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16 Short Funny Travel Stories That’ll Make You Laugh Out Loud

These short funny travel stories are sure to make you laugh!

From crazy travel stories involving bathroom mishaps to funny stories about language barriers to wild travel stories that take you on safari, this list is sure to make you chuckle.

I’ve even included a video sharing about my strangest Couchsurfing experience!

Before scrolling, I recommend grabbing your favorite beverage and getting comfortable, as we’ve got 16 fun travel stories below to help put a smile on your face.

After reading these funny true stories, feel free to share your own best travel stories in the comments below!

Short Funny Travel Stories — That Are Also True!

1. File Under Embarrassing Travel Stories

One of my most embarrassing funny stories happened while I was backpacking South America — specifically during a 4×4 tour from San Pedro de Atacama in Chile to Uyuni, Bolivia.

The trip takes you through the desert for three days to see otherworldly sites like hot pink lagoons where flamingos search for food, an abandoned train graveyard, and, the highlight, the world-famous Uyuni Salt Flats.

During the trip, you share a car with four or five other people.

At one point, I was sitting in the front seat and it was getting really hot in the car. Our driver didn’t speak English, but I spoke decent Spanish — or at least I thought I did.

“Estoy caliente!” I said, looking right at the driver. To my confusion, instead of rolling down a window, he looked horrified…or maybe confused?

I decided it was probably my New York accent confusing him. “Estoy caliente!” I said again, this time in what I thought was a more local-sounding accent. He looked even more horrified-slashed-confused.

Suddenly, the one native Spanish speaker in the car spoke up from the back:

“Umm, I’m assuming you’re not meaning to tell the driver you’re horny, right?”

Apparently, the way I was saying “I’m hot” literally translated to, well, another meaning of the phrase. As I turned bright red, I decided I didn’t really need the window open and would just sit in silence and try to disappear by melting in the car seat.

But hey, when it comes to learning a language while traveling, embarrassing mistakes can certainly be a great teacher. Plus, I can add this to my list of hilarious vacation stories to share at parties.

-Jessie Festa, Jessie on a Journey

2. My Craziest Couchsurfing Story

Here is one of my most interesting travel experience stories.

For this anecdote, which is part funny travel story and part horror travel story, you’ll have to watch the video below:

One of my favorite funny travel videos

By the way, if you like crazy and funny travel story videos like this one, make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel and hit the bell icon so you get notified when future videos publish.

I’ve already got a few more short travel stories recorded and scheduled to come out over the next few weeks!

crazy travel stories
Bob Marley chilling with his friends just outside our desert tent in the Moroccan Sahara. Photo by Daniela Frendo.

3. An Unpleasant Night With Bob Marley

My funny travel experience happened during a trip to Morocco in 2015, when my husband and I spent a couple of days in the Sahara Desert as part of a tour group.

I was super excited to ride a camel for the first time and spend a night in a Bedouin tent in the desert. Little did I know that I was about to experience the longest and most unpleasant night of my life.

Our camel ride started with me hanging upside down from the saddle with one foot in the air. My camel, Bob Marley, had decided to stand up before I could settle into the saddle.

I held onto the saddle for dear life as our Bedouin guide pushed me up onto the camel’s back. Bob Marley let out a grunt of disapproval, and we rode off. I thought I was in for a bumpy ride; but save for the fact that the camel in front of me, named after Jimi Hendrix, was having a bad case of gas, it turned out to be a very pleasant journey.

After dinner and some impromptu drumming around a bonfire, my husband and I retreated to our tent for a good night’s sleep. Our bed was just a mattress on the carpeted ground.

Despite cocooning myself in a couple of thick blankets, I was shaking from head to toe. My husband fell asleep straight away, and so did the other people in our group — judging by the cacophony of snores that filled the air.

Two hours later, I was still wide awake — and freezing cold.

Thankfully, the snoring started to subside and I gradually drifted into dreamland, only to be jolted out of my sleep by a very loud and unusual noise. It sounded like a bellow and was followed by a very awful smell.

I tried to go back to sleep, but someone or something started to chew loudly. And then another groan, another unpleasant smell, and more loud chewing. This went on for at least another two hours.

After what felt like a never-ending night, I checked the time. To my delight, it was time to get up to watch the sunrise. I stumbled out of our tent, grabbed a glass of freshly-brewed mint tea, and dragged my sleepy body out of the Bedouin camp.

There, stationed just outside the tent where my husband and I had spent the night, was Bob Marley, Jimi Hendrix, and the entire caravan. Bob Marley made direct eye contact with me, and I could swear I spotted a smug grin on his face.”

– Daniela from Grumpy Camel

Beautiful Sapa, Vietnam. Photo courtesy of Zach & Julie Ruhl.

