March 28, 2023 | Eul Basa

Tourists Share Their Travel Horror Stories

Traveling is a treat that everyone should get to enjoy. But traveling can also be scary: an unfamiliar place, getting lost in a different city, not knowing how to ask for help or who to trust. These Redditors' travel horror stories are enough to stop anyone from getting on that next plane out, ever again.

1. Smurfed

I went to use one of those free standing, self-cleaning bathrooms in Paris. I didn't know you had to let the doors close and let it run its wash cycle after every use. I went in immediately after someone walked out, and got sprayed by dozens of jets loaded with water and blue cleaning fluid.


Travel Horror Stories factsShutterstock

[dx_custom_adunit desktop_id="RTK_C6UG" mobile_id="RTK_sPk1"]

2. Advertisements Be Lying

I signed up for a three-day trip to Amsterdam that said it had good accommodations in the center of the city. It actually turned out to be a boat that was docked in a canal nowhere near anything. It was the middle of winter, and there was no heat on the boat. The sewage system malfunctioned and leaked everywhere on the second day, so the boat stunk.

There was nowhere to even buy food nearby, so I spent most of the trip huddled under a blanket feeling cold and hungry, and wishing I had the energy to walk into the city.


Travel Horror Stories factsPexels

[dx_custom_adunit desktop_id="RTK_C6UG" mobile_id="RTK_sPk1"]

3. Unshakeable Enthusiasm

In Ecuador, my wife's bag was stolen, and she lost all three of her passports. In Botswana, I was hitching a ride in the back of a truck, which then ran off the road. In Morocco, my train derailed. In Israel, my friend fell down a mountain and was taken to hospital by helicopter. But in every case, everything turned out fine. Traveling is awesome!


Travel Horror Stories factsPixabay

[dx_custom_adunit desktop_id="RTK_C6UG" mobile_id="RTK_sPk1"]

4. Lesson Learned

I got hustled off an equivalent of 550 USD on the first day in Cuba for being too darn trusting.


Travel Horror Stories factsPixabay

[dx_custom_adunit desktop_id="RTK_C6UG" mobile_id="RTK_sPk1"]


5. Local Charm

A few months ago when I was in Italy, I decided to go read at the beach nearby. It ended up with me there nearly everyday we didn't have anything planned. I should mention I was a 23-year-old girl in the middle of rural Italy, and the Italians are very open about how they think and feel. I was followed home and nearly run off my bike by one man. I also found a guy watching me in the bushes, and I was asked out by random old men nearly every day. Though I loved my time in Italy, it did ruin it slightly.


Travel Horror Stories factsPixabay

[dx_custom_adunit desktop_id="RTK_C6UG" mobile_id="RTK_sPk1"]

6. Prepare to Be Uncomfortable for 10 Days

I did a summer study abroad in Kenya. We had a home base, and then took trips around the country for 5-12 days. I would leave most of my stuff at the home base and bring a smaller bag with me on the trips. First day of a ten-day trip, my bag was stolen—literally everything I had with me except my passport and cash, which I thankfully had in a moneybelt-type thing on me at the time.

We felt pretty certain we knew who took it, and called the cops. Big mistake. By the time we left the police station, I was so fearful for the safety of the boys we accused, I couldn't leave without making sure the boys went with us. For ten days, I had to wash my underwear each night and hope it dried by the morning. Another girl had an extra deodorant she gave me.

By the time we got back, I never wanted to see those clothes again—ten days in a row, ugh. Lost my camera, binoculars, some amazing pictures, lots of stuff. Sucked.


Travel Horror Stories factsPixabay

[dx_custom_adunit desktop_id="RTK_C6UG" mobile_id="RTK_sPk1"]

7. Guns Are Scary

Many years ago on the way to the UK, we had a brief stopover in Dubai. I was around 9 years old, first time flying, and really suffering air sickness. We debark the plane and the heat hits me hard. I stumble from the steps to the tarmac and proceed to vomit foamy water...inches away from the toes of a security guy armed with a machine gun.

