Rarely does any trip goes precisely as planned. Some travel fails are a result of poor research, like arriving at a landmark that’s under construction. Other mistakes are out of your control, such as being photobombed by a stingray. From gorgeous views that were buried in fog to vacation photos that went awry, these travel fails are full of mistakes to learn from. Read on for some hilarious photos people begrudgingly traveled far and wide to take.
London’s “Big Ben” Clock Tower
This traveler traversed thousands of miles to take a peek at one of London’s most famous landmarks: the Big Ben clock tower. The nickname was derived from the bell that creates great bongs at the northern end of the Palace of Westminster.
Unfortunately, the tower was under construction at the time of their visit. A simple internet search reveals that repairs went underway in 2017 and would persist until 2021. Sadly, this traveler missed the memo.
Selfie With A Stingray
The expressions on all three of these women’s’ faces are priceless as a stingray joins in the photo. It looks as though the sea creature has its arms around all of the ladies and is bringing them in for a hug.
The woman to the far left looks like she’s about to cry, while the one in the middle is clearly letting out an open-mouthed scream. The lady to the right is keeping it together, but also seems to be in a state of disbelief.
Finally At The Golden Gate Bridge
This man appears to be taking a selfie to highlight the thick fog behind him. In actuality, he was posing in front of a landmark he’d long awaited visiting: The Golden Gate Bridge.
The bridge is completely consumed by the fog so that he may as well be standing in a cloud. His glasses even have tiny droplets of water due to the high humidity. It looks like he didn’t have to travel at all to capture this selfie.
The Great Wall Of China
This yound lady is leaning against what appears to be a broken down brick wall. In actuality, it’s the Great Wall of China that she’s standing atop. Since the background is filled with thick fog, there’s no perspective to indicate how high up she is.
In her Reddit post, this traveler mentioned that going to China was her “dream trip.” Judging by her bright smile, she’s still happy to be there, even if it means missing out on the view.
Trying To Pinch The Sun
One thing that tourists typically enjoy doing is taking creative selfies that play with perspective. This man is doing just that by trying to appear as though he’s pinching the sun.
The problem is that his perspective isn’t the same as the camera. So while it may look to him as though he’s framed the setting sun between his thumb and index finger, he’s actually way off. His mistake at least brings some originality to the tired pose.
Mount Rushmore Cut Off
Even on a sunny day with clear skies, these travelers managed to fail at their landmark photo opp. These gentlemen appear to be father and son and are posing in front of Mount Rushmore.
Unfortunately, whoever took their photo failed to notice that the landmark wasn’t completely in the frame. The Reddit user captioned this photo saying “this is why selfie sticks were invented.” We’d surmise that they asked someone to take the photo and were disappointed at the poor job they did.
Van Gogh’s Sunflowers Were On Loan
This travel fail is a result of terribly unfortunate timing. The Imgur user who posted this image explained its significance in the caption. They wrote that they flew to London just to see this Van Gogh painting.
Unfortunately, it had been loaned to another exhibition entirely. To make matters worse, this gallery had no entrance fee, while the one it was sent to would cost $25 just to enter. The lesson to be learned here: always call ahead.
A Sunrise View From Machu Picchu
Sunrises can be a gorgeous sight, especially from the top of a famous mountain. Too bad the fog completely distorted this view from the top of Machu Picchu. The Reddit user who posted this photograph mentioned that they woke at 3am to make it to the top in time for sunrise.
After all that effort, it would be a shame to get essentially the same view at the top that would have existed at the bottom of the moutain. Even the Alpaca looks unimpressed.
The Grand Canyon
It may look like this man is standing on any old snowy slope, but he’s actually pictured at the Grand Canyon. The Imgur user captioned this photo, “This is me experiencing the Grand Canyon.”
More accurately, he’s experiencing thick fog. The canyon is completely filled up with dense fog so that you can hardly see more than a few feet down. The enthusiastic tourist may not have a picture that proves his whereabouts, but he at least has an Arizona sweatshirt to validate his trip.
Casa Batlló In Barcelona
The Casa Batlló is a historic building in the center of Barcelona, Spain. Built at the end of the 19th century, it is considered one of the great masterpieces of architect Antoni Gaudí. This split image shows what the traveler was expecting to see versus what they actually saw.
