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oops buttonIn this week’s Friday Free-for-All, we want to hear about the most cringe-inducing moment you’ve had in your travels. Ever tripped in front of the whole business-class cabin when boarding a plane? Or attempted to say something innocuous in the local language but come out with something awkward or obscene instead? Or fallen asleep on a train, only to wake up somewhere in the rail yards with the conductor looking down at you as though you were an idiot? (Yes, that last one happened to yours truly — a real high point of my trip to Rome.)

Share your most embarrassing travel moment in the comments below! Whoever submits the funniest story by Tuesday, November 20, will win an IndependentTraveler.com travel mug.

Editor’s Note: We’ve now chosen a winner — congrats to Buzz Toll, who has won an IndependentTraveler.com travel mug. You can see his winning entry in the comments below.

The Most Awkward Moments in Travel

— written by Sarah Schlichter

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9 Responses to “Your Most Embarrassing Travel Moment”

  1. Celeste says:

    Once, while in a small hill town in Tuscany, where English speakers were few and far between, I ended up having …um….eh…. a yeast infection. Very uncomfortable. In order to get the medication that I needed to address this little problem, I ended up in a pharmacy, with a very nice gentleman who was nearly as embarrassed as I was as I tried to do “charades” to indicate the nature of my problem and what I was asking for.

    • helen says:

      Next time you have this problem try palin yogurt with active cultures. Tradition remedy which still works. Much of the water in Tuscany and Umbria is high in sulfur which is great for treating urinary tract infections.

  2. buzz toll says:

    While sitting in hours of traffic on Wright Memorial bridge waiting to arrive on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, I just had to pee. Bumper to bumper window to window I just couldn’t get a chance without being seen. With thighs shaking and my back teeth floating I decided to use a soda bottle. No it wasnt empty so in my despair I also had to drink more liquid to make room for the inevidable. I grapped my hoody, coved up as best as I could and took care of my problem. Whew much better, so I thought! I inadvertantly uninated on the bottle which was now very slippery, dropped it on my lap spilling the pee all over myself and the steering wheel. After I cleaned my self up, and the wheel, I looked to my left and observed the entire group of people in the next car clapping for me! What a day!

  3. msesqct says:

    My husband and I were on the European Castles Tour, Imperial
    Castles of Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic. The tour consisted of me, my husband, 2 female friends and our fearless female tour guide. As we were walking back to the hotel in Vienna we passed a well dressed gentleman in a turban. He walked up to our group and said to my husband “you are a very lucky man” assuming we were his harem.

  4. Bill James says:

    While traveling via bus from Lake Tahoe back home to the Bay Area, my wife was dozing when we made a quick stop in a small town. I dashed off to get us some coffee and go to the men’s room and apparently took too long — as when I came out the bus had left. I did know the next stop, so called a taxi and had him head to the Greyhound Bus terminal in that next town. We made it just as the bus arrived, I jumped out of the taxi and leaped onto the bus. Walking down the aisle to my seat, I imagined my wife would be all frantic but so pleased to see me. As I sat down, she sleepily said “Hon, could you get us a couple of coffees.” I could not believe it — she slept through my entire ordeal.

  5. Nancy James says:

    While traveling via train from Copenhagen to Hamburg my husband and I had couchette sleeping arrangements — us and 4 strangers, three on each side. We stashed our bags and off we went, everyone going to sleep immediately. We heard music playing and even though our ‘roommates’ spoke a different language from ours, we could tell they were not pleased with the music. Neither were we. It was muted a bit, so we assumed it came from the next compartment but then it hit us. We knew those tunes as it was coming from a player we had in our bag and now we couldn’t get to that bag easily and would further disturb everyone. So we just pointed to the next compartment and shook our heads (too) and let it play. We knew the next song was going to be “When Will I Be Loved” by Linda Ronstadt! Yikes!!


    In 2003 took a free shuttle to a mall.After that decided the easiest way to get back to my hotel was a taxi.Going close to a bridge my Chinese taxi driver gets a call,his friend has been in an auto accident.He demands I get out of the cab on a busy bridge,,no charge!The buildings are so high I do not know where I am..keep flagging taxis,finally one rushes and says get in..I was 3 blocks from my hotel In Singapore..I am a solo traveller with a disability.. great story eh!I know I spelled the city wrong..

  7. apart minsk says:

    I was in Poland with my wife and kids. We were on the market buying food and the polish guy when he’ve got to know that we are from Belarus said that he would not charge us for even a dollar!! He was born at the same city as we were from))))

  8. Lorraine says:

    We started cruising in 1985 and had been on Holland America’s ships quite a few times.One night we got to our cabin and got ready for bed.At that time we had an inside cabin with twin beds.the tv was above one of the beds.When came the time to shut off the small light that was shining into my husband’s face neither he nor I could find the switch.We looked and looked,nothing.So we called for a cabin stewart to come and turn it off.I always sleep naked so when someone knocked on the door I rushed into the bathroom to hide .My husband opened the door and the indonesian stewart automatically opened the bathroom door .There I was completely naked in a bright bathroom.The man turned around and went running down the hallway with my husband after him telling him to come back.He never did.(I had a pretty nice body at that time) We called the front desk,an officer came and never found the switch.They turned off the power for the night and told us they would turn it back on at 7am the next morning.Of course they forgot.Anyway when our cabin stewart came to clean our cabin he and everybody else had heard about our adventure and of course he was laughing.He showed us where the switch was.Everytime we crossed an indonesian stewart my husband teased me saying he was the one who had seen me naked.

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