For the most part, travelling is one of the best things that money can buy. You see and experience new cultures whilst stepping out of your comfort zone and being better for it. However, at times there are hiccups and bumps along the wrong that can either put a damper on your entire trip or at the very least leave a lasting memory that we hope you can learn from.

We are thankful enough to have never really had any terrible experiences like being rushed to the hospital or being robbed. However, these 6 moments have stood out to us and we would be super interested in reading about your worst travel moments in the comment section below.

Losing 2TB’s worth of Photographs & Videos

Imagine storing all your photographs, videos and memories on one hard drive from the last 6 months of travelling abroad… and then dropping that HDD and it stop working? I 100% feel like this one is on us for not purchasing a backup HDD for it. It honestly was heart breaking and to add to the stress we had just returned off a project working with a brand who were expecting content, content which had just been lost.

Resolution: Thankfully the incredibly generous guys at Secure Data Recovery recovered all our lost footage for us.

Our Travel Agent Booking Our Return Flight From the Wrong Country

I feel like this is a bit of a first world problem as we were using a travel card containing winnings from a travel competition that we had won earlier that year. This is why you may be asking why we were using a travel agent instead of booking the flights ourselves.

We had decided to fly into San Jose, Costa Rica to experience our first ever volunteer projects. We had an incredible time working with sea turtles and sloths but when our time was up and we were ready to fly to Montreal, upon check in the airport staff informed us that our flight home was booked from San Jose, USA and that it would cost us $2000 to get to Montreal.

You could just imagine the shock on our face! This happened only 1 week before we lost all our memories and upon arrival in Montreal we left half our luggage in a taxi. They say bad luck comes in threes.

Resolution: As it was our agents fault, a replacement flight was purchased at no additional cost to us -phew! (Maybe there is a benefit to booking with a travel agent after all.)

Being Lied To and Screamed At When Requesting a Hotel Refund

As you can imagine, documenting our travels through YouTube and our blog means that we travel with quite expensive gear including our laptops and cameras, which means security at accommodation needs to be somewhat present. During our travels in Canada we decided to use Booking.com to organise a cheap hostel in the heart of Chinatown, Toronto to spend a couple of weeks exploring the city.

This was the time we stayed at the apartment from hell.

Lets just move aside that the room was less spacious than Harry Potter’s room under the stairs and that a rat went through our shopping, ate our breakfast and then decided to poo all over our bed. Upon requesting to change rooms we were informed that this was not possible and after contacting the emergency support at Booking.com they informed us that the manager would come and talk to us to deal with this issue, well this is where the lies began.

After waiting 45 minutes for this manager we decided to speak to the staff downstairs who told us that he was currently in Europe and wouldn’t be returning till next week. Three phone calls back to Booking.com later and finally a man arrived several hours later and decided to start screaming and yelling at us saying that he would refuse to not only change our rooms but deny us a refund for the remaining nights stay.

Imagine being at a hotel and the manager is screaming at you?

Resolution: After around 5-6 phone calls back and forth and an email in writing saying that Booking.com would refund us the amount we left and booked an AirBnB. I think it was around 3-4 months later that we finally received our refund!

Getting our Cards Scammed – Twice

During our 5 week trip to America Jess had her card scammed and her entire spending money stolen. A second and most recent time was during our time in South Africa (the final month of our year abroad) we had my final stash of money scammed. This certainly put a strain on our final month, I am just happy it happened right at the end and not the start.

Resolution: Luckily I have the best parents in the world who gave me a cash advance and two months later the bank gave me my money back which I then gave back to my parents.

Doing a Bus Tour of Europe – With 120 People

Once again this ones on us for not looking into the tour that we had organised. We went on a northern loop tour of Europe and it wasn’t until the first day that we saw three large buses pull up to our hostel and over 100 passengers stumble into them. The next 10 days we had to deal with not only other tourists who were seeing the sites on their own organised trip, but also the 100 odd travellers on our tour trying to take pictures of the Berlin Wall, Anne Franks House and the Eiffel Tower.

If this is your style of travel we totally understand but for us we prefer smaller groups to the max size of 16.

Resolution: Every morning we would chat to the tour guide on where they would be going, then proceed to smash down breakfast and run ahead before everyone else.

Jess’s Bungee Jumping Experience

Several years earlier we had both conquered sky diving so bungee jumping seemed like no big deal right? Well for Jess that is one big NO! I personally enjoyed the experience (though it’s one I am not eager to jump at to do again) but for Jess it made her even more afraid of heights.

Resolution: We have slowly been building Jess’s confidence back up starting right at the beginning with parasailing and hot air balloon rides.

What’s the worst thing that has happened to you during a trip abroad?

Stephen and Jess signoff