4. Trying To Pee On A Bumpy Bus Ride

If you enjoy travel love stories, this trip tale from our honeymoon has a humorous twist.

While visiting Sapa, Vietnam on our honeymoon, we had to fly into the large city of Hanoi.

From Hanoi, we could have either taken a bus, a train, or a rental car up to Sapa. Because we are cheap, we decided to take the bus. Even further, we booked an overnight bus trip, so that we could save one night of accommodation booking.

We showed up at the bus station at 11:30 pm for our midnight departure, and everything was going well. We boarded the bus and got to our beds, which was a row of five plastic cots wide with no cushions. We did get a blanket, though, and settled in for the night on our uncomfortable beds.

At about 3:00 am, I woke up and had to pee. We were on the freeway, and the driver only spoke Vietnamese, so I couldn’t communicate the fact that I needed to pee.

In the commotion, the driver also noticed there was a payment issue with our booking, which my now-awake husband was trying to figure out.

I still had to go, and it was becoming an emergency. The bus was still rocking and rolling down the Vietnamese highway. It was 3:15 am, my bladder was bursting, and my new husband was trying to have a Google Translate conversation with the driver to figure out our booking.

I tried to get my pee emergency into the Google Translate conversation, with no luck. All I got was my husband giving me a bottle.

A soda bottle?! What was I supposed to do with that?! The mouth of that thing was the size of a thumb. I am not the Jason Bourne of pee-aiming.

Realizing my choices were non-existent, I tried to use the bottle. After some awkward maneuvering, I opened the floodgates and, as you might have guessed, peed all over my bed…and my husband’s.

Thankfully, the sound of the pee spraying on the plastic beds did not come to the attention of any of our neighbors or the bus driver. Or maybe he purposely ignored it.

After figuring out the booking issue, my husband scooched back into his bed only to realize that Lake Urine had formed in the middle of it.

After some shock and stifled laughter, we cleaned it up with one of our blankets, had an extremely uncomfortable three more hours of travel, and finally pulled into Sapa. We couldn’t get off that bus fast enough.

On the bright side, it’s one of our favorite funny stories about traveling to share.

– Zach and Julie from Ruhl of the Road

funny incidents while travelling
A more relaxing time at the scene of the boob incident. Photo courtesy of Justine Jenkins.

5. The Time I Had My Boobs Massaged In Morocco

Our favorite short funny story to share is all about massages and spa experiences in Morocco.

They are supposed to be tranquil, soothing, and calming. But what happens when you try to have a relaxing spa experience in another country without doing your research?

You could find yourself swimming in your underwear and having your boobs massaged, that’s what!

When my husband and I were in Morocco, we decided to go for a traditional Moroccan Hammam massage at our hotel…and all kinds of hilarity ensued!

First, we were asked to get undressed by the staff who only spoke French, so there were a lot of frantic hand gestures going on.

Then we were taken to a room where straightaway we could see a woman being rubbed down while completely naked.

No robes, no doors… just all kinds of naked. We were shocked and immediately started thinking: “Wait…is this what a hammam massage is like?”

Thankfully, not in our case, but it doesn’t get much better.

We’d worn our underwear because we actually thought we were just getting a pleasant back massage like in the UK.

We were wrong.

We were taken to a steam room where we were rubbed with mud in front of strangers and then asked to shower it off. Next, we found ourselves swimming in a saltwater pool. All of this while in our everyday underwear!

And then finally we got to the massage part where we were separated and I was asked to strip completely naked.

This was fine while lying on my front but then came the fateful word:


Yep, this was when I found myself having my boobs massaged by a total stranger!

Moral of the story:

Do your research. And don’t wear underwear to a Moroccan hammam massage. Go for swimming gear just to be on the safe side.

– Justine from Wanderers of the World

funny stories about travel
Camping in the Serengeti — it looks so peaceful come morning. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Coe.

6. When Nature Calls, Literally

I have many funny short stories about travel, though one of my favorites to tell happened in the Serengeti.

Now, there are a lot of really awesome things about camping in the Serengeti:

It’s a relatively affordable way to go on safari. You meet other adventurous people. You’re camping in the freaking Serengeti! Like, hello, how cool?!

However, there may be one or two less-than-stellar things about this type of safari…like not knowing what’s outside your tent during the night.

Personally, I didn’t really want to come face-to-face with the hyenas — or anything else — that I knew could be out there. My method of avoidance came down to not drinking too much water during the day. Other than the bathroom, nothing could draw me out of my tent at night.

Well, one day I was thirsty and had more to drink than I should have.

The result?

You guessed it — I needed to pee pretty bad by about 3 am.

Let me take you back a few hours though, to the afternoon. We were making camp that night at a spot that was to be shared with some of the park rangers. Earlier in the day, the rangers had brought a goat to camp. I thought they were taking this goat further on their journey and I didn’t think about it past that.

