There's a lot of reflection to be had as the new year approaches. On our list: how to be a better traveler in 2016. The first step? Don't be any of the following people. We've pulled together a list of the 13 situations that would put any traveler on the wall of shame. Here's to a well-traveled year-to-be!

By Erika Owen
Updated March 21, 2016
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Shane Mathew Diedrichs got a lot more than he bargained for when he decided to kick, knee, and generally aggrevate a fellow flyer to the point of whiplash for reclining her seat on a Virgin Australia flight from Wellington to Brisbane. The 38-year-old traveler got knocked with a $400 fine for his inappropriate reaction.

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A large group of tourists disrupted a sea turtle breeding area, causing many to head back into the ocean without laying their eggs. The travelers were too busy snapping photos and touching the reptiles to notice they were causing any harm. There's a good chance you're not going to be familiar with the wildlife inhabiting your vacation destination. Your best bet is to snap your photos from afar and leave the creatures to live their lives. Don't be these people.

Chelsea Lauren


Celebrities may seem picture-perfect on the big screen, but they're prone to the same airport freak-outs we are. The worst part: theirs generally get picked up by the media. From Bond guy Pierce Brosnan's attempt to bring a hunting knife on his carry-on to Justin Bieber's lack of documentation for his traveling pet monkey, there's a lot to learn from when it comes to celeb airport faux pas.

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Conservation is an important topic in many stunning vacation destinations around the world. Walter Palmer—a dentist from Minnesota—was the topic of conversation heard around the Twitterverse (and everywhere else) after hunting Cecil the Lion while on a trip to Zimbabwe.

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Two men attempted to snap the perfect selfie with an 19th century statue in Cremena, Italy last May. After climbing (!) the art, they managed to dislodge the statue's crown, sending it timbling to the ground. Don't be these guys.



A United Airlines flight flying from Rome to Chicago landed in Belfast after a passenger assaulted one of the cabin crew members. The reason? The passenger reportedly stood during the airplane ascent (while the seatbelt signs were activated) and refused to sit until he was served nuts and crackers.

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Johnny Depp got some major backlash for bringing along his two Yorkshire Terriers along on a trip to Australia to film Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales—threats of a $262K fine or 10 years in jail, to be exact. The reason is no laughing matter. Australia has a strict quarantine law requiring all animals entering the country to have the proper permits prior to entry (of which Depp did not have). Learn from this: Take note of any local laws before you leave when taking your pets on vacation with you.

Marc Dozier


David Karnauch may have been on the hunt for the perfect Instagram post, but the NYPD saw his climbing of the Brooklyn Bridge as more of a security threat than anything. After all was said and done, Karnauch got away with his photo solely for the fact that no patrolling officer caught him in the act.

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Four tourists thought it would be funny to snap a naked photo atop Borneo's Mount Kinabalau. The locals? Not so much. In fact, the indigenous people blamed a 5.9 magnitude earthquake that happened soon after the incident on the travelers. Four of the offenders were caught, but it's thought that six more were involved. The takeaway: Keep your pants on.

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A group of tourists were caught mooning the camera at Cambodia's Angkor Wat—otherwise known as the largest religious monument in the world. Looks like they didn't want the video on how-to behave at the temple complex.

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Let's kick this one off by reminding you that it was a total accident. Security footage from the Huashan 1914 Creative Park in Taipei showed a young man tripping and punching a hole into a 17th century oil painting (Flowers by Paolo Porpora). Oops.



Three tourists visiting Milan for the Expo ran their drone into the Milan Cathedral last June, causing minor damage. Plot twist: Everything was going fine until they were approached by security for their drone use, causing them to lose control of the aircraft. Luckily, the drone barely missed the famous Madonna statue atop the landmark's main spire.

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Last October, a Southwest flight crew had to make an impromptu landing 30 minutes after take-off due to an in-flight despute between two passengers. Allegedly, one passenger began to choke another flyer after an argument over a reclined seat escalated.