No matter how much you plan for a trip, things can still go wrong. These people share how their vacation went wrong. Content has been edited for clarity purposes.
What Happend To Being Best Friends Forever?
“In August 1977, my husband and I and our children (daughter, four years old, and son, 15 months) drove to Florida. I was excited I was finally going to see my high-school best friend for only the second time since her wedding. She had left Kentucky after marrying a Navy man and was living in Hawaii when I married, so she couldn’t be my maid of honor as I had been hers.
The visitor to her home was nothing like what I’d anticipated, and not just because it happened to be the night Elvis Presley died. I had never known her to be a drinker, but during the evening she downed several Nattie Lites and informed me that I’d married beneath me. Well, she didn’t say it that bluntly but there was no mistaking her meaning. Then she pointed out how it was ‘disgusting’ I was still nursing my son.
I wish I could say that I jumped to my feet, told her off, and all four of us flounced out—not that at their ages our children would have flounced very well. But I was stunned into silence because it was so unlike her. I knew she wanted children and after eight years still had none, but I shouldn’t have made allowances for her at my family’s expense.
After that night we ghosted each other. Later down the road, I found out on social media, her husband is now married to someone else.”
“In August 2000, my wife and I went on a 10-day trip. My wife got food poisoning on day three, which lasted all week. We found out weeks later it was salmonella.
In October 2017, on the second last day of a week-long trip away with a group of friends, I came down with similar symptoms to the above. All the medications to stop the ‘ejection’ were not working very well, and we had a six-hour road trip home. Ended up paying for an extra night until I felt well enough to travel.
I know what caused it. It was contaminated water from an animal trough. The kids thought they’d be clever and have a water fight on a day trip to a sheep farm. They refilled the retail water bottles we took with us in the cooler, to continue the fights. Unbeknown to me, they put two refilled bottles back in the cooler, and when we got back to the motel, transferred them to the fridge. At five am the next morning, I got up in the dark, needing headache tablets, and grabbed the first water bottle I could find in the fridge. As soon as I gulped it, the foul taste made me want to vomit, but I couldn’t.”
“We booked a cruise line to do the inside passage of Alaska out of Vancouver, British Columbia. The trip included plane flights to and from as well as a night lodging before embarking and disembarking the ship. We took my mother-in-law along on the trip in an adjoining room. She wasn’t the problem.
There was a line of some sort in the ceiling above our bed that the maintenance crew was working on. I noticed it had been patched about five to six times previously. I asked if they could replace the entire line (about 8–10’ of 3” PVC). They insisted that it wouldn’t leak and would be fixed in a matter of minutes. I said we were in port where they could have access to plumbing parts and it would be best to make a complete repair. They knew better and I was just a tourist.
I asked for the supervisor’s cell phone number so I could call him if it leaked again while on the cruise. He cockily gave me the number and again insisted it would be completely repaired. I asked if there were other suites still available if the repair wasn’t successful. No, they were completely full I was told. I said if it leaked I would want a piece of someone’s arse.
The second night in Vancouver we were to stay in the suite onboard the ship. They had lost a propulsion motor and were quickly replacing it while still in port. During the night I awoke to a dripping sound and quickly realized a liquid was dripping from the ceiling onto my leg and the bedding. I looked at the clock and thought I could wait for 30 to 45 minutes before I thought the maintenance supervisor would be coming on tour.
When this time passed, I called his cell phone. He answered, but then quickly hung up. I called repeatedly with no answer. I called the main maintenance number and asked for him specifically. They told me he was unavailable and someone else could help me. I gave them my suite number and told them the fixed pipe was leaking into the bedding and me. They said they would quickly send a crew.
As they made attempts to put yet another patch on this leaking pipe (a low-pressure PVC, drain line) I could hear over the PA system that the propulsion repairs were going to take longer and they were canceling some of the stops the trip was going to make along the way.
We went up to breakfast and then to the concierge desk to inquire about how many stops were being canceled due to the repairs. After finding that about 25–30 percent of the stops would be canceled with no compensation or refunds, we told them we would like to cancel our trip and disembark. They were fine with that and while we were seated, they quickly called their home office to make sure how it should be handled. They were just about to hang up from the phone call when another person came into the room in their home office and said we needed to talk with someone they had sent to the ship and would be in one of the conference rooms on that same level.