Well, guess what the rangers had for dinner?


That night, from the safety of the tent, we could hear the hyenas munching away on the leftovers. It was gruesome.

It also meant that I absolutely knew the hyenas were in the camp, right between me and the bathroom. Well, by 3 am, I was desperate and cared less about the hyenas than about my bladder.

However, we’d been strongly warned not to go out by ourselves. So, I asked my friend if she wanted to go on an adventure. She said no and advised I go back to sleep.

I tried; I really did. An hour later, I asked her again, “Isa, want to go on an adventure?”

Her answer hadn’t changed.

Just behind our tent were the dining cabin and a small hill. I was desperate. Really, my bladder was going to explode. I went just behind the tent, right up to that hill, and did my thing.

After, I went back into the tent and didn’t stray anywhere close to where the campfire had been, and the hyenas currently were. I was safe! I didn’t get eaten or attacked by anything. Basically, I was Superwoman!

The next morning we were packing up our stuff to go on that day’s safari when our guide casually asked if we had heard the lions the night before.

Nope, we hadn’t heard them. Apparently, they’d been close.

Their lair?

Just on the other side of the small hill behind the camp.

This one definitely goes on my list of crazy yet funny adventure stories!

– Jennie from Where Jennie Goesfunny adventure stories

Lindsey in Moscow. Photo courtesy of Lindsey Puls.

7. Naked & Confused In Moscow

Naked and confused in Moscow? Yes, you read right. This is one of those funny vacation stories that you won’t forget…

I thought I knew all that there was to know about Russian banyas — until I found myself in Moscow, lying naked and sweating to death on a table in front of 12 other naked women of varying ages, who were all strangers to me, getting flogged with a couple of birch branches by a kind but very strong woman named Olga.

And I had actually paid for this beating. It’s all part of the experience!

In short, a banya is similar to a sauna. The biggest difference, though, is that a “banya” has high levels of humidity in it, while a sauna will have dry air. They’ve been a part of Russian life for over a thousand years.

Another interesting aspect of the Russian Banya is flogging using birch twigs (venik). This is supposed to benefit your health and improve your immune system, and honestly, if you have someone who knows what they are doing, it does feel really good.

I knew when I signed up for this that I would likely have to be naked for this flogging — I had done it before in a private bathhouse; however, this was my first time in a public banya, and I didn’t expect to be on display for the rest of the banya goers while it was happening! I was envisioning this to be a little more, ah, private?

But there I was, naked as the day I was born in front of everyone, getting smacked around by Olga as she shouted commands in Russian…which I imagine was something like, “Now, flip over! Raise your legs! Cover your boobs! Scoot your butt down further!”

Actually, though, I had no idea what she was saying. So, she gave up and just started pulling me and moving my naked body parts to where they needed to be — much to the amusement of everyone in the banya, who were not shy about their giggles!

Olga hit/massaged almost every square inch of my body with the branches. Then, once she was done, she led me by the hand to a shower area, sat me down, and threw a cold bucket of water over my head. And then a warm one, followed by another cold bucket. My body was thoroughly shocked after that!

Needless to say, this banya experience was a little less relaxing than my previous experiences with it; however, I still felt like a million bucks after it was done, and I will absolutely do it again.

– Lindsey from Have Clothes, Will Travel

short funny travel stories
Priya Vin and her family at Santa Barbara, California. Photo by Priya Vin.

8. A Short Story About Traveling That’s Out Of This World (Literally)

When the weather starts to warm up we love heading to the beach for a few days. Any beach really, though Miami holds a special place in our family’s hearts. We even have a favorite hotel by the beach that we always stay at.

During one such trip, after a few days of being lazy on the beach and spending way too much time walking the boardwalk, we decided to go for a drive.

We rented a car for the day and drove to Key West. Our plan was to enjoy a scenic drive on Highway 1 and maybe try some key lime pie and head back, but the day turned out to be more memorable than that.

It was a breathtaking drive and we kept our eyes glued to the window. The scenery was gorgeous and felt like we were driving over water.

Driving from Miami to Key West takes about three hours on the scenic coastal Overseas Highway. When we were closer to Key West, suddenly Mr. Suburbia — aka my husband — stopped the car, grabbed his camera, and ran out looking up at the sky — leaving me looking at him bewildered.

After a few minutes of looking and pointing at a shiny object in the sky, he was pretty thrilled to announce he’d spotted a UFO. I should mention here that hubby loves his Sci-Fi movies and UFO shows — the likes of Project Blue Book — and strongly believes we are not alone.

We eventually got back in the car, stopped at a nearby store, and asked someone in the parking lot:

“Do you see that shiny thing in the sky?”

