12 of the Worst Mistakes People Have Made While Traveling

It’s said that the best memories are made on the roads, but a dream vacation can quickly turn into a nightmare if you fall into some common travel pitfalls. An online community of adventurers shares the worst mistakes they’ve made while on the move, and we find some of them absolutely jaw-dropping.

1. Booked a Bus While Waiting for a Train

Photo of dissatisfied young woman regrets wrong doing, keeps hand on forehead, clenches teeth, dressed in fashionable outfit, isolated over pink studio wall. Lady forgets something important
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

As funny as this sounds, it’s easy to fall into this pitfall when using public transportation in destinations with languages you don’t hear or speak. Narrating their experience, one forum member reminisced on a time they’d booked a train from Venice at the Trenitalia site, only to discover after hours of waiting they’d booked a bus instead. Several forum members say they’ve had similar experiences and wished they anticipated such travel anomalies and quickly figured things out.

2. Expired Passport on the Eve of Travel

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Do you know your passport’s expiration date? It turns out not everyone does. A community contributor narrates her husband’s experience. “The night before our first trip to Barcelona, he noticed his passport had expired. Hotels were nonrefundable at that point, so I waved goodbye and did the trip solo.” Another contributor thinks it’s absurd to know now. “I can’t believe people don’t use their calendars on their phones for these sorts of dates.”

3. Left Wallet With Strangers

Couples shocked
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

An individual on the thread recounts: “On a very drunken night out in Thailand, I gave my wallet to a lovely couple we had spent the day with on a trip to keep safe as I had no pockets in my shorts. I woke up the next day, and the doom hit me.” Luckily the couples sought him out and posted his wallet to his hotel, but what if they hadn’t? Several respondents praise the couples as heroes, while some say they’ve had similar experiences.

4. Went to the Wrong Airport

Man shocked
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

How people make such mistakes can be unbelievable, but a thread participant tags think it’s their dumbest travel mistake. “I went to the wrong airport in Berlin and missed my flight.” A second person says they did the same thing the first time they traveled to London.

5. Showed Up For a Flight Earlier Than Scheduled

Women feeing tired
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

A forum member says they showed up for their flight 24 hours before departure and had “to go home and repeat the whole process the next day.” Another individual says they experienced the same pitfall, “except that we showed up 24 hours later.” It’s heartbreaking to imagine how these experiences could have felt.

6. Booked Airbnb for the Wrong Month

Annoyed older couples
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

One travel enthusiast says their worst mistake was booking “a month-long Airbnb for the wrong month.” Someone else narrates how they bought a plane ticket for the wrong day, advising others to double-check the details before paying for anything.

7. Left Cash and ID in the Hotel

Man forgot
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Once in Mexico, someone claimed he left his wallet and ID in his hotel room going downtown and had problems paying with his credit card when he needed to book a cab on his way back because “no one wants to take a credit card.” A respondent asks, “Couldn’t you just get a taxi back to the hotel and get the cash?” Hopefully he was able to get back to the hotel without further issues!

8. Mixed up the Time Format

Late time concept
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

A contributor says his greatest travel regret was “Arriving at 1:00 pm for a 1:00 am flight…12 hours too late. The flight was from India to the US, which was a very expensive mistake.” A second person points to why most countries prefer the 24-hour format. “It’s much more convenient, and you can’t get it wrong.”

9. Overpacked

Woman disappointed in airport
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

One user says his worst mistake was packing bottles of German beer (for fear of their unavailability) when traveling to America. The bottles broke, and their contents soiled every other item in his luggage while in transit. Another individual claims she had a similar experience traveling with raw meat in a leaked bag with all her luggage soaked in blood.

10. Booked a Hotel in the Wrong Country

Angry Fed up woman
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Strange as it sounds, many people say they’ve had the experience of booking a hotel in the wrong country. A Hotelier explains that although rare, he has had clients who booked his company’s hotel in a different location. Someone on the thread adds, “A friend nearly booked Albany, Australia instead of Albany, New York, USA, recently. She wondered why it said ocean view, and I pointed out that the listed currency was dollarydoos.”

11. Didn’t Check the Weather

Annoyed girl keeping hands on head
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

One inexperienced traveler said he “booked a trip to Istanbul in December, assumed it would be warm because it was in the Mediterranean and the Middle East.” Additionally, he “didn’t check the weather predictions, didn’t pack any warm clothes, and it was snowing upon arrival.” Surprised by his height of negligence, a respondent says the traveler planned “less for an international trip than I do when I get dressed every morning.

12. Skipped Train Fare

Young amazed woman
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

One user explains that rules are rules, and you could pay more than necessary when you jump the rope. “Not paying the train fare in Munich and getting busted by the secret ticket inspectors was my worst travel experience. They escorted me to an atm to pay a fee of about $200,” he explains, underlying the need to avoid breaking the law when one is on unfamiliar terrains.

