From Wikivoyage
Jump to navigation Jump to search


Travel Hell is a very special destination populated entirely with what you, the seasoned (one may say selfish) traveller, find annoying.

Understand[edit]

Caution Note: This article is not politically correct and is not intended as part of the main, serious travel guide. As a place for frustrated voyagers to blow off steam, it is intended as a general rant for contributors and hopefully some light relief for readers.

Travel Hell is not a real destination, merely a list of all the little things which make your trip a memorable one. Or in the worst case make you sit down and wonder what you're really doing there. Is this for real!?

Prepare[edit]

  • The cheapest flight tickets have a connection of 20 minutes at a busy airport. There's a good chance you will miss your connecting flight. Well, there will be one passenger less waiting to board that overbooked second flight, and we don't have to offer you $500 and a free hotel night.
  • Time to pack for the trip tomorrow. Where's the bag? Oh yeah, last year those red wine bottles broke when the baggage handlers played football with it. You planned to get a new one almost for free at the Black Friday sales a few months later. But forgot.
  • And where on earth did I put the passport after my last trip abroad?
  • Oh, here the passport is. But it's expired.
  • The tyres needs replacing, but the tyre shops are closed for the Easter long weekend.

Get in[edit]

Trans World Airlines menu 02 list.jpg

Border crossing[edit]

  • You're eligible for visa on arrival but they're not available at all crossings including the one you use today.

By plane[edit]

  • If I have to hear that joke one more time that we're "walking to [destination]" just because the gate is five minutes' stroll from the departure lounge, I'm going to scream.
  • Paying for a business class seat and still having an annoying noisy kid or baby next to me!
  • Stopping my 1 kg over limit hand luggage when the person next to me weights twice as much as me, never mind the kids who are paying full fare.
  • Drop the flowery descriptions in the menus, its chicken or pasta.
  • "What do you mean by the flight was cancelled due to severe weather? If I could drive to the airport in this weather, then the plane must be able to take off."
  • Laughing at the self-entitled schmucks who barge through the crowds in the departures lounge ("Out of the way, I'm speedy boarding!"), which just means they spend longer queuing up on the chilly gangway, rather than sitting in the relative comfort of the warm lounge.
  • When you thought you were flying to a city, but your low-cost airline actually lands in a muddy field 100 km from your destination.
  • No, you may not drive from Windsor to Detroit during the pandemic... but you may fly from Windsor to Mississauga and board a flight to Romulus there.
  • And yes, ma'am, if you're going to Sydney we sent your luggage to Sydney. If we'd known that you were going to Kingston we would've sent your prized possessions to Kingston.

By bus[edit]

  • Eight different bus companies and fourteen different buses, many of which run infrequently and few of which connect easily, just to travel the Trans-Canada Highway end-to-end. Isn't it easier just to drive the 8,050 km (5,000 mi) at some point?
  • That bus line was permanently discontinued last week.
  • Intercity bus/coach stations in shady, remote areas of the city.

By car[edit]

Your 5 year old cousin says the following:

  • Are we there yet? Are we there yet? No, seriously, are we there yet?
  • I gotta pee
  • I gotta pee
  • Too late
  • Okay so where's the next rest stop?
  • I think I need to poo now
  • Oops
  • Now I've peed and pooped my pants now

Get around[edit]

General[edit]

So basically, turn right?

When your map(s), the street signs, and actual location of landmarks all are in conflict with each other.

By car[edit]

  • Hire car in winter without an ice scraper and snow brush.
  • Hire car with a very obvious logo of the hire company in the rear window, marking you out as a soft target for the local criminals.
  • You sure the dent in the bumper won't affect the excess?
  • 5 minutes out of the airport, and you realise everyone in this country drives like maniacs. You'll be lucky to fly home in one piece.
  • No matter where I am the world, I'm always stuck behind a Dutch campervan driving well below the speed limit.
  • The voucher you bought online is not accepted by any of the car hiring companies in the airport.
  • How freaking tactful of your car to break down on a silent road in the middle of nowhere...
  • The speed limit is too low
  • Stuck in the outback 400km away from the nearest town.
  • Car breaks down in the isolated parts of Tromsø.
  • Tyres go nuts on an unpaved road
  • What's winter diesel? Never heard of that. Nor of much else in the winter driving article either.
  • You have to go somewhere urgently in 5 minutes. Your car tells you that you will get there in exactly 5 minutes. However, you're caught in a traffic light with five coca-cola trucks in front of you. They take 5 minutes to turn right :(
  • You've passed a sign that says the next rest stop is 78km, but it takes 2 hours. When you pass the sign, you see an 80km/h speed limit sign, and the road has one lane each way. But Alpine driving means you can't see the road in front of you too far, and the speed limit stays the same, but the road becomes more narrow, more windier and becomes a shared lane for the next 77km. Halfway, a ute who still manages to do the 80km/h speed, keeps tailgating on your back, forcing you to go faster, until the rest of the 38km.