I was scared witless and couldn't move. My family apologized profusely and dragged me onto a waiting bus. Granted, this fellow didn't change expression or even move from my sad puddle, but darn, we were green travellers and had never seen guns before, let alone potentially pissed off a gun owner. I still cringe when I remember the look in his eyes and my mother’s face.


Travel Horror Stories factsShutterstock

[dx_custom_adunit desktop_id="RTK_C6UG" mobile_id="RTK_sPk1"]

8. Amateur Hour Over Here

Morocco: climbed Mount Toubkal, second highest mountain in Africa. We were too stingy to pay a guide, took a wrong turn. Boulders gradually became sparse, and the ground was so un-solid that we started slipping down the mountain. There's no mountain rescue around there, and this was too high up even for donkeys.

Hearing our screams, an actual climber came to the rescue. He vanished to help the others before I had the chance to thank him, but to this day I'm convinced he was a guardian angel. Bawled like a baby when I was safe. It's the only time I've ever genuinely thought I would die.


Travel Horror Stories factsPixabay

[dx_custom_adunit desktop_id="RTK_C6UG" mobile_id="RTK_sPk1"]

9. My Eyes, They Burn!

I went to the beach with my parents, and they wore matching outfits (including shirts with the city name on them) and fanny packs. It was horrifying.


Travel Horror Stories factsShutterstock

[dx_custom_adunit desktop_id="RTK_C6UG" mobile_id="RTK_sPk1"]

10. This Is Not a Mugging

Atlanta. Downtown was really nice. Olympic Park, World of Coke, a very good Aquarium, etc. Outside the perimeter was like running the gauntlet in the post-apocalypse. I had a guy come up to me, pull up his shirt showing a revolver in his pants, and ask for $20.00 I still tell myself giving him $20 while my daughter went pee in the worst gas station bathroom her or my wife have ever seen wasn't a "mugging."


Travel Horror Stories factsPixabay

[dx_custom_adunit desktop_id="RTK_C6UG" mobile_id="RTK_sPk1"]


11. Don’t Drink and Drive

When I was roughly ten, we were riding The Ducks, a type of vehicle that is also a boat. I love the water and sight-seeing, so this was awesome. We passed a dam, and not 10 seconds after the boat left the dam behind, a speed boat came flying over the top of the dam and landed upside down on the concrete below.

They quickly brought us back to the tour station, and we saw EMTs carrying body bags out of the ambulance. Later found out on the news that the driver of the boat was a very drunk young woman.


Travel Horror Stories factsWikimedia Commons, Joe Mabel

[dx_custom_adunit desktop_id="RTK_C6UG" mobile_id="RTK_sPk1"]

12. And That’s How I Started My New Life as a Dutch Student

Not mine, but an old friend of mine has got to be the unluckiest traveller. Story 1: She flew into Poland—I forget which city—and was planning to take a bus from the airport to Krakow, which she was told would be a trip of a few hours. She got off the plane and asked at the information desk about the bus to Krakow. They told her where to find it and she went on her way.

She got on her bus and took a seat. The bus is starting to fill up. A few people are looking at her weird. She's thinking, darn, is this like when I wore the neon pink T-shirt in Germany and literally every other person I saw was wearing black or gray, and I looked like a freak tourist? Eventually the bus fills up, the doors close, and they're on their way.

That's right about the point that she realized everyone else on this bus seemed to know each other. She was on a school trip of Dutch students visiting Krakow. The bus was already moving. They were really cool about it, but she was mortified. But hey, free bus trip, so she couldn't really complain that much about the circumstances.

Story 2: She was visiting Budapest with her roommate, and had been told they just had to visit the thermal baths. The way the baths work is you shower, go into the baths and tool around/relax, and then shower again when you get out. Steps one and two went without fanfare. The baths were nice and relaxing, and they were ready to shower again and get out of there.

