Home > Famous Travelers > Tim Leffel’s World Worsts

Tim Leffel’s World Worsts

tim leffel

Name Tim Leffel
Who? Author of The World’s Cheapest Destinations and his rants can be found on the Cheapest Destinations blog. He is also editor of the award-winning narrative webzine Perceptive Travel and runs the Practical Travel Gear blog.
Countries Visited About 45
Age 45

Titanic Nominations
1. Worst Bus Ride On the island of Flores, Indonesia. Apparently the locals don’t travel much and their stomachs are very weak. Every bus ride we took people were shouting “plastique!” to get a shopping bag to throw up into. If there was no plastique, the vomit went out the window, onto the floor, or onto an unfortunate seat-mate.
2. Worst Toilet Too many nasty ones to pick a definitive worst since I’ve spent a lot of time in Asia. But for my wife who was with me on my first long trip it would be the one in Nagarkot, Nepal where she had to go down two flights of steps to an outhouse, fill up a bucket to flush the squat toilet, then repeat the process all night while coping with a terrible case of the runs.
3. Worst Car Rental My recent attempt to rent from Hertz in Merida, Mexico. After looking at my reservation and taking us and all our luggage from the airport to their off-site office, they said, “We must tell you that we don’t have any cars to rent today.”
4. Worst Meal Pretty much every meal I ate in the Philippines. There’s a good reason you don’t see Philipino restaurants anywhere else.
5. Worst Train Ride One from Delhi to Bombay that was supposed to be an already grueling 24 hours. It turned into 36 hours, much of the extra 12 hours was spent stopped in a nasty station in alcohol-free Gujarat with the train fans turned off and the temperature at around 100F.

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Famous Travelers

  1. Renan
    August 4th, 2009 at 10:11 | #1

    it is unfortunate that Tim did not enjoy the meals he had while here in my country, The Philippines. if nothing else, the only thing we have is our food and hospitality. I’m sure with a proper food guide helping him here, he’ll change his mind :) or not. perhaps our dishes are just not his cup of tea, no?

  2. Kanda Keepers
    August 5th, 2009 at 22:10 | #2

    I sincerely apologize for the inconvenience you experienced in Mexico. From our records, it appears that you are already working with a Hertz Customer Service Representative and she is looking forward to receiving the requested information. We value your business and I hope that you will give us the opportunity to restore your confidence in Hertz.

    Kanda Keepers
    Administrator of Corporate Communication
    The Hertz Corporation

  3. August 6th, 2009 at 16:52 | #3

    Renan – Sorry, but I spent six weeks there as a backpacker, on a half dozen different islands. After coming from Thailand and Vietnam (food heavens), it was a tough slog at meal time. Good rum, mangoes, and cashews though!

    Kandra – Yes, I just got the response e-mail (weeks after my filing) that your company needs a stack of documentation, including the reservation that you already have on file in my records. I just got back from my trip and will get it all bundled up and off to them. Second time it has happened to me in that city though, so it’s not an isolated event.

  4. August 6th, 2009 at 20:13 | #4

    @Kanda Keepers
    Hertz is the absolute worst! When my parents came to visit me in Oaxaca, they reserved a car for the week. At the airport the company didn’t recognize the reservation at all and said they had no cars. We were, to say the least, dumbfounded. Then we went to the downtown office (after catching a taxi from the airport–exactly what we’d wanted to avoid when we booked the car) and they also told us they had no cars. I showed them the printed reservation form and said, “We have a reservation. How can you not have a car?” “Sorry,” they said, “sometimes we give out all the cars and we have none.” “But I have a RESERVATION,” I pointed out, “which means you RESERVE a car for me.” I speak fluent Spanish so there’s no way there was some sort of linguistic confusion. They did not apologize and merely said they had no cars. NEVER again will I rent from Hertz.

  5. Kanda Keepers
    August 6th, 2009 at 23:05 | #5

    @Sarah
    Sarah, I agree that it is no way for your parents to start their vacation and I am sorry for everything you and your parents encountered. I am forwarding these entries to the Director of Franchise Operations in Mexico, so action may be taken to resolve these issues. Again, I apologize and hope that there will be an opportunity in the future to meet and hopefully exceed your expectations.

    Kanda Keepers
    Administrator of Corporate Communications
    The Hertz Corporation

  6. Linda
    August 22nd, 2009 at 18:56 | #6

    I had one good meal in the Philippines. But I was there for three weeks and that was the last night there when we splurged and put it on my credit card.

  7. nick devonshire
    September 7th, 2009 at 07:49 | #7

    i’ve been all over the world and without doubt the worst food in the world is the philippines,

    I live here now and have got used to it, as for hospitality everything i haven’t nailed down has been stolen,

    In fact if i didn’t love my partner i wouldn’t stay another second, the place is beautiful but is slowly being buried under garbage, flips simply don’t care, they just open a package and drop the garbage at their feet, parents do it in front of their children so they don’t know better,

    They treat animals appalingly, in face they don’t seem to have a redeeming trait,
    other than the fact that they are the most conceted race i’ve evr come across, they care moer about their hair than wether their daughters are selling their bodies in angeles city(provided they send the money home of course) nuff said i think.

  8. December 15th, 2009 at 21:49 | #8

    I wanted to chime back in here and add that Hertz came through and credited a hundred bucks to my Amex to make up for all the trouble they put us through in Mexico. That about covered the extra money we had to cough up as a result, so although it took a few months, at least all we lost was a few hours of our time.

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    Is {going to|gonna} be {back|again} {frequently|regularly|incessantly|steadily|ceaselessly|often|continuously} {in order to|to} {check up
    on|check out|inspect|investigate cross-check} new posts|
    {I wanted|I needed|I want to|I need to} to thank you for this {great|excellent|fantastic|wonderful|good|very good} read!!
    I {definitely|certainly|absolutely} {enjoyed|loved} every {little
    bit of|bit of} it. {I have|I’ve got|I have got} you {bookmarked|book marked|book-marked|saved as a favorite} {to check out|to look at} new {stuff you|things
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    I {{leave|drop|{write|create}} a {comment|leave a response}|drop a {comment|leave a response}|{comment|leave a response}} {each time|when|whenever}
    I {appreciate|like|especially enjoy} a {post|article} on a {site|{blog|website}|site|website} or {I have|if I have} something to {add|contribute|valuable to contribute} {to the discussion|to the conversation}.
    {It is|Usually it is|Usually it’s|It’s} {a
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  1. August 7th, 2009 at 19:42 | #1