Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Travel&Dining > TravelBuzz
Reload this Page >

Horror stories due to terrible travel companions

Horror stories due to terrible travel companions

Reply

Old Jul 9, 16, 7:58 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Programs: Star Alliance
Posts: 4,653
Horror stories due to terrible travel companions

Time to share horror stories when you ended up in (very) unpleasant situation due to stupid/selfish/foolish behaviour of your travel companion(s).

Please note - one thing is then someone makes reservation for plane/hotel on a wrong day - that can happen, anyone can make an error. But another case is when someone's careless behaviour at least endangered/disrupted other people plans and at most put their well being/health/life in line.

Let me start with one such case:

I and my wife was invited by (former, why former - here is the story) female friend to go together at the bottom of Grand Canyon at Supai during our visit of Utah/Arizona. We agreed, but told her that we can stay for no more one night because had reservation and plans at other place next day.

We (foolishly) assumed that if she invited us, she would take care of logistics as well - big mistake. Please note - hike from the top of the rim to the bottom is 8h, 8 miles hike with 2500ft elevation change.

After arrival we found out that, she had no idea if there were other alternatives to go back except to hike up which would take more than 16h and was not an option even for me. There were alternatives - via helicopter - $150 for 5 min ride per person on $75 per person via horses, but we had to reserve them in advance (which she obviously did not do) and we had to pay cash (which we did not have).

I and my wife were frantically running from place to place trying to arrange our way back and managed to do it by doing cash advance from our credit cards to pay for ride back. Next day we need to leave by 10AM and she is nowhere to found. Apparently decided to have hike on her own to a nearest waterfall. While we had all the desire to leave without her, we could not do it because she took us there on her car.

At the end I did manage to find her and almost dragged her back. When asked her why she would behave this way, knowing that we would end up stranded here and this would put all our plans upside down, I got an answer: "so what, if you end up in that place day later"...

And that's not the one case with her. Another friend of mine who went with her on a trip (she did not know about our case) missed her plan because that fruitcake left her handbag with passport and money at hotel and discovered this after arriving at the airport - they had to go back.
invisible is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 9, 16, 8:07 am
  #2  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Bangkok or San Francisco
Programs: United 1k, Marriott Lifetime PE, Former DL Gold, Former SQ Solitaire, HH Gold
Posts: 11,881
Originally Posted by invisible View Post

We (foolishly) assumed that if she invited us, she would take care of logistics as well - big mistake.

While we had all the desire to leave without her, we could not do it because she took us there on her car.
Seems like she is thoughtless but you are not blameless. Why would you go anywhere and assume someone else was taking care of things without checking. And then you missed the initial transportation arrangement.

Suggestion:

1) Find a new friend (I think you figured that one out already)

2) Make sure you know the arrangements before you go anywhere.
Franky16 and kaffir76 like this.
Tchiowa is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 9, 16, 8:20 am
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Programs: Star Alliance
Posts: 4,653
Originally Posted by Tchiowa View Post
Suggestion:

1) Find a new friend (I think you figured that one out already)

2) Make sure you know the arrangements before you go anywhere.
Both above are in place.

Regarding the remark, during the invitation conversation was said to her: "hey, we need to be back and in NNNN next day, this is important. You are next to the place where we are going, so could you find find out please about logistics?" Answer was - 'yes, I will'. You know the rest.
invisible is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 9, 16, 8:52 am
  #4  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: IAD/DCA
Posts: 31,510
can't pay using credit card at lodge, store, cafe? ouch. good to know.

both these mention credit cards? (for some things?)
https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/havasupai.htm
http://www.havasupai-nsn.gov/tourism.html
Kagehitokiri is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 9, 16, 8:56 am
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Programs: Star Alliance
Posts: 4,653
Originally Posted by Kagehitokiri View Post
can't pay using credit card at lodge, store, cafe? ouch. good to know.
This is 8 year old story, but seeing that place I would not be surprised if there are no credit card acceptance even now. So if you plan to visit there, make sure you have couple hundred $ per person, just in case.

Also, it was the only place I visited in US where locals were openly hostile towards tourists and the place looked like thirld world country from Latin America. Sorry if these words offend somebody, but you need to see on your own to understand what I am talking about.
invisible is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 9, 16, 9:11 am
  #6  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: IAD/DCA
Posts: 31,510
Originally Posted by invisible View Post
This is 8 year old story, but seeing that place I would not be surprised if there are no credit card acceptance even now. So if you plan to visit there, make sure you have couple hundred $ per person, just in case.