They went into the bathroom, and unfortunately all of the showers were full. With people so loosey-goosey from the baths, some of them were taking a while, too. But this one old woman was showering in the middle of the room in a giant, super-powerful sprinkler—the spray went all the way to the ceiling, it was pretty incredible apparently.

The old woman finished up and my friend said to her roommate, "Hey, let's just use the sprinkler shower. We can both use it at the same time and get out of here faster." So they got into the sprinkler shower and started sudsing up, doing their thang. A few minutes later, a woman comes up to them, talking very quickly and gesticulating wildly.

"Sorry, only English," they repeat over and over. Finally the woman motions for them to move out of the sprinkler shower. She looks at them, and then exaggeratedly pops a squat over the stream of water. They were showering in a bidet.


Travel Horror Stories factsShutterstock

[dx_custom_adunit desktop_id="RTK_C6UG" mobile_id="RTK_sPk1"]

13. Logistical Nightmare

American Airlines changed my ticket due to delays in NYC. They did not tell British or Turkish Airways. So when I called to confirm my return ticket 2 days before I'm set to fly out of Nairobi, I find that both British Airways and Turkish Airlines canceled my return trip because I was a no-show. That's when the panic started to set in.

Turkish Airlines in Nairobi told me that the only thing I had to do to get my whole flight reinstated was to have American Airlines put in a code that said they diverted my flight, and that would auto update all the way through the system. American Airlines, however, refused to do that, and the woman on the line refused to bump me up to a higher authority.

After being on the phone and in and out of the Turkish Airlines office for two days straight, they finally gave me a waiver on their end. It was such a hassle, I would have to call American Airlines when they were open East Coast time, and then I'd have to be in the Turkish office when they are open during their work hours.

I wish they did it sooner and it would have saved me a lot of stress, but considering all that, I love Turkish Airlines and I hate American Airlines. It was going to cost my wife and I five thousand dollars a person to buy the same tickets that we had. I seriously felt like I was drowning.


Travel Horror Stories factsWikipedia

[dx_custom_adunit desktop_id="RTK_C6UG" mobile_id="RTK_sPk1"]

14. Arachnophobia

I was in Egypt, and we were in a tour bus heading down the Sinai Peninsula to Sharm el-Sheikh. About halfway down the peninsula, we stopped at a rest area. I really needed to relieve myself, and ran to the restroom. I was undoing my belt and starting to pull down my pants as I entered into the stall (couldn't hold it much longer), when a huge spider crawled out from being in the toilet.

I'm convinced he made an audible hissing noise, but that might have been me. I ran out of there, pants half-down, screaming "ankabut kabeer! ankabut kabeer!" Which means "big spider." The owner sighed, grabbed a broom, and chased him out of there.


Travel Horror Stories factsPixabay

[dx_custom_adunit desktop_id="RTK_C6UG" mobile_id="RTK_sPk1"]

15. Save the Salamanders

Went to Florida with my family when I was around 12. Didn't know that some lizards' (or salamanders' in this case) tails will fall off as a way to avoid predators. After trying to catch a salamander for FOREVER, I was SO PROUD to have finally caught one, and when I looked down to see the little guy, all I had was a massive, still wriggling, tail.

Screamed like heck and ran away. Didn't try to catch anymore salamanders after that.


Travel Horror Stories factsPixabay

[dx_custom_adunit desktop_id="RTK_C6UG" mobile_id="RTK_sPk1"]

16. Crisis Averted

My political science teacher spent the last year traveling across Africa for personal enlightenment, and he told us a story from when he was in Burkina Faso, one of the poorest countries in Africa. His taxi driver picked him up from the hotel he decided to stay at (it was a one night thing cause he just wanted to have a hot shower).

Being a hotel and all, obviously only people with money can afford to stay at such a location. Taxi driver starts to drive in the completely opposite direction of the destination, eventually getting to a very narrow ally. My teacher states "If you do not turn this car around, I'm jumping out right now and you don't get paid." (He said this while literally opening the door.)