The man looked up and casually responded, “Do you mean that weather blimp?”

We came to find out later that what we saw in the sky was “Fat Albert” or a version of the radar aerostat blimp that the US Drug Enforcement Administration uses to keep an eye on shipping hereabouts.

The shiny object in the sky was not an unidentified flying object or alien craft but a weather blimp. It is one of the short funny travel stories that always come up when we talk about our trips.

It starts with one of the kids saying “Remember the time when dad thought he saw a UFO…?” and always makes us laugh.

– Priya from Outside Suburbia

funny crazy stories about travel
Dominika’s road trip through Spain turned into a smelly affair. Photo courtesy by Dominika Byś.

9. An Unpleasant Travel Experience With A Ghost Shrimp In Spain

When it comes to funny short travel stories, there is one I always love to tell.

A few years ago I had a wonderful trip to Andalucia, Spain, together with my family.

We spent hours road tripping to the best places in this region and enjoying Spanish culinary delights like fresh seafood and delicious produce. Grocery shopping at local markets was definitely a highlight of the trip.

To get around, we rented a car from a recommended company. We were lucky enough to receive a car of a better standard than what we ordered. It was a nicely-equipped van, with key-free unlocking, automatic doors, and a lot of space inside. Quite luxurious, I must say.

At one point during this one-week trip, we opened the door of our car and were met with a horrendous stench.  We almost passed out. Our first thought was that something must have died inside.

We noticed that the stench was coming from the trunk. It turned out that a little bit of liquid had escaped from the bag with fresh shrimps the evening before.

We tried to clean the trunk with cleaning supplies found in our rented apartment. Then we found out some homemade methods to remove the smell. Desperate, we even tried out a special freshener for domestic animal scents.

But, alas, the ghost of the dead shrimp was still there. For the rest of the trip, we drove with all of the windows open.

Before the last day, we headed to the gas station. I popped into the shop to look for car fresheners. My mom was more resolute and tried to have a conversation with the staff — note here that we’re Polish, and she can genuinely only say a few words in Spanish.

She pinched her nose, made a telling gesture, and said “car fish caput.” The service guy started to laugh but he luckily understood her. And after a short while, he came to our car with a huge specialist atomizer and sprayed all the interior. We were so grateful because the problem seemed to disappear.

But the awful smell came back the next day; the day of our departure.

Early in the morning, we left the apartment and headed to the car rental agency. We were stressed about what the agency’s employee would say about the smell and we were wondering if insurance would cover such an incident.

Luckily for us, the moment we locked the car on the agency parking while waiting for the service was the last time the car key-pilot worked. At that moment, the battery died. The car agency representative wasn’t able to open the car.

And because it was so early in the morning, the main office with the spare keys was still closed, and this guy was taking care of the parking only. He noticed we had purchased full car insurance and only asked if we refilled the gas tank.

When we returned home we found an email from the car rental agency with an appreciation note for using their services. So we assumed the weird smell was covered by the insurance. While back then we were embarrassed about that incident, we now look back at it with a smile.

Moral of the story:

Always purchase full insurance. You never know when a shrimp decides to escape.

– Dominika from Sunday in Wonderland

short funny travel stories
Talek exploring Beijing by rickshaw

10. A Massage In An Unexpected Place

This is one of those stories that will make you laugh!

I worked in Beijing for many years. I used to go to a place called Dragonfly for massages, which I really liked. One time I was in an area of Beijing that I was not familiar with and wanted a massage.

The local Dragonfly was just too complicated and far away to get to, so I decided to go elsewhere and try something different.

I remembered I had seen what appeared to be a massage parlor a few blocks from where I was staying, and I walked over. The location didn’t look exactly like the type of spa place I was familiar with.

I guess that should have been my first warning.

It had pictures of smiling women in the window that I supposed were the various massage therapists. Flashing neon lights in blues and reds decorated the outside.

To be honest, I felt a tad apprehensive but thought that was just because I had never been there before. I know from experience that many times things might feel strange in unfamiliar cultures, but once you dive in, chances are you’ll discover a wonderful new experience or location, or a delightful food you never tasted before.

With this in mind, I went in.

Inside I tried to communicate that I wanted a massage to the woman attendant. I rubbed my shoulders with kneading fingers pantomiming a massage. She disappeared into a dark room and quickly returned with another woman who asked me something in Chinese.

I repeated my pantomime and the two women engaged in a long and animated conversation behind a beaded curtain. I couldn’t understand what the confusion was.

Finally, they led me to a small, dimly lit room with what I took to be a massage table in the middle. I disrobed and lay face down on the table as I normally would.

A woman came in and started to give me a massage. It wasn’t a great massage but certainly adequate. After an hour the woman indicated the massage was over and gave me a cup of green tea. I paid, gave the lady a tip, and went back to my hotel.

