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What was your worst vacation ever and why?

taverngirltaverngirl 821 replies20 postsRegistered User Member
Inspired by a post in the sinner's thread of Lindagaf's horrendous trip to Egypt, please feel free to share your worst vacation experiences.
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Replies to: What was your worst vacation ever and why?

  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 6589 replies39 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    I had a ton of bad experiences as a kid as my mom was not a planner but loved to travel. The worst was an impromptu trip to Cancun. We arrived exhausted after being bumped from a flight and needing to spend a night in Mexico City, and my mom couldn’t find us a hotel. (Lord forbid we plan ahead). We stood around at the airport for hours while she called every hotel. She finally got us a room at a questionable place nowhere near the beaches. The hotel was not clean and my brother got violently ill on day two for the remainder of the trip. Think we got to the beach once.
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  • ClassicMom98ClassicMom98 126 replies1 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    Not quite a vacation, but in the early days I'd drag my family to my running races. I ran a marathon at Myrtle beach and it was S19's bday weekend so we thought we'd make it a nice weekend. Literally, as soon as we pulled out of the driveway S19 started coughing. I thought it was just a virus as his older brother had just gotten over being sick. But when S19 got congested back then, he'd throw up. I spent several times catching it in my hands and pitching it out the window. Get to the hotel exhausted and H always hated attending my races, so he was in a horrible mood, and some big convention was checking in. It took two hours. And the hotel was nasty. Not at all like the internet photos. Ate dinner around 9pm and went to bed. H was snoring, S16 was in a teeth grinding stage, and I was up constantly taking S19 to throw up in the bathroom. People started fighting in the hallway and H got up and got in the middle of it. Finally started to settle at 2am and the fire alarm goes off. Omg. I had to leave for the race at 4am so no sleep was to be had. Somehow I managed a PR. I was too tired to know better.

    Got back and the rest was the weekend wasn't horrible, but we came him early to go to the doc. Not a virus. Flu. Year of the fly shot shortage. Omg. I wound up catching it and got pneumonia. H got it with bronchitis. Most pitiful week ever. And the last time I took the family on a race trip.
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  • CreeklandCreekland 5749 replies89 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    I feel really, really fortunate. We travel quite a bit, but I don't have any horrid stories to tell. We all feel our worst vacation was Las Vegas, but that's simply because we're not LV types - nothing actually went wrong there. We were bored (did enjoy Blue Man Group and Bellagio's fountains, but that's hardly worth going to LV for in our opinions). We opted to take an impromptu plane trip to the Grand Canyon from there (instead of spending another day wondering what to do) and that was enjoyable giving us a glimpse of a different area of the canyon than we saw from elsewhere.

    We have a couple of fun stories of spending the night at a Steak & Shake in FL when we didn't realize all campgrounds/overflow areas/motels in the peninsula - east to west - would be booked due to the Super Bowl and Daytona 500 occurring at the same time after we had finished returning from the Dry Tortugas and spending the night at Little Truckee's campground outside of Lake Tahoe - on a very, very stinky night (not sure if that's normal or what), but those are just fond stories we reminisce. We knew they would be that when they were happening.
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 6589 replies39 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    We've also had some horrible hotel stories. The worst was when we were passing through rural PA and planned on stopping for a night at a family member's home. She lives alone in a three bedroom and insisted we stay with her. Two nights before, she called to say that she had booked us in a hotel. It turned out to be a super seedy motel - the lock on the door didn't work, the carpets were black with mold, and there were people drinking in the car park right under our window. Turns out that there was some big sporting event happening near by and all the hotels within a 100 mile radius were booked. DH barricaded the door with a dresser and the drinking party in the car park turned into a 2 am drunken shouting match and a fight, when the manager went out to tell them to keep it down. Some guy threatened to get his gun, police were called, etc..... Slept 0 minutes that night and then had another 12 hour drive to make the next day. In retrospect, we should have slept in the car behind the relative's house!
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  • Leigh22Leigh22 635 replies9 postsRegistered User Member
    Renting a shore house for a week many years ago. We asked my H’s family if they wanted to go in on a house - answer was no. This was typical - no, but then show up and want to spend “a few nights”. Nope, too crowded - if you want to stay, chip in and we’ll get a bigger place.
    So it rains the entire week. His brother, wife and 3 kids want to come down and stay in our place - I say no. So they come down and rent a campsite in the area, which floods and they come to our place and basically blame me. At one point during the week there were 12 people sitting in our place (his parents, siblings just stopping by!!) It was a nightmare.
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  • conmamaconmama 4120 replies302 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    @MomofWildChild , is that where you’re name comes from?! Wow, I think you might win the most awful vacation award. Mine pales by comparison.

