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Alexander Basek’s World Worsts

Alexander BasekName Alexander Basek
Who? Best Deals reporter for Travel + Leisure and co-author of Fodor’s Prague guidebook. See more of his work at alexanderbasek.com
Age 26
Countries Visited 23

Titanic Nominations
1. Worst Souvenir I brought back some durian-flavored dodol candy from Malaysia. It’s like chewing a gelatinous cube of rancid, beef-flavored butter. I save it for my bravest—or most irritating—guests.
2. Worst Travel Plans The assignment: spend a summer weekend in Provincetown. The hitch: no one mentioned it was Bear Week. I’ve never been sexually harassed as much as I was that weekend.
3. Worst Airline Security Procedures Montenegro Airlines. At Podgorica Airport, I checked my bag and went to the gate, which was just a set of glass doors opening onto the tarmac. I watched as the baggage handlers unloaded all of the bags halfway between the plane and the gate. On the walk outside to the air stairs, I had to stop at the pile and point. “That’s my bag, now load it on the plane.” Not reassuring.
4. Worst Car Rental In San Francisco, our family rental car had a broken passenger seatback. When we tried to trade it in, the car rental agent somehow convinced us all their cars were like that. Every time the car climbed a hill, the seat fully reclined and I was left staring at blue, blue sky.

5. Worst Toilet Three words that strike fear into the heart of even the most seasoned traveler: Albanian gas station.

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