Every traveler has had funny, incredible or sometimes even a little bit scary travel experiences! We decided to collect some of our friends and relatives funniest stories, and added to the few we have experienced through the years!
1. The Pipe, Story of S.
I stayed in a really nice hotel in the USA, and in the last morning before leaving I decided to take a quick shower before going to the airport. I started turning the knob, probably in the opposite direction that I should have (non-US travelers will immediately recognize the type of knob I am talking about!). I just kept on turning, and turning, but there was no water. Until I turned one more time and the knob stayed in my hand, together with a piece of pipe it was attached to! That very second a fountain of water started gushing from the wall, as it was directly linked to main water supply of the hotel. I was shocked and tried to put the knob back on, but, of course, it didn’t stick and now I was ankle deep in water and it already was flowing inside the room. I grabbed the first towel I could see and run to look for help. Remember Mr.Bean? At least I had a towel.. Luckily, there was a maid some 6 rooms further, but unfortunately she did not speak any English… I grabbed her hand and pulled her to my room, and when she saw the scene, she run off to get help. While various managers were running around and trying to find someone who knows how to switch off water in the basement (and of course, none believed the story until they came to the room and saw for themselves), I kept standing there with my towel, until one of the head maids opened another room next door and offered me to finish my shower (thanks, it was enough). They offered me free breakfast as a compensation, but as I was already very late, I went to the airport.
2. Underwater Bite, Story of O.
I was visiting Cuba, Vinales and at the end of the tour we had time to swim at the local waterfall. It was a hot day and I thought it would be really nice to swim! Getting inside was easy, you just had to jump, but getting out was trickier, as you had to pull yourself up to the stony bank. As soon as I wanted to pull myself up and put my feet on one of the stones, something bit me! I started shouting really loud. There was a Cuban man standing next to me, who had really hairy chest, and everyone around though that he is harassing me, while he was standing there, pure horror in his face, not guilty of anything, me screaming my lungs off next to him.
I swam to another side of the shore, panicking, and wanted to get out there. It was greener side, covered in ferns. But as soon as I swam closer, something moved there. It turned out to be just a lizard, but I was already very scared and could not get out. At last I finally made it out, and had two bite marks on my ankle that were bleeding. The guide said there are no underwater snakes and it must have been a fish protecting a nest. She just poured some rum on my leg. I was fine, but really scared.
3. Hiking with a Friend, Story of Edvard
My friend lived in Vietnam, and I decided to visit him for a couple of days. I thought we were going to stay in his house and won’t leave the city much, but in the end we decided to go for a hike. I had not proper clothing with me, just some shorts and regular shoes, and he didn’t either, but we went anyway. We went through quite thick jungle, scratched our skin a bit, but were happy that no reptiles live here. We finally reached the summit and met a local guy there. I don’t know why, but we asked him if there are any snakes living in his area? He burst out laughing and said “this is called the Snake Mountain!”. We really looked where we put our feet on the way down!
On the same trip we decided to visit another city with a guide. At one point I asked him if I should be worried about malaria, as we were going to a different region. He smiled and said “no problem!”. Only the first building we saw in the other city had an enormous sign on it “Malaria Hospital”.
4. Glue on My Feet, Story of Solveiga. In Memoriam.
It was during Soviet times that I was flying Moscow-Copenhagen. After spending nearly 24 hours at the airport, I finally got in the plane and fell asleep right away. When I woke up, I suddenly discovered that my feet are glued to the floor! The woman in front of me had a large jar of honey that had turned over and contents had spilled across the floor. She was sleeping too and had no idea of the mess around her!
5. Guns, Story of Denise
I was flying back home when Frankfurt airport security guy told me – “Are there any weapons in your bag? Oh wait, you’re American, you can get all you want at home”.
6. A Cup of Tea, Story of Alina
I had a business dinner in Guangzhou and I was very thirsty, so when the tea arrived, I immediately poured some to drink. As the table was fully served and this was not my first day in China, I just grabbed one of the bowls that looked like the tea bowls I saw in other restaurants before and drank from that. Some of the Chinese looked at me, but did not say anything. Later I asked my American friend, who lives in China many years, and she said that I drank tea from soup bowl and ate soup from the tea bowl.
7. Sausages, Story of T.
I had a business trip to USA when I was pregnant. As I used to get hungry all the time, I had some sausages with me to snack on. When I cleared immigration and arrived at the luggage belt, a nice dog came up to me and started wiggling its tail. Turns out, it’s a signal! Customs officer came up to me and confiscated all of the remaining sausages. I was lucky not to have to pay a fine!
8. Tangerines from Costa Rica, Story if Diana
I was flying through US from Costa Rica and almost got in trouble. We had declared everything we were bringing, but had completely forgotten about tangerines we bought the other day from a farmer, now deep in the backpack. They started checking our bags and found the two lone tangerines! The fruit had some sand on them, and immediately there was an announcement in the whole area that contaminated fruit has been discovered! A whole committee arrived and put them in a special bag, and noone would listen that it was just sand on them. Luckily, we did not have to pay any penalty for this!