    My Dad was a difficult, controlling man to be around. I swear he had bipolar disorder. Anyway, when the kids were 11 and 8, we went to see them in Florida over spring break. Our car was packed to the gills!

    Dad decided during the middle of the week he and mom wanted to go back with us in the van, and we said no, the van was too full, there was no room. He was so angry that he had to drive that he made the rest of the vacation miserable for all of us. Glaring at us, not speaking, etc. I swore I would never visit and stay with them again. I didn’t for 10 years and broke down for just 3 nights.
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  • katliamomkatliamom 12781 replies167 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    We arrive in Mexico and toddler son's crying and pulling on his ears during landing make us realize he has an ear infection. Undaunted, husband takes kids to the beach. Suddenly I hear wild screams. I run down. Husband slipped down a set of stairs while holding our son. He braced himself with his elbows and now has two wildly bleeding wounds on each arm. Next day we head to a doctor for my son. Doctor looks at husband's elbows, frowns, and gives him more bandages and antiseptic. Once the antibiotics kick in, son is no longer Screaming Child from Hell but his regular sweet self. And that's when daughter gets the flu, or something. And infects the rest of us, too. We spend the vacation mostly on the couch, except for one time when I take my recovered daughter to the beach, and she gets stung by a jelly fish. Once safely back home, husband takes son for a follow up ear infection exam. "Those should have been stitched up," he comments looking at husband's elbows.
    We call it the Vacation from Hell.
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  • Sue22Sue22 6110 replies108 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    When my kids were little we visited my in-laws in Mexico. Unfortunately we picked up a horrible Norovirus-like illness on our first flight. Despite having packed two full extra outfits and 2 days worth of diapers for the baby she arrived in Mexico bare-bottomed, wrapped in nothing but my camisole. Everything else was so covered in filth it had to be thrown away. The same virus serially swept through our entire group- 3 families, 10 people. We would each be violently ill for 24-36 hours and spend another 12-24 weak as a kitten trying to recover. The illness seemed to have a 6-12 hour incubation period so there wasn't a single day when we were all healthy. We still each managed to enjoy ourselves on the 3/4 of the trip where we weren't in the bathroom so it wasn't a total wash.

    Our worst non-vacation was the lakeside rental donated by one of the VPs in a company auction. The description was idyllic so we happily bid and invited friends for our week of sun and fun. Thankfully I checked it our before we went. It was tiny, lightless, unsafe for children, infested by mice, and smelled strongly of mold. You couldn't have paid me to stay there.
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  • Sue22Sue22 6110 replies108 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Ooh, another Mexico story I'd forgotten about...

    When my youngest was a toddler we again visited MIL. She had had a fountain built out of an enormous copper vat on legs, flowing into a base, and my daughter and her cousin were playing in the fountain. DD pulled herself up on the lip of the fountain to look in and it collapsed, crushing her between the vat and the edge of the base. It was Christmas week, so the hospital was a horror show and the private doctor's offices were all closed but we were able to call in a favor and get a friend's pediatrician to open her office and the doctor called in a radiologist to do X-rays.

    The radiologist whipped out his hand-held apparatus then looked at my MIL and said, "I think I know you." "I don't think so" she responded. "Yes, I do know you! I see your dog!" he crowed. Yup, he was the local veterinarian.