The next day was Monday. Everyone came into the office discussing their weekend. I told my colleagues about my massage.

“Oh! Don’t tell me you went all the way to Dragonfly?!” a colleague asked surprised. I explained my massage experience at the spa a couple of blocks away.

After identifying the exact location, they told me that was a high-end brothel. Everyone had a good laugh at my expense. I suppose they’re still laughing.

-Talek from Travels With Talek 

funny true stories
Adam in his hammock at the Bay of Pigs in Cuba. Photo by Adam McConnaughhay.

11. Hammock Hanging Newbie

One of my favorite funny short stories traveling happened when I spent a semester studying abroad in Cuba in 2009, which was actually my first international trip.

There are many beautiful things about Cuba, perhaps the best one being the peoples’ resilience and creativity in solving problems and getting by without having access to the things we take for granted.

I, in fact, had to learn some of that craftiness myself.

Not long after we arrived, I bought a hammock at an artisan market in Havana. I couldn’t wait to hang it up, and there was a perfect pair of trees on the grounds of the apartment-hotel where we were staying.

There was just one problem. I couldn’t find rope anywhere. I must have gone to five hardware stores. No rope to be found!

I ended up picking up some pieces of cloth and old electrical wires in a vacant lot. Now I thought I was good to go.

Back at the hotel, one of the security guards helped me out — thank goodness for the kindness of strangers — and I settled in with a Cuba Libre and my book to enjoy relaxing in the hammock for the first time. Until…


The cloth broke about 10 seconds later and I ended up on the ground covered in rum and Coke!

Along with my newfound security guard friend, we tried several more times to get it to stay hung, me falling on my butt several more times as well.

Two of my classmates apparently had quite the laugh watching from the window and had even taken a video of these failed attempts. Fortunately, that video got lost or erased somehow before it was shared with the whole group.

Undeterred, I ventured back out and found some thicker cables. With those, I finally succeeded in getting that hammock hung. I even carried it around much of the island and hung it on my porch back home in the US for years afterward with those same cables.

Lessons learned were that perseverance matters, always check your hammock is stable before trying to enjoy a drink in it, and if you’re unsure, make sure no one’s watching from the window!

– Adam from Cartagena Explorer

short funny travel stories
Matej with his travel buddies in Death Valley. Photo courtesy of Matěj Halouska.

12. A Road Trip With A Resilient Mouse

Here is an adventurous trip story that takes place in Death Valley National Park, which my friends and I thought got its name because nothing lives there.

We were wrong.

While cooking dinner in the campground, one of us had an idea to open all the car doors in the evening to release the stale air inside.

This didn’t turn out to be a very good idea.

The next morning, we packed everything up and got ready to discover other parts of Death Valley, when suddenly a mouse jumped on my legs!

“Boys, we have a mouse in the car!” I screamed.

My brother turned to me disbelievingly. “What are you talking about?!”

I got a similar gaze from Jakub, who nervously asked, “Are you sure?”

The mouse quickly disappeared, and I was left trying to get the rest of the group to believe me.

The truth came out the next morning, though. Jakub grabbed a pack of pasta and it started to spill all over the car trunk. The mouse must have bitten a hole in it.

Now they believed me, and we set off on a mission to rid the mouse from the car.

Our first plan was to download a number of mobile apps producing squeaky anti-mouse sounds. In the evening, we opened everything possible and turned on our phones to maximum volume. After a while, we were going crazy due to this terrible sound. The mouse, on the other hand, didn’t mind at all and, I can only imagine, quietly laughed at us.

In the morning, we found more mouse damage — a leaking barrel of water had soaked half of our things, and the mouse had eaten through my headphones. Plus, we were starting to worry about the car’s electricity.

We decided our next step was to go to Walmart for traps. Before heading to bed we carefully filled the traps with cheese and spread them evenly throughout the car, eager to see if we captured the mouse by morning.

Unfortunately, when we woke up they were empty — and we found more holes in our packed food. There was pasta everywhere!

It was clear that if there was enough food in the car, the traps wouldn’t be interesting for her.

On the other hand, we understood the mouse. She probably hadn’t seen that much food in her entire life in Death Valley and suddenly there was this huge banquet! What mouse wouldn’t want to explore such a rodent paradise?

She traveled with us over 600 miles before we got to Yosemite National Park. This journey brought new hope to our struggle.

Bears rob 130 cars a year in Yosemite, so there are bear boxes in every campground. Therefore, we completely unloaded our car. Every crumb was removed.

It was our last hope. If it didn’t work, nothing would.

We set up the traps and went to sleep, and in the morning there she was, one of the fattest mice we’d ever seen. We agreed that’d she’d probably just had the most amazing “all-inclusive trip” of her life.

