After reading the most epic fail moments of 10 travellers it’s time for the second part of the post!
Missed your flight, forgot your passport at home, got lost in the middle of the night… Sometimes things are just not meant to happen your way no matter how hard you try to make everything work. You get to that “epic fail” moment.
Fortunately, we remember those moments because they are the ones who make us stronger and help us learn how to avoid those crucial mistakes.
Most of the times those “epic fail” moments also turn out the funniest stories to tell your friends and family.
11. Jamie from Autumn Aquarius
Epic Fail: I like to think of myself as a safe and savvy traveler but my epic fail moment would definitely make one think twice about that statement!
I traveled to the Philippines earlier this year and made a stop in Manila to visit family. While it is a great city, there are some parts that are very shady, so before venturing into the neighborhood I decided it would be smart to lock my passport and wallet in the glove compartment of our rental so that if someone were to think of pick pocketing me, they wouldn’t get my money and passport.
After a great visit, I made my way back to my hotel for the night while my uncle went to turn in the rental car. The next morning, as I was en route to the airport to fly to another island (Boracay) I went to look for my passport and wallet, and of course, I forgot to retrieve them from the glove compartment the night before!
I had to haul ass to the car rental company and hope that they did not rent the car we used the night before out for the day! Luckily for me, they were still cleaning it out and the guy working there was really nice and let me look through the car. It was still there thank God!
I was filled with adrenaline on the way there and when I finally retrieved my stuff I just felt a wave of emotion take over me!
Lesson Learned: I was so relieved and thankful but also I felt like such an idiot! At least it worked out in my favor and I learned a huge lesson about being more careful with my passport. And yes, I made it on time to the airport thankfully!
12. Simone from The Aussie Flashpacker
Epic Fail: My most epic fail was when I broke my ankle at a Full Moon Party in Thailand three days into my six-week summer holiday travels! It was a pretty awful experience with almost 48 hours with no painkillers, a transfer to Ko Samui to have surgery and eight days in a Thai hospital before flying home to start the long recovery process.
Just after the midnight fireworks we headed up the beach to the fire skipping rope and fire slide area. My friends convinced me to go down the fire slide which was a slide with fire down the sides that finished over a meter off the ground. I landed awkwardly in the sand and snapped my ankle! I ended up breaking both the tibia and fibula, ouch!
I’m not going to lie, it was probably the biggest epic fail of my travels (and life) but we were planning on hiring motorbikes and driving around the island the next day (which wasn’t covered in our travel insurance) & I am sure I probably would have ended up with much worse than a broken leg.
Lesson Learned: So in the theme of positivity whilst traveling… it just wasn’t meant to be at the time and we now are in the process of making plans to return to South East Asia! I’ve learnt to always go with your gut instinct (which was telling me not to do it with my uncoordinated, accident prone nature)!
13. Alexandra from Simply Alexandra
Epic Fail: My husband and I found a Coldplay concert in Minneapolis that wasn’t sold out. That is only about an 8 hour drive for us, which is nothing when you take as many road trips as we do.
We planned around new jobs and got on the road at lunchtime. We planned to check into our hotel, get some dinner, and explore a little. Then spend the next full day in Minneapolis, and attending the concert that night.
When we got in the car to start driving, we realized that we had bought tickets for THAT night, not the following like we had planned!
We stopped less, drove more, got stuck in traffic, but still managed not to miss a second of Coldplay’s performance. It was a once in a lifetime concert.
Lesson Learned: I’m really glad that we made it in time! Let’s just say we have since quadruple checked our tickets at checkout! I’m happy we can laugh about it now!
14. Leticia from Trucosviajeros in English
Epic Fail: On a road trip to Portugal in 2004, we decided to spend the night at Obidos, a town about 70 km from Lisboa we had heard of. It was getting late and it was our first time there so we set the GPS of the car and followed the instructions, what could go wrong? Well…
About an hour and a half later, at dusk, we “arrived” at Obidos. No hotels, no restaurants, no castle… According to the GPS we were at the most beautiful medieval villa in Portugal. What?
We should have known it wasn’t the right place when the Voice said part of the route included dirt roads, but…
So we started going around in circles trying to find someone to ask for THE RIGHT directions, but they must have been sleeping, because the only person we found was the town’s drunkard. It took him a while to understand our poor Portuguese (and the concept of GPS) but he sent us back another 80 kilometers to the right Obidos.
We finally arrived in the middle of the night (did I say no reservation?) and woke up to an amazingly beautiful town with walls in white and a castle at the top!
15. Janet from Jouranlist On The Run
Epic Fail: Just over two years ago I did my Masters degree over in the Netherlands. When the course had finished at the end of May I decided to spend every last penny I had partying and hanging out with friends in Amsterdam for two weeks before flying back to Ireland.
When I eventually made it to the airport on June 15th, with only a few euro left to my name, I was told I couldn’t get on this flight because I was too early.
I kept arguing as I checked my ticket again and again and confirmed to myself that there was no reason for them not to let me on the flight. Too early? What kind of ridiculous excuse was that? The lady behind the counter checked my ticket again, smiled at me then went on to explain that I was right, I had indeed got a ticket for the 15th at 4pm. But I had booked it for the 15th of July and not the 15th June.