After some searching, we found two individuals in an empty conference room and they agreed to cancel our trip and give us a night’s lodging at the same hotel and arrange our flights back home. Then they backtracked their promises and told us the flights and the lodging would be at our expense but we would get their discounted rate. This discussion continued until we had ship security, ship hotel supervision, and dock security, about 12 people in all. The whole ship’s crew in the conference room were screaming at the two abrogators telling them that was not how they treated guests of the ship.
Meanwhile, the ship PA system was calling our names telling us to check our luggage at the pier.
After three hours of this, I looked at them and said, ‘If the ship pulls away from the port with us on board, then that is taking us by force and kidnapping.’
He immediately pulled out a blank sheet of paper and wrote our names at the top and wrote that we were entitled to a full refund with round trip airfare and rooms provided by the cruise line.
As we were leaving the conference room, the security officer shook my hand and said, ‘We will get these two pricks fired.’
The dock security said they would be sending notifications to the cruise line. As we walked down the gangplank, the ship hotel supervisor shook our hand and said, ‘I will get them fired!’
We picked up our luggage and a shuttle hauled us back to the hotel where the hotel gave us a large suite along with a basket of fruit and a bottle of sparkling juice. The hotel concierge called with our flight reservations and when the shuttle would be leaving in the morning.
Two months later, we received a letter apologizing for our experience, and the following month our credit card was reimbursed in full.”
A Romantic Getaway Gone Wrong
“It was supposed to be a four-day weekend at the beach in an upscale boutique hotel. We’d been seeing each other for a little over a month and this was going to be our first vacation together.
I noticed something was ‘off’ almost immediately as we drove to the coast. She kept squirming and shifting in her seat, and seemed rather ill at ease. It was the longest two-hour drive I’d ever experienced. She didn’t want to talk. She didn’t want music on the radio. She just sat in discomfort and silence and wouldn’t explain why when I asked. After the second inquiry, she got snappy and I drove in silence, pondering how the rest of the trip would go.
We arrived at the hotel mid-afternoon and I dropped her off at the front door, while I parked and grabbed the bags for check-in. It went smoothly enough and we headed up to the room. She quickly grabbed her bag and headed to the bathroom. The door closed and I unpacked — giving her some space.
I heard her yip and wince/hiss from behind the door and asked if she was OK. Her reply was a venomous ‘no’, and ‘You’re dumb for asking when you hear I am in pain’. I followed up with a request if she wanted help, which she also rudely declined.
At this point, I laid down on the bed and looked out over the beautiful sandy beach, and watched the waves. I got up after about five minutes and went to the balcony. The Honduran smoke I pulled out and lit up was a potent mix with the mini bottle of Johnny Walker. I felt my nerves start to relax as the waves lulled me into a nexus of peace.
I wasn’t sure how long I was out there. At least half an hour, judging by how much of that Robusto cig had been smoked. I snubbed it out and walked back in.
She had fallen asleep, curled up on the bed on top of the sheets. I could see where a single tear had smudged her makeup. Her slow breaths were rhythmic and spaced. She was a lithe, beautiful woman with a compact frame, chestnut hair, and curves and hollows that made men stare at her when she entered a room.
I let her sleep until dinner. I had it ordered in instead of going out. When she awoke, she was ravenous. She devoured all of the food and dessert. Then sated, she turned her attention to me. It was then that I noticed her new belly button piercing. We spent the evening in throes of passion and slept entwined.
The next morning we went for a walk on the beach. As circumstance would have it, we bumped into her ex-boyfriend with his new girlfriend. It was awkward and strange. I didn’t like the sub-current of attraction still evident between them. I don’t think his new beau did either.
I didn’t think much of it when she wanted to go out for a run on the beach later that day. I said I’d be going over to the fishing supply store for about an hour.
When I came back, I immediately knew something was wrong. Her bags were gone from the room. There was a short note on the pad by the phone.
It said, ‘He wants to try again and I do too. Please don’t hate me. You’re a good guy. Bye.’
I won’t lie. It hurt. But the room was non-refundable, so I stayed. I ate alone that weekend. I drank and smoked a bit much. I walked the beaches before dawn and after dark, pondering what I had done wrong. When it was all done, I drove back home to my apartment.
