Fort Worth, Texas
I'd like to hear some of your bad experiences while traveling. One of mine is having my phone/wallet stolen in Vietnam. No cash, ID, and no one to get back to my hotel. Rookie move I guess.
Ecuador - the worst country I ever traveled (been to over 40 so far). After a night in cockroaches infested room in Guayaquil I was denied return home at the airport because some idiot didn't put entry stamp to my passport when crossing Colombia-Ecuador border 3 weeks earlier. Had to go to Quito where neither embassy nor immigration office were of any help so had to eventually get back all the way north to Rumichaca crossing where they stamped my passport as if nothing had happened. Then when returning home 3 days later on a bus to the airport some motherf* stole my camera with 1,300 pictures and short videos on it literally 2 hours before the end of my trip! But this was not all that troubled me about the country. There were so many things that didn't work or went wrong that even though I had some nice moments in Ecuador, I found it very overrated and a really bad travel experience.
We were in a cab arriving at a Marriott in Istanbul, I thought the valet got my bag and the cabbie drove off with my bag and my carryon with all my information. ( I never put my carryon in the trunk anymore, I pause every time the trunk opens in a cab, lesson learned.) Luckily, the Marriott took over, looked up the cab driver on the cameras, called the company, then called the driver. They were not messing around. The next day, the cab driver returned my belongings, of course stealing my money, all $70 dollars worth, tried to access my bank account and made us pay him for returning! (Didn't know he had stolen the money yet.) But I was amazed how wonderful the Marriott was, I wrote the BBB. It could have been a big ole mess. Other than that, I loved Istanbul and would return in a NY minute. And my favorite safety tip, always have a travel lock on your suitcase. I use it mainly for hotels when I'm out of the room during the day.
My worst experience was on a two week trip to France. The plan was to spend 3 days in Paris, one week in Provence, returning to Paris for the last 3 days.
Day 2, I had a terrible fall on the cobblestones at Notre Dame and hurt both my left ankle and right knee. Too stubborn to go to the hospital, I had a doctor visit the hotel who told me he thought it was a severe sprain, advised to wrap in a bandage and prescribed pain meds. The hotel staff was kind enough to run to the pharmacy to get these things for me. Unfortunately, I had a train reservation to head to Provence the next day and a rail strike was looming so I (very painfully) limped to the train and made my way there. Fortunately the hotel there had a beautiful pool with cool water so I would hobble around sightseeing in the morning and soak my poor ankle in the afternoon.
Back in Paris for the tail end of the trip was frankly, just miserable. I did what I could but couldn't wait to get home. Once home, I visited the doctor and learned that I had been walking around on an ankle with two breaks....no wonder it was so painful! The next 8 weeks I spent in a boot, but no surgery thank goodness.
Lesson one - forget style and wear comfortable, sturdy shoes when traversing European cities.
Lesson two - go to the hospital and get taken care of immediately. If I had gotten a boot on it in Paris in the first place, I would have saved myself pain and further damage.
About 3 years ago I was in Saskatoon. I was having a great time until I had sausage and eggs for breakfast at Taunte Maria's Mennonite Restaurant. The dizziness and stomach cramps started at around mid-afternoon, the muddy brown river started a flowin' not long after that, and by nightfall I was in Royal University Hospital with salmonella poisoning and dehydration. I lost 12 lbs in less than 48 hours, and I'm a walking telephone pole to begin with! Thank goodness this happened in a country like Canada that has a decent health care system! I got excellent care at the hospital and was back on my feet 3 days later, but still a horrible experience I wouldn't wish on anyone.
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Worst travelling experience? For me, that would be having my bag and passport stolen in Paris at a pub, and then running outside, tripping on the curb and breaking my foot. It was my honeymoon and I ended up having to stay in France for three months while we got our passports replaced and had foot surgery.
See more of my travel fails here: http://www.neverendinghoneymoon.net/honeymooning-nomads-biggest-travel-fails/
Me and my boyfriend where forgotten in Blue Grotto by our bus/student group. My slippers broke. I was just on a bikini and a towel, no money, no cellphone. Anything. I beg for money to strangers to pay a bus ticket and return to my student dorm ( I was 20 at that time). Thanks to the Spanish people who helped me.
It's a toss up between two incidents.
I bought some high tech, quick drying underwear for a trip through the low countries. It didn't take long to discover I had made a terrible mistake. To say they rubbed me the wrong way would be a gross understatement. My most sensitive area was in a raw-like state, and extremely sensitive to the touch. I really wasn't looking forward to trying to bridge the language barrier in an effort to obtain medical assistance. Fortunately, this took place before the TSA's restrictions on liquids went into effect, and I had a bought a tube of petroleum jelly with me, just in case. Purchasing a roll of gauze and some surgical tape, I proceeded to apply a generous application of the ointment and gently wrap myself in the gauze, leaving a flap that I could open when I needed to urinate. Changing this dressing daily, the self made member's only jacket slowly started to heal me. I've since learned my lesson; no untested underwear is ever packed in my bag!
The second incident took place in Germany. I was in Berlin heading to Frankfurt. I was going to pick up a car and drive the Romantic Road to Munich. The morning I was leaving Berlin just happened to be the same day the landlady at the boarding house decided to get to know me better by having a conversation with me over breakfast. Not wanting to seem rude, I chatted with her as long as I could. When I did finally depart I had to run several block to get to the train station. Looking up at the board for my train, I darted up the stairs to the platform. Seeing an attendant I pointed to the train and said, "Frankfurt?" "Ja, Ja! Frankfurt!" came his reply. I jumped on the train just as the doors were closing. As the train traveled along I didn't recognize any of the town names. Eventually I retrieved my compass to discover the train wasn't heading south, as expected, but east. It turns out that there are two Frankfurts in the now united Germany, and I was heading toward the wrong one. I got off at the next town only to find no one (and I mean no one) spoke any English. With the help of a Belgian traveler I was able to figure out that I needed to go all the way back to Berlin and wait for another train. I was going to be cutting it close with the rental car agency, so I called to let them know. As luck would have it, the only person who spoke any English in that office was out to lunch. Giving it the old college try, I attempted to tell them, in very broken German, what my situation was. I have no idea if they understood. I got to Frankfurt, and luck was finally on my side. There was a TI office in the train station. The English speaking attendant told me that the tram right out front stopped directly in front of the rental car place. I got there with under fifteen minutes to spare. They were reluctant at first to release the car to me, as they hadn't cleaned it. I finally assured them it didn't matter, and I was on my way. I drove to the town of Hanau, and found an inexpensive room over a restaurant. At last, things were working out for me!
That is, until the next morning when I came out to find someone had smashed-out tail lights of my rental car, but that's a story for another day. Still I have to admit I preferred this to the underwear incident.
Dream family holiday to Australia a few years ago. We were driving towards the rainforest up North when my husband spotted a lovely beach and decided to try some paragliding. After 5 minutes in the air there was a very heavy landing on packed sand. Then a mad dash by ambulance to Cairns where there was a 7 hour emergency operation carried out to fix multiple bones in a very broken ankle! My husband spent the following week in hospital and the remains of our 3 week holiday was spent around the promenade in Cairns