In travel, there are organised people who are on time to every place, triple check all the travel details before leaving the country, and never anywhere without all their possessions safely in hand. Then, there are people like me. People who spend half the trip wandering around looking for something they’ve lost.

Some of the people who follow me, especially on Instagram must think I lead a perfect life of travel. What you don’t realise is that there is a lot of stress and chaos that goes on behind the scenes, mostly self-inflicted. And for some reason, I never seem to learn my lesson.

Today I am talking about travel bloopers – things that go wrong when travelling. For some reason, these things happen to me at least once on every trip. Today, I’ll share with you some of the funniest fails I’ve had while travelling.

The time I left my passport on the plane in Chile

Left my passport on the plane

This was on a school trip for Spanish class back in 2013. I had broken my foot about 6 weeks back and was out of a cast, but still limping around quite a bit, and it hurt to walk long distances.

We were actually travelling to Buenos Aires, Argentina with a stopover in Santiago. It was supposed to be a really quick transfer – just step off one plan and on to the other. We were lining up to board the other plane, and they told us to get our passports out. I searched everywhere but I couldn’t find it anywhere. Then a cold feeling of dread passed over me as I remembered where it was: in the seat pocket of the plane we had just disembarked.

If I hadn’t been disabled, I probably would have just bolted to the plane and back without anyone realising I was gone. Alas, I had to tell my teacher where my passport was (not least because he was standing over me waiting for me to get it out of my bag). He was furious (surprise, surprise) and off he went marching back to the aircraft to retrieve my passport. Great, but he made me go with him to show him where it was.

Of course, he was in a rush because our plane was about to fly off! So he was striding back down the arrivals passage with me hurriedly limping behind. When we got there (the plane was still there, phew!), the air hostesses had already found the missing passport and handed it to us with a bit of a smile. We ran (or rather, he ran, I hobbled) back to the departure lounge, to find out the connecting plan was delayed by an hour. *sigh*

My classmates and teacher never let me live that down.

On the bright side…

I did learn my lesson for that particular fail. Since that day, I’ve never put anything important in the front seat pocket of a plane.

The time I booked the wrong bus in Barcelona

Wrong Bus in Barcelona

It had been an eventful and tiring long weekend trip to Barcelona, and to be honest come Monday I was so ready to get on that bus and go back to my safe, quiet host home in Logrono. I’d run out of clothes, I’d run out of memory on my camera, and perhaps most alarmingly I’d run out of money.

I got to the bus station about half an hour early and presented my bus ticket, looking forward to finally being able to sit down for a few hours. When I presented my ticket at the desk, the lady looked at the ticket, and then looked at me, confused for a minute. ‘This ticket is for tomorrow’, she informed me.

I couldn’t breathe. A million thoughts rushed through my head, but the first one was ‘nooooooo!’.  How could this happen? ‘Come back same time tomorrow,’ she was saying. I just stared at her incredulously. Same time…Tomorrow? What about today? ‘Can’t I change the date?’ She shook her head, lips pursed. ‘Fully booked. You could take a train instead?’

A train? There was a reason I hadn’t booked a train in the first place, and that is because train tickets in Spain are ridiculously expensive!

I could have stayed there and taken my frustration out on her, but instead I went outside to wallow in my frustration and figure out what I was going to do. I literally had less than 5 euros on me, because I left most of my money at my home and took only what I thought I’d need (another big mistake). Also, I needed to work that afternoon.

I pondered. I txted the person I had been couchsurfing with. Then I called my host mother. Eventually, I called my Mum and an hour later I was on a high speed train heading back to Logrono. Thanks Mum!

On the bright side…

I got to experience the state of the art European rail system! And I got home earlier than the bus would have got me there.

The time I missed my flight in the Philippines

missed my plane in the Philippines
view from the plane of El Nido

Well, this one was really stupid because anyone who has been to the Philippines knows that Filipinos operate on a schedule that is about an hour behind…for everything. My friend and I were staying on Bohol Island, and on the last day we had a flight booked from Cebu to Palawan at 12pm. All good.  We organised for a taxi driver to pick us up at 9, get to the ferry terminal by 9 30 and be back in Cebu by 10 30 to get to the airport by 11. Leaving us plenty of time to catch the flight.

We wanted to spend as much time as possible on the beach in Bohol so we got up at 7 to watch the sunrise and sunbathe until the time for the taxi driver to pick us up. We kind of lost track of time relaxing and the taxi driver was waiting for us for about 10 minutes before we even realised. Cue crazy filipino driving to get to the ferry terminal, but luckily we made it on time. Or so we thought. The supposedly 1 hour boat ride dragged on. We checked online and were relieved to see the plane was delayed for an hour. We still had a chance to make the flight.

Two hours after leaving Bohol, we finally arrived in Cebu city at around 12 30. Scrambling to get our bags out and rushing to get in the nearest taxi, we hurriedly explained the situation to the driver, who was more than happy to speed and swerve around traffic in a bid to get us to the airport on time.

I’m going to state the obvious if you hadn’t figured it out already: we didn’t make it.

By the time we got to the airport, the (delayed!) plane had already departed. We had to pay to get another ticket to El Nido, leaving the next day.

On the bright side…

We got to go straight to El Nido instead of flying to Panglao and then getting a bus to El Nido…saved a long bus journey! And landing in El Nido is another unforgettable experience!

Also, we took that extra day to explore Cebu city, which never would have done otherwise.

My motto in travel is. ‘it is all about the adventure’. Whatever happens, it is part of the journey, so let it slide and make sure you continue enjoying the trip! Even though I will probably always be absent minded and clumsy, I deal with everything that happens to me with a positive attitude. The fact of the matter is, no matter who you are, things will go wrong when you travel. At least, that’s how I justify it to myself!

Tell me about your funniest travel fails in the comments! If you like this kind of post, also let me know. You never know…there might just be a part 2!

travel bloopers: things that go wrong when travelling

Travel bloopers: things that go wrong when travelling



  1. David Rainey Reply

    Flexibilityand oatience in travel are good aattributes to have. My biggest blooper was wreaking a rental car the first day on South Island of New Zealand. Not wanting to waste a day traveling by bus back to retrieve a replacement I hitchiked. Three rides totalling over 100 miles got me back late the same day. The plus was meeting the interesting, friendly, and informative locals who gave me rides.

  2. Haha oh the mishaps of travel hey. I plan to write one of these with all the things that have happened to me; broken leg, stuck in small streets with a rental car, missed connections… so many fun times haha

  3. I’m always so afraid of leaving anything in the airline seat pocket!! So glad you were able to retrieve it right away and not have it sent to you.

  4. Everyone makes mistakes when they travel. Some a little bigger than others. Gosh… When I look back at the ones I’ve made I laugh but at that time they weren’t as pleasant!

  5. Things always go wrong, especially when travelling long term! but that what makes it a fun adventure, well looking back you can laugh about it even when it’s not funny at the time 😛 Thanks for sharing! <3

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