When I did the laundry, I found a pair of her underwear. I mailed them to the boyfriend and simply left a note in the envelope saying, ‘These are hers. She is yours now, but I had her too.'”
“My old car was stolen the night before I was to fly out to visit family for Christmas.
It’s a long drive to the airport (almost four hours), and the flight was leaving early the next morning, so I drove up the day before and stayed in a hotel in Calgary, Alberta. My car was parked within sight of the front door of the hotel and its security camera, so there was a fairly clear video of the theft. Two guys drove up and parked next to my car around five am, waited a few minutes, and then the passenger got out. He was in my locked car within a minute and drove away another minute later.
My car was a 23-year-old Honda Civic. I guess they are easy to steal since they had no real value other than to get from place to place.
It really put a damper and strain on my Christmas visit with family. What was I going to do when I flew back? I’m not smart enough, confident enough, or rich enough to buy a car on the spur-of-the-moment, and as I said, I lived almost four hours away from the city.
I guess car thefts are not very important to the police, especially old cars that are not worth much. Despite the security video, I do not believe that they ever caught the thief. If they did, they never told me. They did recover my car a few weeks later, but only because it was being driven by a known criminal that they were following, and stopped. Possession of stolen property (my car), was just another charge to add to a long list apparently.
My car sat in impound for a few days in Calgary, racking up impound fees, while I struggled to get back to Calgary to retrieve it. That trip was an unfortunate adventure in itself.
The car had damage to the ignition and a couple of other places.
I haven’t been too keen to travel since then. My car still runs well despite being 28 years old, but I am always aware that it can still get stolen again.”
“On vacation in California some years back, my back went into spasm. Fortunately, it was the day before we were heading home. I was brought back in a wheelchair because every time I tried to stand up or walk my back went berserk and I ended up on the floor.
That was a bad trip, but nothing compared to my trip to Scotland.
My wife and I planned and scheduled a trip to Scotland. I’m half Scottish and had wanted to ‘go home’ for a long time. The plan was for a self-driving tour lasting three weeks. A few days before we were scheduled to depart, I started having discomfort in my neck and shoulders.
A quick trip to an urgent care facility resulted in an order for an analgesic, and we were told that we could leave for vacation as scheduled.
About 10 days into the trip, I had to turn over the driving to my wife. I couldn’t raise my arms far enough to drive safely. We were on the Shetlands at the time. A trip to the ER (they call it something ‘Accident and Emergency’ in the United Kingdom) resulted in a prescription for an analgesic, again, and we went on our way.
Two days later, we were in the Orkneys, and I was getting worse. Another trip to the ER didn’t result in anything significantly different. Higher dose analgesic, with a buffering medication to ease its effect on my stomach.
That night, we decided to ‘pull the plug.’ We contacted the outfit that made arrangements for car, ferry passage, and lodgings and invoked the trip insurance clause.
They arranged for passage back to the ‘mainland’ and a flight home.
During the flight from Edenborough to New York City, my back started acting up again. I advised the flight attendant that a transport chair would be prudent. That’s a sort of miniature wheelchair, that will fit the aisle of an airplane.
As I was being wheeled across the terminal in NYC, I started feeling chest pains. Imagine getting slammed in the chest with an eight-pound sledgehammer, and then an elephant sitting on it, and you’ll get the picture.
I spent three days in the hospital in NYC, then we flew home. No cardiac event had taken place.
We arrived home in Pittsburgh on a Saturday, along with a visit to my primary care physician. It was pointless, since there was nobody in the office, and I did not appear to be in crisis.
First thing Monday, I called my primary care physician. He wasn’t scheduled to be in the office, but another partner worked me in.
After about a 10-minute examination, he told me to walk across the driveway and go to the ER.
I spent 10 days in the hospital. I was seen by an amazing assortment of doctors. There were cardiologists, oncologists, an ‘on-call’ surgical team, and who knows what else. The only specialty I WASN’T seen by was gynecology. I was scanned and tested so many ways that I can’t even come close to remembering all of them.
After MUCH testing the diagnosis was that I had contracted Lyme disease and that it had triggered meningitis.
That was nearly three years ago, and I’m still recovering. There appears to be permanent nerve damage, affecting my upper arms.