    DD lost a few teeth and had a chipped jawbone but luckily her check and eye socket were okay. We brought her home and I slept beside her that night. In the morning I woke up and found her next to me covered in hundreds of mosquito bites. They must have smelled the blood on her breath and ignored me for her. She looked like she had a virulent case of chicken pox.

    To top it all off, later that day she had a little sip of juice that turned out to be detergent. Who puts pictures of cherries, apples and grapes on cleaning products and sells it in a single sized juice-shaped container?! She spat it out and was thankfully no worse for the wear.

    Through it all DD was a trooper. Except for a little crying when the fountain hit her she didn't complain once. Whever we talked about the incident her brother used to add a little sidelong "Ruff, ruff!" The rotter. :)

    I think all of this might make me the worst, most inept mother ever. How my children made it to adulthood is beyond me.
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  • itsgettingreal17itsgettingreal17 3867 replies25 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Worst vacation was to Thailand. Lovely trip planned but then I got the flu. The first couple of days were great, however. My D enjoyed the rest of the trip on her own. Otherwise, I’m a huge planner. Though no trip ever goes 100% as planned, they are usually wonderful.
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  • CreeklandCreekland 5749 replies89 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Reading a few more stories unearthed another memory that could qualify, except we (H and I) were on our way to visit parents rather than on vacation. We were fairly newly married and quite poor, so we stopped in the cheapest motel we could find in VA (lived in FL, heading to NY). We were both asleep when a man put his key in the lock, opened our door, and walked in - thoroughly surprised to see the room occupied. We were as surprised to see him. H insisted we get up, get a refund and leave. The head office told him we must not have locked our room, but H knows we did - he didn't like the setting of the motel anyway and double checked.

    Gives another meaning to a "double room," which is now how we describe it when reminiscing.
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  • oldfortoldfort 22858 replies290 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    My whole family still talks about it...15 years ago my sister said we should rent an island up in Maine. There was only one house on that island and the only way to get to the mainland was via a shuttle boat. The house came with cook and cleaning crew. It didn't sound great to me, so I only signed up for a long weekend instead of a week. There was nothing on the island, except a pool in the back, which was full of bugs. There was no internet or cable. By the 2nd/3rd day, kids were bored out of their mind. They wanted to make some cookies in the kitchen, but the cook had a fight with his girlfriend, so he was in a bad mood, yelled at the kids, etc. We were afraid to eat our food. We were very happy when it was time to go. Oh, and it was super expensive too. We didn't let my sister arrange another vacation for a long time.
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  • OHMomof2OHMomof2 12610 replies231 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    I've enjoyed all of them overall, but a few stick out for challenges. Old BF and I went to Cozumel, Mexico, he got sick enough to be hospitalized in a clinic for a few days. I commuted from our hotel on a rented scooter with meals and company. I kind of enjoyed the solo scooter riding, but we'd planned to scuba dive and do other stuff he couldn't do.

    I often find Florida trips disappointing in some way (the development/lack of zoning/blocking beaches always bums me out), but have had enough good experiences to keep going back (swimming in a mineral spring, finding a quiet state park beach, renting a neat houseboat room on airbnb).
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  • BunsenBurnerBunsenBurner 38582 replies465 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    I don't want to jinx our good luck, but we have not had a bad vacation, just a few bad moments that did not ruin the trips completely.

