Embarrassing Travel Moments

Trying to keep my hood up on the very windy Cliffs of Moher

There is nothing more intoxicating to me than having the opportunity to see new places.  I love feeling the anticipation of the wonders you will see, locals you will meet, and the fun adventures to come.  But let’s face the truth: traveling can be messy. Living out of a suitcase, sleeping in strange beds, eating unfamiliar food, getting lost, not knowing the language–all these things add up over the course of the week(s) you are traveling. It throws us off of our usual routine–which I truly love! But travel can bring out our awkward side too. Here are a couple funny (embarrassing) travel mishaps I have experienced over the years. I am sure most people can relate to these stories on some level.

Torn “pants” on the Tube in London

One day while living in London I was riding up an escalator from the underground tube station. A very kind lady behind me politely mentioned to me that my pants were showing. As you can imagine, I had no idea why she was informing me of this. Of course my pants were showing, I was wearing jeans.  After a few more attempts at trying to communicate her point unsuccessfully, she finally said “Darling, I can see your underpants.” I immediately reached back and felt a huge rip down the middle of my pants. I had been walking around the city all day exposing my underwear through my favorite pair of jeans. For future reference: Londoners call pants “trousers” and underwear “pants”. Just something to keep in mind should you travel to England soon!

Causing a Scene On My Return Flight From Dublin

Back in 2011 I traveled to Dublin to visit two friends of mine. It was my first trip to Ireland. (You can read about my second trip to Ireland here.) So of course I had to engage in the typical Dublin activities while I was visiting, which involved quite a bit of Guinness. On my flight back to London I was strapped in the middle seat in between two people. Something to know about me: I get motion sickness, prettyyyyy badly. I am not sure if it was the fun I had the night before, the stuffy plane, or a combination of the two, but I immediately felt I was going to get sick just as the plane was taking off. I tried excusing myself next to the lady I was sitting next to but she wasn’t letting me into the aisle. Finally I had to say, “I am going to be sick!” for her to let me through. I started running towards the back of the plane to the bathroom and a flight attendant nearly tackled me to the ground. She made me sit in the last row with a bag. (They didn’t have bags in the seat pockets.) I never ended up getting sick, but I was sat next to a very attractive guy where I had to remain for the duration of the flight. He joked around asking me if I was sure I was sick from the plane or something else. Needless to say, I was mortified. Thank goodness the flight from Dublin to London is short.  

Slipping and Falling in Front of a Crowd in Burger King in NYC

When I was in highschool my family and I drove up to NYC, which we do about twice a year. When we arrived to the city we stopped into Burger King for a snack. They had a couple of steps that had just been mopped, however there was no caution sign. I wiped out HARD from walking down these steps and bruised my back pretty badly. The manager immediately came out, apologized, took a picture of me, and asked me to fill a form out (basically to prevent us from suing Burger King). In the picture he took I gave the camera a huge smile (you are not supposed to look happy in that situation, for the record). We ended up walking away with free BK coupons! WOO! Totally worth it for my bruised body and pride. (Not)

Iced Coffee Confusion in Nice, France

I love iced coffee. When I was visiting the South of France, my travel buddies and I stopped into a cafe for some drinks. Everyone put their order in just fine until it was my turn. I stepped right up to the counter and asked for a medium iced coffee. You would have thought I had just told the barista I wanted a hamburger. She gave me the craziest look and had to ask no less than seven questions clarifying what I wanted. Finally I got my drink. It was served in a tiny mug that contained hot espresso, milk, and a few ice cubes. She was very sweet to try, but lesson learned. The French do not make iced coffee.

The purpose of this post isn’t just to tell you a fraction of the embarrassing things I have done while traveling (trust me, I have a lot of stories). But the point I want to make is that traveling isn’t perfect.You will make mistakes, get lost, order incorrectly, get sick, and even fall in front of a crowd. But you shouldn’t let silly or embarrassing moments ruin your day. Traveling is about flexibility and having an open mind. Laugh off your mistakes, open your eyes to cultural differences, learn as you go along, and most of all, have fun!


Do you have any funny or embarrassing travel stories?

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Erin founded the Wonderlost Travel blog in February of 2015 after her experience of studying abroad in Europe. Erin has had the opportunity to travel throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and parts of South America and Asia. She enjoys writing about and photographing her travel experiences in order to inspire others to get out and follow their travel dreams. She has collaborated with tourism departments, restaurants, and other travel bloggers to share reviews and travel advice with readers in over 100 countries. Erin has a passion for traveling the world to experience other cultures and explore nature!

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