Laser Time – Vacations From Hell!

From missed flights and overseas injuries to dire tales of getting lost in foreign lands, we’re recounting our own (and some of your) vacation nightmares come true!

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12 thoughts on “Laser Time – Vacations From Hell!

  1. I entered a period of hating to travel coming into my teens that I’ve only recently shook off, so I kind of avoided bad vacations by not taking any. My trips as a kid were good though, both because of simplicity in staying within North America and a few hours’ drive, and because of being young enough to not get anxiety about it. Pretty bland, I know, but I plan to fix that.

  2. Regarding all inclusive places in Mexico… I really really recommend you tip the staff (in pesos). A) your service will drastically improve and B) Americans can easily afford it and it makes a big difference in the staff’s lives.

  3. I wasn’t on vacation since I live an hour away but I was at Disney Hollywood Studios last fall and got to experience one of the worst couple fights. Luckily it wasn’t me but there was a couple there on vacation and the mom was yelling repeatedly to her husband who was just sitting on a bench taking it. We were inside a closed room waiting to leave and everyone was pretending not to listen to this woman berate her husband. It was awesome hilarious and summarizes how terrible vacations can get.

    My favorite thing she was yelling was “DON’T TONE POLICE ME!”

  4. I spent two months in Tokyo for college. I was on the West side of the city, and had to leave early to take the limousine bus to get to Narita to fly back to the US. I made it in time, and didn’t have anything bad happen, but I still have dreams about trying to get to my plane on time to leave Japan, 20 years later.

    I went to Disneyland for the first time in October, with my girlfriend and her family, who had been there before. We stayed at the Grand Californian, so we got to go in to Disneyland an hour early our first morning. Waiting in line took a while, then we had to get a wheelchair for her mom. Her nephew and I collected tickets from our whole group to get Fastpass tickets for Space Mountain, so we ran there. But you can’t get Fastpass tickets until 9, when it opens regularly. So we waited to get those tickets, then tried to find the others to give their tickets, and the two of us ended up riding it ourselves. When we came out my girlfriend was waiting outside with her mom and her elderly friend, waiting for the sandwich shop to open at 10. They still hadn’t ridden anything, and I wasn’t about to spend my first trip to Disneyland not riding rides. I went off by myself, waiting in increasingly long lines as more people filled the park, but that’s what I expect at a theme park, as long as I’m riding rides, or at least waiting in line, that’s fine, but I’m not going to waste time getting food and crap. I managed to ride everything (Splash Mountain was down, unfortunately) but having gone to several Six Flags, Cedar Point, and other theme parks over the years, Disneyland’s rides were small and non-thrilling, and there isn’t really a Disney feel to the place, it’s just a Disneyland feel. One trip was plenty for my lifetime.

    I’ve never had too much trouble traveling, but the last time I flew from Honolulu to Chicago, about a nine hour flight, they kept changing our seats, so what started as a window seat with my girlfriend in the aisle seat next to me turned into me on the aisle, with her on the aisle in the middle accross from me, with a stupid little brat that kept writhing around, putting his feet on her, throwing applesauce, with a mom who did nothing to stop the awful thing. My seat had a box with outlets on it on the floor taking up half the footspace, so I had to keep my foot on top of the box the whole time, and my knee still gives me trouble from that trip.

  5. The closest thing I have to a vacation nightmare is from a vacation in the summer of 2005 or 2006, on a family road trip starting in Ontario going through the US midwest (Illinois and Minnesota) and then back up to Alberta. The US midwest portion of the road trip was complete and we were going through Montana up to Alberta. My dad, not wanting to stop at a real food place for lunch, had us all settle for sandwiches from the most dingy looking gas station (never a good idea, btw). Needless to stay, I immediately got food poisoning, and as we headed for the border to Alberta, we made several stops so that I could get out and vomit all the toxins out of my body along the sides of Montana’s fine roads (and once we crossed the border, Alberta’s fine roads). After what felt like forever, we finally arrived at the place we were staying in Alberta, where I promptly went to sleep at 7pm, waking up almost 24 hours later for dinner the next day. That day, at dinner I had an insane craving for dairy which manifested itself as 6 large glasses of milk at dinner, as well as a large DQ Blizzard afterwards. This also fucked up my body, as I woke up the next morning with the most intense abdominal cramps I’ve ever experienced. I ended up going to the hospital out of fear that my appendix had burst, but it turned out to merely be way too much fucking dairy.

