Best Short Travel Stories… EVER!
Every tourist has an interesting travelling story to share. The more you are exploring the world, the greater the chance that you have experienced something unique. We’ve asked our blogging friends to share their most memorable experience. Check out these awesome short travel stories and get inspired!
Love At First Lettuce
by Juliette from Snorkels To Snow blog
4 years later the hunky builder became my husband.
Meeting The President Of Ecuador
by Dane from Holiday From Where blog
My best travelling story is from a time I was in a small city called Salinas on the south coast of Ecuador. I was just hanging with a local friend and surfing every day before I started to head north. I kept hearing about this wave that was really good and you couldn’t surf because you had to sneak through an air force base to get to.
One day my friend was telling me it was going to be really good, so, we decided to try and sneak in. In hindsight, it was really stupid. We were crawling on our hands and knees through some bushes on the bad side of a shooting range while they were actively shooting. We made it to the beach got changed and ran for the ocean.
We were in the water for all of 15 minutes when two large me with AK-47s appeared on the beach and started to yell and whistle. We got a few more waves and went in. The men were extremely un-impressed and very angry. We knew we were doing the wrong thing but obviously played dumb. As we were about to get dragged off a man and his wife came over a small dune and just walked up to us. The man asked us how our day was and if we had a good surf we replied we did and he just smiled at us and walked off. As he did my friend informed me that it was the President. Everything happened so fast and in no time we were in the back of a military vehicle being taken to a small building. I was out a short time later with a stern warning never to return.
Jumped By An Adult Puma In The Bolivian Jungle
by Aaron from The Dharma Trails blog
Cheap, Bolivian vodka. That’s what got me there. Isolated, deep in the Bolivian jungle, with an apex predator wrapped around my body (and hot breath on my face).
Volunteering at a Bolivian animal sanctuary I saw all kinds of monkey bites and scratches. It was common for backpackers to show off their fresh wounds at the end of each day. But no one had a story like this…
The weekly volunteer party got out of hand (the night before). Those with the appropriate big-animal training didn’t wake up or sign in to the morning’s meeting. I was there. Hungover, but there. So, I agreed to help out with the puma (even though it normally requires months of training and animal integration/familiarity).
After an hour of trekking through the jungle, one of the team members and I reached the puma’s enclosure. The huge cat growled at me with a distinct sense of dislike. But that didn’t stop us from continuing our task. We entered the caged area, attached two ropes to the puma’s “collar” and begun to walk him through the jungle.
The puma, completely unpleased with my intrusion, stepped forward hesitantly. After only a couple of minutes, he stopped, looked back at me and growled directly into my eyes. I watched helplessly as the puma leaped 10ft into the air towards me. In a split-second his powerful legs wrapped around my waist, arms wrapped around my throat and fangs pressed into my forehead.
I heard my team member scream. But I couldn’t move. Completely still, I assumed the worst. Yet, somehow it felt completely natural. The circle of life. The scream faded as I began to lose consciousness. Then, all of a sudden, I was released. The animal let me go and stepped backwards.
After swearing profusely, my team member yelled “stick you palm out towards him”. For some reason, I did. The huge cat stepped back towards me and licked it. And, that was it. He knew that I knew, who was king of the jungle. After that we were friends.
Volunteering with animals is a great way to give back while you eco travel. Just be sure to pick places with adequate training if you don’t want to have bad travel stories like mine!
Getting Arrested in Gansu, China
by Wendy from Nomadic Vegan blog
My short story about travel experience is from Asia. On our first trip to China, one of the destinations my husband and I were most looking forward to, was visiting the Labrang Monastery. Located in remote Gansu province in the west of China, Labrang is a holy site and a place of pilgrimage for Tibetan Buddhists.
At that time, neither one of us spoke any Chinese, and we were finding it frustratingly difficult to get where we wanted to go. We didn’t understand why all the bus drivers were refusing to let us get on the buses heading towards the transport hub from where all onward transport to Labrang left.
When one of them finally did let us on, he then forced us to get out on the outskirts of town, well before we had reached the bus station. Confused, and not knowing what else to do, we started walking in the direction we thought the station was in. We didn’t get far before two police cars skidded to a halt next to us, and we were suddenly surrounded by six cops wearing S.W.A.T. badges on their sleeves.
They brought us to the head of the prefecture, who luckily was a very friendly Tibetan man who spoke enough English to explain what was happening. Unbeknownst to us, the Chinese government had recently made that part of Gansu off-limits to foreign tourists in light of protests by ethnic Tibetans in the area.
After treating us to a tasty lunch of vegetarian Chinese food, the head of the prefecture drove us back across the prefecture border himself and made sure that we got on a bus back to where we had come from.