– Matěj from Czech the World


short travel stories funny
The Malawian fishermen who came to Jacquie’s rescue. Photo courtesy of Jacquie Hale.

13. An Unexpected Fall Into Crocodile-Infested Waters

If you’re looking for funny adventure stories that are also a bit scary — or even travel disaster stories — this one is for you.

Safari tourism hadn’t really taken off when we visited Malawi in 2010 during an overland trip through Africa.

Health and safety weren’t major considerations, and it was certainly a far cry from the safaris we did in South Africa, Tanzania, and Botswana.

Arriving at Liwonde National Park in the south of Malawi we were excited as we knew it was a great place to spot elephants.

We relied on our campsite to book a canoe safari for us. Luckily, as soon as we set off we spotted loads of elephants — and even hippos — along the shoreline.

The trip leader in the canoe behind us suddenly shouted to our guide. Then there was an unexpected bump and we were thrown out of the canoe.

Our canoe had been flipped by a hippo!

The moments that followed were a blur. Thankfully local fishermen had seen the commotion and came over to help. We knew that there were crocodiles in the water as well as hippos and wanted to get out as soon as possible. We managed to haul ourselves into the fishermen’s canoes and were paddled back to the shore.

Amazingly nobody had been hurt and we were very thankful to the local fishermen. While we were drying out, we were pretty shocked to be asked to pay for the trip. They finally settled for a 50% reduction and we paid with the wet notes from our wallet.

We weren’t traveling with smartphones in those days so finding a reputable tour company was a bit hit and miss.

Often, there are lessons to be learned through these stories of travel. These days we would recommend Googling reputable tour operators, although as with all wildlife adventures, always expect the unexpected!”

– Jacquie from Flashpacking Family

travel disaster stories

14. Remembered By The TSA

One of my favorite short funny stories to tell is this one.

I traveled out of the Kansas City airport about every other week for the past three years.

Before I leave my house, I clean out the fridge and put any fruit that would go bad into a stasher bag.

I have TSA Precheck but have learned it’s just easier to pull it out of my purse into a bin and it won’t ever get questioned.

Last summer I was going through and the X-Ray guy says, “Hey! It’s strawberry girl!”

Then three others perked up and waved to me.

Except for that day, it was sliced peaches, and I felt like I let them down.

-Katie Boutwell, Katie B Traveling

best travel stories
Theresa walking in front of chateau de la Mairie de Montcourt-Fromonville. Photo courtesy of Theresa McKinney.

15. Confusion In Small-Town France

I feel like this is one of those relatable funny stories because who hasn’t ended up in the wrong location?

In 2019, my husband and I took a trip to France to attend the wedding of my former exchange student, Christelle.

The day after the wedding, we set off from our hotel to the small village of Montcourt-Fromonville to attend a luncheon for close friends and family.

Shortly after arriving in the small village, we happened to pass Christelle’s family gathered in a small parking lot. We wondered if we should stop, but they didn’t look settled, and Google Maps was continuing to direct us.

We drove further, and eventually, Google Maps did the thing where it says you have arrived, but you look around and don’t know where you’ve arrived to.

My husband and I were very confused. Per the invite, the destination was called Chateau de la Mairie de Montcourt-Fromonville, but there was no address associated with it. When I typed it into Google, it came up as being a city hall.

Looking around the vicinity, we did see a castle-looking building in the distance, but it seemed way too fancy for a luncheon. Plus, would Christelle really be having her luncheon at a city hall?

We turned around and decided to go back to the parking lot where we had originally seen Christelle and her family. Of course, when we got there, no one was outside anymore. We approached a residential building nearby, thinking perhaps the luncheon was at someone’s personal residence there and snooped around a little bit.

Unfortunately, there were no signs of any gatherings in this quiet building. As we walked away, I heard a voice behind us say, “Bonjour.”

Turning around, I spotted a woman I had never seen in my life and wondered how I would explain our apparent snooping in French.

“Nous cherchons une fete.” (We are looking for a party)

The woman continued to stare at me.

“Pas ici?” (Not here?)

The woman shook her head “no” with a confused look on her face. Feeling her eyes upon us, we immediately left before further damage could be done with my limited French.

Frustrated, we followed Google Maps back to the lovely castle-looking building. Now we saw more cars there, and we thought maybe that was the location after all.

Our suspicions were confirmed upon parking outside of the chateau “city hall” where we were relieved to finally find Christelle and her family.

We were very grateful this was such a small village. Otherwise, I’m not sure how much bad French I would have had to stumble through before finding the luncheon!

– Theresa from Fueled by Wanderlust

Stephanie Craig in Mostar.

16. An Unexpected Mountain Encounter

One of my most interesting vacation stories happened a few years ago. My younger brother and I decided to take a drive from Oklahoma City to the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge to see if we could get any photos of the bison herds that live there.