13. Never Paid for the Ticket

Machu Picchu, a Peruvian Historical Sanctuary in 1981 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983. One of the New Seven Wonders of the World
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

What would you do if you got to Machu Picchu and discovered you never paid for the ticket? That happened to this traveler who found his reservation canceled five hours after making it to Peru.

Machu Picchu is an Incan citadel set high in the Andes Mountains and booked for weeks. So this traveler was on the train to Machu Picchu before realizing his error. They made the most of it by enjoying the train ride and lunch at a restaurant in Agua Calientes with a beautiful view.

14. Party Like a Miss Your Flight Star

Woman sleeping in bed
Photo Credit: Teerawit Chankowet/Shutterstock.

A partygoer confessed to partying all night in Lan Kwai Fong (LKF), Hong Kong, before their 9:30 am flight home. Finally, they arrived at their hostel at 6:00 am and decided to take a “quick nap.” Their backpack was packed, they had already checked in, and they closed their eyes. Unfortunately, they woke up at 9:45 am.

15. Bags All Aboard

Young asian woman traveler with backpack in the railway, Backpack and hat at the train station with a traveler, Travel concept. Woman traveler tourist walking at train station
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Oof. Another reason not to smoke! This traveler ran to his train from Amsterdam to Frankfurt, Germany. After loading his suitcases, he stepped off the train for a smoke. Immediately, the doors closed, and all of his possessions headed to Frankfurt without him.

Fortunately, his wallet, passport, and phone were in his pocket. So he took a couple of trains and a flight to Frankfurt, but his suitcases weren’t on the train! After calling around for a few days, he located them in Utrecht, Netherlands.

So he had to rent a car and drive the 12 hours round trip from Frankfurt to Utrecht and back to Frankfurt. He confesses to not telling the story too often.

16. Right Day, Wrong Month

Bad news on screen. Confused frustrated young latin lady cover face with palm turn away from cell seeing important call missed. Desperate millennial woman get message on phone about dismissal from job
Image Credit: Shutterstock / fizkes

Another traveler booked a flight from San Cristobal de las Casas to Cancun on the correct date but for the following month. It was “the exact same flight.”

They only realized once arriving at the airport, two hours from town. There was nothing the airlines would do about it. Furthermore, they had a broken foot, in a boot, with crutches, and a wheelchair, making the entire thing all the more complex and upsetting. “I now always triple-check the dates and times.”

17. India Without a Visa

Taj Mahal, Agra, India
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Finally, one traveler flew to India without a visa. Some airports are visa-on-arrival, but they weren’t at one of them. So instead, they spent the night in airport jail and had an arm escort out before getting on a plane to Malaysia.

22 Most Dangerous Airports In The World

flight attendant using oxygen mask on airplane
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

The idea of adventure starts at the airport with this list of the most dangerous airports in the world. You’ll be praying more than on a roller coaster as you approach landing at one of these most dangerous airports, whose hazards range from icy runways to flat surfaces. So, let us take a look at the most dangerous airports in the world right now and all you need to know.

22 Most Dangerous Airports In The World

11 Worst Airlines In Europe By Flight Cancellation

woman with red suitcase frustrated at airport
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

There were over 2,000 flight cancellations across Europe between July 1 and July 15 last year, which made it tough to book flights to preferred vacation spots. Which airlines, though, are the most prone to cancel flights?

11 Worst Airlines In Europe By Flight Cancellation

10 Worst Airline and Flight Experiences of All Time

upset woman on plane
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Hurtling through the sky in a metal sausage is an efficient, although expensive, method to travel the world. However, airlines aren’t perfect, and customers often refuse to return to an airline due to a negative experience. Ten jet setters share their worst travel experiences with the internet. Can you relate?

10 Worst Airline and Flight Experiences of All Time

12 Dangerous Countries for Travelers To Beware of Before Booking a Flight

worried woman
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

I have been lucky enough to live on four continents and experience many of the world’s different cultures. While I agree that in every country you will find a majority of good people, there are some places that present a threat to visitors.

Sadly, economic, religious, and meteorological factors can lead to volatile or unsafe societies. A recent online post shares these twelve countries one should research before visiting.

12 Dangerous Countries for Travelers To Beware of Before Booking a Flight

10 Best Traveling Experiences of People Who Sat Next to Celebrities

Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Image Credit: Shutterstock

Most people live for the day they meet a celebrity they admire. Imagine taking your seat and discovering you’re seated next to Jay-Z or Lady Gaga. I don’t know about you, but that would be the best day of my life. Here, ten people share their traveling experiences sitting beside a famous person.

10 Best Traveling Experiences of People Who Sat Next to Celebrities

6 of the Most Fascinating Airplane Seat Mates Story 6 Travel Experiences That Will Actually Excite You Story Tourist Traps: 6 Travel Destinations That Exceeded Expectations Story 10 Best Jobs for 15-Year-Olds: Make Money Before Graduate Story 6 of the Worst Mistakes People Have Made While Traveling Story