Also, it was the only place I visited in US where locals were openly hostile towards tourists and the place looked like thirld world country from Latin America. Sorry if these words offend somebody, but you need to see on your own to understand what I am talking about.
maybe disagreement over having lodge? maybe want 'certain' tourists?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supai,_Arizona

As of the census of 2010,[1] there were 208 people and 43 households. The racial makeup of the CDP was 96.6% Native American, 0.5% White, 0.5% Other, and 2.4% of mixed race. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.3% of the population.

There were 43 households out of which 34.9% were husband-wife families living together, 32.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 14.0% had a male householder with no wife present, and 18.6% were non-families. 16.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 2.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 4.84.

In the CDP the population was spread out with 30.8% under the age of 16, 10.4% from 16 to 21, 54.8% from 21 to 65, and 4.8% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age was 25.2 years. 48.6% of the population was male; 51.4% was female.
Kagehitokiri is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 9, 16, 9:41 am
  #7  
Moderator: Travel Buzz, Chase Credit Cards
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Sunny San Diego
Posts: 2,664
I don't have any actual travel horror stories, but I have some nightmare planning stories. I offered to take a friend to Israel, in biz class, on my points. In other words, a free biz class ticket for her. She had lived in Tel Aviv for a year and Germany for several years, and I thought she'd be a terrific person to travel with, since she knew the country so well. She got so extremely weird during the planning stages that I nearly cancelled the whole trip about 2 days before we left. She got angry at me because her middle name wasn't on the ticket, and her name, Michele, was spelled Michelle. She sent long, rambling emails that were just short of hostile about the timelines and planning. I wanted to go so badly that I just couldn't quite bring myself to cancel, and I just couldn't quite cancel her ticket and go without her (although I nearly did...)

We did end up going, with me making a mental note that if she got too bizarre, I'd just go my own way. Well, much to my surprise, she was fine once we got going. There wasn't a moment of trouble.

However, I learned my lessons.
First, I don't offer free tickets to my friends anymore.
Second, I choose my travel companions very carefully, keeping in mind their comfort level. There are friends that want to lay on the beach and drink Mai Tai's, then there are the friends who want to go skydiving.
Third, I am more self reliant when traveling than I was when I first started this hobby. I'd go by myself without a qualm today. A couple of years ago, I wasn't quite that secure and wanted a companion.

Now, since I'm typing away here, I'll add a Moderator Note... further discussion/posts about hostile locals or hints of racism will be deleted. Let's keep it to the interesting topic of travel company gone wrong.
polinka and sexykitten7 like this.
StartinSanDiego is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 9, 16, 9:45 am
  #8  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Berlin, Germany; Toronto, Canada; and SW Florida, USA
Programs: UA 1K, BA Gold, Hyatt Globalist, and assorted others
Posts: 22,295
I don't see how this is your friend's fault. While she might have told you what was involved, it's entirely up to you to do your own due diligence. It didn't occur to you that going to the bottom of something called the Grand Canyon might involve a lot of walking? Caveat emptor.
kaffir76 likes this.
LondonElite is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 9, 16, 9:46 am
  #9  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: DCA
Programs: UA US CO AA DL FL
Posts: 41,376
When traveling with others, don't assume anything. It really is that simple. Just because you would take care of a given detail does not mean that other people think that way. Just because the concept of "10 AM on Tuesday" means just that to you does not mean that others don't take it to mean showing up sometime that week.

Settle on the logistics, who pays for what, the costs and the like.

Financial circumstances also matter. If you travel with people who have a lot more or a lot less than you to spend, either accept that the costs are going to be higher or the standards lower, or that you simply quietly pick up the tab for a friend who does not have the money to do so. Dinner to some may mean a fast food burger and to others it is cocktails followed by a nice meal with wine, all served at a decent restaurant.
GavinMansfield likes this.
Often1 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 9, 16, 9:58 am
  #10  
Moderator: Travel Buzz, Chase Credit Cards
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Sunny San Diego
Posts: 2,664
Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
When traveling with others, don't assume anything. It really is that simple. <snip>