We never made it to the Labrang Monastery on that trip, but at that point, we were just happy not to be in a Chinese jail. As I write this, we are in Mongolia, planning to cross back into China in a couple of weeks. We have been told that Labrang has reopened for foreigners, so 10 years later we are going to give it another shot. Hopefully, we don’t get arrested this time and we will only have amazing travel stories to share!
Snake Attack In Vietnam
by Lina from Divergent Travelers blog
One of the best short travel stories that I have is from Vietnam. We had been on our bikes since 8 am as we made the 80-mile journey between Hue and Hoi An and about 3 hours had gone by. It was David and me on one bike and our friend Jon on a bike in front of us showing us the way.
We were just about to take a final stretch of country road and head onto highway 1 for the next leg when we saw something in the road ahead of us.
It was up ahead of Jon and it was the kind of thing you couldn’t really tell what it was until you were right on top of it. In an instant, we saw Jon whip his legs up as a huge snake lunged at his leg when his scooter sailed next to it. I was mortified as I am very afraid of snakes. The last thing I wanted was to have this thing striking at me as we cruised by.
We pulled over, laughed and discussed the size of it while noticing a local man running down the road with a long stick. He was hollering at us excitedly and pointing at the road. Apparently, snakes of that size are worth well over 1.2million dong and the man was bursting with excitement about catching the venomous beast.
Asking where it went, he moved into the grass at the edge of the rice field in pursuit. The movement caused the snake to flee into the rice paddies and the local man immediately gave chase into what became a dance between him and the snake. Each challenging the other until the man lept to the opportunity and seized the snake by the head with his bare hands.
He smiled proudly as he came back to the road, showed off the snake then as swiftly as he appeared, left us standing there while he made his way down the road back to his house. Snake in hand. You don’t see that every day! It was definitely one of these fun travel stories that we will never forget.
Crazy Flight With A Hyperactive Child
by Alexis from World Travel Adventurers blog
We’ve had our fair share of unforgettable and funny travel stories as parents traveling with a spirited 2-year-old and 4 years old, but this one still takes the cake. We think every parent who has ever flown with young children can relate. We were on our way home from Salt Lake City to Baltimore, which is a 5 hour flight, so my husband had the brilliant (or so he thought) idea to sedate our energizer bunny son (whose nicknames include Taz, tornado, hurricane, wrecking ball, the destroyer) to make the long flight easier. Having a wild toddler restricted to a seat for 5 hours is no fun for anyone, but a sleeping toddler sounded much more appealing.
We had given him Benadryl before when he was sick and it put him right to sleep like a charm, so we thought we were in the clear. It turns out, some kids have the opposite reaction to Benadryl and turn into hell on wheels. Well, our son turned into that kid. I think everyone on the flight, especially the person sitting in front of him, wanted to kill him or at least put him in a straightjacket and a muzzle. The flight attendant, who used to be a nanny, could tell early on that something was up and had a hunch it was from Benadryl gone wrong.
In the midst of his craziness, I took him to the bathroom at the front of the plane to change his diaper. When we headed back to our seats, he took off running down the aisle full speed ahead. He was so fast and agile (being much smaller than me and able to maneuver through the narrow aisle like a star football player) that I couldn’t catch up to him until he had run the entire length of the plane. My husband said he saw a flash go by his seat, and then saw me running after yelling my son’s name. He thought it was hilarious. I did not. We can both laugh about it today and will NEVER make that mistake again.
So to all my fellow parents of traveling youngsters, beware and never use Benadryl for a stress-free flight unless you’ve tested it a few times and are sure that your child will not turn into a Tasmanian devil. Unless you want to add something to your funny holiday stories collection, then go for it.
Adventure With A Stranger In France
by Barbara from Jet Settera blog
One of my best travel experience stories was when I went on a romantic road trip with a guy, who I only met once for 5 minutes at a party in the South of France. After our short meeting, we kept on chatting for about a month on Facebook and then we decided to meet up in Florence in a hotel room and explore Tuscany together. We agreed on the itinerary and he flew in from Vienna and I arrived from Milano. We rented a Fiat500 and we traveled all around Tuscany for a long weekend. We visited some of the most romantic cities of Italy, such as Siena, Lucca, Pisa, and Cinque Terre. It was an amazing adventure together. We had lots of fun on the trip and we went on more trips after that. The conclusion of the story was that sometimes it is good to come out of your comfort zone and take a chance on a stranger, maybe he will be an excellent travel partner.
Stepping Out Of A Comfort Zone In Dubai
by Michaela from Awe Inclusive blog
In 2014, I was scrolling through a Facebook group when I spotted a post claiming $200 roundtrip tickets to Dubai. As is routine in that group, I confirmed the deal, checked my calendar, and booked tickets – no asking friends, no waiting for job approvals, and no overthinking. It would be my first trip alone.