We couldn’t find any, unfortunately, but we did find some very ornery longhorn cows!

We drove up to the visitor’s center to get directions to where the bison were at the moment, but we couldn’t get out of the car. There was a small group of about four longhorns gathered around watching something. When we got close enough to see what was so exciting, we realized that there were two teenage-looking steers fighting with their horns locked!

We wanted to watch the fighting because it was so entertaining — and not what we were expecting — but we learned that it was a mistake when one almost knocked the other into our car.

We absolutely did not want to be stuck getting out and having to be around them without the protection of a two-thousand-pound SUV separating us, so we drove off.

But I’ll never forget the feeling in the pit of my stomach when I realized we could have been in a car accident where the longhorn hit us and not the other way around!

It’s one of the best funny road trip stories we often share with friends!

– Stephanie from Oklahoma Wonders

Bonus Short Travel Stories

Looking for more interesting travel stories and funny travel anecdotes? Don’t miss:

25 Crazy Travel Stories You Need To Read To Believe

23 Inspiring Travel Stories Sharing The Kindness Of Strangers

38 Inspiring Travel Love Stories From The Road

Sexual Assault Stories From The Road (& What I’ve Learned)

8 Crazy NYC Subway Stories That Will Make You Hail A Cab

17 True Short Adventure Travel Stories To Inspire Your Next Trip

A Host’s Perspective: My Worst Airbnb Horror Stories

11 Epic Travel Fail Stories From The Road

18 Scary Travel Stories From Haunted Hotels To Creepy Cabins

Do you have any short funny travel stories to add to this list?

Enjoyed this list of hilarious travel stories? Pin these funny anecdotes for later!

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  1. Moha on at 11:07 am

    Thank you so much for sharing your stories. Hope to see you in Morocco for an excellent adventure trip.
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  2. Amit Wadhwani on at 11:45 am

    OMG!!! I can only imagine what you must have gone through. Really funny stories. I would surely be careful next time before booking a massage 🙂 Thanks for the super hilarious blog.

  3. Amy Alton on at 5:06 pm

    That’s a lot of spa stories. I too had boob massage in Indonesia and Thailand. Whoops!

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  17. Norman Williams on at 5:23 pm

    Losing and Finding My Way in Japan

    Norm Williams

    For much of my career, I traveled the world as a salesman.  Our company hired people in
    each country we sold in to help with various duties. One year I went to Japan, and the sales agent
    chose the Kokusai Hotel in Kyoto for my stay due to the efficiency of its proximity to his office. 
    I left early on a calm, bright morning to find my way through a beautiful historic part of the city
    built in traditional Japanese style. 
     The cute, smiley hotel receptionist had written directions on a map, circled the area of
    my destination, and wrote out the address in Japanese in case I needed help.  Shyly, she said in
    broken Japanese-English and with her hand covering her mouth, “It’s in this area.  If you get lost,
    here’s the address.”  With an early start and a clear sense of direction, I felt comfortable about
    arriving on time – a business culture imperative in Japan.
    I thought I found the circled area on the map with ease.  I then compared the hand-written
    address to the kanji characters on the buildings to discern a match.  With no Japanese reading
    ability, I struggled as if trying to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphs without the Rosetta stone.  I
    soon realized, “I’m lost, and not just in the usual way when I’m at home in the U.S.  I’m lost
    without local reading or speaking ability, not knowing anyone in the city to go to for help, and a
    cell phone without reception in this country to call my sales agent.”  Bewildered and
    disappointed that I could not find the way on my own, I began to wander.
     I looked for help among the passers-by. 

    I used my ignorant foreigner look, which I had patented around the world — the clueless,
    helpless, American businessman who is hopelessly lost, out of his element, and pleading for
    some host country compassion. I tentatively approached a businessman, presumably walking to
    work.  Being deep in thought, I surprised him as a foreigner.  But, kindly, he took pity on me. He
    looked at the address and, after a long pause, said, while shaking his head side-to-side,
    “Aaannnooo.”  To me, this sounded like, “I don’t know.”  Later I learned that “anno” is the
    Japanese form of “mmmm.”   We parted with a mutual look of apology. 
    I continued to beg for help as I disrupted Kyoto’s quiet, morning street routine.  A coffee
    shop appeared to be a prospect for a captive audience of potential helpers.  A lone, older man,
    enjoying his coffee and newspaper, sat in the corner, isolated.  I cornered him.  He had no choice
    but to help.  
    He took a long, discerning look at the address, then the map, then the address, then the
    map again.  He pointed to a spot on the map with an air of precision and confidence.  But
    beneath his veneer of clarity and calm, I thought I saw a man pinning a tail on a donkey piñata
    while blindfolded.  Time to move on, I thought.
    I learned later-on that addresses in Japan are codes to unravel.  They indicate a ward, a
    district within the ward, a subsection of the district called a chome, a block number within the
    chome, and, finally, a building number.  In Japan, they number buildings in the order of their
    construction. They are not in numerical order as in the U.S.  The address I looked for could be
    located anywhere on the block, not somewhere in sequence. In place of a conventional numbered
    street address, an address in Japan could read like this in the U.S.:  “Go down this alleyway, take

