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Anyone who travels has them…funny stories of things that went a bit sideways or askew while on a trip. While often these experiences are not especially funny while living them, later they make humorous tales to share over a meal with friends.
I hope this collection of funny travel stories, collected over a span of years, brings a chuckle, a smile or at the least, a recollection of a funny experience of your own.
Little Sister Scores Some Tickets
When the kids were ages 10, 14 and 15 years old, they accompanied Greg and me on a business/vacation trip to LA. With a week to spend in sunny California, we carefully planned what sights to see, what parks to experience and how to best budget our time and resources.
Because the kids had been to Disney World in Florida a few years before, we opted out of Disney Land and chose instead to visit other attractions such as Universal Studios. The choice stung a bit though, as our hotel was RIGHT next door to Disney Land.
Every night, my youngest child, Adriel, wanted to soak in the hot tub. Whether it was the novelty of it or she genuinely appreciated that hot water, the practice became a nightly ritual. Her older brother and sister teased her for grabbing her towel and flip flops every night and joining a decidedly older crowd in the hot tub. I of course went with her.
Toward the end of the week, as Adriel and I settled into the hot tub, an older woman joined us. After chitchatting for a few minutes, she suddenly asked Ariel if she enjoyed Disney Land. Adriel explained we chose other parks instead. Turns out, the woman had tickets to the theme park that she did not use with her grandkids. She kindly offered them to us. We followed the woman to her room and gratefully accepted the tickets. Adriel took great delight in flip-flopping her way back to our room, and waving those tickets in her siblings’ faces.
We spent an entire day at Disney Land, one of the most fun experiences we had while in LA, thanks to Adriel!
A Kiss for Luciano
On my last night in Italy, our Globus Tour group prepared for a final meal together in Rome. I arrived downstairs to the lobby early, ahead of most of the group including my daughter and grandson. Fabiola, our lively, wonderful tour guide, directed my attention outside, to the big tour bus at the curb.
“Luciano is there. Why don’t you be first to go tell him goodbye,” Fabi suggested.
Ah, Luciano, our handsome, charming, very Italian bus driver, who spoke limited English but conveyed volumes with his smile and dark brown eyes.
I happily carried out a “thank you” card for him. He listened to me expressing gratitude for his skills as a bus driver, then smiled and nodded. Lightly touching one cheek, he said a single word in English. “Kiss?”
I know I blushed as I planted kisses on each of his cheeks and received his kisses in return. By this time, the rest of the group had arrived in the hotel lobby. In moments a long line formed, of ladies eager to give Luciano kisses!
Scottish Pole Dancer
During the girls’ trip to the UK, in 2017, my mom, sisters, niece and I spent a long day exploring Edinburgh. We made excellent use of the hop on/hop off buses to get around the city.
As the day ended, we felt ready for a quick dinner, hot showers and a long night’s rest after a busy day. Except…we missed our hop off spot. The bus parked for the night, we us still on it. What to do?
We walked to where a group of guides stood, on Waverly Bridge. One of them, a cheerful looking older man named George, approached us to see if we needed help. After explaining our situation, he asked where our accommodations were in Edinburgh. His reaction surprised us. He laughed and motioned the other guides over. Hearing our predicament, they laughed too when George mentions where we are staying.
We don’t understand the laughter, however, the guide helps us by placing us on an empty bus and asking the driver to take us to our apartment. When the driver heard the address, he glances at us in amusement. Finally I ask what’s so funny.
In lieu of an answer, George grins and hops into the bus. Grabbing a pole nearby, typically used to steady standing riders, George hums a tune and spins gracefully around the pole, looking at us expectantly as he twirls. The other guides hoot and clap…and realization dawns. He’s pole dancing.
“Are we staying in Edinburgh’s red light district?” I ask. Yes, yes we are. George hops off the bus and twirls again for our amusement, then bows as the bus pulls away. Walking up to our apartment later, we take a good look at our surroundings, for the first time really. Our apartment is in the middle of strip clubs, lap dance parlors and adult shows. No wonder the guides laughed. We are amused too. (Read a longer version of this story HERE.)
My next trip to Edinburgh, I chose to stay in a different part of town!
After a wonderful 12 days spent in Italy, my daughter Elissa, grandson Dayan and I settled into our airline seats, exhausted and ready to return home. Five hours later, we still remained in those seats, on the tarmac at the Rome airport.
