the room, lost one nite. Now I try to ck the places out better.

  50. Yeah, stuff happens when you’re on the road. I have a travel insurance that’s always “on”. That’s one thing less to worry about. I would forget take one if didn’t have it all year round.

  51. Nice timing for me. Im just about to head to Russia with very little booked and rumour has it nobody speaks English outside Moscow. I’ll just have to roll with the punches and frustration I suppose!

  52. That’s no problem, provided that you will learn something from your mistakes.
    Experience is a bad teacher who ask for paying high before the pupils can learn something. I have that teacher when I build my website.

  53. val

    Ohh yaaa this was so nice to stumble on. I am not too much of a seasoned traveler but I’ve done alright and absolutely love it! I too have missed a plane simply by not being ready in time for an early am flight. And missed boarding time by five to ten minutes. Went down a single beautiful one way path on my own in Greece in a tourist park. Only to be grabbed from behind by a gentleman who wanted my money. Ba only for him to be stuck with a broken phone! And my most recent I was in charge of booking a hotel for my boyfriend and I in our home country. And both of us tight but not too tight on cash. Him leaving for seven weeks to Indonesia. I stupidly decided to be cheap and thought best. Booked a hotel in a rough area of town I knew about. But not thinking and going off only the hotels website which looked pretty good. Of course! And us checking in at after midnight without looking at other reviews and thinking was alright to wing it. Only to find it was kind of shit hole and not romantic. Looked cleanish. But very old and looked like a few prostitutes and or ppl shooting up might have enjoyed a few nights there. We stupidly were too lazy to see if another hotel might take us. And figured eh fuck it we’ll be fine. We slept in our clothes on top of bedding due to feel of the place and fear of bed bugs. We escaped next morning fine unscathed, but a little pissy at our decision. We immediately checked into another hotel room for the afternoon to shower and make up for it. Wondering if anyone else has a similar hotel story to this one? That left you really wondering why you just didn’t friggen walk out ? Ha ha for some reason I am having a hard time getting over this one. As I feel a little mostly responsible, but yet know it was both our decision and more mortified that I actually slept at a place like that/ still trying to feel clean, definitely should have known better, why did we do that? Will I ever feel the same? Ha do you guys feel some things happen for a reason, or just our own choices and stupidity? Glad to know I’m not completely alone with other similar stories. Just for some reason kind of beating myself up over this one while my boyfriend is over seas. I need your guys help! For some reason human relation in errors helps me feel better! Lol. I’m tryin to let go, know I definitely learned, and will move on eventually lol. Still love þe journeys! Anyone relate ?

  54. Elena

    Just got pickpocketed $120 out of my bag while asleep on a cross-country train ride from LA to DC.

    Meanwhile I got in a fender bender with a con artist back home in my friend’s car and her insurance wont cover it so I am being harassed by the other guy via phone and email from across the country, and I had to call the insurance company using a sports bar’s wifi in a Chicago train station and a bunch of men in kilts started playing bagpipes mid phonecall for St. Patrick’s day.

    Also last Summer I booked a shitty hostel in Brighton and my friend ended up with brutal bed bug bites EVERYWHERE. And then we washed everything on high heat in Paris which melted and ruined her tennis shoes. So she had to wear a pair of uncomfortable flats that made her feet bleed.

    Travel is rough man! But man do you learn a lot! The stories, the excitement, the culture, the people, the sights!

    It’s scary but I wouldn’t have it any other way! Onward bound!

    Thanks everyone for sharing your stories! :)

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