    a right at the nightclub, continue past the graveyard, and it’s the red door on the right after the
    old oak tree.”   
    Next, I found a lady pulling boxes on a cart.  I guessed that a delivery person would know
    the area well.  After quickly reviewing the address, she waved me hurriedly in another direction
    as if she knew exactly where to go.  We eventually reached her old van in front of a gas station. 
    She took out a map. As she looked at it for a long time, a deep crease began to form in her
    forehead. Her air of confidence became a look of “I don’t know.”  Fortunately, her fellow
    worker, who sensed the problem, stepped in, analyzed the address and map, and then pointed
    with the certainty of a commanding general to an area of buildings across the street.  My
    translation of her gesture, however, was:  “It’s somewhere over there!”  Another pin-the-tail
    By now, I trusted no one walking the street.  So, I waved down an expert – a taxi driver. 
    His response to reading the address was an elongated samurai grunt and finger-pointing fit in
    Japanese-English, “Why are you taking a taxi?  It is around here.  We don’t need to drive
    anywhere!”  But I could detect uncertainty in his expressions as he desperately tried to help me. 
    I responded to him in my best, polite international English that I had learned works around the
    world – simple words pronounced slowly and loudly with a local accent as if the person cannot
    hear me well enough. In English with a Japanese accent, I said,  “Pleeease driiiive meee tooo
    theee ahdresssss ah.  I wiiill paaay youuuu eeeeven if it iiis aaacross the streeeeet.”  Then it
    dawned on me that he did not understand any of my Japanese accented English.  So, I resorted to
    the universal sign language of desperation conveyed with an American G I Joe gusto that said
    through body gestures, “I don’t want to walk there.  I am very late!  Please drive me even if it
    costs $50 to go 10 feet!”

    He interpreted my gestures differently from what I meant because he zoomed off with me
    towards the center of town.  He tossed me what looked like a Japanese language guide-book to
    the city with pictures of landmarks and pages of street maps.  It was like he was giving me a tour
    of the town as he pointed to various places.  Perceiving the misadventure ahead, I emphasized
    my unwavering interest in going to the phantom address by vigorously and repeatedly pointing at
    the address written on the paper.  He responded with more grunts mixed with smiles as if saying,
    “You can point all you want.  You are my prisoner.”
    After many miles, we arrived back where we began the city tour and parked outside the
    gas station.  A determined and, apparently, a compassionate man, the driver did not want to let
    me down now.  He went to the gas station’s workers and pulled them together for a conference. 
    For what seemed like an eternity, they diligently researched maps, considered directories,
    animatedly discussed possible locations, and pointed in various directions. Then the gas station
    workers appeared to bow to each other in a humble celebration. Grandly, one of them stepped
    forward from the group and pointed to a building directly across the street. In the same direction
    that the cart puller’s fellow worker had gestured to, and the taxi driver told me about, I
    wondered, in despair, “Could it be that the building was, all this time, just over there, and I
    hadn’t listened to them?”
    The elated cab driver, who dearly wanted to finish the job, eagerly waved me into the
    taxi.  Ecstatic, I jumped in.  With a simple U-turn, he would deliver me to the door of the
    building across the street.  But, of course, that would be too simple. We drove in Japan, and the
    strict traffic laws overrode any sense of simplicity. My cab driver pulled out, zoomed off, took a
    dozen or so turns down one-way streets, and we finally pulled up to the building that was across

    the street. I could have walked back and forth between the building and gas station twenty times
    while in the cab. 
    Gratefully, I paid the taxi driver a ransom for my release plus a tip for the city tour.  As I
    walked into my sales agent’s office sixty minutes late, his lady assistant graciously approached
    me, saying, “He is waiting for you at the Kokusai hotel to bring you here.” 
    “Oh My God! What message did I miss that told me to wait there?” I thought in anguish.
    “I spoke with a half dozen Japanese, disrupted their morning routine, struggled endlessly to
    understand them, walked many city blocks, traveled unnecessary miles, felt the helplessness and
    hopelessness of being lost, arrived an hour late, and I only had to wait for the sales agent to
    quickly and efficiently take me to his office!
    Feeling quite humble, I entered the meeting room and sat down at the conference table.
    My sales agent began to speak, and I listened carefully to his direction.

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