Financial circumstances also matter. If you travel with people who have a lot more or a lot less than you to spend, either accept that the costs are going to be higher or the standards lower, or that you simply quietly pick up the tab for a friend who does not have the money to do so. Dinner to some may mean a fast food burger and to others it is cocktails followed by a nice meal with wine, all served at a decent restaurant.
This is so true, and one more example of how there's really no right or wrong, just different. I had a friend (easy to travel with) who went with a group of 4 or 5 people, and one of the people wanted to sample pretty much all of the nearby restaurants. They had breakfast, coffee, lunch, dessert, dinner, drinks, etc., going from one local eatery to the next. I would consider that a terrible way to spend my precious vacation time and money.
StartinSanDiego is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 9, 16, 10:21 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: PHX
Programs: AA Aluminum, WN B+
Posts: 929
Originally Posted by LondonElite View Post
I don't see how this is your friend's fault. While she might have told you what was involved, it's entirely up to you to do your own due diligence. It didn't occur to you that going to the bottom of something called the Grand Canyon might involve a lot of walking? Caveat emptor.
I have to agree. When the OP chose to hike down to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, how did he think they were going to get back up? There's plenty of explicit warnings both at the park and on their website about hiking down.

I think the thread title applies more to the OP and less to the OP's friend in this case.
Lost is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 9, 16, 10:27 am
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Programs: Star Alliance
Posts: 4,653
Originally Posted by LondonElite View Post
I don't see how this is your friend's fault.
Did you read the whole message?

Next day we need to leave by 10AM and she is nowhere to found. Apparently decided to have hike on her own to a nearest waterfall. While we had all the desire to leave without her, we could not do it because she took us there on her car.

At the end I did manage to find her and almost dragged her back. When asked her why she would behave this way, knowing that we would end up stranded here and this would put all our plans upside down, I got an answer: "so what, if you end up in that place day later"...
Originally Posted by Lost View Post
I think the thread title applies more to the OP and less to the OP's friend in this case.
You too. Read above.
howahya likes this.
invisible is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 9, 16, 10:36 am
  #13  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Berlin, Germany; Toronto, Canada; and SW Florida, USA
Programs: UA 1K, BA Gold, Hyatt Globalist, and assorted others
Posts: 22,295
Originally Posted by invisible View Post
Did you read the whole message?
I did, and my opinion doesn't change. You should have been more self-sufficient if it was important that you get to the second place at a certain time. The fact that this story stuck with you even though it is eight years old probably means that you learned a valuable lesson in planning and relying on others.
LondonElite is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 9, 16, 10:54 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: SJC/SFO
Programs: UA 1MM/*A Gold, WN A+ CP, Mar LT Tit, IHG Plat, HH Gold
Posts: 5,187
Originally Posted by invisible View Post
We (foolishly) assumed that if she invited us, she would take care of logistics as well - big mistake.
Your former friend is clearly a foolish traveler, but so are you for trusting a person to plan all the logistics for you without checking back in to inquire about the details until the last minute. Trust, but verify.

I'm going through a similar situation right now, where a trip that could be amazing is falling apart because of a friend who is a terrible travel planner. Several weeks ago she announced a destination wedding in Hawaii, planned for the last week of the year. My wife and I were of course very happy for her and enthusiastically promised we'd join her in Hawaii. "Stay tuned for specifics," the friend promised.

My wife and I thought that meant our friend needed to get an accurate count of guests to negotiate a group rate at a hotel, etc. We thought that, but we didn't assume. Instead we've prodded her every week or two since the announcement. And what we've learned since then is distressing.
  1. Only recently did she even pick an exact date.
  2. She hasn't chosen or reserved a venue yet.
  3. She hasn't even chosen where she will stay.
  4. The idea of helping other guests arrange-- note, not pay for, just arrange-- their stays didn't cross her mind. When we asked she was shocked by the suggestion.
  5. All this while targeting Hawaii during what is probably its busiest week of the year! Really this kind of trip should have been planned 13 months in advance, not started 6 months in advance and firming up 3-4 months in advance.

As a result of this poor planning my wife and I face an increasingly stressful choice of either paying through the nose for flights an accommodations, spending at least 2x what we'd budgeted, or telling our friend to have fun getting married without us. But at least we are having that conversation now, months in advance, rather than in late December.
Franky16 likes this.
darthbimmer is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 9, 16, 11:26 am
  #15  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 30,972
Originally Posted by Kagehitokiri View Post
can't pay using credit card at lodge, store, cafe? ouch. good to know.

both these mention credit cards? (for some things?)
https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/havasupai.htm
http://www.havasupai-nsn.gov/tourism.html
I doubt there's much in the way of data connection down there. [removed] (There's currently a lawsuit over the visitor center. They had a guy build it but refused to hook up the utilities--and the seized it under eminent domain because he couldn't operate it properly--due to the lack of utilities.)

Last edited by StartinSanDiego; Jul 9, 16 at 12:37 pm Reason: Name calling, off topic
Loren Pechtel is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread