Budget Holiday Plans Gone Wrong

Budget Holiday Plans Gone Wrong
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Remember that time when you tried to save a little money on your trip, but everything just went downhill?

We recently concluded an Instagram contest where travellers shared their most memorable horror stories while trying to save money overseas. Here’s a collection of their short travel stories that make you go “OMG…”

Blood stains on walls

“For my dad and I, it was the Airbnb in Tokyo we booked that was creepy! There were reddish-brown stains on the wall that looked like it was scrawled on with hands, and there was a weird smell in the room. The other French family in the other room was spooked out and promptly left the next day. While my dad didn’t mention it during our trip, he said (when we were back in Singapore) to never stay in such places especially if I were alone on my travels.” – @missfitfi

A nasty surprise

“Our room was totally reeking with the smell of dead rats, cos there was one right under our bed! 😭🤢” – @monique24

Airbnb next to a cemetery

“In 2014 I decided to take my first solo trip ever, after multiple let downs to plan a post graduate trip with my classmates that never materialised. I decided to go solo on 2 locations: Jogjakarta and Bali in Indonesia. This was during the early days of Airbnb and I thought it was a really cool idea to rent rooms to travellers. When I reached the airport, it was a long painful drive because my friend spoke limited English and I did not speak Bahasa. Upon reaching my Airbnb, my friend communicated to me that this house was next to a cemetery. It was a serious WTF moment for me as I was not mentally prepared for that.”

“The house and rooms were beautiful, as advertised, and many dogs and cats like an animal farm which I loved (except for the frog in the outdoor shower). One night, we were all sitting on the patio, and the dogs started to stare into the dark and bark at the trees right next to my room. I did not forget what my friend told me earlier and I freaked out – I had a mental breakdown and burst into tears. There was another guest lady from Europe staying with me and she was undergoing therapy training. She tried to calm me down with soothing words and a head massage. When the Airbnb host saw this, she laughed at my state of panic and said, “Why don’t I get a head massage too?” I was shocked beyond words despite having a breakdown right there myself.” – @lisaitsurbirthday

A flight that didn’t exist

“My travel horror story was booking a connecting flight on a budget airline via a 3rd party platform that was touted to give great budget deals. However on the day of the flight, we were told that the flight did not exist in the budget airline system and we had to wait for 6 hours to get the 3rd party platform provider to make alternative transport arrangements, and worse we had to incur additional costs, while being stranded in Bangkok.” – @fuego_numinous

Followed by a stranger at night

“Went to North America with 2 of my friends. Already booked an Airbnb in Toronto ahead of time when we were in SG. The trip brought us to NYC first and 2 days before we were heading to Toronto, the Airbnb cancelled on us. How were we going to find a nice place, with a low budget that’s accessible to the city centre? Went back to Airbnb and started searching, and we found a house that’s 10 mins away from the city and it’s definitely a steal so we got it! That’s when disaster struck.”

“The area was super quiet and dark at night and many houses were empty with no one living in them. Going out at night was really scary. One late afternoon my friend and I decided to go out to get some nice photos of the city at night, so we walked to the city. At about 7pm, the sun began to set and we decided to make our way back.”

“By the time we got back to our area, it was already dark and we started having a feeling that someone was following us. We were so terrified that we started walking super fast, and the person behind also started walking faster. We made turns into the streets, he did so too. We ran as we approached our house, quickly opened the door and slammed it once we were inside. From that night on, we only took an Uber when we went out at night. Scary scary!” – @neutronjim

Airbnb in an abandoned building

“I booked a budget Airbnb (it was relatively new with only 1 review) in Sapporo because I was travelling solo and didn’t wanna spend too much on accoms as I would be out most of the day. I’ve stayed in numerous Airbnbs in Japan and they were all fine, most were perfect and I’m not one that nitpicks. So what can go wrong!!! When the day finally came, typhoon hit the city and after a mad day trying to make my way to the Airbnb, 😱😱😱😱 the building was nothing like what was shown!!!! It was peeling, cracking, super run down and eerie… can you imagine?! It’s Japan… and this building was next to this patch of forest (and can you picture the thunderstorm that was going on).. omg it was terrible for me.”

“Then as I entered the building, the super tiny lift got stuck halfway! I’m not sure what happened! When the doors finally opened after I struggled, the whole place reeked of a weird smell. Once again, really dark corridors, wall peeling everywhere. I thought to myself: Fine, after I check in, everything would be alright. But no, the lights couldn’t be turned on (except the toilet lights)… I used my phone’s torchlight because it was really dark and I saw spiderwebs… wtf!!!! I couldn’t live with that when there’s a typhoon outside and I’ve got to be indoors most of the time.”

