Traveling to foreign countries is always an eye-opening experience, but you’re usually hoping for eye-opening in the positive variety.
Folks from Reddit weighed in with nightmare travel stories of vacations gone wrong.
Me and girlfriend got into a taxi and In the footwell in the rear of the car were lots of spent bullet casings. When the driver was fighting for position in traffic, he was shouting out the window and holding up bullets at other drivers. He did a great job, we got where we wanted and we paid a fair price.
“Blackpool in the UK.
No offence to anybody, but it’s probably the only place I’ve visited and instead of wanting to make the most of it, I actually contemplated leaving ASAP. Even the overnight stay was a night too long.
It was a big tourist place back in the day. It’s got a famous tower, piers, theme park all that stuff. The big event were the illuminations where a couple of miles of the coastline would be lit up. It was pretty cool back in the day so some people still speak fondly of it, but I heard it died on it’s arse pretty much.
I f*cking hate Blackpool.
Litter, loud ladies nights and stag parties, the smell of fried onions and doughnuts, sunburnt lobster-colored people, sewage on the beach, grey horrible concrete buildings, terrible quality “comedians”, moldy hotel rooms, white supremacists, gutters flowing with vomit and dismembered bodies in wheelie bins. Absolutely horrendous place. 2pm on a Saturday, there were packs of exceedingly drunk people puking in the street.
Roll up roll up try your luck. But no, seriously, don’t.”
3. Cleveland Rocks!
Went in to pay for gas and came out to a rental car with no goddamn wheels on it. Cashier said they:
“Didn’t see nothin’ and the cameras was broke.”
4. The smell…
“Bourbon Street, New Orleans
I went down for a friends wedding. They decided to take us to Bourbon Street and it was…it was just not at all what I expected.
I pictured that it would be a great place full of colorful things, great booze, neat stuff to see, and interesting people……instead I got over priced booze (which I kind of expected), overly crowded streets and average bars – besides the piano bar, that place is amazing.
The worst part was the smell. My god I just don’t understand how people don’t get sick from the smell alone.”
5. Yeah mon
“Rented a car in Jamaica. Decided to get off of the main tourist paths and see the “real” Jamaica. I drove a gorgeous winding road up a beautiful mountain and stopped to get out of the car to get a picture. As I was walking back, 4 men all carrying machetes came running at me from out of nowhere.
They actually chased the car about a block.”
“I’ve been to the Philippines about 5 times and must say the people are lovely and I’ve always had a good time… but f*ck me! the first time I landed in Manila I wanted to go back to the airport and leave ASAP.
Our taxi driver stopped at a convenience store about 10 minutes from the airport. We were swarmed by 10 filipinos who begged us for money and tried to pickpocket us at the same time. When we got back in the car, they surrounded the car holding babies up to the window, crying and begging for money.
Somewhere in Manila, the driver took a wrong turn and went down a street where he said “this is a bad area.” Not a good sign. There was a guy walking down the street towards the car with a handgun. Taxi driver reversed up the street and got us the fuck out of there.
We got caught up in a terrible traffic jam and at one point were stopped on this small bridge that looked into a waterway. The driver started pointing into the water where a dead body was floating.
I love the Philippines, but I hate Manila and get out of there immediately every time I go.”
7. Party time!
It was pretty disgusting, with garbage all over the beach. We spent ten minutes there, packed up and left.
It’s famous for NASCAR, bikers, Spring Break, and being dirty. Accurate.”
8. Old Mexico
Went there with a few buddies from the Army. We went there first in 2006. The last time I was there was 2010 I believe. During the day it was shady, but typical. At night is when the action happened. We were just home from Baghdad, Iraq when we first went. We just came home from war, were young, felt invincible and thought:
**”How bad can it really be?” **
We realized that most of the cab drivers really didn’t care where we said we wanted to go. They would get kick backs from the brothels for bringing people there. No matter what we said, somehow we were always dropped off at a strip club or brothel.”
9. Let down
“Honestly, the biggest let-down I’ve ever experienced while traveling was Hollywood, California. It was… seedy. The whole place was just this false, sickening, soulless mess. I stayed in a grotty hostel – I slept clutching my possessions – and got up and got to the Greyhound station as early as I could.
My only memory was just wanting to be anywhere else. I hated everything about the city.”
10. Our nation’s capital
“I was in 8th grade and I went on a class trip to Washington DC.
When we left the airport and actually entered the city, it was terrible. We saw these amazing historic landmarks surrounded by homeless people everywhere. I even saw a group of about 5 tents and a fire set up near an overpass. Even on the tour bus, the guide swung by the homeless shelter, which had like 50 people waiting outside in a line. There were also lots of panhandlers and people walking around with boxes of sunglasses, encouraging us to buy a pair.
Because we were young tourists, whenever we entered a food court area, people literally yelled at us to get food from them.”
11. It’s called that for a reason…
Everyone knows that its hot. Or rather, they think they know. But you don’t know. It’s not something that can be explained. That place is f*cking hot. You know how when you leave a car out all day in the summer and open the door, and a blast of heat comes out?
That’s a pleasant breeze in death valley.”
12. Kidnapped for Christ
“Lynchburg, Virginia near Halloween. They call it Scaremare.
They have this huge “haunted house” with and outdoor area full of zombies and all sorts of gruesome stuff. That part is really fun, but after you genuinely have a good time, they TRAP YOU IN 1 TO 6 TENTS and tell you that you’re a bad person, a sinner, unclean, UNCLEAN, etc… for a good 10-15 minutes. And the “staff” won’t let you leave this attempt at brainwashing. Jesus this, God that… it’s a whole sermon that you didn’t sign up for and can’t leave. Like they temporarily kidnap you for Christ or something.
Sponsored by Liberty “University” every year.
Waiting in line for over 3 hours, hearing people chant and “pray” it was f*cking awful.
Don’t. Go. To. Lynchburg. Virginia. Ever.”
13. A depressing place
“São Paulo, Brazil
It’s only worth visiting as a layover hub or if you know people who live there. São Paulo is quite the sh*thole and I can’t think of another non-third world city I’d consider worse. Anthony Bourdain described it perfectly:
“It’s like LA vomited on NYC.”
The traffic is apocalyptic and public transport is awful for such a large city. People spend most of their time hustling and in traffic, just to lock themselves away in their gated apartment complexes as a reward at the end of the day. Why gated? The crime, of course. Almost everyone has a story of being mugged. And it’s f*cking expensive! I live in Switzerland and I found prices for most things to be surprisingly high even by my standards, I don’t know how the locals afford it.
The saddest part is that you have such an amazing mix of people there from every background you can imagine. White, black, Japanese, Lebanese, etc. I just wish they didn’t spend most of their lives stuck in traffic in such a depressing place.”
“Times Square on New Year’s Eve.
I went one year when my girlfriend, her brother, and his girlfriend were visiting her dad in New Jersey. He took us to a Broadway play and a fancy sushi dinner and we parted ways with her dad and step mom so we could head over to Times Square. It was awful, terribly crowded and loud and we couldn’t even get close enough to see anything. After a while we decided to just give up and we went to a Korean barbecue instead.”
I ended up on a stopover with a group of other women. We all had stuff stolen, all blatantly overcharged and all ended up staying in one room. We had to stay together for safety since random men were coming into our rooms.
These men had keys to get into our rooms, so the hotel was absolutely involved.
Finally, we had enough and as a group we all confronted the manager in his office, refused to let him out or let his friends in to help him. We managed to get all our drinks and food refunded. We thought things were turning around, but the following day we were forced at gunpoint to put all the remaining currency into “charity” bins at the airport.