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Any disastrous holiday memories?

(29 Posts)
Eloethan Wed 20-Mar-13 23:52:17

Sitting on old Corona coach that stank of smoke and petrol, condensation running down window. Shoving Polo mints into mouth to ward off nausea. Caravan site in Walton on Naze, Essex. Dad had not rented "bargain" as described by owner, but dark green, ugly, leaky caravan - probably oldest on site. Mum not amused - atmosphere "chilly". Rained most of week. Left early - took another coach to granddad's cottage in Suffolk.

But in a funny sort of way I quite enjoyed it!

numberplease Thu 21-Mar-13 00:12:49

On the last day of our holiday on Zakynthos, in 1987, I let hubby persuade me into letting him hire a moped, and against my better judgement I perched on the back, and off we went. All went well for a while, despite him keep telling me to lean with the bike when we went around bends, and me being determined not to (well, scared to, actually!). Then he decided to take a winding road up the side of a mountain, well, a very large hill, and on a particularly sharp bend, the bike went over, we flew off, me landing in a prickly bush, sustaining lots of cuts and bruises, but they were preferable to what could have happened, when I looked behind said bush, there was a steep drop down the mountainside!shock My first, and last, time on a bike!!

FlicketyB Thu 21-Mar-13 08:14:25

10 day holiday in Majorca. We went to great lengths to book a holiday with daytime flights because the children were quite small and a hotel in a quiet location as I am not a night time person and hate loud music.

In the week before the holiday the tour company changed the flight back to night time, when we got to the airport the flight out was delayed long enough to be a night time flight out and when we reached Majorca we were told that they had had to change our hotel. The new one was opposite a row of shops, most of them bars that blared music out until the small hours and, yes, our room faced them.

After three days DD went down with bronchitis, I followed suit two days later. DH and DS managed to stay well, but went to the beach etc without DD and I. Finally on the last day DS began to look decidedly peaky. As he was playing with his evening meal he said: 'Mummy I feel sick' - and was, all over the dinner table. At which point they called our coach to the airport so I turned the table cloth over the evidence and ran.

After we got home it took us over a week to recover from the various respiratory and gastric bugs we had picked up while away.

flowerfriend Thu 21-Mar-13 09:25:46

Driving on the peripherique (ringroad) in Paris is bad enough but to breakdown in a car with a very young child was pretty scary. My worst holiday experience was probably getting food poison in a Swiss hotel. A whole load of us became ill.

In May I am going on a cruise for the first time. Anyone with horror stories from their cruise experiences?

vampirequeen Thu 21-Mar-13 10:05:20

We didn't have much money so I'd saved hard to pay for three days in a b&b which overlooked the cricket ground during the Scarborough Cricket Festival. I hate cricket but my ex loved it. The b&b had a balcony that guests could sit on and watch the cricket. The plan as that he'd enjoy the live cricket and I'd take the girls out each day.

I thought i'd be clever and save some interest money by paying the money I'd saved onto our credit card and then use the card to pay for things we needed. This was a huge mistake. Two days before we were due to go I discovered that my ex had found out there was money on the card and had gambled it away online. It was too late to cancel and anyway the girls were so excited. So I raked up what cash I could put my hands on and then had to borrow money off another card at a huge rate of interest. Even though he had done this I still thought it would be nice for him to be able to watch the cricket (remember I was emotionally abused and I didn't see the world like other people did). He had £50 of our spending money in his pocket. On the first day he blew the lot in the bar and missed most of the cricket cos he was drunk as a skunk. He wasn't a nice drunk btw. That evening he didn't come out for a meal because he couldn't get up. The next two days followed in the same vein with him demanding and me giving money every day.

joannapiano Thu 21-Mar-13 16:20:13

On my first holiday with my boyfriend in Cornwall, in a B&B (separate bedrooms-it was the 60's!),I developed chicken pox on the third day.He drove me home to London immediately in our hired car, and the gearbox fell out on the North Circular.I was delirious with a high temperature and fell asleep on the back seat.My Dad eventually rescued us in his car.
Cornwall still not our favourite place to holiday.

soop Thu 21-Mar-13 16:59:08

My pal and I took our first holiday abroad in the early sixties. We stayed in a hotel in Santa Susana near Benidorm. The hotel lift was out of action. The air conditioning system was out of action. The hotel ponged of greasy fry-ups. It was situated next to a rail track; the road was unfinished. Whenever a train went past, the building shook [slightly]. The hotel across the track was in a very bad way. One lunchtime, as the train went by,part of the lift shaft [of that hotel] fell into the swimming pool. Don't ask! We were invited to participate in an evening of rowdy entertainment. It was ghastly. When we arrived home, we complained bitterly to the travel company. Mind you, for the return flight on a Boeing 707, plus the hotel accommodation, we had only paid something like £50-ish each. What did we expect? hmm

numberplease Thu 21-Mar-13 17:30:58

I remember paying a (very short) visit to Santa Susana in the 80s, didn`t fancy it, so we moved on. The railway track was still there.