I contacted the host and as per the description, it was supposed to be a female. After an hour which was close to 12am, someone finally came knocking. There was no see through hole to identify the person and when I opened the door, to my dismay, there was this huge size bald guy looking super fierce and stern. Turns out, he put a fake profile on airbnb (isn’t a female obviously) and we couldn’t communicate even with Google translate! So morale of the story, don’t assume things will be alright, even in Japan!” – @heavenlyparis

Reviews saved me

“My boyfriend, his sister and I were in Copenhagen for 3 nights. We booked 2 different Airbnb for these 3 nights. The first Airbnb was awesome, very homely with nice furnitures. The problem lies in the 2nd Airbnb. When we booked the 2nd Airbnb 1 month earlier, there were no reviews yet as the listing was new.”

“We decided to take a gamble and book that house since it was near our first Airbnb. On the 2nd day of our trip, I (luckily) went to the 2nd Airbnb listing to check out the reviews. Lo and behold, all the reviews were NEGATIVE. No towels, no wifi password, no access into the main building etc. We decide to CANCEL the booking and book a hostel nearby 🙁 well, I used YouTrip to book the hostel ✌” – @gleamglitz

Missing Airbnb host

“Took a 7 hours FlixBus ride to Italy and the Airbnb host went MIA for a while 😭 We were stranded in Rome for an hour with our luggages and limited wifi. TRUE HORROR NEVER AGAIN!” – @josephinesjx

Stuck in freezing snow

“I couldn’t find the bus stop in the snow in Bratislava 🇸🇰 So I dragged my luggage along to find my travel hostel 🏠 And of course I was also dragging along a ton of snow ⛄️ My iPhone kept shutting down because it was too cold, but I needed Google maps to navigate 🗺 The snow was pelting down onto my clothes and face, making it difficult to see 👀 I was soaked and freezing ❄️ what was supposed to be a 15 min walk became a 30 min struggle 😭” – @chellenatic

Unexpected farm stay

“My hotel, despite being 10 mins shuttle bus ride away from the Baiyun airport, was in the middle of a farm and I was surrounded by topless construction workers when I got off the shuttle bus.” – @znoakenshield

Baited by cheap airfares

“Taking advantage of flight promotions and not considering other cost such as accommodations, and only to realise that these expenses exceeded budget and were way more expensive than the flight ticket.” – @365.unique

Double charged accommodation

“In 2016, after a massive breakup, I was desperate to leave SG. I wanted to go somewhere, anywhere. I decided on HK. I haven’t been to HK in 10 years plus disillusioned and not thinking straight, I booked the cheapest accommodation I could find online, Chun King mansions, on some 90s website and which now I knew was on the Kowloon side. It was nastyyyyyy. So run down and old, grime on the walls. Some guy downstairs tried to sell me drugs. Haven’t been there in 10 years I forgot how tiny the apartments were in HK.”

“When I was at the counter for registration, they told me they haven’t received it and somehow I got swindled into paying double for my room despite having already paid for it with my card online. I was lost in translation (Cantonese). Being younger back then, I was also on a limited budget which severely hurt my expenses for the week. I couldn’t check in till much later due to rooms being unavailable. I had to wait until later while carrying a luggage. When I finally did check in, I opened the door and found one bed in a closet-sized room. 😂” – @lisaitsurbirthday

Customs closed for the night

“My partner and I took a bus back from Hat Yai to Singapore. But during the night when we were due to leave, the bus came late at 11pm. When we reached the Songkhla border, it was closed 😭 no Thai authorities were keen to open up the gates so the bus (full of passengers) drove to the nearest 24hrs McDonald’s and parked outside. Guess that’s how we got a free extra night in Hat Yai 🤣 with free accommodation. What an adventure, really… We were stranded with the whole bus of passengers, and 2 drivers from Malaysia who did not have experience with such situations. The next morning at 6am, the bus set off for the border customs. What a stressful and tiring experience.” – @abcdefghinooo

Barely functioning Airbnb

“My friends and I were stoked to visit Berlin. Our first ever trip together out of Copenhagen. Sounds fun and exciting! But us being students (and Singaporean in nature), we proceeded to book the cheapest airbnb option we could find. All was well, or so we thought.”

“The room we’ve gotten when we arrived was so tiny that we barely had any walking space. Could you imagine 4 grown adults living in a room that’s approximately 18 sqm? What else could possibly go wrong 🤷🏻‍♀️ (other than showering in icy cold water during winter, shower curtains that fall on you as you shower and the foul odour in the apartment) A perfect example of being penny wise pound foolish.” – @sammmzy

Read: Should I Stay in Capsule Hotels? Pros vs Cons

Read: Should I Stay in a Hostel for My Holiday? Pros vs Cons

Read: Solo Travel Dangers: Top 7 Safety Tips for Travelling Alone

Read: Cheapest Travel Wifi Router Rental in Singapore

Read: 12 Travel Hacks To Become a Smarter and Better Traveller

Enjoy a worldwide fees-less travel experience!

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