By train[edit]

  • The one lone tourist that doesn't understand how old the local transit (subway) system is, and has choice language when delayed by it.
  • Yes, we have "vidiots" in our country as well.
  • Tourist: "The train service is impeccable in Switzerland", local: "Why didn't you go there?".
  • Yes... it's a bus on rails, the ride quality is much the same.
  • The metro map makes two stops look a fair distance apart, and the journey does indeed take ages, but when you get off you can still see the place you started from.
  • Escalators: stand on the right, walk on the left. Is it really so hard? Except in countries where it's the other way around.
  • Oh, you're from Extinction Rebellion? Tell me again, why are you gluing yourself to the most environmentally-friendly form of transport in this city?
  • "Ladies and gentlemen, due to a fault, this train is being taken out of service. Please follow a member of staff to the bus stop, where alternative transport has been provided."
  • The fastest train service skips the stops where you want to get on and/or get off the train and you're in for an extra half hour on another train or bus at both ends.
  • Even an ophthalmic optician can't easily read 1pt high text in grey on white from a typical inkjet printer, How were you to know the ticket was limited to 4 specfic trains, when the moon is full and there isn't a 'r' in the month?
  • The train map provided to you at the airport has no fucking line numbers on it.
  • Train gets delayed by 4 hours because someone thinks it's funny to trespass on the train tracks.

By taxi[edit]

  • Driver, during a 2 km ride within a city: "Could you show me on a map/navigator screen where the place is?" (additional fun if this happens somewhere you can't read the local script)
  • "Did you see the match last night?"
  • "You know, I had that Jimbo Wales, in my cab the other day"...
  • Sure, take me for a ride, it's not like the hotel is close by...
  • "Oh, you are new here? I know this shop..."
  • You say London Airport in broad form to your taxi driver but he takes you to Southampton and not Heathrow. He later takes you to Heathrow but charges you £300.
  • <stopped at traffic lights, out comes a pouch and lighter> "Mind if open a Window?" says the driver

By boat[edit]

  • You do have a radio don't you?
  • Wow! what a lovely example of a heritage vessel! The rust is authentic!
  • "Hmm, that cloud is looking ominious, We'll be across the bay before it comes in?"
  • If it says "lifejacket under seat", don't look under your seat.
  • Did we bring enough fuel to get back to the mainland?
  • F4 takes you to Watson Bay right? Oh, there's a new ferry line for that. Came just last week. It's another 1 hour to Circular Quay and 45 minutes from there.

By bus[edit]

  • No central bus station, but a biblical number of unofficial ones around the city. From which one of them is the bus supposed to leave/where will it arrive at?
  • Route map? What route map? Oh well, there are no consistent routes so what would you do with a route map?
  • Is this bus 71? Almost. Bus 71B, forking off and going 5 km in the wrong direction.
  • Only exact change, please. Or pay with that card you can buy only from the bus company's head office, open three hours on workdays.
  • "I'm sorry, but this bus has limit of 6 live chickens.."
  • Do I have to pay an extra £1.50 because my bus ride took 1 hour and 1 minute?

By foot[edit]

  • The rain helps you notice you've got a hole in your shoe.
  • Sightseeing in an old town on a steep mountainside on a hot summer day: The good news is that we've almost reached the top of the hill. The bad news is that the attraction is up that other alley from downtown, at the other side of the waterfall.
  • Of course, the footpath is as shown on the map. It was the summer drought when they surveyed it!
  • <rural dialect>"Don't be worrying about Angus the Bull, he's only frisky some days."
  • Well, there was 'something' to let you cross the fence, before the woodworm.
  • "Well, If I was walking to that place, I wouldn't be starting from here."...
  • Immature teenagers spit chewing gum all over the floor, and you accidentally step on one.
  • So many roads where the sidewalk just abruptly ends. Either have one or don't.