Guy stops the car, ponders for a minute, and turns around back in the intended direction. Teacher is nerdy-looking too, really nice guy, just not the best physical appearance to look intimidating.


Travel Horror Stories factsPixabay

[dx_custom_adunit desktop_id="RTK_C6UG" mobile_id="RTK_sPk1"]


17. A Different Sort of Attraction

I saw a dead woman on a train platform. She was covered in a very sheer cloth, and it was clear that rigor mortis had set in, so who knows how long she had been there. All the locals acted like it was perfectly normal. No one batted an eye, and they all just stood there waiting for their train. When I told one of the men that worked on the platform that there was a dead woman there, he looked at me like he could NOT be bothered to care.


Travel Horror Stories factsPixabay

[dx_custom_adunit desktop_id="RTK_C6UG" mobile_id="RTK_sPk1"]

18. Really Packed a lot Into a Week

Seoul, South Korea (2010)

  • Lost my passport;
  • Got robbed by my taxi driver (later called by Seoul police, they got the taxi driver and my passport);
  • Hotel was in a different part of the city than advertised;
  • Had a rice bun thrown at my head by an old lady outside my hotel, twice;
  • Got yelled at by a US serviceman while at the DMZ gift shop. I'm American, but wearing a "communist hat" according to him. When did the SF Giants beanie become communist?
  • Got super drunk, almost got hit by a cab (I admit that one is all me);
  • Got yelled at by some Korean teenager for some unknown reason. I was just staring at the city skyline. He tapped me on the shoulder and just screamed at me;
  • Taxi cab driver fell asleep while waiting in traffic on the way to the airport. I got yelled at for waking him up;
  • Police at the airport thought my tattered (I had been traveling a lot at this time) passport was fake.

But all in all, would visit South Korea again. I was there for a week, and even after all that I still had a blast.


Travel Horror Stories factsPixabay

[dx_custom_adunit desktop_id="RTK_C6UG" mobile_id="RTK_sPk1"]

19. Prickly Parisians

When I was in first grade and my sister was two, my family went to Paris. We were sitting in a garden eating a picnic and speaking in English. Some French teenagers heard us from the balcony above and started throwing rocks at us and yelling insults that I didn't know. I had to cover my little sister because I was freaked out that she was going to get hit on the head.

We ended up packing our stuff and leaving in a rush, as none of the adults in the park even moved to get them to stop. They were above us, so my parents couldn't. I had nightmares for a year.


Travel Horror Stories factsPixabay

[dx_custom_adunit desktop_id="RTK_C6UG" mobile_id="RTK_sPk1"]

20. Airport Trauma

Must have been when I started my travels to Australia. The flight was Emirates, Zurich to Melbourne, with a changeover in Dubai. I was supposed to arrive in Dubai at about 7 am, then leave on another plane 3 hours later. Because there was fog around Dubai, we landed in Abu Dhabi instead. They informed us of the situation.

Since it was Emirates with their great situation, I didn't care much, they'd sort it out, right? After sitting in Abu Dhabi for 5 hours, we flew back to Dubai and finally landed there. My connection flight was gone, but since I had gotten myself a 1 year visa, there was time enough to get to Australia. Once we entered the terminal, I changed my mind.

It was pandemonium and chaos, massive queues at every counter, for 5 hours worth of missed flights. I went to find a row of counters to add myself to the pile of people already there, and got comfortable. For the next 15 HOURS! It was crazy: the queues never advanced, nobody seemed to be coming out, and the Emirates ground staff seemed completely incapable of handling the situation.

After 3 hours of standing there, most people cracked and started abusing the service agents about their ineptitude (I kept myself together for a few more hours, but in the end, just didn't give a darn anymore). The airline handed out water and some bread in the beginning, but that was it. So most people didn't eat or drink all day, out of fear of losing their spot in the queue.

