hike Mountains Nature Offbeat Scenic views mountain sky outdoor snow mountainous landforms mountain range landform geographical feature wilderness ridge alps cloud rock Adventure landscape cliff mountaineering terrain summit canyon walking geology national park overlooking distance hillside

Our Craziest Travel Stories (you won’t believe!)

We at Jetsetter may be seasoned travelers, but that doesn’t mean we don’t do some crazy sh-t every once in awhile. From buying a one-way ticket to Europe to skydiving in New Zealand, here are our most spontaneous, surprising, (and sometimes scary) adventures abroad.

See recent posts by Jetsetter

Offbeat Trip Ideas mountain outdoor sky Nature water landform body of water River reservoir Lake landscape loch Coast valley Sea plateau national park surrounded highland
Offbeat tree outdoor property Resort vacation arecales estate real estate Village home flower Garden cottage Jungle plant several
Hotels Offbeat sky outdoor mountain Nature water Sunset cloud sunrise atmospheric phenomenon dawn horizon Coast Sea morning River dusk evening hill reflection rock background landscape sunlight Sun canyon bay overlooking distance clouds hillside

That time we took an unplanned honeymoon to Brazil

For our honeymoon, my husband and I decided to wing it on a trip to Brazil for three weeks. We only had our first night booked—and the rest was completely spontaneous. We ended up jumping from Rio to Búzios to Salvador to Itacaré and back. Naturally, there were some mishaps like when we ended up staying in a windowless room (with some surprise creepy crawly visitors) because we couldn't find a decent hotel. But overall, I had the time of my life

— Clara Sedlak, Executive Editor

Book Hotels in Brazil
Offbeat color red food sense sweetness Drink flavor produce temple
Offbeat Trip Ideas building outdoor photograph image cellphone wall ancient history temple Ruins sidewalk rock arch statue religion stone concrete cement
Offbeat grass outdoor animal big cat mammal leopard Wildlife vertebrate standing cheetah fauna field cat like mammal prairie jaguar Safari big cats

That time we came face to face with a leopard in India

On a month-long solo trip through India, I had a rather close encounter with a feline. I was in Rajasthan traveling between Pushkar and Ranakpur with a local guide, when he suggested trekking to a hidden temple in the Aravalli mountain range. He whisked gracefully—as graceful as one can get with a machete—through the thick brush until we were deep in the jungle. Suddenly, he stopped me, motioned for silence, and pointed. I held my breath, as just ahead, a leopard skulked across our path. Finally, after what felt like forever (in reality, only a few heart-stopping seconds), the leopard dashed off and we continued onto the temple, where I received a Bindi blessing—my reward for surviving a “near-tragic” big cat attack.

— April Ellis, Senior Photo Editor

Book Hotels in India
Offbeat food plate dish cuisine meal produce breakfast vegetable vegetarian food asian food
Offbeat Trip Ideas sky metropolitan area outdoor metropolis skyscraper cityscape skyline City geographical feature landmark horizon Harbor urban area human settlement tower block scene night Downtown tower dusk evening panorama
Offbeat tree outdoor palm sky water Beach Boat caribbean lined vacation plant Lake tropics arecales palm family Lagoon vehicle bay Sea Jungle Resort sandy shore shade line surrounded

That time we went on a last-minute trip to Malaysia

I moved to New York straight out of college and basically as broke as a human can possibly be (yay, student loan debt!). The little savings I did have I ended up blowing almost immediately with rent, utilities, food, and subway cards. Then, in the middle of my never-ending job hunt, I got a completely last-second invite to go on a two-week, all-expenses-paid press trip to Malaysia. Before I even replied with a “HELL YES!” I was packing my bags and postponing my job search despite the fact that I could barely afford the taxi fare to and from JFK. Worth it.

— Chelsea Stuart, Editorial Intern

Book Hotels in Malaysia
Offbeat Trip Ideas building outdoor sky Town road neighbourhood City street human settlement way residential area Village vacation tourism cityscape infrastructure facade waterway alley sidewalk
Offbeat Trip Ideas person crowd people outdoor colorful audience event festival bazaar market fair chinese new year colored auditorium
hike Mountains Nature Offbeat Scenic views mountain sky outdoor snow mountainous landforms mountain range landform geographical feature wilderness ridge alps cloud rock Adventure landscape cliff mountaineering terrain summit canyon walking geology national park overlooking distance hillside

That time we bought a one-way ticket to Europe

In our early 20s, my sister and I lucked across plane tickets to London for under $250. We bought them on the spot, and a few weeks later we were on a one-way flight with no return date in mind—just a loose itinerary, a backpack, and a Eurail pass. For two months, we traveled across the continent to England, Spain, France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy and the Czech-Republic. Many swims in the Mediterranean, a trek through the Swiss Alps, two hospital visits, and an Oktoberfest later, we returned to the U.S. happy and full of treasured memories.

