Some of the best memories from travel are about all the mishaps, hilarious stories and adventures. You may not remember famous statues or museums, but you will always remember accidentally getting locked, yelled at or proposed to by a stranger! I have prepared a collection of funny and sometimes even a bit scary travel stories from my own experience and that of my friends, and some of them asked me to keep their names out, as they felt a bit shy! Yet – all of these stories are true!
If you ever have any funny stories happen to you while traveling, be sure to write those in the comments!
The first complication of funny travel stories can be found here: 15 unusual and funny travel stories
1. The Royal Flight. Story of P.
I used to travel frequently between Europe and USA for work, sometimes even several times a month, and there was this specific British Midland Airways flight I used to take. It was especially hard when I was pregnant. On one of those occasions I remember being severely jetlagged, tired from the workweek and hormonal, and nearly bursting to tears from it all, when I boarded the flight. Turned out, I was the only passenger in business class, so the crew took extra good care of me – one was massaging my feet, another was combing my hair, and the third gave me a manicure! I have never ever flown with such class again!
2. If navigation tells me, I go! Story of Linda
We drove with a colleague from Latvia to Poland. It is not too close, and I didn’t know the road, so I turned on my sat nav and we went. After a while we see a line and realize it is a border crossing. Ok, strange, as the road to Poland goes through Lithuania and it is all Schengen, so there should not be any borders! The border patrol asks us for our passports and visas. What visas?! Turned out that our navigation decided to take the shortest route… through Belarus. We obviously didn’t have the visas, so had to turn the car around. As the other cars were really close behind us, the border patrol had to go ask everyone to move back so we could turn around.
3. The dream about the blue sea. Story of R.
I used to work as a model in China, it was long hours of photoshoots and even longer castings, and there was never time to do any sightseeing. At one of those casting days I was waiting in line with 100 other girls to see the client. While we were waiting, one of the employees walked in the room and said:
-who wants to go to the blue sea?
Of course, I jump at the opportunity and yell at the top of my lungs – me, me, me!!!
Then I notice all the girls looking at me funny. Turns out, the man had said – who wants to go to the WC [wee see].
4. I wish I could see Meryl Streep. Story of K.
I was flying to the Middle East in business class. Once boarded and getting comfortable in my chair at the last row in business, I overheard crew talking about how Meryl Streep is on the same flight. I am a huge fan, so I jumped and pressed for details – where, where is she? As everyone else was seating and I couldn’t see her. The crew told me they absolutely can’t tell me or show, and if I can promise I won’t tell anyone, as they can get into a lot of trouble for even saying she is here.
The flight was over and I hadn’t seen Meryl, so as I was walking out of the aircraft, when the crew says goodbye, I said – but I wish I could see Meryl Streep! I saw them looking funny at me and then behind me – I turned back and there she was. In a puffy coat, no makeup, and she didn’t look too happy to be mentioned like that. She looked at me and said – here I am, so what?
5. Friendly Sri-Lankan. Story of Yolanta
We met a friendly local guy while visiting Sri Lanka, so the three of us were walking down the beach – me, my husband and the guy. I was holding hands with my husband, so the guy decided to do the same – and grabbed my husband by his hand!
6. The Chinese Power Bank. Story of Zane
When I arrived to China, all my luggage was checked by customs and security, item by item, I have no idea what they were looking for, but then the customs/security officer found a power bank in my bag, and asked me what it is. Unfortunately, all the employees barely spoke any English. Soon there was a crowd of them around me, but none could understand what I was saying. After a long conversation I tried to explain by showing how I plug in the phone, and how it starts charging, but without any comprehension from them. I saw how employees already got angry with me, some were whispering and showing to me, someone started telling to someone something on the walkie talkie, and all are looking at me, discussing something, and so the conversation continues
– What is this?
-This is a power bank for charging
-What is this???
Finally I got really angry, and was showing to the power bank and yelled –“MADE IN CHINA!!!” The employee looked at the little sticker on the power bank and said – oh, yes! And all of them turned around and left.
