39 perils that every adventurous person must face

From desperate loo hunts to language barrier woes, how many of these travel perils have you tackled? (Let's face it, they're what great travel stories are made of...)

3 mins

1: Travel bores

They’ve been there and done that – usually bigger, better and cheaper than you. And they can't wait to tell you all about it.

2: Cravings

You never realise how much you love Marmite or a proper cuppa until you stand no chance of getting them.

3: Traveller ‘chic’

Walking into a trendy bar wearing zip-off trousers, all-purpose T-shirt and clumpy boots, because that’s all you’ve got.

4: Packing

Overdoing it on the suncream, insect repellent and ‘just-in-cases’ will leave you no room for a change of clothes, let alone souvenirs.

5: Shopping sensibly

You put off buying something to shop around for a good bargain (fruitlessly), then can’t remember where the original shop was.

Bring your own loo roll... (Shutterstock)

Bring your own loo roll... (Shutterstock)

6: Loos

Trying to find one, turning a blind eye to its dirtiness, and unearthing a scrap of loo roll are genuine life skills.

7: Hitchhikers

Choose between the guilt of leaving them beside the road or the fear of having a potential loon on your back seat.

8: Selfie sticks

Just no. Got one? Here's what to do with it...

9: Jabs

The sharp end of travelling to more exotic places. Whether you find them mildly uncomfortable or downright torturous, they're not fun.

10: Passport hell

That moment when you discover it expires the day before you get back.

11: Rooms above restaurants

Very handy when you’re hungry, but do you really want to be reminded of what you ate when you wake up the next morning?

12: Suspicion-guilt

The friendly locals’ charm and language skills will make you feel even worse for doubting their motives.

13: Fellow travellers

You finally make it to your remote Pacific island only to find it crowded with a swarm of tourists – all with the same idea.

14: Souk disorientation

Aimless wandering soon becomes a desperate search for the exit.

15: That dodgy meal

It only takes one to make the rest of your trip a constant search for the loo (see point 6).

Indian street food (Dreamstime)

Indian street food (Dreamstime)

16: Foreign beer

Delicious, yes. But often made with extra hangover-inducing chemicals.

17: The insurance gamble

Get the best cover and nothing goes wrong. Spend less and you know you'll come a cropper.

18: When bartering gets awkward

Who’s ripping off who?

19: Trying to find an 'authentic' chili con carne in Mexico

Alas, this is not a real Mexican dish. Grasshoppers are, however.

20: Bad timing

Want to see the whales/Northern Lights/Big Five? “Oh, you should have been here yesterday...”

21: Monsoon season

Makes travel very cheap, but very very soggy.

22: Single supplements

Solo travel's greatest injustice.

23: Baggage carousels

The point where you realise that fluorescent orange would have made a better choice than tasteful black.

24: Officials

Jobsworths the lot of ’em, from four-forms-for-one-train-ticket bureaucrats to power-crazed border police.

25: Language barriers

One wrong Spanish verb and ‘I’m hot’ becomes ‘I’m horny’. Apologise with what you think is ‘I’m embarrassed’, and you could be telling them you’re pregnant.

Anything to avoid jetlag... (Dreamstime)

Anything to avoid jetlag... (Dreamstime)

26: Exchange rates

Why are they never a nice multiple of ten?

27: Unwelcome room-mates

The mosquito that only buzzes when the light’s off, the cockroach that’s just too quick for your thwack, and the scorpion that thinks your shoe is a good place to sleep.

28: Films shown on long-distance buses

Invariably a Steven Seagal or Jean-Claude van Damme masterpiece, deafeningly dubbed, and on loop for the entire journey.

29: Jetlag

Sure, there are ways to avoid it – but there are hundreds more to make it worse.

30: Mini-bars

The priciest alcohol known to mankind, but it still seems like a good idea when you get back to your room from the bar.

31: Clingers

At first they seemed nice, but now you can't shake them. Those people who turn chance encounters into awkward travel togetherness.

32: Leeches

Nasty little suckers that see you as lunch on legs.

33: Unintelligible menus

Trying the koç yumurtasi could bring culinary heaven, or it could bring ram’s testicles.

34: Banks and embassies

Never, ever, open when you need one.

35: Taxi drivers

Taking you the longest route possible, so they can relieve you of your first week’s budget.

Yellow tuk tuk (Dreamstime)

Yellow tuk tuk (Dreamstime)

36: 'Wild wee' litter

You’ve waited years to do the Inca Trail, then complete it with someone else’s bog roll stuck to your feet.

37: Camel rides

Think you’re going to look like Lawrence of Arabia? Not a chance. A more uncomfortable and inelegant mode of transport has yet to be devised.

38: Paper-thin hotel walls

On one side there’s a snoring German, and on the other there's a couple working their way through the Kama Sutra.

39: Coming home

You know it’s got to happen sooner or later, but that doesn't make it any nicer...

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