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What was your worst vacation ever and why?

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Replies to: What was your worst vacation ever and why?

  • one+twoone+two 108 replies6 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    I haven't had anything too awful. The worst I can remember is a 2-week family road trip when I was about around 14. Two parents, 3 kids (15, 14, 11) and a dog in a station wagon full of luggage and camping equipment c1977. I was squeezed in the middle seat of the second row between my two brothers because "they were bigger". We drove from northern NJ to Virginia, rode the Auto Train to Orlando and camped at Disney World for a few days. Then we drove to the Florida Keys and camped there. In the Keys, my parents were arguing and my Mom backed our relatively new station wagon into another car. They put my brothers and I on a half day deep sea fishing excursion so they could spend some time without us and both brothers got sea sick (something I never let them forget!).

    Then we drove back to northern New Jersey over several days. It was blazing hot, there was a lot of arguing. The dog rode on the floor at our feet. Every time the parent driving put on a turn signal or slowed down, the dog would get up from the floor and stand on our laps to look out the window to see what was going on. In Asheville NC we stayed at Days Inn because it was over 100 degrees and too hot to camp, but the hotel air conditioning was broken. I remember this because ever after when my Dad heard the name Days Inn he would say "Days Inn is a nightmare," a phrase he coined on that trip.

    Ironically, I later moved to the blazing hot South and I've loved going on road trips with my own 3 kids, although I would never ever take the dog, we stay in hotels and have a 3rd row of seats in the minivan. Although I'm sure my own kids could come up with some "horrible" memories of some of our trips.* And despite how horrible it seemed at the time, what wouldn't I give to be back as a carefree teenager spending time with my parents (who are no longer here) and my brothers.

    *at a hotel at Colonial Williamsburg when one of my sons was about 8 and at the breakfast bar some kid carrying a cup of hot chocolate spilled it on my son's foot (wearing sneakers). He screamed in pain, I grabbed him and took him into the kitchen area. I couldn't lift him to the sink to run his foot under cold water so I opened the big ice maker door and stuck his sneakered foot into the ice. An EMT came and while she was examining my son's foot with her bag of medical equipment open on the floor next to her, some curious kid came up carrying a bowl of oatmeal and as he was bending over to look at what she was doing he tipped the bowl and spilled the oatmeal into her bag so everything was covered with oatmeal. We still laugh about that now.

    His foot was pretty badly burned but we were able to tour Colonial Williamsburg with him in a borrowed wheelchair and later on that trip tour NYC with him wearing a sneaker with the toe part cut off for his bandage.
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  • mycupofteamycupoftea 479 replies14 postsRegistered User Member
    edited July 11
    About 10 years ago we went on a multi-day guided hike in Patagonia. We were misfortunate or probably just plain stupid to reserve a flight from the US to El Calafate with transfer in Buenos Aires on Aerolíneas Argentinas (AA). The morning of the flight, we checked the flight status online and found out that our flight was cancelled. Spent several hours on a phone trying to reach a representative, but AA didn't seem to have any US office. We grabbed our luggage and went straight to an airport where, once again, AA rep was nowhere to be found. Finally, about an hour before the now cancelled flight, some women shows up and announces that she could not arrive on time because her child is sick. Then she checks flights schedule and informs us that the only flight she can offer departs in 3 days to Santiago Chile (a different country, 2600 km away from our destination and 3 days after the beginning of our pre-booked tour). She refuses to put us on any other airline flight or to refund the tickets price. With only minutes to spare, we scramble to book tickets for 3 separate flights to Buenos Aires on different airlines at over $2,000 per ticket (paid out of pocket). Got to El Calafate on time and had a fabulous hike.

