The Funniest Travel Stories You’ll Ever Read
Did you hear the one about the woman who boarded her plane and discovered she'd been assigned a seat in the bathroom? Or how about the guy who was scheduled for a 47-year layover? And what about the toddler who publicly called out a woman on his flight for having stinky feet?
If you've been around the traveling block enough times, then you know how quickly things can go wrong when you least expect it. But every once in a while, something ridiculously funny can happen to turn a situation that started out stressful into a moment you vow to never forget.
In this list, we've compiled some of the most hilarious travel-related stories ever. Who knows, maybe one of these wacky scenarios has happened to you.
Flight Has 47-Year Layover
Layovers can be nothing short of annoying, but they are a necessary and in some cases unavoidable inconvenience. But imagine booking a flight only to learn your layover was scheduled to take, no joke, 413,786 hours — aka 47 years.
That nightmare scenario is exactly what happened to passenger James Lloyd when he tried to book a flight through Skyscanner from Christchurch, New Zealand to London, England, and was told he’d be spending nearly five decades in Bangkok.
Hilariously, Lloyd reached out to Skyscanner on Facebook to see if they had any suggestions on what he should do in Thailand for the next 47 years. The customer-service rep, Jen, responded in kind, suggesting Lloyd spend his time outside the airport terminal becoming a Tai Chi expert or booking a cruise on the Chao Phraya river. Users on Facebook were so amused by the rep’s cheeky response that one created a #TEAMJEN t-shirt.
The man, alas, did not book the flight.
Dad Tries to Film Vegas, Films Close-Ups of His Face Instead
Is there anything more amusing than dads not understanding technology? We think not.
Take, for instance, the story of the Irish man who borrowed his son’s GoPro camera to document his first trip to Las Vegas — and ended up filming his entire trip with the camera pointed the wrong way. Instead of capturing shots of the famed Strip, the man filmed close-up footage of his own face.
As the hapless videographer’s son put it bluntly: "...my dad being my dad…didn't know which way to point the f------g thing.”
Naturally, when the son posted his father’s botched footage to YouTube, it became a viral sensation, garnering nearly 10 million hits as of press time. Sample comment? “Classic dad move.”
Cat Hitches a Ride on Plane’s Wing
Cats are known for their stealth and cleverness. And no cat has exhibited those qualities more than the cunning feline who landed herself a free plane ride.
In 2015, a cat dug her claws into the wing of an ultra-light, two-person plane in French Guinea before it took off. The plane flew for a while before she slowly crawled into view of the pilot, blowing her cover and shocking the people flying.
Don’t worry: When the pilot uploaded footage of the misadventure to YouTube, he made sure to note that the cat was doing well and was “still our mascot.”
Watch the video to see the pilot’s expression when he notices the cat for the first time. It’s truly priceless.
Man Finds Doppelganger on Plane
When a Glasgow man went to take his seat on a Ryanair flight to Galway, he was shocked to find someone already sitting there: a guy who looked identical to him.
The uncanny resemblance caused a stir on the plane, and the men took a photo to capture the moment. When the photo was posted to Twitter, it swiftly garnered thousands of retweets.
And that’s not all: Later, the two men later realized they were staying at the same hotel, and then ran into each other at the same pub.
The world works in mysterious ways...
Man Tries to Board Plane Wearing His Entire Wardrobe
There was drama at Iceland's Keflavik airport last year when Ryan Carney Williams, aka Ryan Hawaii, tried to board a British Airways flight to London wearing the contents of his carry-on — which included eight pairs of pants and 10 shirts. Williams wasn't cold or confused, he just didn't want to pay the extra baggage fees.
Unfortunately for Williams, he was denied boarding and arrested for causing a disturbance at the gate. The following day, when he tried to board an alternative flight with EasyJet, he was refused entry by the pilot, who knew of the mess he caused the day before.
Eventually, Williams made it back to London, but with an even bigger dent in his wallet because both British Airways and EasyJet refused to offer him a refund.
Still, we kind of respect the hustle. Baggage fees are the worst!
Man Puts Himself Through X-Ray Machine
Every novice traveler makes mistakes the first time they go to an airport and try to navigate its myriad rules and security measures. So let’s cut the guy who put his entire body through a baggage X-ray machine some slack, ok?
In 2016, after a newbie traveler was asked to put his bag through the scanner, he instead proceeded to crawl onto the X-ray belt, lay down and go through it himself. As “The Sun” reported, when he arrived on the other side, a security guard was there to greet him “with his head in his hands.”
Man Posts “Mom, I’m Fine” Photos to Instagram
Parents worry; it’s kind of their thing. And a lot of parents worry in particular about their kids traveling abroad.
