My Worst Travel Moments of 2016

Travel isn’t all rainbow and butterflies like Instagram and Pinterest make it out to be (guilty). 

A few days ago, a fellow blogger shared her worst travel moments, and I loved the idea! My mind started thinking back to my own experiences, and figured why not share them for a good laugh?

So here are the behind the scenes little-bits-of-travel-drama that happened in 2016: 

A Canceled Flight in NYC 

top of the rock nyc

I wrote about this back in August. We were flying Southwest from LaGuardia to Chicago. Our flight got delayed multiple times for a total of 5 hours at one of the worst airports in the US. At 12:30 am they canceled our flight altogether.

Every traveler’s worst nightmare. Now, what do we do?

We quickly had to learn how to rebook a flight, and find a last minute hotel in one of the most booked cities in the world. All in all, it was an expensive extra day in New York, but at least we got to enjoy more of the city! Read all about it here

Not Being Able to Shower in Iceland 

roadtrip in iceland

You can plan a trip as much as you’d like, but you’re never fully prepared for what it’ll bring to you. I’ve briefly mentioned how we didn’t have cash to use the facilities at the campsites so 1. we couldn’t spend the night there and 2. we couldn’t shower. 

There were 4 of us in the no-bathroom camper we rented, and we couldn’t figure out where to stop for a shower for almost 3 DAYS! LOL! My goodness, I know.

We showered at the blue lagoon on Monday morning and didn’t find a spot to shower again until Wednesday night. It did feel like so much longer considering we were constantly on the move and didn’t have the comforts of a home/hotel. We used the tiny kitchen sink in the camper to brush our teeth and face every night or stopped at a gas station, but beyond that we had nothing.

Good thing Iceland is colder…

When we finally found a facility we could use, it had excellent showers, wifi, and a great view for the night. We were ecstatic! 

Getting Ticks in Prague

rooftop views in prague

Out of all the places you can get ticks, I never thought Prague was one of them. Jorge and I were following a “best views of Prague” path I had found on another blog prior to our trip. It was all great and beautiful until my seasonal allergies started kicking my butt, and I couldn’t handle being outside anymore.

“Let’s just cut through this park!” because shortcuts are always a good idea, right?

For some odd reason, we couldn’t find a nearby exit leading to the street. We saw a guy who went down the side of a hill and jumped onto the main street, so we figured that’ll be an easy way out. We followed the guy, but halfway down realized it was a lot more complicated than it looked so we made our way back up.

As we wandered the park, we ran into our Airbnb host! He helped us find our way back to the right bus. Our host was actually a “superhost” for his listing, meaning he provided a great rental experience, great customer service, and a spotless apartment. 

Back at the apartment, we both took some time to relax. It was so hot in Prague that day, so I figured I’d change into something cooler. That’s when I saw a bug on my leg! OH MY GOD!!!! AHH!!

I tried to flick it off, but it was a bit of a struggle. I finally got it off and started jumping up and down in full freak out mode. Jorge looked closer and realized it was a tick! A TICK!!! We quickly checked the bed and the floor and found another! Oh nooooo. I was dying.

I ran to take a shower, and then washed everything I had on. We knew it had to be that little shortcut we tried taking because there were a bunch of bushes and raggedy grass there. It wasn’t an actual path for people. They probably jumped on my clothes at some point. 

We found a vacuum cleaner and started cleaning every inch of that apartment. Remember, it was spotless when we got it, but we just wanted to make sure we left it that way. We had only found those two ticks and killed them, but we were still paranoid as can be.

We inspected every last thing that day, and every day that followed until we left. I was still checking stuff when I got back to Chicago lol. I’m not an outdoorsy girl, so I’m not used to ticks or bugs anywhere near me and clearly freak out whenever it happens. 

Breaking the Airbnb key in Milan

brera milan italy

Oh man. We had an amazing day in Milan up until we got back to our Airbnb. Again, we stayed in a great area with a superhost.

There were 2 doors to get into the apartment building. An outside one that led to the patio, and then an inside one that led to the apartments. 

We had one key for both doors.