Though after a few hours, people got acquainted with their neighbors and a certain solidarity formed, so that everyone kept each other's spot free. In the late hours of the evening and with swelling feet, we all noticed that Emirates had started giving out hotel vouchers, because all of the next Australia-bound flights were full.

I don't care anymore, just let this misery end!! When I was finally at the counter, I didn't get served for another hour. I have no idea why. WHEN I got finally served, they refused to rebook me. After standing there from midday to 1 am, they don't want to give me a new ticket! They claimed that they couldn't do anything because I had booked with a 3rd party website (it's still their flight, it was a bologna answer).

Also, their advice was to call the company I had booked with, in Germany. It was nighttime there at that point. I was tired though, worn out and frustrated, so I just stumbled away and cried a bit. Couldn't use the ATMs to get money out for some reason, so there was no calling the booking agent, as my phone didn't get reception there either.

After a while, I just wandered back to "my" service desks and they had started grouping people together according to their destination. I went to the Melbourne group and just sat and waited. After quite a while, everyone's hero of the day showed up. I will be eternally grateful to this young and scrawny Emirates guy who just took everyone's passport and tickets, went onto the phone for 20 minutes, and then came back with new boarding passes for all of us!

Deliverance!! HAAA! In the end, we had to jog to the gate, because my new flight was about half an hour later. I left Dubai slightly traumatized at 3 am or something, after having stood in line there for about 15 hours. My too large shoes barely fit because my feet were so swollen. I slept through most of the following 19 hour flight.

Ah, and I forgot one. At about 11 pm, Emirates told us over the loud speakers that they had run out of hotel vouchers, so everyone should go away and come back after 2 am...I will avoid that company for the rest of my life.


Travel Horror Stories factsShutterstock

[dx_custom_adunit desktop_id="RTK_C6UG" mobile_id="RTK_sPk1"]

21. Communication Breakdown

Flying United Airlines out of Newark to Rome for a vacation with my family. About 15 minutes after taking off, the pilot comes over the intercom and says there is something wrong with one of the two engine’s fuel filters. It's not a huge concern, he says, but it would be a bad idea to fly out over the Atlantic without it working properly.

We head back to Newark, and the whole time we have to dump fuel because we are way too heavy to land. We circle the airport, dumping fuel, and finally land very hard since we were still heavy. Apparently, it was worse than what the pilot said, as they had other flights circle around and we had the whole landing strip with emergency vehicles all lined up and waiting for us.

After landing, we were told it would take one hour to fix. Two hours go by and they let us re-board. After sitting in our seats for 20 minutes, we have to de-board again because of a new issue. An hour later, we are allowed to re-board. 30 minutes go by and we have to de-board for a second time because of the inspector not clearing the plane for flight.

We wait another hour while United decides what to do, and they transfer all of our luggage and take a plane that was due to go to Argentina the next morning instead. All I got was some free miles and a ton of drink vouchers that I used on the flight back home.


Travel Horror Stories factsPixabay

[dx_custom_adunit desktop_id="RTK_C6UG" mobile_id="RTK_sPk1"]

22. Thieving Spies

I was traveling alone in southern France. One particular night, I decided to camp above a little beach in the outskirts of Nice. There were no flat spots, so I didn't pitch a tent, and slept in my sleeping bag on a sloped patch of grass. I got a terrible night of sleep due to a beach-cleaning truck, a group of teenagers that walked by (this startled me and them), and my bad choice of sleeping location.

I woke up early in the morning to find that someone had taken my pack of cigarettes that were sitting inches from me as I slept, which is creepy as heck now that I think about it. The next day, I decided to go snorkeling and stashed my backpack in a bush. I return to find that someone had stolen half my clothes, my journal, my souvenirs, and all my toiletries along with some electronics (I know, I'm an idiot).

This was pretty devastating, but the snorkeling was amazing. Later that evening, I was talking to a local fisherman on the beach, and I mentioned what happened. He said someone was probably watching me that morning, and saw me stash my stuff. None of this seemed too weird at the time, but looking back, it's really freaking creepy.


Travel Horror Stories factsShutterstock

[dx_custom_adunit desktop_id="RTK_C6UG" mobile_id="RTK_sPk1"]


23. The Trick Is to Never Sleep

My husband and I were traveling by rail around Europe. We got on a train from Nice to Pisa. We'd heard lots of stories about people getting robbed, but figured the American tourists in Hawaiian shirts and Bermuda shorts a couple cabins down would be the most likely victims. We sat up chatting for awhile, and after we crossed the Italian border, we decided to lay down—not to sleep but to just get comfy.

The last thing I remember is the door sliding open and then shut again and suddenly getting super sleepy. I fought the sleepiness as hard as I could, but just couldn't fight it anymore. The next thing we know, we're pulling into the station in Pisa, and our backpacks were out of place. The minute we saw them, we just knew what had happened.

They hadn't gotten anything really important, since that stuff was buried down deep in our big packs, but they'd gone through my husband's wallet and stolen my handbag out of my smaller pack. Unfortunately for us, all of our money was in my bank account, which we no longer had access to. So actually, I guess something important was gone.

We had to ring my husband's parents in Australia and get them to deposit AUD 500 into his bank account, since he still had his card, which was unfortunately only about USD 250 at the time. That's all we had to travel on from Pisa to Bologna to Munich to Brussels to London, where we finally visited his brother. It was quite an adventure.


Travel Horror Stories factsPixabay

[dx_custom_adunit desktop_id="RTK_C6UG" mobile_id="RTK_sPk1"]

24. Fear Ruins Everything

Went on a three-week holiday with my SO to Brazil and was robbed after two days by four guys with knives in broad daylight on the Copacabana. We had nothing on us but a few Real (about $10). People who saw it happen did nothing, and it ruined the rest of our vacation because of fear it could happen again. Such a shame for such a beautiful country.


Travel Horror Stories factsShutterstock

[dx_custom_adunit desktop_id="RTK_C6UG" mobile_id="RTK_sPk1"]

25. Do As the Locals

The capsule hotel I stayed in in Tokyo didn't have a western shower, only a sento (public bath). Taking a shower in these took my 1st Japanese teacher a week to mentally prepare herself for, as her Japanese colleagues would invite her to a sento and she would pull excuses until she caved. Yet I had to bite the bullet and do it on day 1.

After a 20 hour flight, and a train ride from Narita to Shinjuku, not taking a bath wasn't an option.


Travel Horror Stories factsWikipedia

[dx_custom_adunit desktop_id="RTK_C6UG" mobile_id="RTK_sPk1"]

26. Seriously, Wear Sunscreen

I went to Ibiza with my parents when I was sixteen...No wait, that's not the horror story, it gets worse. Our fully inclusive hotel had a swimming pool, and it was in the height of summer. I'm very white (ginger flecks in my hair, freckles), so off I skip to the pool, on my own, with no sun protection. It was the stupidest mistake of my life.

I was there with the full force of the sun raining down on me for three hours without a T-shirt on. At some point, an olive-skinned local says to me, as I'm sitting on the edge of the pool, "hey, you've got really bad sunburn, are you OK?" at that point I feel fine, so I carry on...Much later on, I notice a tingling, but it's far, far too late to do anything about it.

The full impact of the damage I'd done wasn't evident for a few hours. Turns out I'd managed to give myself a horrific sunburn, and now I had severe heat stroke. My parents had to pay for a doctor to come and take a look at me, and she prescribed ginger tablets and glucose for some reason(?!). All that did was make it taste like acid ginger when I threw up.

Then I was in and out of consciousness for three days. When I woke up, my back felt like it'd been attacked with a cheese grater, and as the days wore on, my skin started to come off. I could peel A4-sized sheets of skin off my back and shoulders, and the tops of my feet were so burned that I couldn't stand or walk for long.

I learned that if you're white with the whole ginger thing going on, wear sunscreen, and a T-shirt, and a hat.


Travel Horror Stories factsPixabay

[dx_custom_adunit desktop_id="RTK_C6UG" mobile_id="RTK_sPk1"]

27. Being a Woman Is No Picnic

While in Amsterdam, I was at a coffee shop and noticed three men watching me. They followed me all the way back to my house, and they only left when my father and brother in-law came running out the front door after hearing me scream for help. I was very lucky.


Travel Horror Stories factsPixabay

[dx_custom_adunit desktop_id="RTK_C6UG" mobile_id="RTK_sPk1"]

28. Waves Don’t Have a Universal Meaning

Sometime in the mid 80s. I was in my early-mid teens. Arrived at the Munich train station early in the morning. My family was with me, including my brother and Uncle Rob, who is only a couple years older than I am. We needed to wash up a bit, and we hit the restroom while my parents waited outside. The restroom was empty except for us.

An older guy walks in and waves. Uncle Rob waves back, thinking "folks sure are friendly in Munich." Guy then gets between me and Rob and starts touching himself. My brother and I run out. Rob, however, did not realize what was going on. I yelled for him, and he figured it out real quick after that. When we told my mom and grandma what happened, they just laughed it off.


Travel Horror Stories factsPixabay

[dx_custom_adunit desktop_id="RTK_C6UG" mobile_id="RTK_sPk1"]

29. Elevator Trap

I was 11 years old when we went to Slovakia with the whole family, and it was pretty much like any big city holiday, and therefore completely boring and uninteresting for an 11-year-old boy. So one evening when we got back to the hotel, I wanted to see if the hotel had any sort of cool features like an arcade room or anything else.

I just didn't want to spend more time with my family talking about all the boring churches and museums and what-not. So I went into an elevator and pressed for the lobby—and absolutely nothing happened. I figured the thing might be broken, so I just pressed to open the doors, and again nothing happened. I was slightly afraid now.

I was kind of stuck inside the elevator, so I knocked a couple of times on the door, which in hindsight was a bad idea. Because after I knocked on the door, the elevator started falling down. Not in a free fall, luckily, but definitely faster than an elevator is supposed to go down. A few seconds later, it hit the ground and stopped with a bang.

This was followed by a "ding!" and the door opened and let me into a small, completely dark room only lit up by the lights from inside the elevator, and then there was a locked door. The only thing I could make the elevator do now was open and close the door, so I sat in there waiting for someone to rescue me while I went through the 5 stages of grief in perfect order.

At first I didn't believe it was real. It must have been some sort of mistake, and soon someone would open the locked door and find me. Then I got really angry because I was just trying to find something to do, and then I had to go and get trapped in a stupid elevator. Bargaining is pretty hard when you're alone, but I figured it was as good a time as any to start hoping for some divine intervention.

After that, I just cried until I accepted my fate and peed in the elevator as a sort of "screw you" to the hotel when they found my body so somebody would have to clean up my piss too. A while later, though, I heard something that sounded enough like footsteps for me to shout for help at it. Apparently, it noticed because they stopped and then moved closer to the elevator shaft (it came from a couple floors up).

I shouted help again and again until the elevator suddenly said "ding!" and started moving up and opened the door on the very floor I had left it. There stood nobody other than my own big brother, who had gone out to look for me because I had been away for over an hour. When he had heard me call for help, he called the elevator.


Travel Horror Stories factsShutterstock

[dx_custom_adunit desktop_id="RTK_C6UG" mobile_id="RTK_sPk1"]

30. Get 'em Ma!

My parents got mugged in Colombia. My brother and I were about 50 yards ahead of them, and heard my mom scream in panic. We sprinted back, just in time, to see her swing her purse around and connect. The guy went down hard thanks to the $1,200 Nikon in her purse.


