We love taking a few snaps while on holiday, keeping memories alive, and sharing our experiences in the world's most beautiful and fascinating places to visit with our friends. Good travel photographs capture the very essence of a destination, whether it be a famous landmark, colorful culture, architecture, history, or local cuisine.

We celebrate amazing travel photography and rightly so, but what about the times when it all goes wrong? Those hilarious occasions when people have traveled across the world and completely failed to share its beauty in a photograph. Times when they would've found more culture in their local supermarket than that blurry pic of the pyramids. This list of disappointing travel photos is funny for its self-awareness. These people understand the irony of traveling thousands of miles to see a tourist attraction that just happens to be cloaked in fog or undergoing repairs.

Scroll down below to see a collection of the very worst travel images of gorgeous places to see ever taken, and share your own in the comments!

#1

I Finally Got To See The Golden Gate Bridge Today

I Finally Got To See The Golden Gate Bridge Today

imgur.com Report

Falcon
Community Member
1 year ago

This would be a great photo editing challenge.

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So how can we improve our travel photography? Expert Vagabond has a few handy tips for beginners.

Wake Up Early, Stay Out Late: "The early bird gets the worm. I’m sure you’ve heard that phrase. Well, it’s also very true for travel photography. Light is the most important ingredient for great photography — and soft, warm, morning light creates amazing images."

Pre-Trip Location Scouting: "Read travel guidebooks about your destination. Scour the internet for articles and blog posts to help give you ideas for photos. Talk to friends who have been there. Reach out to other photographers. Become more knowledgeable about which images will capture the essence of a place."


#2

Not Mount Rushmore, But I Woke Up At 3am And Hiked Up Machu Picchu To Be There At Sunrise...

Not Mount Rushmore, But I Woke Up At 3am And Hiked Up Machu Picchu To Be There At Sunrise...

ranzprinzessin Report

ispeak catanese
Community Member
1 year ago

Your tour guide is snooty.

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#3

Traveled Thousands Of Miles To See The Big Ben

Traveled Thousands Of Miles To See The Big Ben

yestoprivacy Report

Hope Floats
Community Member
1 year ago

That was unfortunate timing.. On behalf of London, I apologise.. (But even Big Ben deserves deserves a make over.. Especially as his last one was in the 1980s..)..

Rissie
Community Member
1 year ago

We visited London just when they started the maintenance. My eldest was a bit obsessed with the Big Ben at that time. Luckily it was still visible, but what we got out of London most is that it's just a wonderful city to visit, for kids also. Happy we don't live too far from it :)

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Marcus Morgan
Community Member
1 year ago

Look on the bright side. Big Ben is actually the name of the bell hidden inside the clocktower, so very few Other people have seen it either!

Tiberiu Mocanu
Community Member
1 year ago

a simple google could have prevent this

Ian Carter
Community Member
1 year ago

ok you didnt see "Big Ben" but its sunny in England so take the win!

Blue Cicada
Community Member
1 year ago

:)

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HOUSE
Community Member
1 year ago

It's just Big Ben, No one says 'the'

Rich Walker
Community Member
1 year ago

It's not even Big Ben, it's the Elizabeth Tower, Big Ben is the bell inside it.

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Nupraptor
Community Member
1 year ago

I just got back from London. I went knowing that the Elizabeth Tower was under under renovations since there's a ton more things to see & do in London. Plus, look at it this way: It's only going to look like this for a short time so you'll be one of the few (thousand) people to photograph it like this.

Aria FAFAT
Community Member
1 year ago

The Big Ben is having his self-care time. You know, the works: full body massage, face mask, hand massage, oiling of the gears, bit of a paint here and there...

Mary Rose Kent
Community Member
1 year ago

The hand massage is going to be the big payoff in the end...

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wandile dludlu
Community Member
1 year ago

This was your fault, unlike weather, this was avoidable

Barbara
Community Member
1 year ago

We once went to see the astronomical clock in Prague...It didn't work that day :D

C Hypercube
Community Member
1 year ago

Imagine Apollo 13's caption " flying for 3 days crammed in a tin can just to get to the Moon and not being able to land".

Monika Soffronow
Community Member
1 year ago

Why go to see the stuff we have all seen countless photos of. I would much rather go and hang out with the locals instead of that.

Mary Rose Kent
Community Member
1 year ago

I usually just buy a postcard of the famous stuff and then take my own photos of stuff like shops with hares and pheasants hung by their feet on either side of the door (London, 1978) or a family of four on a bicycle and a family of six on a scooter (Mandalay, 2001).

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Ben Smith
Community Member
1 year ago

Good things there’s a lot else to see...

Nia Loves Art
Community Member
1 year ago (edited)

That was really the *only* reason that you went to London?