Talk[edit]

When you memorise the phrasebook, but forget to anticipate any possible answers, so don't have a clue what that lovely bloke just told you.

When you're the only person in your group who speaks the local language, so suddenly you're the "official translator" on call 24/7, and your companions morph into helpless morons who can't even buy a bottle of water by themselves.

When you just want to practise your language skills, but the locals insist on practising their English instead.

When you ask, in your very best localese, what time the bus leaves and the seller just stares at you and replies in perfect English "Sorry, what language are you speaking?"

When you learn every word in the Northwestern Linguish phrasebook, but the people in your destination speak Northeastern Linguish, which isn't mutually-intelligible. What a fool you feel.

Yes you learnt the 'official' language, but you now find you are speaking with a local whose grasp of the "colourful" regional dialect is considerably more advanced than yours, this includes various invocations against mishaps.

You ask a local in another English speaking foreign country and they don't understand what arvo, servo, bottlo, supo, or garbo means.

"You want where, mate?.. Oh you mean X. Straight up the High to the lights, and do a U-ie. Then it's a left at the nick, second at the Lion, and keep on till the parade. If you bump the mainline, you've gone too far. Can't miss the place!"


Stupid comments: should you laugh or cry?[edit]

Comments by guides[edit]

  • "Feel free to take photos anywhere in the museum!" followed almost immediately by "I should indicate that doesn't include the loos!"
  • "If you look out the left window, you will see the overpriced handicrafts market we'll be spending the next four hours in before we move onto the part of the tour you've paid for."

Comments by tourists[edit]

  • "Is that an iceberg?!" Comment from channel ferry passenger as the white cliffs of Dover come into sight.
  • "Why did they build it so close to the road?". Comment at Stonehenge.
  • In a similar vein: "Why did the Queen put her castle so close to the airport?" At Windsor.
  • "I said... DO - YOU - SPEAK - ENG - LISH?"
  • Seen in a review at booking.com: "We had to drive more than 500 km to get there"
  • Tourist: "The furniture in this place needs updating." Guide: "Everything is from the 17th or 18th centuries." Tourist: "Exactly. So old!" Overheard in the Palace of Versailles.
  • "Woah, dude! The Brits speak English too!"

See[edit]

Gullible fools lining up be struck down by the Sun God at Teotihuacan
  • People taking selfies, blocking my view of a place. Particularly if they then spend almost no time looking at the view themselves.
  • If I'd wanted the 'tourist' legends, I'd have paid for a "tourist" guide!
  • I'm well aware of what a "church" is used for, now if you could identify the Norman vs Early English arches...
  • The nude hybrid human/rabbits at Salisbury cathedral was disturbingly wrong, junk modern art is not why you visit Blenheim Palace, but really a helter skelter in a 900 year old cathedral!
  • The audio tour's extra? We'll pass. Oh, there are no explanatory boards anywhere on-site? Four audio tours, please.
  • Thank you, [pick a famous museum], for putting that one exhibit everyone wants to see deep, deep inside, so every room in the building is crowded with lost, chatty people not looking at anything.
  • Huh. I thought it'd be bigger than that.
  • You're lugging that folding stool around the whole museum? No wonder you need to sit down every 5 minutes.
  • No foto! You buy overprice postcard from shop outside!
  • However much you practise, you'll never be able to whisper about art so that only the person next to you can hear you quite like a Frenchman can.
  • In front of the Welcome to fabulous Las Vegas Nevada sign where people line up to take photos, some people cut in front of you mumbling somthing about them coming all the way from Toronto and don't have time to wait. Well, that's not really a problem. You're not in such hurry, because you'll stay around for the whole week. After all, you don't come for just a day all the way from Europe.
  • That looked better on T.V. / in the brochure / On Snapstagram!....

Do[edit]

  • This breakfast bar, with a wide variety of domestic and imported beer, has created a cosy corner for your kids to play, while you repair the hangover of yesterday.
  • Bus tours where the guide treats everyone like a 5 year old with learning difficulties, but then you see the behaviour of some of your fellow passengers and realise why.
  • No, that activity isn't available today. Not that either. Nor that one...
  • Oh goody, the one experience I was looking forward to just happens to be closed or otherwise unavailable at the exact day and time that would have been most appropriate for me to visit!