When we got back, Jorge went to open the door and broke the key inside the keyhole! We got into the patio, but now we didn’t have a key for the second door.

It was about 12 am and we didn’t want to ring anyone’s doorbell to disturb them. Plus, we didn’t really live there so we didn’t want anyone questioning who we were. We just sat on the patio not sure what to do.

We thought about calling our host who was in Paris during that time, but what could he do from Paris?

Jorge tried to get the key out, but it was really stuck in there. We kept the outside door locked, but that meant no one else could open the door to their building because a key was stuck in there.

We quietly argued about what to do lol. He tried to get the key out again. We argued some more. We sat some more. It was now 3 am. Should we ring the doorbell now? It was either that or sleep in the patio. We were so tired.

We finally decided to bug someone and he buzzed us in. Then we had the issue of not having a key to go back out, and not allowing people to use the front door. How do we find someone to fix this in Italy? Trust me, we tried.

I nervously emailed our host anyway to let him know that we no longer had a key. He called us back at 3 am to make sure we were okay! Talk about superhost! He said that he’d send his cleaning lady the next day to give us a spare key, and he would call a locksmith to fix the door first thing in the morning.

HALLELUJAH superhost saves the day!

He did all this without hesitation and at no charge to us. I couldn’t believe how nice he was being about the whole thing. I, of course, left a raving review for him, and am linking his place here so you can book with him if you’re ever in Milan. Plus, you can use this link for a $35 off coupon:

Dropping my Camera off a Balcony in Puerto Rico 

puerto rico travel

This one is still fresh, and it still hurts.

A few weeks ago while in Puerto Rico, we found this amazing spot for happy hour. They had half-off cocktails and select tapas. All so good! They also had a few seats available on their adorable balconies. We were able to snag one up and settled in for a few hours of piña coladas and delicious food.

Halfway through our fun, we heard something bang loudly below us. We both looked down and saw a few people looking at a car. Did something fall from our balcony? Jorge ran downstairs thinking it was his phone.

I then remembered I had placed my camera behind me on my chair, and realized it was no longer there. My heart dropped. Jorge found my camera on the ground next to the car. Thank God the owners of the car weren’t there (though it didn’t cause a dent).

My dear camera fell off the balcony, bounced off the car, and onto the pavement. Painful just hearing it right?!

Sturdy little mirrorless Sony we have! It appears that only the lens broke, but we’ll be taking it to a shop soon to see what needs to get fixed. Either way, we weren’t able to use it for the rest of the trip, and well I might not be allowed to hold the camera anymore.

I honestly laugh about all of these now. I even joke that my camera was trying to commit suicide! In my opinion, every bad moment is just a learning experience, and it truly makes us better travelers. I’d love to hear some of yours in the comments! 


  • Reply Exploring Old San Juan Puerto Rico - This Darling World February 3, 2017 at 3:35 pm

    […] down favorite place in the whole area! This is the place with the balconies where my dear camera fell. They have a long happy hour from 4-8pm every freaking day! Half off a lot of drinks and food […]

  • Reply My 13 Best Travel Experiences of 2016 - This Darling World December 30, 2016 at 11:51 am

    […] Every single trip brought amazing experiences, and some pretty bad ones too (read more on that here). It was difficult to narrow down, but below are 13 moments that impacted me the […]

  • Reply Aaron McNevich December 27, 2016 at 7:54 am

    You know, as a young traveler with intentions of a longterm trip mid next year, I never stopped to dwell on the fact that it’s not always bells and whistles. As a matter of fact, never for the most part. So you sharing this incidents has both prepared and showed me that all we can really do in these situations is survive and then laugh. Thank you so much for posting.

    • Reply this darling world December 28, 2016 at 1:30 pm

      I’m glad this post was helpful, Aaron! Survive and then laugh really is the best way to go. From my own experience, the bad has never outweighed the good I get from my travels! Enjoy your long trip, I’m sure it’ll be amazing!

  • Reply Kristen kellogg December 26, 2016 at 8:50 pm

    I’m glad you had so many wonderful moments to balance these out. You know what they say… there’s always a good story in each misadventure:)

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