    On the way home, we learnt that Aerolíneas Argentinas went on a strike and our flight to Buenos Aires is cancelled again. Arrived to a tiny airport, which was surrounded by many thousands of loud angry and exhausted locals trying to get inside the airport building. My husband fights his way through the crowds to the only open ticket counter yelling at everyone that he only needs to ask a question and will be right back. We stay behind guarding our 8 huge, very heavy and very dirty duffels full of hiking gear. Somehow H manages to get to the only ticketing agent, grab her attention and convince her to rebook us to another flight. But now all four of us need to show her our passports. H holds the line refusing anyone to get to the agent and screaming at the top of his lungs to get our attention. Now, it's our turn to fight our way to the counter. The second man in our group grabs 4 huge duffels and drags them behind him on a ground clearing a wide path for his wife and me. People fall right and left out of his way, while he keeps apologizing profusely, however does not slow down. We follow closely behind him dragging the remaining duffels and shouting that my H is up at the counter and the agent requests our presence. Everyone yells, swears and curses at us. Magically, we manage to collect our minds, tickets, passports and belongings and get trough security area. Once we arrive to the gate, the waiting area is very quite, serene and empty, with only several passengers waiting for their flights. We spend the next hour waiting for our flight, which is still unannounced, when accidentally one of us notices that our flight is quietly departing from a completely different gate (not shown on a flight board), and the boarding is about to close. We sprint to the gate and make it inside the plain, which is almost completely empty, just in time for takeoff. We enjoyed the flight to Buenos Aires in a company of about 10 fellow passengers. The rest of our trip from Buenos Aires to the US was a piece of cake, except that our airplane was unexpectedly landed in Miami, where it took us about 3 hours to get through customs, Got back on a plane and finally arrived to our hometown, where we could not land for a long time due to a storm. After this trip, we pledged to never again fly by Aerolíneas Argentinas. And we never got any refunds or reimbursements for our cancelled flight to Argentina in spite of multiple calls, emails, letters and formal complaints.
    edited July 11
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  • atomomatomom 4636 replies41 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Ft. Myers Beach 1998
    My H and my sister decided to attend the same medical conference. We all met there with my sister's H, me, and our combined 7 kids, (6 boys, one girl, ages 2-9). Our kids had never seen the ocean before, so we thought we would hang out at the beach during the conference. My other sister (single, childless) came along to help watch the kids.
    My oldest son broke his arm 2 days before we left. The condo we rented was grungy/smelly--but none open to move to. My boys all got sick with diarrhea/vomiting after two days. It rained--big lightening storms, so little beach time. We tried to go on a nature walk at a park one day. After only a few yards we were covered with mosquitos. (I slapped my leg and hit dozens of them, blood was running down my leg. It was like a horror movie.) Ran back to the van as fast as possible. Took the kids to the pool one day. My 4yo son made a really loud embarrassing observation about a woman's anatomy, and when I gave him the "omg shut up now" look, he repeated himself louder, pointing at the woman. Auntie (my single sister) was cranky and mean the whole time.(Can you blame her?) General disagreements/bickering over what to eat/where to go/who is watching kids, keeping not-sick cousins away from my sick kids/general chaos. S threw up on the plane on the way back. I have a photo of my 4 kids (including my son with his broken arm) digging in the sand on the beach. Dark clouds in the background. Water looks gray. All kids are scowling, looking ill. A good time was had by no one. And we never went back to Florida again.
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  • jonrijonri 7272 replies134 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited July 11
    I've had several. Here's one: My D --who was 9--and I took a cruise to Alaska. When we got on, we noticed that a lot of passengers wore name tags with "X travel." While we waited to check onto the ship, some of them asked if we'd booked through "X travel."

    There was a radio preacher on the cruise and about 350 of the 750 passengers were his followers; they had all used the same travel agency. so the name tags were to let them find each other. He was preaching in the towns where the ship stopped. The preacher was allowed a microphone to say grace and make announcements during dinner--usually involving what time the buses to his talks were leaving. The group took over the movie theater for their meetings, etc. At least a dozen of them signed up for the passenger talent show and sang or played hymns and most had no talent.

    Many of them were nice people but at least several dozen saw this as their opportunity to proselytize. For example, an elderly couple at our table loved to dance and did it every night before dinner. The second night a group approached them on the dance floor and told them dancing was a sin and they were eternally damned if they didn't give up dancing. If you ordered a drink during a show, someone was sure to tell you that drinking alcohol is immoral. Things got particularly ugly when any of them found out someone was Jewish, as they seemed to think the cruise was a great opportunity to try to convince Jews to "accept Christ as your personal savior." Saying "no, thank you" once didn't work; they just wouldn't give up.

    But then the tide sort of turned. The rest of us discovered that the group wouldn't enter the night club. It became the safe place every evening. (In any other public lounge, you were likely to be approached by someone trying to convert you.) Though my daughter was 9 she was allowed in in violation of the normal rules. (She was the only English speaking child who wasn't part of the group.) The entertainers even dedicated songs to her and the passengers were nice about her being there because they understood we didn't want to spend the evening arguing with the preacher's fans. The performers and servers HATED the group because they tried to convert them too and, unlike the rest of us, they couldn't be rude to them or just walk away. And, of course, since they didn't drink, the staff in the bars and at the shows were getting a lot fewer tips.

    It was pretty much open warfare between the "saved" and the "sinners." I'm NOT saying all of them were obnoxious--that wasn't the case. One young couple was particularly nice to us. But enough of them saw the cruise as as a wonderful chance to evangelize to make life pretty miserable for the rest of us. The upside was the rest of us bonded in a way I've never experienced on any other cruise.
    edited July 11
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  • 12Vvnji12Vvnji 15 replies1 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    Kind of stupid but I went to Rome when I was 11 years old and got extremely sick. I also started my period for the very first time, so I was heavy bleeding, on the verge of fainting, sore and just struggling to even walk all while in the heat cause it's HOT in Italy.
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  • one+twoone+two 108 replies6 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    @1FloridaMom I hope you don't mind that I laughed loudly at your description of your terrible, horrible, no good, very bad vacation.
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  • Midwest67Midwest67 2892 replies12 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    China. In the 70s. I was in 7th or 8th grade. Hotter than Hades & no air-conditioning. Worst part was contracting some sort of awful GI infection & having to endure days of GI distress.

    I could not wait to get home! And home wasn’t exactly around the corner!
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