Buy[edit]

  • Stores full of the same brands as at home (clothing shops in airports, anyone?).
  • "Made in China" souvenirs even in places like Argentina — where you're as far from China as possible without stepping on a spaceship.
  • Touts. No further explanation needed.
  • When you've bought some souvenirs from some salesperson (maybe the recently mentioned tout, because you imagine that'll make them leave you alone), and they want to thank you by giving you a trinket to hang around your neck. "But hey, my friend, you need a chain for it too. Which one of these do you like, I have a special price only for you..." and there we go again.
  • Tax free – yeah, right!
  • When, in the weeks leading up to your family trip to Cuba, you've tried your level best to explain to your elderly parents that the island isn't part of the international monetary system and is under an embargo by the United States, but they still decide to change all of their useful money into U.S. dollars. When you realise what they've done – after you've landed in Havana – and you tell them the cash they brought is worthless: "Oh it's alright, I've got my MasterCard"
  • Visiting Germany when you're accustomed to paying with a card or phone. Visiting Norway when you're accustomed to paying cash.
  • Yes, I'll have to put those two red wine bottles in the checked luggage. After all one can't bring liquids into the cabin. Baggage handlers are professionals so they won't handle the bags that roughly, right?
  • You go to rural Australia and they only accept cash - even post Covid. Rural Queenslander goes, maybe you shouldn't go so tech savvy, you Victorian.
  • "We don't accept US dollars". Oh right, should have gone to the currency exchange earlier.

Eat[edit]

Food Chuletas.JPG
  • Pulled pork (and other trending foods). Do not get me wrong, when I discovered this at a North American sport stadium I thought it was great and still buy it at such events. But when I go to a British pub I want a steak and kidney pie or a ploughman's, at a German restaurant schnitzel, not a pulled pork burger with halloumi and kale.
  • When my dog is not allowed in, even when cleaner than the restaurant and has better health care than the staff.
  • When your dog is allowed in, despite being unable to stop barking for more than 30 seconds. It's a restaurant, not a zoo.
  • Local dishes "adapted to the taste of the traveler".
  • Champagne included in the breakfast buffet? I guess this is not where the local AA meeting takes place.
  • In response to the question "How was lunch?": "It was nothing special. Just a margarita pizza." Because why order something you might enjoy?
  • Menus the size of buses with 1001 dishes from the four corners of the world, each more "authentic" than the last. Also, the time between when you get the menu and the waiter or waitress comes to take your order is inversely proportional to the length of the menu.
  • Oh, sir is a vegetarian? Let's offer him the chicken. If it ain't cute, it's not meat.
  • Eat as much as you like, as long as it fits on one slightly smaller than average plate. No second turns. Drinks not included, not even water.
  • Eating tapas anywhere other than Andalusia: "Jesus, this is expensive."
  • Aren't vegetarians and vegans the same thing?

Drink[edit]

  • At the other side of the world you find mostly the same beverage brands in the bar as at home.
  • Minibars in hotel rooms, more specifically the prices.
  • "So the water is safe to drink here, but you still suggested the bottled stuff?"
  • "I wouldn't worry!" (evil laugh), "by the time you have had the third drink you won't remember the taste of the first..."
  • "(Sarcastic) You want <brand> Mate? Sure, I'll ask Bruce if he's got a 'full cask'..."

Sleep[edit]