Sessanta Sei
Community Member
1 year ago

You wouldn’t see Big Ben anyway. It’s the bell, not the tower... 🤦🏻‍♀️

OTTER
Community Member
1 year ago

Positive side... Big Ben got to see YOU!

Daniël Schuiling
Community Member
1 year ago

It is not like it was on the news or something

Kaz Daly
Community Member
1 year ago

Lol that’s the same pic we got of Big Ben too 🤣🤣🤣

Amelia stephenson
Community Member
1 year ago

😂😂😂 I live in london and was walking past here the other day with these covers still over it thinking "tourist are pissed if they came to see big Ben and this is how it looks"

Martti Laurson
Community Member
1 year ago

If you do not do your homework before you travel, you can only blame yourself. It has been covered over the world that Big Ben is undergoing renovations.

Fixin'Ta
Community Member
1 year ago

This happened to me in Paris in 1988. The Arc d'Triomphe was completely covered with mesh cloth and scaffolding.

R.s. Potter
Community Member
1 year ago

Ha ha, this was Salisbury Cathedral when I visited.

Wasn’t Me
Community Member
1 year ago

Me. Twice.

Anna Repp
Community Member
1 year ago

On the other hand, your photo is more unique that most photos people take in London. Consider this a great treat for something unusual and plan a next trip to compare things.

Maureen Matthew
Community Member
1 year ago

Same thing happened at Vimy Ridge - for a Canadian seeing the monument at Vimy is a defining moment - taking Vimy Ridge made Canada a nation in WW1. But when we got there the monument was covered in scaffolding for repairs Sigh

Rob Hersey
Community Member
1 year ago

yep. Last july for me. I had no idea it was being worked on was truly disapppointed.

Melanin Mo
Community Member
1 year ago

my friend was over there during this time which i believe is still happening 7/20/19 but snap chat had a filter that removes the construction

Azzie Bear
Community Member
1 year ago

Just back twi weeks ago. London looks like a child thays broken every bone in its body and covered in casts. B##TARDS

TigerDRena
Community Member
1 year ago

My boyfriend and I also went to London last year and sadly both - Westminster Palace and the Big Ben have been under a still ungoing restoration

debrina blackmoon
Community Member
1 year ago

This comment has been deleted.

Id row
Community Member
1 year ago

Yeah, they're converting it to a digital readout. Bad timing!

Uchman
Community Member
1 year ago

A simple Internet search would have told you about the maintenance

Ioana-Alexandra Bejinaru
Community Member
1 year ago

Yep... It happened to me as well. 😢

Jonathon Smith
Community Member
1 year ago (edited)

Can we all just agree that the tower IS in fact called 'Big Ben' because that's what everyone calls it? I mean, it's OK to say 'the tower got its name from its bell,' but it just stretches credulity to argue 'it's not called Big Ben, that's the name of the bell'

Jon Robinson
Community Member
1 year ago

No, the tower is called the Elizabeth Tower and the bell is Big Ben

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Francesca Clayton
Community Member
1 year ago

Yeah The Elizabeth Tower is currently having repairs

Richard Carbin
Community Member
1 year ago

Big Ben is the bell. That is Elizabeth Tower.

Simion Alex
Community Member
1 year ago

This comment is hidden. Click here to view.

Big Ben? Not iven big, I was asking someone since when is under maintenance and the answer was " since long time". I was very disappointed about London itself...

Wij
Community Member
1 year ago

This comment is hidden. Click here to view.

can't see it anyway. big ben is the bell. what you wanted to see was parliament tower.

loading...
Community Member
1 year ago

*Elizabeth Tower

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Rule of Thirds: "One of the most basic and classic of photography tips, understanding the Rule of Thirds will help you create more balanced compositions. Imagine breaking an image down into thirds horizontally and vertically, so it’s split into different sections."

"The goal is to place important parts of the photo into those sections and help frame the overall image in a way that’s pleasing to the eye. For example, placing a person along the left grid line rather than directly in the center. Or keeping your horizon on the bottom third, rather than splitting the image in half. Remember to keep that horizon straight too!"

"Composing using the Rule of Thirds is easily done by turning on your camera’s “grid” feature, which displays a rule of thirds grid directly on your LCD screen specifically for this purpose. Now, before you compose a travel photo, you should be asking yourself: What are the key points of interest in this shot? Where should I intentionally place them on the grid? Paying attention to these details will improve the look of your images."