I met Jibri during the layover. She got my attention and started chatting about travel deals and groups. During our small talk, I considered putting my earphones back in or making up a reason to excuse myself. Instead, I decided to embrace a new person and see where it could lead. Not only did we exchange contact information to meet-up in Dubai, but we joined other travel group members who rented out a yacht for an afternoon cruise along the Persian Gulf.
It was totally outside of my comfort zone and totally what my comfort zone needed – to be stretched out of shape! I met amazing people and forged exciting friendships.
Dubai was life-changing. I learned to trust my abilities and instincts even when I had to improvise. I learned that strangers are just friends who haven’t met you. Most importantly, I learned that my suitcase was much lighter when I didn’t fill it with fear.
This year, I took a solo trip to Thailand and it was the absolute best. More solo trips are in my future as I continue to challenge myself to get uncomfortable and do more than I thought I could.
See also: Best travel stories from Thailand.
Dangerous Night Trip In Peru
by Danielle from Like Riding Bicycle blog
Not every travelling story is fun. I have many scary travel stories to share, including the one from Peru. Many years ago, when I’d just started travelling, I took a bus going through parts of the Amazon… at night. Apparently, this wasn’t the best call. Around 3 am I was alarmed to wake up to the bus stopped, and a man in a black mask with a huge black gun pointed at us all. He yelled in Spanish and everyone’s hands went up into the air, so I flung mine up following suit. Before long the men were marched off the bus, leaving us women, hands still in the air, to wait for what would come next.
I had a moment in which I thought: “What are they about to do with the men? What are they about to do with the women? What are they about to do with me, the only foreigner on the bus?” I was far from rich, but they didn’t know that.
After some time another man came on the bus, this time with a small silver pistol which he pointed at each of us as he robbed us blind. No one was physically harmed, though I knew that people who weren’t as fortunate to be a Westerner like myself lost more than they could afford to replace, which was a hard thing to realize. I couldn’t help, only sit there with my arms in the air.
So go to Peru – it’s amazing! – just don’t take a night bus through the Amazon!
Beautiful Travel Friendship
by Viki from Chronic Wanderlust blog
I’ve been in Playa del Carmen, Mexico for a few weeks now for my divemaster training. I spent every day in the water with customers and my instructor. I loved it! We shared the boat with another dive shop and I started to notice that they were also training a divemaster to be.
She seamed to be my age and so I started talking to her. Janice is from Canada and also madly in love with the ocean and all things diving. We started to hang out more and more and even became very good friends then.
She left Mexico a few days before I left, but we managed to stay in touch. For almost two years now we talk several times a week, she helped me through many things as a stupid breakup. Last year I told her I was going back to Mexico for a few weeks and if she wanted to meet me there. She told me that she couldn’t manage with work. I had wanted to see her so bad! And I knew she wanted to be in sunny Mexico with me as well. I remember the 30th of December when she told me that she had just bought the ticket and will be in Mexico the next day! I was beyond happy, I was going to see my best friend again. I was going to see her for the second time in my life and yet she knows more about me than any other person that I see more often. I love how friendships can last over distance and time zones. Meeting Janice is definitely one of the best solo travel stories that I have.
by Carole from Berkeley and Beyond blog
Even though I have many short stories about traveling the world, I want to share the one from Hawaii. I’ll never forget the time I landed on the remote Hawaiian island of Molokai and was told, “We have a wedding and two funerals on the island, and so we have run out of cars.” It was at about the same time as a popular movie with a similar title was out, so the statement had a humorous overtone.
However, since this was hang-loose Hawaii, I was assured by a mellow employee that all would work out and so there was really nothing I could do but relax into it. The car agency arranged for (and paid for) a cab to deliver us to our condo so we could check-in, and told us that the next morning someone would pick us up and deliver us to the mule ride. Done, though we did almost miss our morning ride due to confusion regarding the meeting spot, but the point is we didn’t miss it, and we were told by that driver that our car would be waiting in the parking lot for us after our ride. And there it was! Pure Molokai magic.
Visiting A Real Quechua Village
by Gabor from Surfing the Planet blog
Before our round the world trip we always thought that in Peru visiting Machu Picchu would be our most amazing experience. Although Machu Picchu is simply indescribable, it turned out that a totally improvised adventure left a much stronger mark on us. When we were staying at a Couchsurfer’s place in Cusco, we asked him whether it would be possible to visit a real Quechua village. He said we could try, although we would have to find it out ourselves since these Quechua communities live quite far in the Andes and there’s no public transport to get there.
In the end, we got very lucky, since looking for transport in Ollantaytambo, we found out that the local doctor and other social workers were going to visit some of these tribes and they let us join them. We were really happy because we had the chance to stay in a Quechua community, learn about their traditions, see the colorful clothes they wear every day and take part in their daily routine for some time. We often had to use hand gestures to communicate, since most of these people don’t speak Spanish, only Quechua. This is one of our most interesting travel stories and a real heart-warming experience that we will never forget.