To appease his typically fretful mother, Jonathan Quiñonez, a model from Brussels, took to posting photos to Instagram with a sign reading, “Mom, I’m Fine.” The pictures feature him riding ATVs in Saudi Arabia, hot-air ballooning in Turkey, participating in Dia de los Muertos in Mexico, and more. He even partnered with Volaris to have the words emblazoned on a plane.
“She is still worried, like every mother,” Quiñonez told “Bored Panda.” “But in the end, she is happy because she knows I’m having the time of my life.”
Student Fakes Bomb Threat to Derail Parents' Visit
Back in January, a 23-year-old French student was arrested for allegedly making a bogus bomb threat to an EasyJet flight traveling from Lyon to Rennes. When apprehended, the suspect admitted his guilt, confessing he didn't want to hurt anyone, he only wanted to stop his parents, who were aboard the plane, from visiting.
Shortly after takeoff from Lyon, the flight was forced to turn around after the captain learned of the anonymous threat. Upon landing, the passengers disembarked, the plane was searched for explosives, and everyone was relieved when they realized there were no bombs aboard.
If found guilty, the student could face up to five years in prison and have to pay $85,000 in fines. Wonder if mom and dad will help foot the bill?
Woman’s Airplane Seat is in the Bathroom
In September 2018, passenger Stalkier Ika boarded a Lion Air flight in Palembang, Indonesia, headed for Jakarta. Her boarding pass listed her seat assignment as 35F, but as she moved to the back of the plane, she realized something alarming: The last row stopped at 34.
After a few minutes of confusion, Ika discovered she'd been assigned an imaginary seat in the plane's bathroom.
After taking to Facebook to complain about her, ahem, crappy seat assignment, Lion Air's corporate office responded with a viable explanation: At the last minute, the flight's original aircraft, which had 39 rows, was swapped out for a smaller plane, which only had 34.
Ika was promptly assigned a new seat (one without a side of toilet paper) on the same flight, and she landed in Jakarta as scheduled.
Toddler Calls Out Woman’s Stinky Feet
Four-year-old Rodney Small from Houston, Texas, is not allowed to put his feet up on the furniture at home. So when a woman sitting behind him on his first round-trip flight set her bare feet up on his armrest, Small wanted to know why she wasn't following the rules.
Luckily, Small's father had his phone nearby to catch his son's hilarious reaction live. "There's stinky feet behind me!” he said in the video before turning around and asking the woman with allegedly stinky feet, “Why does somebody have … feet behind me? Why do you have your feet behind me?”
The woman in question took Small's reaction in stride and promptly removed her feet from his arm rest. His father, on the other hand, was taken aback. "His reaction just caught me by surprise," he told Good Morning America. But it "ended up being the highlight of our trip."
Man Flies 1,400 Miles in the Wrong Direction
When wildlife photographer Christopher Paetkau boarded his flight in Yellowknife, Canada, he thought he was headed north for the town of Inuvik. But what Paetkau didn't realize, as he adjusted his seatbelt, was that he’d mistakenly boarded a flight headed to the city of Iqaluit — 1,400 miles east of his desired destination.
Turns out the two flights boarded around the same time, and attendants didn’t catch Paetkau’s mistake in getting on the wrong plane because of a downed computer system.
Fourteen hours after landing in Iqaluit, Paetkau, with the help of an apologetic flight attendant, touched back down in Yellowknife and boarded a flight headed for Inuvik. When asked if he was angry over the mix-up he said, "Well, I had two choices: am I going to be upset about this or should I just roll with it and have fun?"
Paetkau chose the latter — and ended up with a great story for future dinner parties.
Woman Goes on Solo Honeymoon
Last we checked, honeymoons kind of require both newlyweds to attend. But when her husband was denied a visa to visit Greece, Huma Mobin rolled with the punches and went without her new hubby by her side.
Not letting it get her down, Mobin turned the trip into an opportunity for hilarity, posting pics with her arm wrapped around no one as she visibly pouted.
But what we find most interesting about this story is the fact that she reportedly brought her in-laws with her instead. The horror!
Plane Gets an Inappropriate Paint Job
In 2008, UK airline Thomas Cook decided to shake up its image with an aircraft fleet makeover. And so, it painted "I Love Cook's” in black and yellow across the body of its planes.
Sounds innocent enough, but thanks to a passenger's pic, the airline quickly realized how its tagline changed once the aircraft’s emergency door was opened and slid to the side. Upon opening, the second “o” in Cook's became a “c” and, well... you can see from the photo what happened next.
