Holly (Not so Jolly) Folly: Holiday Travel Fails

This post was posted by thehipmunk on Hipmunk’s Tailwind blog on December 12, 2015.blog_travel_fails_A

Traveling for the holidays can be nuts. Between the traffic, crowds, and the inevitable issues that arise when people travel en masse, it’s no wonder that most of us have experienced some sort of travel fail. It may be the most wonderful time of the year, but it’s not always the most wonderful time to travel.

Yup, holiday travel fails happen to the best of us—one was even the impetus behind the smart luggage startup Bluesmart. On a Christmas trip to his home-country of Argentina, Co-founder and CEO Diego Saez-Gil found himself without presents (or clothing!) after the airline he was traveling on forced him to check his luggage due to weight restrictions. Despite his reservations, he agreed to do so, and then found himself at the carousel waiting for a bag that never materialized. He’s not alone:

“30 million bags are reported lost each year, and most happen when during the holiday season,” Saez-Gil said.

That holiday travel fail inspired him to create the Bluesmart carry-on, with GPS technology and a built-in scale, amongst other techy tools for savvy travelers.

Victims of numerous holiday travel fails ourselves (nights spent in airports and traumatized pets, to name a few), we understand that there’s no better consolation than camaraderie. And so, the company that promises to take the agony out of travel planning took a look at what agonizes travelers once they’re en route.

We asked more than 200 Hipmunk enthusiasts to tell us about their holiday travel fails (Hint: It usually has something to do with flying). From exploding toiletries to getting drunk on the plane, scroll down for even more (though less common) holiday horror stories:


More Travel Troubles:

I wasn’t allowed to check my presents with my baggage 1%
My gifts were broken in transit 1%
The hotel had no record of my reservation 1%
I accidentally booked the wrong day/time to travel and couldn’t get a new flight 2%
My toiletries “exploded” in flight and wrecked my holiday outfit 2%
My pet was traumatized from flying in cargo 1%
I drank too much on the flight and was hungover by the time the flightlanded 2.5%

Best (or Worst) Holiday #TravelFAILs:

“Don’t eat a big breakfast and then get in the car. It can get messy.”

“The flight was delayed, and when we seated they informed us that the engine was malfunctioning– then shortly after, the plane took off. I was terrified the entire flight.”

“Because of snow in Minneapolis/St. Paul, we didn’t realize we’d parked in a tow zone and yes, we were towed. Very hard to prove ownership of a rental car – spent 6 hours trying to get out of impound.”

“A 1 kg pot of honey leaked in my bag, covering my laptop.”

“I had torn my quadricep muscle a week into my three week vacation I knew I couldn’t fix it there or they wouldn’t let me fly home, so I waited until I got home to have knee surgery. I made the best of the trip and cut down on my sightseeing. Then I almost got snowed in in Chicago on the way back and I had a guy from India accidentally kick my injured leg. Don’t worry I didn’t hurt him.”

“No one had told us we need yellow fever vaccine between Argentina and Jamaica. We had to stop in Panama City, where we were able to go on by getting another flight to Jamaica. No one seemed to care that we had just gotten off a flight from Argentina.”

“The flight was at 12:01, so it was confusing as to which day it was actually on. I missed it.”

What was your worst holiday travel fail? Sound off in the comments below!

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