LullyDully Thu 21-Mar-13 17:33:32

Camping on Mull in the endless, pouring, lashing rain. All our food went bad, we all got flu and we were bitten by midges. We went home a week early as we were all so fed up. As soon as we hit Glasgow the sun broke out.
We have since had more luck on the East coast.

I think Mull is stunning but the mist rarely lifted enough to see.

york46 Thu 21-Mar-13 18:05:16

First holiday on our own without the children, I booked a week in Normandy for DH's birthday in October. The accommodation could best be described as a 'pod' in a converted 18th century barn situated in an apple orchard, consisting of a very small kitchen/sitting room with a bedroom and bathroom upstairs. The only furniture was a plastic garden table and 2 chairs plus a small settee in the corner of the room. The only illumination was a tiny wattage electric bulb encased in a wicker shade and the light was so dim that it didn't reach the settee had we wanted to sit there and read. So we went to bed at 8 o'clock each evening and got up at 8.00 am ready to go out at first light at 9 am!!! One day we went out for a drive and the fog was so thick we had to turn back after a few miles. We made it every day to the local town but never found any shops open. Were we glad to get back home!!!!!!!

In another holiday place we rented in Normandy we discovered that the toilet was in the kitchen with only a curtain to protect your modesty. The sink was directly opposite the toilet - you could have sat on the loo and washed the dishes!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Riverwalk Thu 21-Mar-13 18:34:11

Laughing my head off reading these!

Flowerfriend I've also broken down on the peripherique - ex and I were with another couple, I was pregnant, and it was lashing with rain. The electrics went in the car so not even the wipers were working - scary at the time.

One time we were in Turkey in an idyllic location, everything lovely, with our two small boys until I suffered terribly with painful prickly heat - my body swelled, had a rash, etc. In addition I developed a terrible migraine and to cap it all I started a very heavy period.

Apart from that it was a great trip! grin

Eloethan Thu 21-Mar-13 19:49:53

Some of these sound horrendous, and vampire what a horrible, selfish, unappreciative man.

soop If you're remembering right and it was around £50, I don't think that was a particularly small amount of money in the 60's.

I've just remembered a holiday we had in Bulgaria (must have blanked it out). We flew with Balkan Air. Some of the seats were missing on the plane, the toilets weren't working and "lunch" was a curled up slice of salami and a piece of stale bread. The hotel stank of sewage, the staff were downright rude, breakfast was stale bread and salami every day, loud music from nearby discos went on until about 4 a.m. A huge number of the hotel guests went down with a stomach bug, including my son and I. We felt ill for weeks afterwards.

Galen Thu 21-Mar-13 20:02:43

Flowrfriend only one of the dozens I've done.
Old boat about to be relegated. No heating, weather freezing. Uneatable food. Pool leaked necessitating replacement of carpets. They used a a glue to which I am allergic!
I ended up in the hospital bay with a severe asthma attack.
On the return, the coach dropped us about 500yds from airport entrance in LA.
I was on my own with three cases and no help and couldn't breathe
.nightmare journey home

All the test though have been magic! I changed to Cunard. Can't fault them!

JessM Thu 21-Mar-13 20:18:57

DH was living in HK (before we married) we'd booked lovely 2 weeks holiday in Malaysia together - over Xmas. My ambition to go to a nice muslim country for xmas, at last. Sons spending xmas with their dad.
Arrived in KL to find that he'd been woken in the hotel in the middle of the night by a fax to say my mother had died. She had MN disease but did not seem to be terminal when i left.
1 day later we both flew back to UK. He had no winter clothes with him. Travel insurance would not pay out and he paid for the holiday, a hire car to get back to Wales, his one way flight to UK and a flight back to HK.
(do I win??????) grin

Gagagran Thu 21-Mar-13 20:43:06

Late 1960s. First ever trip abroad, with DH, my sister and BinL. We decided to go to Italy on a package holiday - by coach. Left Victoria coach station at 6am Tuesday after an uncomfortable night in a bandb and travelled all that day, all that night, all the next day and night (Wednesday) and all the next day (Thursday). There were been terrible storms in the Alps and landslides and road closures so we kept trying different routes dodging floods, landslides and storms - and kept turning back. We spent several hours sitting in Innsbruck airport waiting for a 'plane - which never turned up. The only food we had was macaroni, horsemeat and sour green grapes. Late on Thursday evening (having not seen a bed since early Tuesday morning) we were billeted in a south Tyrolean village with very kindly villagers, and fell exhausted into bed. Friday morning we were off again and tried all that day and all that night to get through to Italy. On Saturday we eventually made it and arrived finally at our Adriatic coast hotel at teatime, only to find that they had let our rooms! So we were packed off to an annexe on the outskirts, with no windows, used for storage.It was both hot and smelly!

