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Annual Reader Travel Horror Stories

It’s almost Halloween, and that means it’s time for the fourth annual installment of your reader travel horror stories. Last year’s favorites include The Mystery of the Burnt Frito Smell and The Sad Tale of the Forgotten Mother. And who can forget 2008’s epic 60-hour journey of a father and his toddler, a trip which included two continents, liquid charcoal, and a dinner at Denny’s. 

What funny, frustrating, or over-the-top travel adventures have you had? Share your stories below!

To kick things off, here are a few tales of woe from the road:

For Whom the Bell Tolls, and Tolls, and Tolls

I learned the hard way that festivals don’t always equal fun. My husband and I went to Puerto Vallarta and Sayulita in early December, during the Festival of Our Lady of Guadalupe. From afar, the festival sounded like fun: parades every day, bells ringing, and fireworks. But in both destinations, our hotels were within a block of the local cathedral or church, and our hillside rooms were even with the bells that began ringing at 4:30 a.m. and continued into the wee hours of the morning. To top things off, our room in Sayulita was open to the air, so we couldn’t dull the clanging by shutting the windows. Though we had a good time—and loved the parades—we arrived home sleep-deprived and exhausted after what we had hoped would be a relaxing and restorative beach vacation.

Corkscrew Takeoff?

In our World’s Scariest Airports photo gallery, reader Fortin tells this harrowing tale: “I was waiting for my flight from Paro (Bhutan) for Calcutta. Thick fog rolls up the valleys very rapidly in the afternoon in the fall. The small Druk Air Dornier plane that was coming from Calcutta arrived late and the fog was beginning to roll in the Paro valley. When the plane arrived the pilot wanted to head back to Calcutta right away. He looked up at the sky and said there is still a hole in the clouds over the airport so let’s go. We all jumped in the plane and the pilot said we will do the CORKSCEW. The plane started an upward circling in the valley for 20-25 minutes before reaching above the clouds. The tips of the wings were almost touching the flanks of the mountains. This was the scariest flight of my life.”

Your Turn

Share your best/worst travel adventures below!


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