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By the Seat of My Pants: Humorous Tales of Travel and Misadventure
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By the Seat of My Pants: Humorous Tales of Travel and Misadventure

3.45  ·  Rating details ·  328 Ratings  ·  33 Reviews
Lonely Planet knows that some of life's funniest experiences happen on the road. Whether they take the form of unexpected detours, unintended adventures, unidentifiable dinners or unforgettable encounters, these experiences can give birth to our most profound travel lessons and illuminations, and our most memorable - and hilarious - travel stories. This collection presents ...more
Paperback, 248 pages
Published August 1st 2005 by Lonely Planet Publications
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Jul 05, 2018 rated it it was ok
A mostly meh collection of short travel stories; a few stood out, but most were the kind that are readable but almost instantly forgotten. I’m deducting an extra star because, for reasons unclear to me, this supposedly humorous travel anthology ends on a depressing story about racism and death in Australia.
Brendan Monroe
Jun 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Like any road trip, this book had its ups and downs. But unfortunately, there were more downs than ups.

I read one other Lonely Planet travel anthology earlier this year, "A Moveable Feast", and I found that to be infinitely better. The difference in quality between that anthology, in which almost every story was a winner, and this anthology, in which over half of the included stories are duds, is bizarre considering both books share the same editor.

There are some particularly egregious stories
A mixed bag. Most stories are okay, a few really shine:
"Left Luggage" by Jeff Greenwald
"The Garden Kitchen" by Holly Erickson
"Coming to America" by Amanda Jones
"An Award Winning Performance" by Deborah Steg.
Jane Killian
Jan 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved these short stories of world travel. One was set entirely in Lucca, Italy. Another was about flying with a snake into Italy. How about the love story of a young woman from New Zealand going to America? Too many great stories to mention. Sure, some were ordinary, but the good far outweighed the bad.
I borrowed this book from a great little B and B in Virginia. With the innkeeper's permission, I brought it home, put it at my bedside, and read a story a night when I had nothing else to read.
Jul 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Some of the strangest things that have happened in my life have taken place while I've been traveling and these tales of the adventures of others validate my experiences. Some of these tales are just strange, some made me cringe, while others had me laughing uncontrollably. An interesting look into the unexpected situations in which travelers find themselves.
Abi Barnett
Aug 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An excellent book, definitely something for everyone in this.
Short tales from experienced and newbie travellers, funny and serious, experiences to be learned from - either to be repeated or avoided at all costs!
The short introductions to the authors is a great touch.
May 04, 2014 rated it it was ok
Out of the generous number books I was gifted by a friend, this one was the one that I was looking forward to the most. I love travel, I enjoy travel writing, I like to think I have a fairly easy sense of humour, this had to be winner.
For me, the joy of travel writing is that you learn about the traveller, as they learn about the place they are travelling through, what makes a funny travel story is something that happens unexpectedly, or makes the traveller react or behave in a way that they wou
As with most anthologies, the stories in this one ranged from interesting and entertaining to dull as dishwater and everything in between. The ones that stood out to me most include 'Snaking Through Italy' which rendered me speechless, and 'Let the Buyer Beware' which was to me the funniest. I think maybe some of the not-so-exciting ones should have been put into a section together and told over the course of a few paragraphs rather than pages. Say for example, the one about a couple ordering wh ...more
Marcia Call
Nov 20, 2011 rated it it was ok
We are leaving for the Dominican Republic this week and the weather channel is reporting rain all the while we are there. I figured a book that insists one pack a sense of humor for the road has to be a good companion for a family of 4 traveling over the Thanksgiving holiday. I'm on page 51 right now and these stories are good. I may have to try my hand at my own entry . . . that is of course assuming an adventure. :)

Just finished . . . You just have to read the Idyll in Ibiza, which is laugh ou
John Landis
Jul 11, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: travel
Stories of travel gone horribly awry. Some of the stories were very entertaining but others were less than impressive. I always have trouble with collections of short stories though. As soon as you become interested in the story its over and you start again. Good for bus/train commutes but hard to consume in just a couple of sittings as I usually enjoy doing.