    Our first trip to Riviera Maya... Mr. decided that it would be fun to rent a car to be able to move around freely. I read up on it and was not so sure... there were stories about rogue cops, car rental agents demanding bribes upon return... lots of shady stuff. Well, what they said on the web was completely true! As we were pulling out of the hotel's drive, a cop stopped Mr. "for speeding." We were going 10 mph below the speed limit. I quickly told Mr. that the standard reply was "how much?" $150? Mr. pulled out his wallet, and luckily he only had 3 $20 bills in it. Apparently, that was enough. The cop quickly shoved the money into his pocket and went after another victim coming down the driveway.... While we were looking for Costco in Cancun, an angry dude trew a rock at us from his car. Luckily, he was not that good at aiming, and the rock missed the windshield. Upon return of the car, the Hertz agent claimed that we lost the spare tire and needed a deposit of $1,000 because the car was not rentable without one. Or he would call the cops. Mr. showed him the photos and the notation on the rental contract that clearly showed there was no spare (again, I insisted on all of that because that's what I read on the internet, lol). Plus, we wisely bought extra insurance... and we told the guy that we would pay with a credit card and then dispute the charge. A big mess averted. Needless to say, I will never rent a car in Mexico. :) Other than that, the vacation was great. Fabulous hotel and food, good beach and a great private tour of the ruins.
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 6589 replies39 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Oh, I forgot my trip to see family when I flew with D for the first time. She was 2. Turns out she has terrible motion sickness. We didn't know that until then. I was flying alone. There were severe thunder storms and we circled the airport before landing for quite some time. D threw up continuously for over an hour and there was so much turbulence the flight attendants couldn't get up to help. I had everyone's air sickness bag within a three row radius as well as everyone's cocktail napkins. D came off the plane looking white as a ghost and both of us were covered in vomit. To add insult to injury, the airline lost our bag. She rebounded quickly, sil took us shopping for new clothes, airline found the bag the day before we were leaving, and then we repeated the entire thing on the way home, although I was more prepared. Landed to the car totally iced in and D falling into a huge snow bank. Not one of our finer moments.

    Funny why you try to block out ; )
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  • Sue22Sue22 6110 replies108 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    I have a picture from a trip to Rome. People have commented that they can tell we took it on vacation because my husband and I look so relaxed in it. The irony is that the picture is from the day after we were in a hotel fire that destroyed everything we had with us. It's easy to remember the timing because in the picture we're wearing borrowed clothes. We were lucky to get out with our lives. Not everyone was so lucky.
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  • AlmostThere2018AlmostThere2018 1248 replies44 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    When I was 3 years out of college I planned a trip to the Olympics in Europe with my ex-boyfriend from college as an attempt to explore getting back together. (We had broken up at the end of college and had been living in different cities for a couple of years at that point.) Within 24 hours I knew there was no way in *ell we would end up together again. Being with him was an emotional flashback and reminded me how horrible I felt about myself with him. It was a looong few days and then I actually ended up leaving the him on his own and going to visit friends in the UK instead for the rest of the trip. I was sad, the weather was crummy, and it sucked.

    We didn't meet up again until our flight back home. Back then you couldn't change seats online (heck, there was no online) and so we had a very uncomfortable and quiet trip back to to the US. I came back broke and having no more vacation days for the year -- but at least I had closed the chapter on that relationship once and for all!!
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  • iaparentiaparent 264 replies2 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    Disney World. It was a trip for my son's 6th birthday and our other son was 15 months old. My wife worked for the airline at the time so we flew free on standby. We had to fly into Tampa got our car and started the drive to Orlando. The baby started coughing and promptly vomited all over the back seat (we later realized this was when we should have known he has severe motion sickness) but we make it to Disney and check in.
    The next day we start at Magic Kingdom and as we are waiting for the Dumbo ride he starts vomiting again. Back to the hotel. The following day we are driving to Universal and half way there he vomits again, we stop at Walmart and buy a new outfit. While at Universal my wife takes the baby to a show while I watch the birthday boy. I swear I never moved but he couldn't find me so he went to the show and had it stopped to make an announcement for my wife.

    The next day, back to Magic Kingdom and as we pull into the lot more vomit. Back to the hotel so my wife can take him in to change and send the birthday boy out with towels to clean the back seat. Once he arrives with the towels I send him back to the room to get out of my hair. Ten minutes later my wife shows up with just the baby. Panic ensues as the 6 year old is missing. Eventually the phone rings in our room and he is at a near by room, lost and upset. It never occurred to me that all hotel rooms look alike to a 6 year old. The first room he knocked on they slammed the door in his face but the second invited him in and gave him a doughnut while trying to locate security and us. I still have to live down losing a child twice in two days.
    The last day we drove to the space center, you guessed more vomit but now it was both of them. I had looked at our possible flights and there was one out of Orlando and one out of Tampa, 2 hours apart. I confused the two and we showed up in Tampa too late and with not enough time to go to Orlando. We were able to route through DC to get home and sure enough, right after takeoff, on the first leg, more vomit and the flight attendants were of no help. When we arrive in DC I went to clean him up and my wife checked us in and thankfully first class was open. By this time we were out of clean clothes and I had to choose the least smelly of the bunch, he stunk. When we got on the plane you could see the other first class passengers looking around to find the smell. My older son and I were in the row behind my wife so we ignored them and went to sleep, letting my wife absorb the stares, not my finest hour.