9. May I Take a Picture With You? Story of Alina
We were visiting a temple in Guangzhou when a young girl came up to me and wanted to take a picture together. As I was really tall, I was standing on stairs one step below her, and she came closer to me. Suddenly I realized the was coming up to give me a kiss!
10. The Dark Shower, Story of I.
We were travelling in Italy by bus and after a day in +40 degrees we really wanted to take a shower. As soon as we got in the room, my roommate went to shower and soon declared that the light doesn’t work! I went downstairs to reception, and a older Italian gentlemen just sayd “Uno momento!”. I went back to the room and saw that my room mate decided to take a shower in the dark, and I told her through the door that the guy will be coming to fix it shortly! I hadn’t yet finished telling her that, when the same man appeared tool box in his hands. Now it was my turn to say “Uno momento!” and stand in the front of the bathroom door as my room mate was naked in the shower. After a little while she emerged, covered in a towel and we let the gentleman in. He didn’t even try to turn on the switch we tried before, but just went to the other side of the bathroom, where behind the towel rack was another switch – and the light turned on!
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11. Flying Through Moscow, Story of Jekabs
I was flying through Moscow Sheremetyevo airport when I went to Korea. I still had to go through passport control. I gave the border officer my passport, who immediately threw it back at me and shouted “Never, ever do this again!” Turned out, he didn’t like that I had the passport cover on… Next I proceeded to security control and I saw that people were taking off their shoes. I asked the woman in charge if I should take my shoes off too, to which she barked back “When you will be wearing heels, then you can start taking off shoes!”. And when I passed through the scanner and went to collect my things I noticed the woman looking at the monitor was not actually looking! Instead she was just typing on her phone, obviously engaged in a conversation on social media!
12. A Few Flights, Story if Alla
I was flying from Hamburg to Riga few years back, with a connecting flight through Copenhagen. My flight was delayed, and when I run to the gate for my next flight, it had already left. I went to the counter to get another flight and I was told I will have to fly back to Hamburg, as there was a direct flight from there to Riga. I boarded the plane, flew back to Hamburg only discover that we once more were late and I had missed my flight again! I went to the counter in Hamburg airport, where they gave me another flight… again to Copenhagen! Where I again missed my flight to Riga! As there were no more flights to Riga from there and almost no other options to get back home on that dat, I again (!) had to fly to Hamburg, from where I flew to Helsinki and to Riga! In the end, I had spent the whole day flying!
Read more about how to get a compensation from an airline in case of delays!
13. The Receipts, Story of Alina
When I flew to Cuba, my bags didn’t make it there. As I was flying on a charter plane with a tour agency, I was told to check in with agency guide on the next day, in the hotel. As there aren’t that many flights going to Cuba, it might take a while for my bag to be delivered and the guide might give me some money for the expenses. As I had travel insurance, I decided to buy some things on my own anyway. I drove to the center of Varadero only to discover there were no stores whatsoever that would give receipts! Several shop keepers offered to give me a written notice, on a checkered piece of notebook paper about my purchases! As I still needed the things, I bought them anyway, and got the paper slips. As I was going to Havana on the next day and still needed more clothing, I bought some items in hotel too – all of them had a large writing “Cuba!” in the front, and the shorts were actually XXL children’s boy shorts, as there was nothing else to buy.
When I met the guide on the next day, he was quite surprised when he saw my receipts, but he gave me 125 euros as compensation anyway!
14. What Europeans are Like, Story of Alina
I had to get some documents signed in Korea, I had a whole folder with documents, colorful sticky notes marking who needed to sign where. It was not easy to get the signatures, so I had to ask my colleague a couple times to help. When he saw me with the folder on Day 3, still running around to handle everything, he told me – “you are quite organized for a European!” When I asked him what did he mean by that, it turned out the overall impression of Europeans was the same as what North Europe believes South Europe to be like!
15. Platform Nr. 3, Story of Alina
While in Greece doing my Erasmus exchange program, me and my roommates went to Bulgaria by train. When it was time to go back and we went to look for platform Nr 3, as it was written on the ticket, we couldn’t find it! We looked everywhere, we asked information desk, passers by, but noone could help. We were getting desperate, as train was leaving in 2 minutes, so when the porters driving a small golf cart around the rail station agreed to help us for 15 euros, we accepted the deal. We jumped on the golf cart, drove 5 meters and it stopped at the first train, as it was ours! This did not seem fair, so we decided to run off. The guys started chasing us, one grabbed my backpack, but I managed to wiggle away and got inside the train, which had started moving at that moment. The guy proceeded to hit the windows as he was running outside the train, as I was really scared the guys will jump in the door of the next cart. Then one of the cabin doors opened and two older guys hid us with them, quickly closing the curtains, so we could not be seen. Turned out they were two Russian surgeons who worked in Athens. We then spent the whole time talking to them and learned it was not Platform Nr.3 but rather platform “West”, as the first letter of “запад” is “З” in Cyrillic.