#4

After Our 9 Hour Car Ride, This Is The Picture My Mom Took Of Us At Mt. Rushmore

After Our 9 Hour Car Ride, This Is The Picture My Mom Took Of Us At Mt. Rushmore

ZimbleGoat Report

Giorgio Prodoti
Community Member
1 year ago

strange choice the square format

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#5

Took A 6 Hour Coach Journey To See The View From Hitler’s Eagles Nest (Bavaria, Germany)

Took A 6 Hour Coach Journey To See The View From Hitler’s Eagles Nest (Bavaria, Germany)

the_englishman Report

Falcon
Community Member
1 year ago

why is this man pointing at a white wall 😏

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Make Photography A Priority: "Attempting to take quick snapshots as you rush from one location to another will leave you with the same boring photos everyone else has. Make sure you plan “photography time” into your travel schedule. Good travel photography requires a solid time commitment on your part."

Patience Is Everything: "Photography is about really seeing what’s in front of you. Not just with your eyes, but with your heart & mind too. This requires dedicated time and attention. Slow down and make a conscious effort at becoming aware of your surroundings before pressing the shutter."

"Pay attention to details. Are the clouds in an eye-pleasing spot? If not, will they look better in 15 minutes? Sit at a photogenic street corner and wait for a photogenic subject to pass by. Then wait some more, because you might get an even better shot. Or not. But if you don’t have the patience to try, you might miss a fantastic photo opportunity! Good photography takes time. Are you willing to spend a few hours waiting for the perfect shot? Because that’s what professionals do. The more patience you have, the better your travel photography will turn out in the long run."

#6

Planned A Dream Trip To China. This Is What The Great Wall Looked Like

Planned A Dream Trip To China. This Is What The Great Wall Looked Like

zgroh96 Report

vita ariztegui
Community Member
1 year ago

your smile is worth it!

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#7

4 Days Of Trekking Through Mud To Machu Picchu Resulted In This Glorious View

4 Days Of Trekking Through Mud To Machu Picchu Resulted In This Glorious View

JSlasha88 Report

Chris Mugea
Community Member
1 year ago

This dude's got impressive pectorals.

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Always Bring A Camera: "There is a saying in photography that “the best camera is the one you have with you”. Be ready for anything, and always carry a camera around, because luck plays a pretty key role in travel photography. The difference between an amateur photographer and a pro is that the pro is planning in advance for this luck, ready to take advantage of these special serendipitous moments that will happen from time to time."

"You never know what kind of incredible photo opportunity might present itself while you’re traveling. Maybe while out walking you happen to stumble upon a brilliant pink sunset, a rare animal, or some random street performance. Keep your camera on you, charged up, and ready for action at all times."

For even more great tips like these, as well as some of the most amazing travel shots, check out Expert Vagabond for yourself!

#8

I Saved Up My Entire Life For A Dream Trip To Mt Fuji. Here's The Best Photo From It

I Saved Up My Entire Life For A Dream Trip To Mt Fuji. Here's The Best Photo From It

brunhilda1 Report

Daria B
Community Member
1 year ago

There was a senryu poem about that. It was something like "to see mt. Fuji in your dream.... What a blessing! No travelling costs"

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#9

This Is Me Experiencing The Grand Canyon

This Is Me Experiencing The Grand Canyon

kimuljhame Report

Slinkman
Community Member
1 year ago (edited)

The Grand Cannotseeshityon

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#10

Mt. Everest View At A Peak In Nepal

Mt. Everest View At A Peak In Nepal

ankitkrofficial Report

ADHORTATOR
Community Member
1 year ago

Happened to me for Mont Blanc....always foggy wehen I was there...four times

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#11

Drove All The Way From Southern California To See The Golden Gate Bridge

Drove All The Way From Southern California To See The Golden Gate Bridge

SilentPear Report

Sivi
Community Member
1 year ago

Oh thats just golden

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#12

Flew To The National Gallery In London To See Van Gogh's Sunflowers (Free Entrance) Only To Learn It's Been Loaned To Another Exhibition With $25 Entrance Fee....

Flew To The National Gallery In London To See Van Gogh's Sunflowers (Free Entrance) Only To Learn It's Been Loaned To Another Exhibition With $25 Entrance Fee....

Report

Daniel Lewis
Community Member
1 year ago

I downloaded it off the internet for free.

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#13

I Flew 10+ Hours To See Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany

I Flew 10+ Hours To See Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany

HurleyFerk Report

Edgar Rops
Community Member
1 year ago

Actually, this is perversely fortunate: it usually looks like Cinderella's Castle. With all that fog it looks like count Dracula's. Creepy...

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#14

Drove 1 1/2 Hours Out Of Our Way To See Mount Rushmore. It Was Foggy When We Got There

Drove 1 1/2 Hours Out Of Our Way To See Mount Rushmore. It Was Foggy When We Got There

reddit.com Report

Slinkman
Community Member
1 year ago

The misty mountains, did you meet Gollum?