    Lesson here is never get your lunch from a gas station.

  6. I only have one really bad travel story. Back in 2009 I decided to go to a small gaming convention to meet some online friends. It was the first time I had ever met anyone online or taken a trip as an adult. That part of the trip went great and I’m still friends with people I met there to this day.

    Anyway while searching flights and everything I noticed a WWE Pay Per View in Pittsburgh the same day I was going to fly back home. So I look up how much extra it would be to have a 24 hour layover and book a hotel to go see the PPV and it was only an extra $100 so I say screw it, lets go all out for my first big boy trip. I book a hotel near the airport with a free shuttle service because I thought that would be good but didn’t think about how I would get to and from the arena.

    I ask the hotel desk how to get downtown and they tell me to take the free shuttle to the airport and the downtown bus and get off at whatever stop. I get off at the stop and can’t find the arena, I go into a corner store and ask and they give me non street direction that were useless to someone who didn’t live there. I just leave and have a rough idea which direction the arena was in relation to the street I got off the bus on. I see a hill and decide to walk up the hill and see if I could spot the arena. Low and behold it was literally on the other side of the hill. Okay small crisis averted.

    So the PPV ends and I decide I should cab back to the airport because I have no idea if the Airport bus will still be running after 11pm on a Sunday. I go to a street corner and call a cab from my phone. 30 minutes pass, no cab, I call again, another 30 minutes pass still no cab. 90 minutes pass and I’m the only one standing outside this arena and I call again and still no cab. Over 2 hours pass and still no cab and my phone dies and I’m alone in a strange city with a dead phone at like 1:30am.

    I walk around to the back of the arena where the trucks are unloading everything and there’s a woman in a tiny booth. I tell her my story and ask her for help. She tells me “oh the cabs refuse to come down here, they never come”. Oh great. She then tells me there’s this other cab company that will come but they’re more expensive. I want to get back to my hotel so I say call them. She calls this company called classy cabs where the cab driver is in a shirt and tie and drives a Mercedes. The cab bill ended up being like $80 but I got back to my hotel at like 2:30am.

    Oh and the PPV was the original Bragging Rights so I endured all that to see The John Cena vs Randy Orton Iron Man match. You know the one where they spent 90% of the time outside the ring so I couldn’t see squat and Randy tried to kill Cena with pyro. Yeah that PPV. Got to see Undertaker live for the first time so it wasn’t a total waste, but man that was rough.

  7. Wasn’t a vacation per se, but the first time I went to Korea was a nightmare. My first flight from Ottawa was delayed because of weather, so I missed my connecting flight from Vancouver. When I got to Korea, I had missed my connecting flight to the city I was supposed to go to. They put me in a hotel room with another teacher – a woman! – who was probably scared out of her mind at being shoved in a room with a stranger.

    So a 14 hour flight lasted almost 36 hours – and it took them 2 days to find my bags!

  8. I have to challenge Dave on his comments about British beer. Real ale/bitter may taste flat and warm to American palettes, but it’s a taste thing, and it depends on what you’re accustomed to. Worth pointing out that IPA originated in the UK. Conversely, a lot of Brits find American beer, especially IPAs, unpleasantly hoppy and astringent, and that serving everything so cold destroys any subtlety of flavour. Though I love both British and American beer, it was definitely an adjustment period when I first moved here.