While Elissa’s seat was in a different section of the plane, Dayan and I sat side by side toward the back. Watching restless people and shortened tempers, I encouraged Dayan that all was well, we’d leave when we were supposed to and that if we didn’t fly out, it was because we weren’t meant to, even if we didn’t know why.
Elissa fell asleep and woke up, expecting to be in the air and well on our way. Dayan grew weary of sitting on a stuffy plane, listening to people complain. At last, after more than five hours, the pilot announced our flight canceled. We all exited the plane, the airline company giving everyone overnight accommodations at a nearby hotel.
As we walked to the hotel, Dayan darted ahead to walk with his mom, while I leisurely strolled along at my own pace. And no, we did not enjoy another night in Italy so much as we crashed in our hotel room, asleep before the sun went down.
We successfully flew out the next day. It was only after we were in the air that Dayan turned to me, a bit contritely, and shared that he left me to walk by myself because he simply could not handle any more of my positivity! I laughed and assured him it was okay. What followed was a wonderful conversation about having a positive life outlook, something Dayan took to heart. He is a go-with-the-flow traveler now, who has learned at age 22 to roll with what life brings, knowing there’s always a reason for everything that happens.
Boldly Going…Where No One Should Go
During a week long visit to the state of Kentucky, our family of five enjoyed several equine related events due to older daughter Elissa’s love of horses. She showed Arabians and Saddlebreds in horse shows all over the Midwest, including the large American Royal National Championship Horse show in Kansas City. During that prestigious show, we always enjoyed watching her…and actor William Shatner, best known perhaps for his role as Captain Kirk on Star Trek, showing his beautiful Saddlebreds.
We discovered, somehow, that Shatner owned a horse farm in Kentucky. So…we decided to visit it while in the state. I cringe now that we drove right up to the training barns on his property, totally uninvited. And I sincerely doubt that could happen now. However, we walked inside and found his trainer working with the horses. Rather than calling security…if there was such…or demanding that we leave, Donna Moore visited with us and allowed us to watch as she put one of the Shatner horses through his moves.
While a fun experience, I’m appalled today that we so boldly went where no one should go…without an invitation! (Forgive me, Captain Kirk!)
Wrong Way, Sister
My sister Debbie accompanied me on a 2019 trip to Scotland. Although we attended five days of Clan Maitland activities, we also built in five additional days of exploring Edinburgh on our own.
That’s when I discovered that my sister has NO sense of direction. Perhaps because of my many years as a realtor, I’ve learned to navigate by directions and instinct rather than landmarks or using “right” or “left”. I could mentally call up Edinburgh’s grid of streets in my head as we explored. Debbie, on the other hand, invariably headed out confidently…in the wrong direction…on our many explorations. It became a running joke during our stay in Edinburgh. Debbie striding out with purpose…in the exact opposite direction from our destination. Me waiting until she figured it out and turned to call back for directions.
Back in the US, after ten glorious days in Scotland, I watched as my sister walked to the ladies restroom in the New York airport. I was watching still as she exited the restroom, hesitated and then turned left and strode away from me down the wide hall. One more wrong way for Debbie…before we arrived home! (Read the longer version of this story HERE.)
Mom Doesn’t Have a Clue
On that girls’ UK trip, our group of five finished up in London, England. One attraction we all chose was The London Dungeon.
While this high quality experience, a cross between a walking tour and an amusement park ride, offers performers in period costumes portraying characters from London’s murky past, the highlight of the tour was my mom.
At the time of this trip, she was 77 years young. In spite of breaking a knee a few months before the trip, she kept up with all of us. Walking through the London Dungeon experience, we had enjoyed two photo opportunities.
In the first, the photographer put three of us in stocks, handed Mom and my niece axes and told us to play along. Mom didn’t catch exactly what he said, and the photo shows. While the rest of us are looking at the camera, Mom is gazing off to the side, axe in hand, totally lost.
In the second photo, with a green screen portraying the London fire behind us, four of us look horrified…or amused…while poor Mom is again staring off in another direction, trying to “find” the fire.
We didn’t realize how hysterically funny it all was, until we saw the photos at the end of the tour. We still laugh every time we see the photos or tell the story. Mom remains a good sport about it!
Your Funny Travel Stories
I hope these humorous tales brought a smile to your face! At another time, I’ll share Funny Travel Stories Part 2, because I have more tales to tell.
What about you?
Do you have funny stories from your travels that you and your family still giggle over? I’d love to read them. Share one in the comments below.
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