When asked about the botched paint job, the folks at Thomas Cook took it all in stride, telling The U.K.'s Sun, "It goes with out saying it's an accident, but it is one way to highlight where the emergency exit is.”
Pilot Tells Co-Workers He's Bored at Work
An Australian pilot was stuck in the air for three hours while testing out a new version of an aircraft engine. As he looped and swirled through the air, he got bored and decided to ditch the original flight plan to create his own instead.
And so he flew a new path that sketched out the message, "I'M BORED," which wasn't visible from the ground and could only be seen by his colleagues following the aircraft's flight via radar.
We can’t help but wonder what message the pilot sent when he needed a bathroom break.
Tourist Discovers Surprising Lookalike
According to legend, the island of The Pregnant Maiden in Langkawi, Malaysia, wields special powers. Locals believe the waters around the island can reverse infertility. As a result, the location has become a popular destination for couples struggling to conceive.
But for one tourist, the Pregnant Maiden has taken on an entirely different meaning.
While lying supine on the beach, a young man realized his body's profile perfectly matched the bumps and curves of the island in the distance. So he did what any traveler would do: He took a pic and shared it on social media, where one clever commenter on Reddit captioned it with, "Some peoples bodies are a temple. My body is a whole island.”
Mother Names Baby After Airline
Actress Gwyneth Paltrow named her firstborn Apple; Frank Zappa named his kids Moon Unit, Dweezil and Diva Thin Muffin; and rapper Cardi-B calls her baby girl Kulture. But celebrities aren't the only people who give their children bizarre names. Case in point? A woman who gave birth on an Emirates flight named her newborn boy EK — after the first two letters of the flight code.
To be fair, she did have a pretty sweet reason for doing so. During a flight from Dubai to Manila, the woman went into early labor. Luckily, there were two nurses onboard who helped her give birth in one of the plane's bathrooms. The pilot made an emergency landing in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, after which mother and baby were rushed off to a nearby hospital.
Despite popular belief, it's not mandatory for an airline to offer free lifetime travel to a baby born mid-flight, but for EK we hope they made an exception.
Artist Pretends to be Dead in Vacation Selfies
Artist Stephanie Leigh Rose became fed up with the proliferation of what she refers to as "airbrushed, circle light enhanced, prop centric...selfie stick-Kardashian-YouTube-Photoshopped-mememememe sh*tshow" pics that have taken over social media.
So, in response to the self-aggrandizing selfie, Rose created the stefdie, a style of photography featuring the artist lying belly down on the ground in public places while pretending to be dead.
Rose has taken her idea on the road and snapped stefdies at icons like the Golden Gate Bridge, The Eiffel Tower and Buckingham Palace.
While she finds the work satisfying, Rose does admit it comes with hygienic hazards. According to an alarming piece in the U.K.'s Metro, “her mouth definitely touched urine while laying down in a public loo in San Francisco, and she’s definitely touched dog poo more times than she can recall."
Pork Pie Causes Airport Security Alert
Word to the wise: Never try to sneak a pork pie on your flight.
This lesson was learned the hard way by a guy in Manchester, England, who thought he’d bring along a pork pie, purchased at a pub the night before, as a mid-flight snack.
Much to the man’s embarrassment, the pie triggered the scanner’s liquid detector, leading to a truly surreal security shake-down. “It must have been a very juicy pie,” the man’s brother told “The Guardian.”
Happily, the man was let through with his pie intact. We sincerely hope it was good enough to be worth the shame.
Commenters Lose Their Mind Over Impromptu Plane Push-Ups
A lone guy in a pair of rainbow Crocs caused quite a stir on a fight last year when he was spotted at the back of the plane banging out a quick set of push-ups. Of course, a nearby passenger caught his mid-flight workout on video, and it ended up on a popular Passenger Shaming Instagram account.
The incident elicited a mix bag of reactions.
Some people were instantly dismayed, wondering why anyone would willingly place their bare hands on a dirty airplane floor. Others thought it was disrespectful toward the flight attendants.
But surprisingly, most people were simply appalled by the passenger's footwear. "I'm not sure if it's the Crocs or the push-ups that's worse!" one commenter stated. Another added, "The Crocs are the shameful thing here. Not the push-ups on the plane.”
The lesson: Doing push-ups on a plane is not that big of a deal. But never, ever wear Crocs, or you will be judged.
Skydiver Catches Shoe Mid-Air
That’s our response to the man who lost his shoe while skydiving in Central Texas, caught it mid-air and slid it back on, all while plummeting toward the Earth. Reportedly, 3,000 feet of altitude was lost while chasing down the footwear.
The man’s pithy response after landing? “Lost a shoe. Landed with a shoe.”