What Was Your Most Embarrassing Travel Moment?

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We recently asked our readers on our Facebook and Twitterpages to tell us about their most embarrassing travel moments, and the stories we got were hysterical! While some of them were a bit out of our comfort zone—one reader returned to his hostel room to find a naked man in his bed, another accidentally confused the Italian word for preservatives with the word for condoms in front of her boyfriend's family—we did want to share some of the more appropriate tales of humiliation on the road.

My personal favorite (probably because it reminds me of a similar scene in National Lampoon's European Vacation) is when reader Beth Green accidentally walked into someone's home and demanded food, mistakenly thinking it was a restaurant. The hosts were gracious enough to serve her, but she didn't realize the error until later. The result: a great and memorable travel story.

Travel blogger Tara Cannon recalled her favorite embarrassing travel moment. A few years ago during a trip to the South Pacific, she lost a game of interactive in–flight–Jeopardy to her husband and two other passengers. As she said, the final score was –800 to 2,000+ and she could hear chuckling around her on the plane. The couple later met two travelers from San Francisco who had been on the same flight, only to learn they were the two passengers that had beaten her in the Jeopardy game. As they say, it's a small world.

Reader Caroline Evans had a surprising experience in her hotel room as she tried to change her shirt—at the exact same time a man was working on her 13th floor window. Talk about bad timing! @Shamrockerours told us this fond story of a slip most foul: "Falling down a hill in sheep poo and not being able to get up on the first morning of a trip. Passengers thought it was funny!" Another reader, Craig Ballentine told us about an unfortunate experience he had while returning to London from New York: "My suitcase had bust open in the middle of the runway, everything fell out, underwear and all. I could see this all happening out of my window [on the plane]. Very embarrassing."

My mother once slipped on a banana peel while traveling through London with her friends after college. While I'll probably never be able to top that, I did have a pretty embarrassing airport experience recently when flying from Tampa back to New York City. My only remaining clean shirt had a metal–ring design around the buttons that I obliviously wore into the full–body scanner. I felt like the world's biggest idiot when the TSA agent pointed this out and I had to get a pat down from another TSA agent who said, "Nah, don't worry about it. You look great!" There were a few of us getting double–checked that day and one lady turned to me and asked, "Hey, what are you in for?" I said, "Metal buttons." She said, "Pocket change." At least I wasn't the only one.


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