The left image showed the gorgeous building unobstructed, while to the right is the building covered in scaffolding and under construction. The restoration went on for two years, unbeknownst to this poor tourist.
Martin Luther’s 95 Theses Door
Martin Luther’s 95 Theses was nailed to this Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany back in 1517. This traveler came to witness the centuries-old door the theses was hung on, only to find this in its place.
Rather than getting a look at the historic door, they got a chunk of plywood with an image of the door on it. The Reddit user who posted this image mentioned that they had visited the spot in 2011, during which the door was being restored.
Glacier 3000 Is Somewhere In There
Glacier 3000 is a destination spot in Switzerland that offers trails and hikes along with cable cars and ski lifts. Arguably one of its most impressive spots is its suspension bridge, which connects the peaks of two mountains and sits at almost 10,000 feet above sea level.
When this traveler made it to the bridge, they discovered a view that looks more like a snowstorm than a sweeping image of the nature below. On the bright side, at least those with a fear of heights won’t mind this fog-filled view.
Crater Lake Appears To Be Evaporating
Crater lake is famous for its almost 2,000-foot depth and pure waters. Considered one of the cleanest large bodies of water in the world, it has an intense blue color that’s a testament to its size and clarity.
Unfortunately, you can’t see the lake in this image. Due to the intense fog, a mountain is barely visible in the distance, let alone the water down below. The impressive body of water did at least reflect in the fog, turning it blue.
Mount Rushmore In The Clouds
At last, a pair of tourists at Mount Rushmore got a properly framed photograph at the landmark! Too bad it was completely covered in fog that day. If there’s one thing we’ve learned, it’s to carefully plan any photo ops at the South Dakota landmark.
The couple is certainly dressed appropriately, so they must have known it was going to be an overcast day. Why they decided to plan their trip without taking visibility into consideration is a mystery, but at least they’re warm.
The Overly Comfortable Passenger
When it comes to flights, especially long ones, passengers are often anxious to see who they’ll be stuck sitting next to. It’s evident in this man’s subtle expression that he’s disappointed at his plane mate.
The man is not only in his underwear, but he is also blissfully unabashed about it as he’s fast asleep. It’s a good thing the sleeping man is leaning towards the window and not up against his neighboring passenger.
Falling Into The Chinese Garden Of Friendship
These friends were posing in front of the dragon wall at the Chinese Garden of Friendship when one of them fell into the water! The Australia landmark features running water and guard rails that may be a little too low to the ground.
This poor traveler was sitting on said guard rail with friends to pose for a picture. Somehow they got off balance and plummeted straight back and into the water. Hopefully, the damage was minor so they can look back and laugh at the fail.
The Great Wall Of China Cloaked In Fog
This woman visited the Great Wall of China on a day that was so foggy, even she appears blurry in this image. The floor and the wall look moist with humidity and the traveler is clearly dressed for winter.
While the walkway somewhat gives away the location, without the view in the background it’s a little ambiguous where exactly she is. All in all, the photo does prove that she went to the Great Wall but doesn’t exactly show off its magnificence.
The Bottom Of Mount Rushmore
If you thought the last Mount Rushmore photo was bad, just look at this one. These brothers are pictured at the bottom of the landmark and the presidential sculptures are completely out of view.
As far as we can tell, these brothers could be standing in front of any mountain whatsoever. The only reason we know it’s Mount Rushmore is because the Reddit user resentfully wrote, “After a 9 hour car ride, this is the picture my mom took of us at Mt. Rushmore.”
The Cliffs Of Moher
This pair of travelers spent 8 hours on a flight to the Cliffs of Moher. though it’s clear they’re on a cliff, the fog disrupts the view so that they could be standing just about anywhere.
While the angle of the photo reveals the steep side of the cliff, the fog obliterates the magnificent view that they were hoping to see. The Reddit user mentioned in their post that they spent five weeks anticipating this moment, which ultimately was a fail.
Cold And Foggy Mount Fuji
This Reddit user captioned this photograph saying that he arrived to the top of Mount Fuji in Japan at 4:30 in the morning to catch the view at sunrise! He also added that it was “foggy and wet and cold.”
Sadly, he did not get what he came for since the thick fog completely eradicated the view. The weather seems especially dreadful at this early hour, which was still dark and was so wet that he needed to dress in a raincoat.