Travel Horror Stories factsShutterstock

[dx_custom_adunit desktop_id="RTK_C6UG" mobile_id="RTK_sPk1"]

31. PSA: Always Wear Sunscreen

I got so badly sunburnt in Thailand, and every time I smiled my face literally bled.


Travel Horror Stories factsShutterstock

[dx_custom_adunit desktop_id="RTK_C6UG" mobile_id="RTK_sPk1"]

32. How Disgustingly Terrifying

My family took a trip to Sudan (to visit my Dad’s family). My brother came back with a severe rash all over his back. The rash persisted for a few weeks, and the doctors had no idea what it was. Then, we were at the park one day and he started complaining about the rash to our mom, saying it was starting to even hurt more.

She ignored it, thinking he must have rubbed it on something by accident, when he fell to the floor screaming with pain, and literally hundred and hundreds of flies came flying out of a single hole at the base of his neck. He was 8. Apparently some sort of African fly had laid eggs (or more likely cocoons or something) in his back when we slept.

They hatched when we were back in England. Scary stuff.


Travel Horror Stories factsPixabay

[dx_custom_adunit desktop_id="RTK_C6UG" mobile_id="RTK_sPk1"]

33. Canadians: So Kind It’s Scary

The worst hotel I ever stayed at was in Daraa, just over the border in Syria after I spent the day traveling from Jordan (this was 20-odd years ago). This place didn't look too sketchy at first glance. I crashed out in bed, but woke a couple of hours later COVERED in bed bugs and bitten to heck. I end up sleeping on the floor.

In the morning, I go to the loo and it's like the Apocalypse in there. As if a prison dirty protest had been taking place for 10 years. Horse-sized cockroaches everywhere, and somewhere beneath the smeared poo and detritus was possibly a hole in the ground where you're meant to do your business. It was so bad that when Trainspotting came out in the cinema a year or two later, I laughed at the toilet scene because it was so tame compared to what I'd seen in Syria.

I also stayed in a really sketchy hotel in Cairo, with mice running along the skirting and bare wires protruding from the wall just above my pillow. After a couple of days, I wanted to find out whether the wires were live, so I touched them together—and ended up shorting out three buildings. The toilets were better though.

Then, hitchhiking through the Yukon, I got a lift from a couple (boy and girl) who randomly pulled off the highway onto a dirt road and drove 10 minutes into the middle of nowhere before insisting we all get out of the car, and they then showed me their collection of hunting rifles in the boot. That felt very sketchy indeed for a while.

But being in Canada, it obviously turned out fine, and it transpired that they just wanted to show me a great view over the next town and the mountains.


Travel Horror Stories factsShutterstock

Sources: 1, 2

Dear reader,

It’s true what they say: money makes the world go round. In order to succeed in this life, you need to have a good grasp of key financial concepts. That’s where Moneymade comes in. Our mission is to provide you with the best financial advice and information to help you navigate this ever-changing world. Sometimes, generating wealth just requires common sense. Don’t max out your credit card if you can’t afford the interest payments. Don’t overspend on Christmas shopping. When ordering gifts on Amazon, make sure you factor in taxes and shipping costs. If you need a new car, consider a model that’s easy to repair instead of an expensive BMW or Mercedes. Sometimes you dream vacation to Hawaii or the Bahamas just isn’t in the budget, but there may be more affordable all-inclusive hotels if you know where to look.

Looking for a new home? Make sure you get a mortgage rate that works for you. That means understanding the difference between fixed and variable interest rates. Whether you’re looking to learn how to make money, save money, or invest your money, our well-researched and insightful content will set you on the path to financial success. Passionate about mortgage rates, real estate, investing, saving, or anything money-related? Looking to learn how to generate wealth? Improve your life today with Moneymade. If you have any feedback for the MoneyMade team, please reach out to [email protected]. Thanks for your help!

Warmest regards,

The Moneymade team