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#15

My Parents Got To Visit Mt. Rushmore Today For The First Time. The View Is Spectacular!

My Parents Got To Visit Mt. Rushmore Today For The First Time. The View Is Spectacular!

HoneyBadgeSwag Report

N
Community Member
1 year ago

your parents are hotties :)

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#16

I Drove 21 Hours To Mount Rainier, And It Was Cloaked In Fog For Days

I Drove 21 Hours To Mount Rainier, And It Was Cloaked In Fog For Days

allybearound Report

Sterrin Arnold
Community Member
1 year ago

I live in the area, think I've only seen it a few times......

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#17

Climbed To The Top Of Mt Fuji To See Sunrise At 04.30, But It Was Foggy And Wet And Cold

Climbed To The Top Of Mt Fuji To See Sunrise At 04.30, But It Was Foggy And Wet And Cold

0801013 Report

Kevin Thompson
Community Member
1 year ago

Same here. At least we have the hiking stick

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#18

8 Hour Flight, 5 Weeks Of Anticipation, And An Hour Long Bus Ride To See The Cliffs Of Moher. Fog Had Other Plans

8 Hour Flight, 5 Weeks Of Anticipation, And An Hour Long Bus Ride To See The Cliffs Of Moher. Fog Had Other Plans

The_Greatest_Mate Report

Podunkus
Community Member
1 year ago (edited)

This is still a great photo for your memory book.

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#19

I Went On A Three Week Trek Around Mt. Manaslu In The Himalayas. Part Of It Peeked Through The Clouds One Time...

I Went On A Three Week Trek Around Mt. Manaslu In The Himalayas. Part Of It Peeked Through The Clouds One Time...

snekfarm Report

N
Community Member
1 year ago

still a pretty bada** picture

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#20

Hiked 4 Days To See Machu Picchu

Hiked 4 Days To See Machu Picchu

iBoy21 Report

Monty Glue
Community Member
1 year ago

That is one unhappy camper. (Well hiker)

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#21

The Time I Flew 13 Hours To See The Great Wall

The Time I Flew 13 Hours To See The Great Wall

Shark-Farts Report

Omar A
Community Member
1 year ago

You're there. That's what counts.

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#22

Went To Visit Casa Batlló In Barcelona

Went To Visit Casa Batlló In Barcelona

KarmaCollider Report

Aunt Messy
Community Member
1 year ago

There are many, many buildings in this style al over Barcelona. Missing one is not a tragedy.

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#23

Traveled All The Down To See The Golden Gate Bridge And This Is What I Got

Traveled All The Down To See The Golden Gate Bridge And This Is What I Got

Dankious-Memious Report

FloC
Community Member
1 year ago (edited)

It's a great picture ! I like how it disappears in the fog.

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#24

Traveled​ To Wittenberg, Germany In 2011. The Door Martin Luther Nailed The 95 Thesis To Was Being Restored

Traveled​ To Wittenberg, Germany In 2011. The Door Martin Luther Nailed The 95 Thesis To Was Being Restored

Trowj Report

ispeak catanese
Community Member
1 year ago

Well now, that's a helpful picture!

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#25

My Trip To Mount Rushmore Last Year

My Trip To Mount Rushmore Last Year

parkourgamer Report

Monty Glue
Community Member
1 year ago

Who knew South Dakota was so foggy? I didn't have the foggiest notion.

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#26

Flew To Another Continent To Watch The Glacier 3000, Cant Say Worth It

Flew To Another Continent To Watch The Glacier 3000, Cant Say Worth It

aneminemfan Report

Ryo Bakura
Community Member
1 year ago

A bridge to nowhere... eerie...

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#27

This Is Why Selfie Sticks Were Invented

This Is Why Selfie Sticks Were Invented

ais4aron Report

Podunkus
Community Member
1 year ago

No, this is why brains were invented.

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#28

When You Go To London To See Big Ben

When You Go To London To See Big Ben

E_AD Report

SirPatTheCat
Community Member
1 year ago

But isn't it fairly common news that it was going to be under construction for 4 years? I don't even live in the UK

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#29

The Spectacle That Is Mount Rushmore

The Spectacle That Is Mount Rushmore

everyonelovsray Report

Asi Bassey
Community Member
1 year ago

Seems Mt. Rushmore doesn't like being seen.

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#30

Went Out Of My Way To Visit Crater Lake

Went Out Of My Way To Visit Crater Lake

reddit.com Report

Dan White
Community Member
1 year ago

You did well! Was there on a June 27th, they had a big snow storm and closed the roads going in and out. The road around the lake had not been plowed of their winter snow yet.

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Note: this post originally had 45 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.