Travel Hell is a very special destination populated entirely with what you, the seasoned (one may say selfish) traveller, find annoying.
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!?
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.
- 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.
- 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?
- Are we there yet?
When your map(s), the street signs, and actual location of landmarks all are in conflict with each other.
- 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.
- 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?
- 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."
- 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?"
- Sure, take me for a ride, it's not like the hotel is close by...
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.
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.
Stupid comments: should you laugh or cry?
Comments by guides
- "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
- "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!"
- 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 chatty people not looking at anything.
- 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!....
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.
- 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?
|“||Some restaurants... allow servers to “grat” their foreign customers, or add a tip to the bill. Since this amount is added before the customers have a chance to tip or not tip, the practice amounts to an automatic penalty for imperfect English.||”|
—Barbara Ehrenreich, "Nickel and Dimed" ISBN 9780805088380 of an eatery paying US$2.43/hr
- 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 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.
- 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..."
- 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.
- 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.
- 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".
- 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).
- Bunch of tourists doing some kind of (drunk?) idiotic actions abroad, and 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.
- 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 you are photographed repeatedly whilst you do so for future reference.
- 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?"
- 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!
|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!|