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General Travel

What was you best and worst experience while traveling ?

When traveling, people always hear all the great things and how you did this and went here but they don't always know the struggles you went through to get there like waking up at 2:30 in the morning to go to work they just see the beautiful sunrise photo you post, what are some of the things/struggles you went thru that ended in something beautiful or made for an interesting story ?

14 Answers

top answer by
Rasto from Edmonton

I have positive experience most of the time when traveling, but my trip to Ecuador last year was a nightmare. When I was returning back to Canada they denied me to board a plane because some idiot didn't put an entry stamp to my passport. They sent me back all the way from Guayaquil to Rumichaca on Colombian border to get the stamp. I wasted 3 days of my vacation being forced to stay there longer to deal with bureaucrats in Quito and on the border, and if this wasn't enough some crook stole my camera with 1,300 picture on it when on a bus just 2 hours before I got to the airport on my way home.

I try to be very active and move around a lot in the country I'm traveling so I get to see and experience a lot. I had a lot of nice and magic moments in every country I was traveling so far, in some countries more in some less.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Ecuador (attraction)
  2. Guayaquil (city)
  3. Quito (city)
3 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Elizabeth from Boynton Beach

Rylee, I experienced the worst and the best on a trip to Hawaii in 2013. I wanted to do all four of the major islands--O'ahuMauiHawaiiKaua'i. It was a lot of logistics--five flights, four rental cars & four places to stay. So I screwed up. After three great days on Oahu, I got to the airport only to discover that I had booked my flight to Maui on the wrong date.

Oh, crap! Off to the Hawaiian Airlines Customer Service line--10 folks deep.

After what seemed like forever, I got to the desk and the "trainee" behind the counter--a lovely young woman--informed me that I wouldn't be able to get to Maui until 8 PM. (It was now 11:40 AM). OK. Not thrilled, but I can live with that.

Just as she was about to make it so, her supervisor arrived, did a spot check and said, "Oh, no, look here, if she runs to the gate, we can put her on the flight leaving at noon."  So, of course, I ran and boarded that flight.

As luck would have it, it was the last retirement flight of a 35-year veteran Hawaiian Airlines pilot. The whole flight was one big party. Of course, he wasn't drinking--but everyone else was. Champagne was flowing and the flight crew did a "this is your life tribute." Can you say Joy Ride?

On approach to Maui, he announced that instead of flying above the Iao Valley as is customary, we would be flying through it. Think of the sound of a dog fight scene from a WWII movie. I can still hear that concussive noise of the engines reverberating off the sides of the valley and the young lady next to me shrieking because we were flying so low. Too cool! 

Sometimes the best laid plans give way to something better.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. O'ahu (attraction)
  2. Maui (attraction)
  3. Hawaii (attraction)
  4. Kaua'i (attraction)
2 thankscomments (4)

answered by
Brenda from Long Beach

Best: meeting a guy in Barcelona and spending five days living like a local and discovering the city on the back of a motorcycle. Worst: Getting aggressively pawed by a man old enough to be my dad on a train from Rome to Florence and then discovering my luggage (which was above my head) was stolen. You take the good with the bad...and always have a story you'll remember for a lifetime.

1 thanks

answered by
Roberta from Carlsbad (California)

I was pick pocketed in Venice the first day of a 2 Week cruise! Am Express issued a replacement card when we docked in Athens. I went to a jewelry store to purchase a gold bracelet with my new card. The owner did not take Am Ex so,he let me walk out with the bracelet and the promise I would send the payment when I got home +$700! upon my return home, I received a call fro. The embassy they had my wallet! So you see, there is good and bad everywhere we go. Celebrate the is everywhere if we look! I get a Christmas card every year from the Athens jeweler! I of course was out the money but on a cruise, your meals and lodging are covered!

1 thanks

answered by
Justin from Phoenix

Things have always gone pretty well for me when I travel, so my "worst" is pretty benign. But here it is: We'd just landed in Keflavík International Airport and were taking a bus to Reykjavik. There was some American guy on the bus who just the epitome of a complete chowderhead bro ... he kept making all sorts of really unoriginal, unfunny, uncalled for and awkward jokes about the sheep-to-person ratio in Iceland. He's exactly the sort of person who deserves to have his passport revoked.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Keflavík International Airport (attraction)
  2. Reykjavik (city)
1 thanks

answered first by
Rocio from Costa Rica

When traveling everything is positive as I see it as a new adventure. However, during one of my trips to New York City I was stuck in my hotel's room for almost 2 days when Sandy hit the East coast back in 2012. It was a scary adventure that I call "A fall with Sandy" just to laugh about it.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. New York City (city)
1 thanks

answered by
Olivia from Philadelphia

I love seeing a panoramic view of the cities when traveling. I have visited and seen a stunning view in the following cities: (Rome, PragueParisSalzburg, Barcelona, Asolo, and Budapest.)  Check out my blog post with photos! However, the best view was of Rome from the top of Gianicolo Hill at 5:00 A.M. It was while I studied abroad in college and I watched the sunrise over the skyline. Absolutely breathtaking. I was exhausted and had class the next day, but it was well worth it!