Some of the stories I took to.
Being offered a bazooka in East Europe.
Having a family walk in on you having sex.

The last story was strangely
Mar 28, 2013 rated it it was ok
Whilst a number of these stories were certainly enjoyable, and one or two made me laugh out loud, generally I was disappointed with the quality of the stories. Given some of the really excellent travel writing available and because it was published by Lonely Planet, I had hoped for more. Alas, too many of the stories were by Americans, being all American as they travel, and I thought the order of the stories seemed poorly thought out - especially the final piece which didn't really fit the idea ...more
Apr 13, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: standalone
I was really disappointed with this book. Lonely Planet changed the way people travel. It opened the world to many people, with accessible information that is reliable and trustworthy. Also the Headquarters are in my home town.

Being a short story format, the consistency and quality of story was the main downfall of this book for me. The first story was a cracker and if the book contained in the same vain than it would of been a five star book. Many of the other sections were predicable and badl
Mar 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014
Essays are my favorite literary genre, and travel essays are among my top preferences. This book had me laughing so hard in spots that I couldn't see to read! Very eclectic--some written better than others, but all had merit. I saw this book on someone's list of favorite travel essays; now I wish I could remember where, but as usual, I read by the seat of my pants!
Summer Meyers
Mar 05, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: humor, non-fiction
Fun, quick read. Its been awhile since I've read a collection of stories, so this was a fun change. The first two had me on the floor, dying. I would say the majority of them were okay but not hilarious. I'm planning on picking out my favorite ones and reading them to Michael Meyers on the way to the mountains this weekend.
Feb 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Un doubtedly the funniest, smartest tiniest travel book I've ever read. This slim volumed of seasoned travelers recounting their most horrendous experiences is a must for the travel buff. i would re read it in a heartbeat!
Kathleen McRae
Jun 27, 2016 rated it liked it
This anthology has many stories that are very readable and some are humorously written.Most are short and describe various parts of the world and the writers experience in that place. The stories are mostly light hearted and easily read
Jan 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
Nice collection of short stories on travel from the Lonely Planet folks. There are some funny, some sad, some amazing (like meeting the Prince of Lichtenstein on a train), a little bit for everyone. The stories are nice and short, a good book to read in small bits, on the subway or bus, etc.
Cathy Norgren
Oct 26, 2009 rated it did not like it
I loge travel stories, but this book really was not that interesting. I kept asking myself ' why is this a story?'. I had to really encourage myself to complete the book hoping the next story would be more interesting, but sadly no.
Apr 09, 2012 rated it liked it
I enjoyed some of the stories, while others were not as entertaining. There were definitely things I could relate to. The book inspired me to think about submitting a recount of trying to get my travel visa replaced in China. That was an experience worth writing about.
Tim Bold
Not the most apt title in the world. Ranging from mildly amusing to "why did anybody bother writing this, never mind publishing it?".
OK to read on the toilet.
Leebob Holland
Sep 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Folk who enjoy travelling.
Some stories are more amusing than others but all are interesting.
Oct 04, 2012 rated it did not like it
Virtually all the stories were way below average. Perhaps I have a very different sense of humor than people who were able to enjoy this book.
May 11, 2008 rated it liked it
It's always fun to relive someone else's adventures.
Beth E
Dec 21, 2015 added it
This book tried too hard to be funny.
Carly Clem
Loved it! Funny and interesting stories. Will definitely be checking out works by individual authors.
Sara Moorhouse
Dec 18, 2007 marked it as to-read
I started to read this at my Grandpa's house, but left before I could finish. From what I read, it was really funny. Now I have to go find it, so I can finish.
Mar 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
Great way to get excited to take off on another adventure!
Nov 20, 2010 rated it really liked it
Lots of fun. Short, humorous tales of travel. As the subtitle says, most involve some kind of misadventure, but not of the nature that would put you off travelling. Quite the reverse in fact!
Mar 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Amusing stories by well-known and lesser-known travel writers. Quick read. Very enjoyable.
Jan 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
Yeah, I could write like this (if I were to write much of anything, which rarely seems to be the case these days). New vocation selected.
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