Queue a small panic attack, me kicking myself for making such a rookie mistake and having to break out the credit card and spending 5 times the normal price to get me on a flight home that evening. Lesson learned!
16. Christina from Cava for Lunch
Epic Fail: So I was backpacking my way through magical Egypt, when I happened to stumble across a super cute gentleman of foreign decent. We hang out together for a couple of days, and he turned out to be a lot of fun. I must admit he was quite a charming fella, so it didn’t take long until we were drinking beer and kissing like there was no tomorrow. At last, he asked if I wanted to spend the night with him – a request I was happy to oblige to. We both agreed to meet up in his room 30 minutes later…
I was really excited too meet my man, and I ran down the hotel hallway in my finest backpacking-lingerie (Yes, I brought some). I entered his unlit room without knocking, said “Are you ready?” and jumped down on the bed – only to realize the terrifying fact that an old, unknown man was already sitting on the bed! I had entered the wrong room!
Quite hysterically I screamed “Sorry! Sorry!” and ran terrified out of the room. Meanwhile, my man had heard me screaming, and met me in the hallway. Turns out I had entered the neighboring room instead… I was so embarrassed – and my man kept laughing all night of my epic booty call fail.
17. Shandos from Travelnuity
Epic Fail: On my first ever trip overseas, just after I finished uni, I was catching a train from Florence to Venice, where I had to change trains just before Venice.
That day, I not only managed to change onto the wrong train (to Vincenza instead of Venezia), but then when I got into the right train I accidentally sat in First instead of Second class. Oops!
I got caught by the train inspectors, and thought I was going to be fined or worse, but after a brief stay in the train station office where they took down my details and photocopied my passport, I never heard anything about it again. Except for sometimes at family gatherings, when my family like to bring up that time I almost got “arrested” in Italy…
Lesson Learned: What did I learn? Always check the names of places myself, rather than relying on fellow muddle-handled tourists.
18. Nadya from NTripping
Epic Fail: In the winter of 2006, I was travelling from Vienna, Austria to Duisburg, Germany after spending a few days on a road trip. I’ve booked a direct overnight train, leaving Viena around 8 PM and arriving at Duisburg around 9 AM the next morning. Travelling alone, I figured a direct train ride with only a single suitcase would be totally fine.
Somewhere on a small train station in the Alps, the train stopped around 2 AM. And didn’t leave until 7 AM. It turned out that there was too much snow down that track and it was impossible to continue in this direction. Our train was connected with the Orient Express, heading towards Munich, and both trains continued in a totally different direction than the original route.
I had to then change trains twice and finally arrived in Duisburg late in the evening, if I recall correctly, around 1 AM. And I had to work the next day. What was supposed to be a 13 hour direct train ride, turned out to be a 30+ hour ride with two changes. On top of it, I got a real bad cold, which made working the following week a nightmare.
The cool thing was that the train staff was extremely friendly and treated me extra well as I was the only solo traveller in the wagon. I also enjoyed one of the best possible views of snowy Alpine lakes!
Epic Fail: There was this one time when I was travelling around Europe for my summer vacation. I was already 2 weeks in travel when I decided to spend the next few days in Amsterdam after meeting few other backpackers in a hostel in Berlin.
Four of us decided to buy train tickets and we had another few days to explore Berlin before we were headed to Netherlands. We had amazing time there as the city is full of quirky sights and things to do.
Unfortunately I was the one who bought the tickets and everyone who knows me knows I am very clumsy in everything I do… So we went to the train station and waited for our train to arrive when one of the boys told us to look at our tickets. They were not for today! I ordered tickets for the month after! How was it even possible!
Needless to say we all went to the desk trying to buy new tickets for today but everything was booked for the next few days. We ended up not going to Amsterdam together and everyone went on a different direction after few more days in Berlin. I could tell that some of the guys really hated me for that. We got our money back but it was a disappointing experience.
Lesson Learned: Always double, triple check your online tickets and read the return policy!
20. Maria from Travelling Buzz
Epic Fail: Me and my boyfriend really wanted to visit the biggest national folklore festival in Bulgaria ‘Rozhen Festival’ this July. We were very excited about it since January as there was going to be a ‘big opening’ with 100 bagpipers and many famous singers.
The whole thing was going to start at 10:30 am. We decided to drive in the morning from Sofia to the place of the festival. We arrived to our hotel at 8 am. We had 2 hours to get from the hotel to the festival 3 km away. All good, we though. So wrong!
After waiting for 2 whole hours the promised bus that never came to our hotel we decided to get in the car and try to get to the festival by ourselves. Bad decision as there were more than 300 000 people visiting the festival… The traffic was unbelievable.
Luckily we caught up with one of the buses down the road. There were just around 3 km to the meadows but the road was literally blocked! Fortunately our driver was pretty badass and after waiting in traffic for 5 minutes he just drove ahead all of the cars in the opposite line of the road.
After few minutes we were there, on the meadows, trying to make it to the main stage when we realized it is 10:35 and we missed it all! We missed the big opening! Urgh!
Lesson Learned: We enjoyed the festival afterwards but it was not the same. We learned that when we plan to go to a festival of such size to just arrive the day before and go to the place hours earlier before all the traffic comes out… and not depend on the public transportation.
Do you have any epic fail moments like these? Comment below your most disappointing travel experience.