On Sunday we were accommodated in our hotel but again, not in the rooms with balconies, for which we had paid a supplement. On Monday. finally we did get the appropriate room. I then got sunstroke trying to get a tan after missing so much of our holiday and on Thursday at 5am, we set off back home, travelling all day and all night and most of Friday, arriving back in London early evening.

It truly was the holiday from h**l and because it was due to the weather, we had no claim for any compensation. I think it took us a month to recover!

seasider Thu 21-Mar-13 23:38:26

When I was about 6 months pregnant with DS we booked a holiday on a motor cruiser on the River Thames. We persuaded a couple of good friends to join us even though she hated boats. We left Windsor one busy Sunday afternoon and moved into the middle of the river but all of a sudden the boat lost power and started drifting backwards down the river towards a bridge with a weir at the far side. The boat turned round and hit the bridge so hard all the crockery fell ou of the cupboards and smashed. My friend's husband had tried to push the boat off with a boat hook but the force tipped him into the river, fortunately he was able to swim to the side where it took three people to pull him out as he's a big lad! A pleasure boat had to sail out and throw us a rope whilst a big crowd watched the "rescue" from a bridge . My friend was in tears as her little dog had disappeared and she thought he had fallen in and been swept over the weir (when DH managed to get off the dog had followed him to the phone box). Even though the boat was repaired my friend refused to go any further so we moored up in Kingston on Thames and got the train into London every day! grin

Greatnan Fri 22-Mar-13 04:27:03

My most expensive two week holiday was to The Maldives, which I confidently thought would give me pristine coral. I should have done more research. The coral around the island I had chosen had been bleached by the En Nino current and was just grey. Had I taken a five hour boat ride from the main island, instead of 90 minutes, the coral would still have been good.
The island was so small I could walk right round it in 20 minutes and the highest point was about 6'. There was nothing to do but read and swim or lie by the pool, which most people did. The hotel was good, the food was acceptable but I could have got all that for one third of the price round the Mediterranean plus the opportunity to visit the surrounding area. I wanted colourful coral and was horribly disappointed.
The same thing happened last year, but was not so costly. I added a week in Phuket to my NZ visit, and again the coral had been bleached. I did go on an elephant trek - never again - and did some snorkeling from a boat, which was pleasant but was not over coral.
Just to make sure, I am going back to The Red Sea in June - horrible hinterland but exquisite coral straight from the beach and a tiny hotel, just 24 suites, and run by a very pleasant Swiss/Egyptian. This will be my third visit to Nuweiba and I am really looking forward to it.

Greatnan Fri 22-Mar-13 04:45:35

Yes, Jess, your sad tale is certainly the worst.
Some other stories have brought back memories - breaking down on the Peripherique with my daughter and four children in the car, having to be towed to a garage (the kids liked riding in the cab of the two truck), worrying all the time it was being repaired if there was enough credit left on my card to pay the garage, and where we would sleep if there wasn't. All we had to eat for the six hours it took to repair the car were four very large blocks of Toblerone. The woman in the garage was very unhelpful, even though the children were quite young.
Zykanthos on my own was lovely! I hired a car and toured round, which didn't take long but I found a nice bay for snorkeling - no coral, but fish and underwater rock formations.
I took my sister to Georgopolis in Crete one year and we found there was no hot water. When I asked when it got hot, the owner replied 'When the sun shines' = it was solar powered and it rained most of the week. My sister is not good when things go wrong, so I had to get up early and boil several kettles of water for her to have a stand-up wash. Her comment on the Minoan amphitheatre was that it would be all right when it was finished.

On the whole, I have been very lucky on my travels. I don't stay in five star hotels because I would not use the facilities and I prefer to take several less expensive holidays a year (apart from my six weeks in New Zealand, of course). I use Trip Advisor to get reviews of hotels and resorts, but I have found the best places by using specialist diving/snorkeling forums.
I suppose I am permanently on holiday since I moved back to France - not only do I live in a very beautiful area but I get to spend time in Switzerland very often, and also have easy access to Italy.

nonnanna Fri 22-Mar-13 06:48:15

That is such a coincidence - Eloethan - I'm sure we must have stayed in the same caravan at Walton on Naze in the 1960's. Ours had no curtains, Mum insisted we got undressed at night and crawled across the floor to get into our beds so no one saw us.

