It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been traveling for, how many flights you’ve been on or how many trips you’ve planned, you’re still going to make mistakes sometimes. In honor of our Spring Travel Fails contest, we’ve enlisted some of the StudentUniverse staff to share their best (or worst?) travel fails with us.
Want to enter our contest? Scroll to the bottom of this post to find out how to win $50 off ANY flight on our website.
The fine print
“I was flying from London Stansted to Schiphol Amsterdam on a budget European airline and got to the airport an hour and a half before departure. At the check-in desk, the agent told me, “Sorry, but you have to be here at least an hour and forty five minutes before an international flight”. I’d missed the cutoff by just a few minutes. The flight was only about an hour long andddd it was also the last flight that day. After a few pints to calm my rage I got comfy on the airport benches and slept there overnight. In the morning (with my back still spazzing out!) I forked over £75 for the transfer fee and finally got myself to Amsterdam. Moral of the story: don’t forget to read the fine print on your ticket.” -Anton
“I don’t need sleep…”
“I had a 7am flight out of Vegas. So of course I just decided to stay up all night. I got myself to the airport on time, then fell asleep at the gate. The flight had a gate-change, but I slept through the announcement. When I woke up, I was alone at the gate, hearing the ‘last call’ announcement for my flight, which had moved about 3 gates away. (Thankfully, I ran and was still able to make it on the flight as the doors were closing!)” -Scott
Not the ride we’d dreamed of
“My friends and I decided to rent a car and drive from Rome down through the Amalfi coast. Sounds nice in theory, but it was probably the worst decision we’d ever made. The roads there are about 4 feet wide and they tried to give us an SUV. After fighting for a Fiat and being given no explanation on how to drive it (the gears were set up differently for some reason), we started driving but didn’t realize the hand brake was on. We’re driving down the street through busy traffic and the tires started smoking. Of course, we only became aware of this when some American tourists told us our car was “on fire”. We then proceeded to pull over, figure things out (kind of) and calm down.
Following this, we immediately pulled onto the wrong side of the road and barely avoided oncoming traffic. Once we finally got out of the city it was smooth sailing until we reached the coast. Then, we realized the only way to make it around the bends of the roads, or to know someone was coming, was to lay on your horn as you turned the corners. I think we cried, hyperventilated, and vomited from fear in the same drive. We haven’t rented a car since.” -Emma
Coffee creamer catastrophe
“I was on the longest flight I had ever taken from Texas to China. I am about halfway into the 14-hr flight and feeling pretty proud of myself, since I am not typically a good flyer. The drink tray came by and I decided to order a coffee with a few packets of creamer. I had not, however, taken into account what air pressure does to sealed items.
When I went to open my creamer, the ENTIRE contents of the packet rocketed out onto the sleeping man next to me. There wasn’t anything I could do besides sit there anxiously watching the creamer soak into his black sweatshirt, hoping it would sink into his shirt and disappear before he woke up.” -Deirdre
NOLA or Nascar?
“Some friends and I had just gotten into New Orleans and we decided to just take a cab from the airport into the city. There were tons of cabs around so everything seemed fine at first. Once we got on the highway, though, our cab driver started RACING another cab driver. They were flying down the highway and zipping around other traffic. I’m pretty sure we were going 100mph. Thought I was going to die that night.” -Taylor
Don’t try this at home
“Once I was flying home from SFO airport and my flight was at 6am. I thought I would be slick and try to save money by sleeping at the airport the night before instead of getting a hotel. It was not my best idea. Long story short, let’s just say that the airport does everything in their power to make sleeping in the terminal instead of a hotel as uncomfortable as possible.” -Peter
Did it for the gram
“I went to the Hanging Gardens Hotel in Bali because I wanted to swim in the pool and take a cool picture, but you had to pay $200 to do so. (It did include a lunch, at least.) So I eventually forked over $200 for an awful steak and then it started to monsoon right as we were about to go in the pool. (Still got the pic, though #forthegram)” -Ashley
Paper maps are underrated
“I was in Switzerland and there were several hiking trails in the mountains behind the chateau I was staying at. When in Switzerland, it’s basically a must to go hiking in the Alps, right? I asked one of our Swiss hosts about the trails and they said they were well sign-posted. So, I didn’t worry about it too much. I looked at some trail maps before leaving, talked with some of our hosts, and decided to set out on what my hosts described as a well-marked, pretty easy, two-hour loop trail.
Well. Turns out the paths were not well marked (or I had managed to end up on different trails). No signs seemed to point the way I had planned on going. I ended up accidentally electrocuting myself on a fence, making my way to the top of a mountain that still had snow on the ground (even though it was mid-June), and hiking for about seven hours. I somehow ended up two towns away and took a bus back. Thankfully it was a beautiful hike, but it would have been a LOT easier if I had brought a proper trail map with me. Lesson learned.” -Rachel
Share your travel fails & win!
Have an epic travel fail story? Share it with us on Twitter @studentuniverse (and use #SUtravelfails) for a chance to win one of two $50 promo codes for ANY flight on our website.
Share your travel fails with us on Twitter through Wednesday, March 27 at midnight. We’ll pick our favorites and feature them on our Instagram stories on Thursday, March 28! You’ll be able to vote for your favs on Instagram all day Thursday. On Friday, we’ll announce the winners!
There will be TWO winners: one determined by popular vote on Instagram, and one chosen as the StudentUniverse staff favorite. Both winners will receive a $50 promo code good for ANY flight on our website.
So what are you waiting for? Send us your stories on Twitter! Feel free to submit as many stories as you want and be sure to tag us and use #SUtravelfails so we’ll be sure to see them.