Then there was what could possibly be the longest journey home for Diana, a Marine in California, who had not been home on leave to the East Coast for almost five years.
Her first flight was delayed two hours by mechanical problems. We've all been there.
But the next leg was also delayed two hours, again by mechanical problems.
"By the time it got to Chicago, I had missed my connecting flight so they put me up in a hotel until the morning flight out at 6 a.m.," she wrote. "So Christmas Eve is spent at the airport hotel. Not fun but OK."
The next morning Erin headed to Boston. The plane hit really bad turbulence so the flight crew started handing out booze to everyone. (It was a Christmas morning flight after all.) As the plane approached Boston, it just started to circle and circle.
"We lost our landing gear. Yes, they were foaming down the runway for a belly landing in the middle of the winter on Christmas Day," she said. "My family was having a fit in the airport waiting room. Amazingly we landed and everyone was fine, a little drunk but no injuries."
Erin doesn't head home that often after that flight.
Missing flight connections is a problem that has ruined more than one traveler's vacation. Carol tells about her disaster in Madagascar.
It all started with a 2½-hour delayed flight that led to a missed connection. It doesn't sound that bad at first -- except there was only one flight a day to Madagascar.
She finally arrived, only to learn her luggage was lost. Let's just say the only underwear available was beyond extra-large.
Her reservations for a flight to the north of the island were canceled and the flight was full. Her travel agent sent a car and driver -- but on the way back to the hotel the car ran out of gas.
"Finally on day four of our trip, our vacation begins," she wrote. "Then, as we once again are heading to the airport for the next leg of our trip, a truck rolled over blocking both lanes, with no way to get around it. This time we do make it and our luggage is found just in time to leave."
"Just as I think our luck is changing," she added, "as we are going through immigration I feel sick. I throw up for hours on the plane."
Finally, there is the case in which the photos don't represent reality.
One traveler who went to Senegal was expecting a nice apartment in a quaint village near the water where she would learn African dancing and drumming. At least, that's what the Web site promised.
"But the only dancing I would do once there was to stomp out all the bugs running everywhere in my room. There was no refuge on the bed, since it was just a thin mattress on the floor," she said. "Though I had expected a nice bathroom and had been assured that this would not be a problem, that wasn't the case. My room didn't have a bathroom, or running water of any kind. Last a week in this place? I wasn't going to last out the hour."
Thanks to her travel insurance, she was booked at a hotel in town and left Senegal on the next flight back to New York, cutting her weeklong vacation to two days.