10 Times Our Editors Hilariously Failed at Traveling

Consider this what NOT to do on your next vacation.

Running late to catch a flight, losing a passport, shattering a phone and so many more stressful situations can throw off a trip. The editors at TravelChannel.com are here to share that these unfortunate travel experiences happen to the best of us and will probably make you laugh in the process.

How to Dress Like a Parisian

"On my first international trip, I packed a bunch of cute flats to wear around Paris. (Because, of course, you can't visit France and NOT look chic.) However, this proved to be a poor decision. On the first day, my husband and I ambitiously walked about 14 miles trying to see all of Paris. (Impossible to do in one day, btw.) My feet hurt so bad that it was hard to even concentrate on the gorgeous sights. All I could think about was getting back to our apartment ASAP. It was miserable and upsetting that I couldn't enjoy the moment. On top of that, EVERY girl in Paris wears sneakers or flat Chelsea boots. So, not only was I in pain, I didn't even look like the locals I tried so hard to emulate. The takeaway: Athleisure is the greatest trend to ever exist, and always pack a pair of stylish sneakers." — Molly Miller, Apple News Editor

"Actual picture of me putting Band-Aids on my feet on the stairs of the Institut de France," Molly Miller says.

Photo by: Chris Miller

Chris Miller

"Actual picture of me putting Band-Aids on my feet on the stairs of the Institut de France," Molly Miller says.

Asleep in Amsterdam

"I didn't want to waste any time during my trip to Amsterdam, so I decided sleep was for amateurs. Well, while riding in a car, I stuck my camcorder — yup, camcorder…this was way back in the day — out of the car window to film the windmills along the side of the road. I was so sleepy, I feel asleep and dropped the camcorder out the window and smashed it. Oops." — Farima Alavi, Assistant Editor

What Happens in Vegas

"I can speak from experience and say that Las Vegas is a very lousy place to be if you're in your early 20s and leave your driver's license at the TSA checkpoint at your origin airport. A voter's registration card with your birthdate does NOT qualify as an acceptable form of ID when you're trying to order a drink at a Vegas casino, particularly when you look like you just graduated from college. Don't be like me. Always put your ID back in your wallet immediately after you've gone through airport security." — Mallory Ziglar, Community Manager

Photo by: Mallory Ziglar

Mallory Ziglar

Knocked Out

"I spent about a month backpacking through Italy, starting in Sicily and ending in Milan. We hopped on and off trains most of the time, so I went through a lot of Dramamine to curb my motion sickness. On one quick train ride, I inadvertently took the 'original formula' instead of 'non-drowsy' which KNOCKED. ME. OUT. I was down for the count for almost an entire day while my two travel buddies explored without me." — Kayla Kitts, Managing Editor

Why You Should Always Pack the Headlamp

"Throughout my road trip to Acadia National Park, we used our phones as flashlights because the light in my friend's trunk was out. We made it all the way to Maine and back only for me to leave my phone between the door of the trunk while we were unpacking the car, and it was violently crushed. I was flying back solo instead of finishing out the drive with my friends, so I had to navigate the airport and arrange for a ride back to my house without a phone. I am now the proud owner of one of those silly-looking headlamps." — Jessica Yonker, Online Editor

Smartphone with broken screen on the wooden table


Smartphone with broken screen on the wooden table

Photo by: Berezko


Late Night, Early Morning

"A few years ago, my wife traveled to London for work and the plan was for me to fly across the pond and join her a few days later for a long weekend. This was my very first time flying to Europe, so I was pretty nervous about the trip especially since I would be going solo. My flight was set to take off the following morning, so I scheduled a taxi to pick me up a few hours before. Being the travel newbie that I was, I had the brilliant idea that since I had to wake up so early to catch my ride that I would stay up all night and sleep on the plane. Bad idea.

