I’ve long thought the best travel stories are the ones, well, where things don’t go according to plan. The most memorable tales from the road, it seems, often involve weird characters, bungled reservations, and near misses of all kinds. For this reason, I’ve become a big fan of the TitanicAwards.com, a survey site that celebrates “the dubious achievements in travel” (from Worst Toilet to Most Annoying Tourist Attraction) and can always be counted on for a good laugh. (If you like the LOLcats of Icanhascheezeburger, you’ll love the absurd-but-true findings of TitanicAwards.com.)
Plus, there are interviews with well-known working travel writers and eds on the website. Find out what guidebook creator and nationally syndicated radio show Pauline Frommer’s “Worst Show I Ever Had to Sit Through to Review” (hint: it’s in Las Vegas) or what New York Times columnist Joe Sharkey considers the “Worst Festival” he’s ever attended (his surreal description of a hillbilly parade in Pikeville, Kentucky will haunt you!).
The site’s Stockholm-based creator, Doug Lansky, has an innate knack for zeroing in on the strangely humorous, and this week marks another milestone for the artist-entrepreneur-columnist’s portfolio—the debut of The Titanic Awards book published by Perigree/Penguin ($13.95; cover above). Along with side-splitting anecdotes, here’s a taste of some hilarious head-scratching findings:
Worst Airport Name: Moron Airport, Mongolia
Worst Travel Accessory: Thomas Pink’s “commuter” tie with iPod holder
Worst Airline Name: Enimex Airlines “It may be based in Tallinn, Estonia, but it sounds like a Mexican enema at 30,000 feet.”
So when you think you’re trip isn’t going, just remember: you could be checking into the Resist Bacterial Hotel in Singapore. Buy the book and check out the website today!
Adrien Glover is the online deputy editor at Travel + Leisure.