If you travel extensively, you should have a few essentials: a carry-on bag that fits into the overhead bin, a valid passport, all the required inoculations, a pair of comfortable walking shoes, and perhaps most important of all, a sense of humor. The ability to laugh at one’s predicament comes in handy when you’re confronted with the absurd situations every globetrotting adventurer faces sooner or later: lost luggage that keeps arriving at whatever destination you’ve just left, unpalatable menu items, bizarre local customs, and the occasional encounter with a fanatically officious, deeply suspicious border guard in a country where you don’t speak the language.
But rest assured that it could be even worse — or at least more amusing. Travelers long have regaled their friends with tales of road weirdness. Travel stories have provided comic fodder for writers from Homer to Mark Twain. For your vicarious enjoyment, we’ve collected a few of those hilarious travel tales.