10 Funniest Things People Have Heard an Inexperienced Traveler Say

Without trying to sound patronizing, some people make awful travelers. Whether it is complaining at restaurants or drinking too much in the all-inclusive resort, I despair of certain tourists. A recent online post exposes some of the funniest things people have heard naive travelers say.

1. Do You Know Who I Am?

Young woman tourist in dress with photo camera walking near the big cruise ship
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“I’m not paying for a VISA! What are they going to do? Send me back?” quotes the first-holiday gaffe witness. “I have a passport, and that’s all I need!” If you are traveling in new countries, doing the five minutes of research required to know entry regulations is worthwhile.

2. Bear de Parfum

Front view of senior woman hiker standing outdoors in nature at sunset.
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An Alaskan resident jokes about his mom visiting from Florida and joining him on a mountain hike. “I said, ‘Take my bear spray,’ and she replied, ‘Does that stuff really work?'” explains the poster. “I immediately knew what was happening, and I said, ‘It works like pepper spray, Mom, not like bug spray.'” Good thing he said something!

3. Driving to Hawaii

Beautiful woman going on a roadtrip with her boyfriend. Couple going on a long drive in a convertible car.
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Someone in the thread recalls a moment as a kid when her mom asked a friend she bumped into at the grocery store about her trip to Hawaii. “My mom asked her what airline she was flying on; she replied that she wasn’t flying,” explains the writer. My mom said, ‘Oh, are you taking a cruise or something?’ And she said, ‘No, we’re driving.'” She thought Hawaii was attached to California?

4. I’m in Exit

woman smiling looking out train window
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An Austrian contributor reveals a funny gaffe they heard on a train in Italy after a young lady boarded their carriage. As the train arrived, the youngster was talking on her phone to a friend, who had asked where she was. The Austrian continues, “She proceeds to look out the window to find the sign with the name of the city, finds it, and confidently says: “I’m in Uscita!'” They had to inform the poor girl she was in Bolzano: uscita means Exit in Italian.

5. Going One Way

Two woman in small town downtown America laughing.
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Germans find it amusing when tourists marvel that there are so many streets named Einbahnstrasse German cities. “Once encountered two very lost American tourists in Cologne trying to find their car,” recalls one commenter. “But this is Einbahnstrasse! We definitely parked it in Einbahnstraße!” he jokes, mimicking the poor couple. What they didn’t know was Einbahnstrasse means one-way street!

6. Canada Is Large

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An Irish friend visited a couple in Toronto after they met while in Egypt. However, the Irishman’s time and distance calculations were slightly off when he proclaimed he would be fly-fishing in British Columbia the next day. “And he was taking the bus there,” explains the amused Canuck. “It’s four days across Canada, my man. You are most definitely not salmon fishing in B.C. tomorrow.”

7. Academically Speaking

confused woman
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The next traveler’s “first flight with a teen girlfriend” started with confusion when she read the time on the back of the ticket. “Flight was booked to depart at 17:00,” says the man. “She called me the day before in a panic that the ticket ‘has a made-up time stamp.'” Moreover, his partner didn’t believe his 24-hour clock explanation. He comments, “I found out later she’d called the local library, fire department, police, and department of public works to verify I was telling the truth.”

8. Antarctic Gift Shop

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A contributor recounts a report she found in a scientific research journal that detailed an expedition from “McMurdo Station in Antarctica” to a remote western ice sheet. Here, the group would encounter some spartan living arrangements, which wouldn’t deter one passenger. “This lady on the plane asked if the gift store would still be open when we got there,” reports the commenter. There’s always one.

9. Tuscan Entitlement

people eating at a restaurant in rome, italy
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An observer who enjoyed a holiday in Cinque Terre, Italy, overheard a newly married American couple over dinner. The new bride, in a “Valley tone,” was upset they couldn’t brunch in Tuscany the next day. “We just came from Tuscany; it’s just a region of Italy,” explained the poor groom, perhaps feeling regret for not testing his wife’s geography skills earlier. “Yeah, but I just really want to have brunch in Tuscany,” moaned his wife.

10. Can the Whales Swim Under the Island?

Amazing pink sand beach in Budelli Island, Maddalena Archipelago, Sardinia, Italy
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A hilarious post comes from a snorkel tour operator on Maui who recounts some of the funniest questions he heard. “Is that Japan?” asked one tourist as they pointed to another Hawaiian island about 10 miles away. This nugget is followed by the excellent “Can the whales swim under the island?” and “Are turtles birds?” I have decided to print a T-shirt with this last philosophical caption.

What is the funniest travel comment you’ve ever heard?

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