Candlelight at By The Sea Recovery sober living 03.jpg
  • Every evening I take the useless cushions and foot cover off the bed, every day I come back to my room and there they are again!
    • and what is with this turning the duvet 90 degrees to what it needs to be?
  • I do not need a fresh bar of soap every day. If this is an issue give us a liquid dispenser.
  • It took me a long time and some discomfort to get the shower settings right. Don't move them and surprise me the next time I switch it on.
  • Key card controls the room lights, which go totally dark the second you remove the card from the holder. Never heard of a time delay? Electricians on vacation may instinctively start searching their pockets and the floor for tools when this happens.
  • Key card with no fucking room number on it.
  • Towels on the beds, but none in the bathroom. Just... why?
  • Music, loud laughter and shouting from several venues in the street, noise from an industrial kitchen ventilation shaft in the back alley, earplugs on the pillows for our comfort. Yeah, we should not be disturbed by the fire alarm suddenly sounding in our sleep. Here's an idea, install air conditioning, so we don't have to open the windows in the first place.
  • Music, loud laughter and shouting and other noises from several nearby rooms or cabins. And noone seems to be sorry for party rocking.
  • Guesthouses that still advertise the fact that their TVs show pictures in colour, as though that's somehow a luxury.
  • I'm in a hotel room in Sheffield, but instead of a fiery glowing Bessemer converter or a thrilling gritstone edge, the pictures on the wall all show Parisian café scenes. Where's the sense of place?
  • You're 5km from the railway line, but the loud train wakes you up at 01:00, when you've never even thought about the railway line.

Connect[edit]

  • Free Wi-Fi, "you only need to register (go through a long registration procedure) and will receive informative e-mails in the future from us and our partners".
  • Free Wi-Fi, on which Internet telephony is inexplicably blocked. Along with your favourite e-mail client. Along with everything else but the web browser.
  • So why do I need a mortgage to call London from the lobby phone?
  • Sorry, but this website offends Dear Leader...
  • Where's my charger? I used it this morning to charge my phone a little before rushing from my hotel to the train (empty battery, no shops open this time of the day, or in this village).
  • Oh, you didn't bring a plug adapter for this very obviously foreign country? Okay.

Respect[edit]

  • Bunch of tourists doing some kind of (drunk?) idiotic actions abroad, and later, you notice they're from your country.
  • Inadvertently calling it raki, rakia, or arak, instead of rakı and instantly seeing the faces around you turn hostile.

Stay safe[edit]

  • Don't do nude selfies on a sacred mountain. If you have to, only do that in public where both nudity and taking photos is OK.
  • If you stand on that beach in Sint Maarten clinging to a flimsy chain-link fence in the wake of jets taking off, and get blown off your feet into the Caribbean to be gobbled up by the Kraken, you probably deserve it.
  • Sure, you can photograph the fighter jets, just don't be surprised if the stern looking gentlemen in suits (or in uniform) photo you repeatedly while you do so. They might want you to assist with their enquires as well.
  • At a rural road block in a developing country: "The police/army of (country) is working very hard to keep you safe, what is your best price?"
  • "Nah, Mate. No sharks in that pond, Bloody crocs cleaned em out "
  • "Oh, the roadwork speed limit says 40km/h. But there's no one here, ah I'll just continue going at 110km/h. Oops, maybe I should've stuck to the speed limit."

Stay healthy[edit]

See also: Travellers' diarrhea


  • "Right, Mr ——— , It seems you HAVE broken a bone in three places. Did you over estimate your ability on the piste?"
  • You did wash hands before approaching the buffet? Did the other customers?
  • "Ah, Mr ———, You are going abroad? Right so that's 3 booster injections and a sugar cube..."
  • Water, Water everywhere, but is it safe to drink?
  • Child on a beach who will regret it later: "Eww, I don't want to use that sunlotion, it is tacky and smells bad, eww eww eww, besides I'm swimming and mostly under water so how can I get sunburnt?"
  • You think wearing a mask is tiresome? How about 14 days in solitary instead? Or a tube rammed down your throat?

Go next[edit]

  • Hell (Hades) is more of the same, but without the hotel showers dispensing ice water all morning.
  • There are plenty of other destinations where you can fall victim to overcharging, common scams and outright theft.
  • Airline UK Freakouts (on YouTube) features would-be passengers flying off the handle when the plane leaves without them. It's all fun and laughter until it happens to you...
  • When your home airport is a major hub and a hellish nightmare of queues, labyrinthine corridors, and depressing soullessness, ensuring your holiday mood is stone dead within five minutes of landing. Welcome home!
  • Alternatively (to the former): you arrive at your small stone-dead home airport in the middle of the night in November; the happy sunny beach resort is replaced with darkness, snow-mixed rain and a temperature around freezing and you're gonna be back at your boring workplace next morning after a couple hours of sleep. Welcome home!
The situations encountered in this article are annoying. What's possibly more annoying is that there's a small chance this article will make the Main Page, ever. Nevertheless, plunge forward and help the article grow!