Bad travel experiences can yield interesting stories

Jessica Estrada

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Some bad travel experiences can turn into funny stories to laugh about for years. Others can make you appreciate life a little more, as did freshman Zalina Abner’s travel experience.

While riding the Antelope Valley train back home from visiting family the business and marketing major witnessed a terrible incident. As the train made a slight turn Abner caught a glimpse of the front of the train and saw a man jumping to his death onto the tracks.

Abner remembers the fear and screaming of other passengers. The train was delayed two hours and as she boarded another train to continue her trip she caught a brief look at the bloody white sheet placed over the body and described it as a very sad thing to see.

Not all bad travel experiences end in tragedy, some might even teach you a lesson about preparedness as Lauren Lunstrum learned on a trip to Hollywood from the Coachella Valley a few years back. The 23-year-old geology major wasn’t yet familiar with the Los Angeles area but was excited for a trip to Hollywood to attend a U2 performance.

Lunstrum booked a room at a hostel in Hollywood. The hostel was chosen for the affordable price and proximity to the events Lunstrum planned to attend.

She arrived at the hostel late at night to find that her reservation had not been honored. In the dark streets of Hollywood, Lunstrum drove around aimlessly not knowing where she was going to spend the night, until she found a small hotel that was within her budget. What seemed like a blessing at the time turned out to be a horrible experience, she said.

The “cracked out” hotel as she described it was infested with roaches, bugs and all kinds of other critters combined with a horrible stench. The room had no phone service and had disgusting showers. The service was bad and to top it off it was located in a dangerous area of Hollywood, she said.

The following night Lunstrum was determined to find a better place to spend the night and ended up staying at the Magic Castle Hotel in Hollywood ranked one of the best hotels in Hollywood. It was a bit more expensive and out of her budget but it was worth it, she said.

Lunstrum learned a valuable traveling lesson and she advises travelers to do some research beforehand. The last thing anyone wants is to be driving around late at night trying to figure out where to spend the night.

“Sure, hostels are cheaper but there is always that possibility that they won’t be on top of their scheduling,” Lundrum said.

On any kind of travel experience there is the possibility that plans may go array. Whether you become ill upon arriving or experience an earthquake in a place that hasn’t had one in years. The important thing is to try to make the best out of it and look on the bright side.