Mutant Bugs Attack
by Nathan from Foodie Flashpacker blog
Although at the time it happened I wouldn’t have called it my best travelling story, now, looking back on it, it’s one of the best/funniest stories of my nearly three years of traveling. This all took place during my visit to Fez, Morocco in 2016.
The time I survived a direct attack to the face by killer mutant bugs from outer space. And then visited a vagina doctor with the worlds oldest x-ray machine to put my face back together again.
Long story short- one day I woke up with a face full of bug bites. The concerned guest house owner sent me to a pharmacist who then sent me to a doctor. More specifically, I later learned, was that I had been sent to a gynecologist. We established that some large insects had attacked my face and I was in need of multiple medications. And, for reasons still unknown to me, an x-ray. At least I think he x-rayed me.
My Birthday In A Private Castle Near Prague
Being A Suspect In The Disappearance Of Girl In France
By James from The Portugalist blog
One of the funny adventure stories that I have is from the time I found a 5-month housesit in the middle of the French countryside. It sounded idyllic, and perfect for me and my girlfriend at the time who had just started out as digital nomads.
In reality, it wasn’t quite as idyllic as advertised. The biggest issue was the lack of internet; something which was supposed to have been installed by the time we arrived. But, we made do. We bought French sim cards with 3 GB of internet each (the max we could get at the time) and vowed never to look at YouTube or anything that might use lots of data for the entire 5 months.
It was all going perfectly until one day there was a knock at the door and two local French policemen were standing there. They began asking us what we were doing in the property and where the owners were. In the best French, I could manage, I explained the concept of house sitting but I could see it wasn’t going over.
Then, they showed us a picture of a girl who was missing. We hadn’t seen her and, in fact, didn’t know anyone in the town. We apologized that we couldn’t be of more help, thinking that was that.
It wasn’t. One of the policemen then pulled out a printout of a forum conversation between the missing girl and someone who they believed was her biological father. Then in the forum conversation, they showed me a mobile number: my French mobile number.
I didn’t know how to explain it apart from to say that it must be a typo, but that wasn’t good enough. They asked to see my computer and began looking through the search history. Then, obviously not buying my house sitting story, they asked where the owners were again.
Unsatisfied, they told me to come into the station that afternoon for more questioning at 2 pm. I didn’t know what to do. There wasn’t enough time to find a lawyer or even a translator as they would probably have had to come from the nearest city. I opened Google Translate and tried to come up with as many useful sentences as I could, but it was hard to concentrate.
At 2 pm on the dot I walked through the doors of the police station and when the policeman saw my worried face he burst out laughing. “Lucky for you, she showed up,” he said. And that, amazingly, was the end of that. I’ve never heard any more about this again.
Mistaking A Brothel For A Massage Spa In China
by Talek from Travels With Talek blog
Ah…cultural confusion. One weekend I was in a part of Beijing I was not familiar with and decided to get a massage. I remembered what appeared to be a massage spa nearby. The location didn’t look exactly like a typical spa, but I went in anyway.
The inside of the location had all the spa-like features which reassured me. However, when the hostess approached me, she appeared apprehensive and asked me something in Chinese. I pantomimed a massage. She disappeared into a dark room behind a beaded curtain. I could hear her and another woman speaking animatedly.
After some uncomfortable moments, the woman returned and lead me to a dimly lit, rectangular room with a massage table in the middle. I positioned myself as I normally would. A different woman came in and gave me a lackadaisical massage for about an hour. I paid and went back to my hotel.
Next day my colleagues and I discussed our weekend. I mentioned my massage at a location next to the Wanda department store. “Oh! That’s a high-end brothel” they said. They’re probably still laughing.
Free Helicopter Ride
by Kris From Nomad By Trade
My favorite travelling story is from a business trip I took to a small town in Kentucky. One morning, my co-worker noticed that there was a helicopter parked out on the hotel’s lawn, which we thought was odd but pretty cool.
That week, we ended up befriending the helicopter’s pilot and his wife and talking to them at breakfast and the evening periods of light snacks. He somehow offered to take us up for a free ride, so one morning before work, we each took a turn hopping in his helicopter and flying up and over town. He banked, dipped, and shot up to the sky like a rocket during our jaunt through the Kentucky skies.
I still find it funny that I wouldn’t get in a car with a stranger, but I had no qualms about hopping in a helicopter with one. I’ve been traveling on an almost weekly basis for work for six years and that’s still one of the coolest things that I’ve gotten to do on the road.
Pin For Later:
Did you enjoy reading this post? Share your best travel story in the comments below!