    Where you are correct though is on the inexplicable popularity/ubiquity of lager in the UK. I will never understand why the vast majority of British pubs (the shit ones any way) serve 8 almost identical variations of it at the expense of everything else. And yes, the guy who lectured you about beer and claimed that Tiger is ‘so much’ better than Heineken is an idiot.

    1. I was about to say the same thing, it’s a taste thing. I personally enjoy American whiskey but find a lot of their common beers to be “like swill”, to quote the Simpsons. Regarding that guy however, sadly after Brexit, there’s this strange overreaching xenophobia, even to other English-speaking white foreigners. Seriously, this damn country…
      HOWEVER since Scotland universally voted to stay in EU and are still very angry about it, it might have been a good thing Dave did not bring it up while there.

  9. I have two vacation nightmares, but they’re both brief.

    The first is when I got real bad food poisoning on a car trip. I was sick the entire way there, the four days we on vacation and the two days back from it.

    The second was when, when I used to swim without a shirt on, I vacationed to a waterpark resort near San Antonio and got second degree burn all over my torso. Ever since then, I DON’T swim without a shirt on and it isn’t a body issue thing- I just don’t want a hellish 3 week repeat of it because if you think you can’t get comfortable with a sunburn, imagine it with severe pain and pus-popping ooze all over your bed (Google second degree burn).

  10. Chicagoland TDar/LT fan here! Can confirm our seafood is fresh/relatively cheap.

    Also, my mother has worked in a Chicago hospital for over 30 years as a floor nurse and administration. Can confirm all that crazy shit Chris was mentioning happens every single day, and then some. My favorite stories come from the celebrity patients. Drugged-out athletes running around naked (as in drugs for surgery), politicians secretly going in and out, and film/TV stars stopping by to see the sick kids.

    Fun fact: whenever the President of the United States is in town, the Secret Service reserves a room and has a surgical team on standby. It’s kind of something you always assume they do, but don’t necessarily think about. Sobering too.

    If you ever stop by Chicago again, make sure to get the Lou Malnati’s deep dish pizza, not Giodano’s! Lou’s is sweeter and the crust crumbles beautifully in your mouth unlike Giordano’s, which has rock-hard crust. Also, I’m a jazz connoisseur, so if you want to see the hip stuff, there’s plenty around if you look in the right places!

  11. My travel disasters have been rare, but very intense.

    So I’ve been to just about every major city in Europe (barring Russia) and several countries in South America with no issues. However, I’d never really been west of Toronto (I live in Eastern Canada). So one summer (2014) I head on over to Vancouver with my dad. This particular summer was my directly after my first year of college, and I had not found a summer job, so I invested all my free time in working out/eating. Obligatory 80s montage ensued. So I put on around 15 ish kg (30 odd lbs). Went to Vancouver. One day, my dad had fish tacos, I had fish tacos with guac. Proceed to get food poisoning, lose 8kg over the next week. Literally vomiting/diarreah non-stop, 14-ish hours, less than 500 calories a day for the next while. Over the first semester, I manage to get back up to around 82 kg. NYE rolls around, and I head down to mexico with my family. Proceed to get food poisoning again, the vomiting starts about 2 hours before we are scheduled to leave for the airport to head back. but this time in some beach-side bathroom. 14 hours roll by in that bathroom. Manage to drag my ass to the airport the next day, get on a flight without tossing my cookies and land in Toronto. Getting back to the land of free and safe healthcare had never felt so sweet.
    Now we get to the worst part.

    Because of the amount of bile that went through my mouth while ill, my gum and gut health had taken a nosedive. My teeth literally wobbled in my mouth, and pus would constantly leak out of the junction between my gums and teeth. Over the next few months, I dropped down to about 58-59 kilo (around 55lb of weight loss). I could hardly eat, massive sores developed around my mouth, my girlfriend had to get off the pill (not related but still shitty af). It took me until a few months ago to get back to around 68 kg, and I can finally eat normally again because my stomach lining is no longer FUBAR.

    TL:DR: Double food poisoning in 6 months, loses weight, teeth pus, feelsbadman

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