7. The real life Viktor Navorski (“The Terminal”). Story of Santa
I had a business trip from Riga to Kiev, where I needed to do an important presentation. To be fresh and ready for the challenge, I even flew the evening before to get a good night sleep. I arrive to Kiev airport, show them my ID card and the guard says – but where is your passport? What passport?! I had forgotten it at home, having been so used to travelling in Schengen with my ID card only. And somehow none of the people who checked my documents in Riga airport, noticed that. The airline was immediately involved, as they can get a serious fine for transporting a passenger without valid documents. In the end, it was agreed that my passport will fly the next morning on the next flight to Kiev. Good thing my boyfriend could bring it in the morning to the airport! I slept the night at the airport in some border guards office! Finally, the next morning my passport arrived and I could deliver my talk. Not as fresh as I had hoped to be…
8. There, I fixed it! Story of Linda
One evening at our hotel in Egypt, something happened to the pipes in the bathroom and the stench became unbearable. We called the reception and asked for a technician to come and take a look. The dude arrives, takes a sniff. Leaves. Comes back with an air refresher, sprays it around, smiles at us and leaves!
9. The teeth. Story of Aija
I was a guide to this nice group that had all become good friends during our quite long trip. So this one time I feel that some commonition begins at the back of the bus, people running there to take pictures. I go to take a look and see – one of the guys has fallen asleep, his head tilted back, mouth open – but teeth closed! The prosthetic teeth had fallen off!
10. My independent son. Story of Janis
It was last spring, as me and my 14 year old son were on a biker tour in USA. We stopped in Austin, and took a bus to the city center, as our hotel was a bit on the outskirts of the city. I go to the bar, but they won’t let my son in with me, so we agree that he takes the map, some money and says he’ll be fine on his own to take the bus back. In the meantime, I drink 1 beer, and then get a cider by accident, drink it anyway, but the feel really sick, so head back to the hotel quickly. I am shocked to find that my son isn’t there and I can’t reach him! I call the head organizer of our trip, what should I do? He says, call 911! I still decide to wait a bit. Mere 5 minutes later my son shows up, surprised that I am there before him and sober from worry by then! Turns out, he went to the bus stop, saw the schedule and realized he’d need to wait really long, and decided to … walk back. Which wasn’t as near, as he had expected, but he still saw a lot of interesting things. A woman had approached him asking him if he had gotten lost, but he had said no.
11. If you don’t need to… better don’t go! Story of Baiba
My boyfriend is a huge football fan, so we decided to go to a football match in Tenerife. All is nice, the game is nearly over and soon we will need to go to catch the last bus to the other side of the island, where the hotel is. He tells me why don’t I go to the ladies room just in case, as it is a long ride. I don’t really have to, but decide to go anyway – as it is a long ride.
As soon as enter the stall, I realize that the door and the lock are so old, that it has permanently closed, and I can’t open it anymore. I start yelling, but noone hears me, as the last moments of the game go on, and everyone is cheering. All my things are at my boyfriends, so I can’t call anyone either. I tried calling for help in all the languages I knew, finally, a cleaning lady shows up and tells me in Spanish to stay calm (thank’s God for those Spanish soap operas, so I understand her!). While I am waiting to get rescued, the game is over and my boyfriend comes to look for me, and sees there is police, an ambulance at the bathroom, everyone talking in Spanish and noone can explain what has happened. In the end, a man jumped in the stall and pushed the door out with his foot. It opened up with such a force, that tiles from the wall went down with it!
Luckily, we still made it in time to the bus!
12. No fear. Story of Andris
Soon after 9/11 I was flying between two European countries. A felt a bit nervous. I got especially nervous when a nervous looking Middle Easter man sat next to me. Our plane hit big turbulence and it was shaking violently, as the man looked at me and asked if he could hold my hand, as he was very scared. And so we sat, holding hands…
13. A special spa. Story of Iluta
We drove through Holland as we came across this nice spa hotel and decided to stay there. It was incredibly nice, and as we were checking in, the receptionist told us in broken English – no big swimsuits! I just waved and said, yes, yes, as some pools don’t accept large swim shorts.
So we walk in the spa, and it is magnificent, all new, shiny and smells wonderful. But then we look around – everyone is naked.