    We made it home but learned Dramamine is our friend and have not had a repeat occurrence.
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  • washugradwashugrad 1081 replies13 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Oh man some of your stories...
    I haven't had any bad trips, just bad moments on a few trips. We kind of joke now that it's not travel without one of these.
    1. The mildest - took a train from Salzburg to Prague, four years ago, so the kids were 10-18. My oldest was recovering from a mild virus she'd had for a couple of days in Prague. We were meant to arrive in Prague around 6pm I think so we had food and water for lunch and snacks. We changed to a Czech -run train at a town near the border. Sometime after that the train stopped in the middle of nowhere. Announcements were made in Czech (which we don't speak) but eventually we found out that a tree had fallen on the tracks somewhere ahead of us and we were delayed until it could be removed. There was no food service on this train. Eventually they backed us up to the previous station and gave us a small amount of water and let us get off the train for a while but it was a tiny town and there were no shops in the station or anything like that. Finally we got going again and arrived in Prague just after 10pm... which is of course when all of the shops in the Prague train station close. We did eventually get food after we got to our airbnb.
    2. A few years ago minus my oldest kid and plus my elderly parents, we rented a condo in Playa del Carmen (Mexico) and rented a minivan from a budget rental car company. There were warning lights on the dash all week... I thought that was normal as they had been there when we got the car so I assumed the people at the rental car place had checked the car out before loaning it out. Oops, no, bad assumption. We set out for Chichen Itza, a 2 hour drive into the heart of the peninsula. Had a lovely tour... it's quite an amazing place.. and then were on the road to the town of Valladolid when the van broke down with some alarming smoke coming out of the engine. We pulled over and everyone got out and we got all of our things out just in case the car caught on fire (it didn't). So we are on a remote road with 2 teens, my 80 year old dad and 71 year old mother, I'd had one year of Spanish and that made me the expert of the group (!), luckily we did have cell signal out there and were able to get ahold of the rental car office but since it was a budget place they didn't have any other outfits any closer than the Cancun airport so we had to sit tight and wait for them to send people out. There was some miscommunication about when they were going to send people out (we thought immediately... they didn't end up leaving for another couple of hours). We asked if they could meet us in Valladolid if we could find a ride into town and that was fine. So my husband started walking to town... ended up getting picked up by a honeymooning couple who gave him a lift to the next small town and he found a guy with a van who was willing to give us a lift to Valladolid where we were able to get lunch and wait. When the rental car people finally did show up they came in 2 sedans since they didn't have any more vans and we had to wait for them to go check out the van (which really was dead) and give them a lift back. I drove back with my mom and kids and my mom wouldn't stop talking the whole way back which was just what I needed (not) on top of an already really long day. Let's just say Cervezas were consumed that evening. (On the good side - I never got a traffic ticket nor did the budget rental car place try to get any money out of us for that van meltdown).
    3. The time I got stuck in Beijing and the rest of my family didn't. Another really long story if I told the whole thing involving flying on frequent flier tix which give you no status at all if you get bumped from a partner airline and every routing possible on mileage seemed to be booked. I spent the night in an airport hotel, bought a one-way ticket to Sydney for full price while my family was enroute to Sydney, and went to sleep, when they landed my hubby found a real United employee in the Sydney airport who finally found me a mileage seat that day and I was able to get my full fare ticket refunded, phew. And that's the story of why I get to check the box that says yes when they ask "Have you ever overstayed a visa?" on the Chinese visa application form :-).
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