My worst experience was when a guy was trying to scam my friends in Stazione Roma Termini. We fought once and he spit in my face. Read the full story here. Overall, it was very uncomfortable and very rude.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Rome (city)
  2. Prague (city)
  3. Paris (city)
  4. Salzburg (city)
  5. Barcelona (city)
  6. Asolo (attraction)
  7. Budapest (city)
  8. Stazione Roma Termini (attraction)

answered by
Janelle from Charleston

Best experience: visiting the Western Wallin Jerusalem.  I am Catholic, but seeing the holiest of holies in the Jewish religion and the devotion and reverence that the worshippers have for "Ha-Kotel" blew my mind away.  There was an outpouring of prayer, love and desire for peace that completely surrounded the place.  Observing what goes on at the Western Wall will leave you no doubt that Judaism is a religion of peace, whilst just a few feet away you see the Al Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest spot for a religion that is anything but peaceful.

Worst experience: Saskatoon.  I was having a great time until I had breakfast at a restaurant called Taunte Maria's Mennonite Restaurant.  I started to feel weak and dizzy by early afternoon, the stomach cramps started by mid-afternoon, and by night I was in hospital with salmonella poisoning and dehydration.  I lost 12 pounds in 48 hours.  The only saving grace was that this happened to me in a first world country with excellent medical care (which Canada has) than in a third world country with inadequate, unsafe hospitals.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Western Wall (attraction)
  2. Saskatoon (attraction)
  3. Taunte Maria's Mennonite Restaurant (restaurant)

answered by
Joan from San Diego

MY worst experience, hands down, was traveling from my hotel in Istanbul to the airport at the end of my trip. I had been warned about taxi drivers who refused to use the meter...I was picked up at my hotel at around 5 AM.  The hotel had told me about what the fare should be to the airport.  The driver spoke English when he picked me up - but lost the ability to communicate when I asked that he turn on his meter.  When we got to the airport I tried to pay him the rate the hotel had quoted - but he grabbed my wallet from my hand and pulled out ALL the currency - YTL and USD - and threw them on the front seat, and started picking through the money.  He then handed me back my wallet and a handful of bills.  I have no idea how much he took.  This was my first big trip as a solo female traveler and it definitely left a bad taste on an otherwise delightful visit.  It really shook me up.

Best experience - too many to count!  Recently taking a shore trip in Prince Rupert, Alaska to visit a grizzly bear sanctuary - the bears were awesome, but even more awesome was when the captain stopped the boat and called eagles, and suddenly we were swarmed by at least 20 of these beautiful birds.  Others - first meal in Italy, being under the Eiffel Tower at midnight on New Year's Eve, road to Hana in Maui, the north end of the River Kwai in Thailand...

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Istanbul (city)
  2. Prince Rupert (city)

answered by
Paul from Nevada City

Great question!

Best: Doing a free two-week Mediterranean cruise in the early '90s with my parents, three sisters and some of their girl friends. One of my sisters worked for the cruise line and hooked up deep discounts for everybody. With stops in Venice, Dubrovnik, Corfu, Rome, Nice. Malaga and Lisbon, it was an awesome introduction to Europe. And the April weather was perfect. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to go back.

Worst: Around 6 a.m., while my family was sleeping in a Los Angeles motel, a thief pushed in a screen window and grabbed my dad's pants (and wallet) off a chair and disappeared. Our room was on the ground floor. Of course, it was a major pain in the ass to deal with canceling/replacing credit cards, but it was a lot harder back then (in the mid-'70s) than today. There some good lessons learned about room safety, wallet security and how to deal with a crisis on vacation. I never, ever leave hotel window open an inch.  

answered by

Worst:  being robbed in New Zealand while sleeping in the room with the thief

Best:  eating a Chinese dinner with a rural family in the hills of China.  A taxi driver we hired invited us to his home for dinner.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. China (country)

answered by
Aizik from Bangkok

I can tell about my friends who had an experience; They were at Florida Keys
It was about 2 years ago

They sank with their vehicle into an alligator's swamp...
There were no other people around
It was night.
Rescue services did not believe them for 3 hours
Only later sent them a helicopter and they climb up the helicopter ladder.
Trauma ...

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Florida Keys (attraction)

answered by
Maria from Dublin

My best was travelling around Sri Lanka with a lovely, friendly local driver who knew all the hidden places to go and was great company. The worst was a trip to Australia with my husband, Brian and then 10 year old daughter. On our first morning in Palm Cove my (flying-mad) husband decided to try paragliding off the beach. We watched in horror as Brian fell from a great height onto the hard sand. He broke his ankle in 4 places, had a 6 hour operation and spent the next week in hospital in Cairns It was very tricky getting medical authorisation to fly the 22 hours home and we had to spend an extra week in Australia (which was nice!)

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Sri Lanka (attraction)
  2. Australia (attraction)
  3. Palm Cove (city)
  4. Cairns (city)

answered by
Marie-France from Toronto

Interestingly enough, my best and worst travel experiences happened within the space of 2 weeks! I wrote a post that tells the whole story here:

1 thankscomments (1)

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