Just remembered the gas lights. They had very thin mantles that broke if you touched them and then couldn't be used. My brother, who could never keep still, kicked several accidentally during the course of numerous caravan holidays. He also broke a window the same way but that's another holiday tale.

We once arrived at a caravan to find that the lock had broken on the door so the previous occupants had left a note saying they had locked it from the inside and we should get in through the window, which they had fastened shut with string. The rear end of Dad disappearing through the window with much cursing was a sight and sound not to be forgotten in a hurry.

Happy holidays.

Eloethan Fri 22-Mar-13 11:28:33

So you too experienced the glamour and sophistication of Walton-on-Naze! No, I'm being horrible, it's quite a nice little place for a day out but I'm not sure I'd want to spend a week there now.

I love the idea of your Mum making you crawl across the floor. My mum's still like that - she thinks the whole world is waiting with bated breath for her to switch the kitchen light on in the evening and is appalled if I don't pull the blind down straight away.

gillybob Fri 22-Mar-13 12:20:04

The worst holiday ever was the first time I took my children abroad. My late husband and I had very little money and we saved for over two years. Eventually had enough to go to a little hotel in Spain for a week. Within 3 days of our arrival my son (then 7) and my daughter (3) were ill with sickness and diarrhoea and on day 4 they were so ill they were hallucinating and a doctor was called. They were then admitted to hospital and put on drips for dehydration. Eventually they were diagnosed with Salmonella. We eventually arrived back home in the UK with my son still so seriously ill that he was admitted to hospital. When he did finally come home he was not allowed back to school until he was clear of Salmonella which took a further 6 months.

We received not one word of apology from the holiday company and not one penny in compensation (not that I would have accepted any had it been offered).

Grannylin Fri 22-Mar-13 12:49:08

Oh, those awful 60's caravan holidays in wet places like Caister on sea!One year we managed to persuade Dad to take the family to the new Butlins at Skegness for a change.Big mistake.We loved it but Dad decided it was 'very common' and wouldn't join in all the Redcoats fun.Each morning he would comment on the size or number of 'love bites' on the neck of our waitress.This really scared and bothered me as I had no idea what they were, for years latershock

annodomini Fri 22-Mar-13 14:04:24

1972, DS 16 months, me, 3 months pregnant. We had booked a cottage in Torridon in Wester Ross for two weeks in July. We drove up to Dundee in the evening to spend the night with my sister and her husband and new son. Knowing my DS to be a bad traveller, I'd asked the Doctor for a mild sedative - it was too mild. He stayed awake from Nottingham to Edinburgh with me trying to entertain him and ex-OH getting more and more grumpy. We managed to lose our way in Dundee and then run out of petrol about half a mile from sister's house. We arrived in Torridon, at the cottage which turned out to be miles from any other habitation, in rain which should have been an omen; set up the cot and discovered that the roof leaked almost everywhere. For some days we soldiered on with rain and midges alternating; wet nappies on a line indoors. Ex-OH by now unbearably grumpy, we threw in the towel and migrated back to Dundee where we stayed for several pleasant days in my sister's house - they had, by that time, gone on holiday elsewhere. Didn't have a holiday to equal that, until the tent got flooded at Blair Athol, about nine years later. But that's another story.grin

liminetta Fri 22-Mar-13 19:56:40

my sympathies are with all you grannies.My holiday horrors are mild compared to some of yours!

Silversands Fri 22-Mar-13 23:17:36

We left our Tour Guide in The Forbidden City, Beijing and insisted we wanted to explore on our own - bad idea, particularly since we dont speak a word of Chinese; didnt have a phrase book and NO ONE apparently could speak a word of English. After walking for over two hours, we were really tired and couldnt find public transport or a taxi to go back to the hotel, and we had lost our bearings and didnt know which direction we should be walking towards to reach our Hotel, no one could speak english so we couldnt get any info. Then a little tuktuk type bike stopped - it looked a bit `homemade` but we hopped on when he said "I know your hotel" in perfect English (the only English he apparently knew). He took us about a mile up the road then turned off into a really desperately poor area, and we thought "Oh well this is different must be a short cut" he cycled up a back lane and then basically mugged us! Or at least tried to, as he argued with my husband for money - ALL OF IT using hand gestures and loud Chinese, my kind sweet husband tried to wok out a fair amount to give him for taking us thus far, I quickly pulled out my camera and took his picture as I had been told beggers etc hate having their picture taken in case it is shown to the Police. This guy roared at me and I understood he was raging! I ran out towards a main road with this guy after me, he grabbed the strap of my bag which was wraped across my body, I whirled my camera strap round and round above my head like a slingshot and bobbed him on the nose with it. He stopped felt the blood trickle from his nose and ran off! Not an experience I would want to repeat but certainly something for the grandchildren to hear about.