— Gretchen Moosbrugger, Photo Editor

Offbeat sky Boat outdoor water sail vehicle sailboat watercraft sailing ship sailing vessel yacht ship transport mast passenger ship Sea sports sailing blue windsports docked
Offbeat mountain Nature outdoor mountainous landforms landform geographical feature valley cliff mountain range geological phenomenon Coast terrain canyon landscape ridge aerial photography plateau national park hillside surrounded

That time we got seasick in Kauai

I left planning a sailboat tour of Hawaii’s Nepali Coast to the very last minute, so the only availability the tour group had left was on a day when there were 35 knot winds and rough surf—a recipe for disaster for this girl’s weak stomach. Still, I was super keen on seeing the coastline, so I signed up, buying several packets of Gravol as a precaution. Sure enough, 30 minutes in, I was bent over the side of the boat, vomiting into the ocean as we bobbed up and down through crazy waves. This continued for about an hour and a half. I have to say, however, that the experience was well worth it once the drugs kicked in and I was able to enjoy the scenery.

— Siobhan Reid, Writer

Book Hotels in Kauai
Offbeat sky outdoor crowd people rock concert night bonfire fire group City full field
Offbeat person wine people ceremony wedding fashion sense drinking bride
aerial Dining Eat food Food + Drink gourmet Jetsetter Guides local eats Offbeat table tacos Trip Ideas plate dish meal many cuisine different hors d oeuvre wooden Seafood supper lunch several

That time we dropped everything to travel for a month

Anyone who knows me can tell you that I hate saying no. Call it FOMO, traveler’s envy, or what you will. But this past June, I accidentally booked every week full of trips. Bridesmaid for a friend’s wedding in St. Louis? Sure. Four-day food tour of Mexico City? Why not. Last-minute girls weekend to a music festival? Let’s do it. In my haste to say yes, I never stopped to look at my schedule. So, I ended up eating my weight in Mexico City (even trying an insect menu with crickets, worms and ants) then flying back to NYC—on a Monday morning, no less—just to turn around the next day and dance it all off in Delaware at Firefly. No regrets.

— Chelsea Bengier, Editorial Assistant

Offbeat person food dessert dish meal breakfast produce brunch sense chocolate
Offbeat grass sky outdoor field mountainous landforms butte Nature geographical feature landform natural environment wilderness horizon ecosystem badlands mountain orange prairie Desert landscape hill rock plateau Sunset red aeolian landform background sunrise valley geology terrain dawn tall dry lush distance highland
Offbeat sky plane outdoor air sports skiing air travel airplane flight parachuting ultralight aviation aircraft aviation windsports atmosphere of earth sports gliding jet aerospace engineering aerobatics extreme sport wing Adventure air force general aviation engine

That time we took travel to an extreme

I feel like my solo travels should have a disclaimer: Don’t try this at home. Once, I didn’t eat during an entire day of sightseeing in Stockholm just so I could have dinner at the most expensive restaurant in town. I also stayed up for 30+ hours during an odyssey to Australia’s Northern Territory, where I dropped my bags to go on a Sunset Tour, then pulled an all-nighter watching the stars just so I wouldn’t miss my alarm for the Sunrise Tour the next morning. People are most shocked, however, when they hear about the time I landed in Queenstown, New Zealand, walked straight to the Nzone Skydive center, and got right back in a plane before chucking myself out at 15,000 feet. I guess it’s just one of those things.

Lindsey Olander, Editor

Offbeat outdoor ground tree grass mammal fauna path animal dirt soil Wildlife horse like mammal trail horse
Offbeat sky tree outdoor human action person jumping bungee jumping sports atmosphere of earth Adventure physical exercise extreme sport abseiling day lush

That time we traded pool time for zip-lining in Puerto Vallarta

On a family vacation in Mexico, my dad was perusing through tour pamphlets and found one titled “Vallarta Adventures” in big bold letters. So while my mom and sister were content lounging by pool with a cocktail (a tempting alternative, I might add), my dad and I set off to explore. Little did we know, it took a cab, a boat, an RV, and a trek atop mules to get up the foggy Sierra Madre mountains and to the first of a dozen or so zip lines that hurtle you all the way back down. The scariest part? We had to rappel down waterfalls, sliding down the rocks and falling off a cliff into the water below.

— Lauren Dishinger, Associate Photo Editor

Book Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Offbeat building outdoor house home wall urban area Architecture brick window facade cottage wood estate siding history old stone cement
Offbeat cat sitting animal mammal indoor vertebrate domestic cat whiskers domestic long haired cat cat like mammal small to medium sized cats norwegian forest cat siberian maine coon nebelung domestic short haired cat british semi longhair carnivoran
Offbeat tree grass outdoor habitat ground Forest autumn season natural environment leaf ecosystem woodland wooded path temperate broadleaf and mixed forest morning woody plant sunlight deciduous plant wood trail area

That time we took a road trip... with a cat

A few summers ago, I decided to shoot a photography project about abandoned towns in upstate New York. It seemed like a great idea at the time. The hitch? I have a cat, Murphy, who goes bonkers if I’m not around for more than a few days at a time. In the interest of not skipping out on a great opportunity, I decided to bring him along. Aside from some confused meowing, sticking his head out the window like a dog, and shedding enough fur on the seats to make a second cat, Murphy turned out to be an excellent travel companion. Now I feel weird taking trips without him!

— Rebecca Enis, Photo Intern

Want more?



All products are independently selected by our writers and editors. If you buy something through our links, Jetsetter may earn an affiliate commission.