“Is This For Real?”: 11 Worst Travel Incidents In First-World Countries

To some, developed countries would only seem to pose problems like getting lost and language barriers. But according to people who shared in an online forum, there are some horrific travel incidents that have occurred within the seemingly safe borders of these first-world nations. You’ll surely be surprised as we explore some interesting stories, leaving you questioning their labels as top countries. 

1. Amsterdam, Netherlands

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines airplane logo on a tail of an Airbus A330 at the Amsterdam Schiphol Airport.
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Imagine arriving at an airport that’s ranked as one of the best—all ready to start your long-awaited vacation—only to find yourself stuck there for a mind-numbing 24 hours.

Well, believe it or not, this is a real-life travel incident that happened to a traveler who visited Netherlands as part of a multi-country trip. They said it was “Due to a ridiculous fueling error where none of the planes were leaving back.” As if that wasn’t bad enough, they were then forced to turn around and head back home. Talk about a major travel nightmare! So much for that dream vacation.

2. Paris, France

tourists in france
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A family recounted their experience of being mugged in the middle of the day in a crowded area of Paris. Despite being aware of the pickpocketing problem in the city, they were still caught off guard by the incident.

Though, one of the family members had an idea of wearing a fake gold watch to avoid being robbed. However, when they reported the incident to the police, the officers seemed unresponsive and unhelpful. Others noted this being a massive problem in Paris.

3. Rome, Italy

The Colosseum, Rome, Italy
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An American traveler shared their experience of having a pleasant visit to Rome, despite encountering locals attempting to scam and harass them. They pointed out that it was during peak tourism season. Although they were well-traveled, they had never experienced such behavior before. It was non-stop scammers.

4. Paris, France

Woman checking in hotel
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One traveler explained that their hotel in Paris had a carbon monoxide leak. They had to get rushed to the hospital, and the hotel didn’t even want to pay for the fees until they threatened to sue them. It worked out, but it was not the best vacation.

5. Tokyo, Japan

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A group of visitors shared their experience of being stopped by the Tokyo police while walking down the sidewalk with their friends. The police were friendly and asked for their passport, which they didn’t have as they were military personnel.

They were initially in Okinawa and were in Tokyo for a weekend trip. Fortunately, they accepted their state IDs and were allowed to proceed. However, later that day, they had a negative experience with a taxi driver in Akihabara, who aggressively told them to leave.

6. France

McDonald's Is Not Created Equal
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A traveler shared another cringe-worthy experience in France, including being falsely accused of cutting in line at a McDonald’s and being mistreated by a rude waiter at a cafe who said the traveler’s food choice was too sophisticated for them.

The person berated them and screamed in French. They couldn’t defend themselves due to the language barrier and ended up crying, later the whole party left the cafe.

7. Boston, Massachusetts

Logan International Airport in Boston, Massachusetts on October 23, 2012. Logan Airport is the largest airport in New England and 19th busiest airport in the United States.
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A resident of Italy shared an incident that occurred while they were at Logan Airport in Boston on their way back home. They found themselves in a chaotic situation of nearly missing a plane and decided to take matters into their own hands by shouting in Italian to make way for themselves.

They had a baby with them and needed to board the flight first. Though other travelers looked at them as if they were crazy, the traveler didn’t mind as they were determined to get through the mob.

8. Germany

MUNICH, GERMANY - JUNE 26, 2013: Beer Garden at the Viktualien markt. The viktualien markt is situated in the center of the city and houses a big beer garden.
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Another traveler with Northern European ancestors had an unpleasant experience in Germany with an older man who yelled at them for being an American in his country without speaking German. So closely that he spat in their face. Despite this, they still enjoyed their trip overall but said the experience felt threatening, and he was scared.

9. Denmark

Copenhagen, Denmark
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Another traveler found Denmark expensive compared to Switzerland and found the locals unfriendly and discriminatory toward Black people. They were followed in stores, encountered people clutching their purses, and someone even yelled at them on the street. They found the experience strange and unpleasant and had no plans to return.

10. Northern Ireland

People walking in Dublin, Ireland streets
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One teacher shared that they were traveling with a few Black students on a trip to Northern Ireland when some Irish high school kids pointed at them and made monkey noises from across the street.

11. Athens, Greece

The Acropolis of Athens, Greece, with the Parthenon Temple on top of the hill during a summer sunset
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A man shared a close encounter with a scam while visiting Athens. He met a woman at a bar, who sat next to him and started chatting, then later tried to charge him 80€ for her drink.

The situation turned into a confusing argument over the wording of the request for the drink. The traveler ended up leaving without paying for the drink. Fortunately, the establishment did not have a bouncer to enforce the scam.

This article is inspired by the internet and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Savoteur.

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