Sometime around 2 or 3 a.m., I dozed off to sleep on the sofa. Luckily, my phone was on and I was awoken a few hours later by the taxi driver letting me know he was outside. I’ve never jumped to my feet so quickly. My suitcase was nearly packed but I left my toiletries out so that I could freshen up before leaving. I ran throughout my apartment grabbing my phone charger, toothbrush, deodorant, etc. and throwing it all in my suitcase. I dashed out of the house without doing a proper check to make sure everything was turned off, and I left some things behind that I originally planned on taking with me. The cab driver wasn’t pleased about having to wait, but I got to the airport in time and made it to London safely. So, for all those who think you can stay up all night and catch a flight, play it safe and get a good night’s sleep instead." — Ryan Reed, Editor

Passport Panic

"When I was 20, I spent a quick weekend in Amsterdam. It was pouring outside, so my friends and I dodged into a café for lunch. Hours later, we’re back at our hostel and I realize my passport is MIA. I had to spend the rest of the afternoon backtracking my steps to figure out where I left it. Someone found it in between two booths at the café and turned it in to the server. I was so panicked because we were heading back to the UK the next day! (I still don’t think my dad knows this story…).” — Kayla Kitts, Managing Editor

Failing at Fireworks

"I went to Disney World two years in a row with the same group of friends, and two years in a row, we had terrible spots for the big fireworks show at Magic Kingdom. The first year, most of the fireworks were hidden behind a building. The second year, our view was blocked by a tree. Doh. The next time I’m at Disney, I’m deciding on my spot early and getting there well in advance of the show. The Hub at the end of Main Street USA is one of the most popular places to watch, but it gets packed. To escape the crowds, some prefer the top level of the Main Street Train Station, or the beach at the Polynesian Resort." — Shannon Petrie, Managing Editor

Photo by: Shannon Petrie

Shannon Petrie

Paris Is (Sometimes) a Good Idea

"I went to Paris for the first time and didn’t see the Eiffel Tower, not even from a distance! For my first trip to Europe, I had studied abroad in Prague and thought I’d add a solo 24-hour layover in Paris on my way back to the U.S. After spending a month in a foreign place where every day required research on the best place to eat, how to get somewhere or the history of historic buildings, I was researched out. I had booked an Airbnb in Paris but hadn’t made arrangements of how to get from the airport to my Airbnb or any of the logistics for my brief time there. Even armed with three college semesters worth of French, I barely managed to navigate the busy Charles de Gaulle airport and the metro system. When I finally arrived to the Airbnb and lugged my suitcase up four flights of tiny stairs (since old buildings don’t have elevators), I could not, for the life of me, open the freaking door. Exhausted and overwhelmed, I struggled with the antique lock and key for about 30 minutes. I finally broke down and messaged the nearby (and very kind) Airbnb host to come help me open it. But, of course, as soon as she said she was on her way, the door opened, and I felt like a dumb, newbie traveler. After that stressful journey, I took an afternoon nap and ended up sleeping later than expected. By then, I barely had any daylight left and knew I wouldn’t want to navigate back to the apartment in the dark with unreliable WiFi. I had an early flight the next morning, so I made the frustrating decision to stay in even though I was starving. And that’s how I ended up eating dried cereal in an apartment in Paris and not seeing the Eiffel Tower. At least the Airbnb was chic.” — Laura James, Assistant Editor

Lost in Translation in Thailand

“My husband and I spent our honeymoon in Thailand last summer. For a few days, we stayed at a remote resort in Chiang Mai tucked away in the mountains but less than 10 minutes from the Old City area. The only problem? Getting back there after venturing out was really, really difficult. One day, after showing the tuk-tuk driver the address in Thai and getting a verbal 'yes' that he would take us home, we were abandoned on the side of the road. He told us we owed triple the price (500 baht) even though we were driven only two minutes down the road. It took us 20 minutes to find another driver because everyone we stopped pretended to not understand the address…in Thai. We were told to avoid tuk-tuks, but they really are the quickest and cheapest way to get around.” — Kayla Kitts, Managing Editor 

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