14. The House of Rock. Story of Alina
We stayed at this roadside motel in the USA. After a long drive, we arrive very late in the night, go to the room – it is pitch black, as curtains are closed. We find the light switch at the door,brush our teeth and go to sleep, switching off the one switch at the side of the bed. A few hours later I wake up from this absolutely horrible, very loud man’s voice yelling in my ear, with some sounds of static in the background. Turns out, the previous inhabitant of this room left the alarm for 5:00, and it automatically turned to some rock radio station, the radiowave reception wasn’t good either, so the sound effect was just out of this world. I try to find the off switch on the alarm, but it is too dark to see, and I don’t have a light switch at my side of the bed, meanwhile the horrible noise continues so loud that it hurts my ears, I try to pull out the cord from the wall, but turns out that the cord goes behind the nightstand… which is screwed on to the wall. Somehow we found the light switch at my husbands bed side, got the light and switched off the shrieking alarm. With such adrenalin in our veins we couldn’t sleep anymore!
15. The smell of Maldives. Story of Linda
We arrived to our hotel in Maldives and are greeted by cleaners spraying the air refresher in our room. We think – how nice, they want to make sure it smells nice! Turned out, they were spraying bug spray so that cockroaches don’t come in the room! Which was without any result, as they kept crawling out of the bathroom sink!
16. Armed robbery. Story of Martins
Now I can laugh about this, but back then it wasn’t funny at all. Me and my friend got arrested in Cyprus for an armed robbery we didn’t do. We had an alibi and it all got cleared up, but before it was sorted, I spent 2 weeks in a detention center in Cyprus. It’s a good thing that I am 2 m tall, weight over 100 kg and have tattoos, as well as was detained for armed robbery, as I had a lot of interesting cellmates in that detention center….
17. The party crowd. Story if I.
More than 20 years ago me and my school dance group were on a dance performance tour in Europe. We stayed one night in Amsterdam, and were split into 2 groups. To our big surprise, the next morning our group was waken up by the police, put in the bus and we had to leave the country, with the stamp “deported” in passport and all. Turned out, the “hotel” the other half of our dance group stayed at, was actually a brothel. The other group, that had only girls, had encountered some men during the night, who tried to get in their rooms, some regular customers. The girls got really scared and of course called the police… and all of our dance group got deported. Imagine the surprise of my parents when I showed up home a week earlier, back then there were no mobile phones to let them know what was happening, and they only had read in a newspaper about a dance group deported from Holland, but had no idea it was us.
18. Identify. Story of Alina
I was flying home from Hamburg one week, after a long week of work. Super packed plane and then I hear crew announcing on the loudspeaker:
“Mrs Alina Andrusaite, please identify yourself by pressing the call button”
I press the button. As I was in the middle of the plane, I see ALL of people turning around to see what is happening. A few seconds later the crew brings me food box and says: “here is your pre-ordered salmon!”
Turned out, I was the only passenger who had pre-ordered a meal, something had gone wrong in the system and they didn’t know in which seat I was seated in. The crew apologized for putting me on the spot and that normally they don’t announce the names like that, but said they had no choice.
19. The climb. Story if Ieva
I was in Marseilles with my friend, visiting 26th Centenary Park, as we got locked inside. A 2 meter fence all around it, and before the fence – a ditch! This was the only gate we thought we might be able to climb over. After some minutes a few semi-drunk locals noticed us and helped us climb over! We even had looked for the opening hours of the park before entering, as we knew parks get closed in France, but didn’t see it written anywhere…
20. The suspicious Latvian. Story of Uldis
I am not too experienced traveler, and I had lived in Denmark already for some time when I deiced to drive to Switzerland. It was a sudden idea to go, so I packed quickly and drove off. Visited some friends in Germany and here I was, on the border with Switzerland. The border patrol asks me:
What’s in the car?
I had a couple of beers at the back. Then they asked me to pop the trunk and as they started pulling out what I had there, more and more questions appeared. A knife (one needs to cut the sausages, as I was saving the money and couldn’t eat out!), head lamp (my car isn’t new), gloves (what if I need to change a tyre?), a duck tape (once again, car isn’t new), garbage bags (I don’t leave trash out), and wet vipes (after cutting those sausages, how will I clean my hands?). They detained me and started questioning me, showing all my belongings on the table. Stripped me naked, took pictures, fingerprints, DNA. And told me they will put me in a database for 5 years as a possible suspect. When I started laughing, they then asked to blow in the breathalyzer.
Have you ever had anything funny happen to you when travelling? Be sure to write those in the comments!
The first complication of funny travel stories can be found here: 15 unusual and funny travel stories