I do not fault doctors in the UK for missing the diagnosis. Lyme isn’t common there, and quite rare on the Orkneys and Shetland. Even here, where it’s more common, diagnosing it takes a while.
The care I received in the UK was on a par with what I’ve gotten in the US. Their system works as well as ours.
Final note: Lyme is spread primarily by deer ticks. Bambi is not my friend.”
Who Brought This Narcissist On The Trip?
“On the last day of a recent vacation, one of three companions flipped her entire attitude towards me. We’d been doing what everyone wanted for three days, sort of. We did biking, hiking, and swimming.
On the previous day, the air quality was extremely hazardous because we were surrounded by wildfires. The sky was choked with smoke, the sun was neon red, and going outside made all of us have respiratory issues. Nevertheless, we went to lunch with a family member of hers and enjoyed that. Then, because she’d been complaining about the air quality ruining her day, we agreed to go kayaking and paddleboarding for a short time.
I was tricked into doing a trip that I wasn’t comfortable with, especially after being injured the previous day. We could not see the shore from the water and could only navigate back using large geological formations. We even got yelled at by the people responsible for safety because they couldn’t see us anymore from the shore and couldn’t alert us if we were in danger. They literally took a jet ski out to our kayak to tell us to hug the shoreline more.
Upon returning to the dock, I got further injured. Everyone seemed sympathetic and I bowed out of one activity to clean up and wind down.
On our last day, she kept snapping at me for things like forcing her to sleep in the main room (she’d asked to do so) and making a joke about trying to not step on anyone I was worried about tripping over her and her sister on my way to the only bathroom and said so. She was so hostile that I decided that, rather than go on one last hike with her, I was going to get some work done before our flight.
She responded, ‘I’m not MAKING you do that. Don’t say it’s not YOUR DECISION.’
When I asked her to stop snapping at me because I wasn’t blaming her, she danced in a circle while singing, ‘I CAN SAY WHATEVER I WANT!’ for several repetitions.
Then she left and, without any toddlers in the room, I picked up some work for my side job and also got some writing done.
When it came time, we got our ride to the airport. Because I had less luggage, I got to the gate first and offered to watch the bags so everyone could get lunch before the flight. They returned to say they’d been able to get ice cream as we’d attempted for four days. She had made sure that I was unable to participate in one final thing we had wanted to do.
I was so fed up with her at this point that I got a ride home from the airport rather than see if she acted this petty on the train ride home.
I’m not entirely sure why she went from having fun at the lake to all of that. I’m figuring that someone had a word with her about how stressed I’d been and her narcissism got triggered. She posted absurd things about me on social media, then threatened to sue me if I ever talked about her again. I told her that I was done being part of her little empire and blocked her.
I’d known her for a decade, had gotten her through bad breakups and friend drama, and had supported her when she was turning hobbies into a profession. So sure. If she wants to turn on that, I don’t have to ever be the person she needs boy advice about again.”
Too Much Sun
“My parents, sisters, and I traveled back from Australia to Europe. Our first stop was Jakarta, Indonesia. We had no idea what was hanging above our heads. Or rather, lying below. It all started after we had had a nice dinner in a local restaurant, far away from tourists and the like. Maybe that was the first mistake.
The dishes contained some fresh vegetables, and we forgot all the warnings about not drinking tap water, not under any circumstances. And fresh vegetables are often washed in the tap water of course. Near the late evening, first my sisters, then my mother and father got really sick.
The night turned out to be a vomiting feast for the four of them. I was the only one not feeling sick at all. The next day, my sisters and parents still were really sick, so they stayed in bed. I decided to swim. A lot. Feeling heroic at the time, I planned to cross the 20 meter-long swimming pool a dazzling 250 times, thus reaching the magical 5000-meter limit. But there were a couple of things I missed.
First of all, it was very hot outside, and swimming under the burning sun, I had totally forgotten to apply sunscreen. And secondly, I forgot to bring water with me, or food. The latter non-decision made me really thirsty after a while, but also my stomach started to bother me, as it was crying for food in bombastic thunder for most of the second half of the swim. The sun lotion ordeal was worse though.
When I came back to our room, my parents screamed, ‘YOU’RE BACK! You look like a LOBSTER!’
And that was an understatement, my dear friend. When the day progressed, I started to get a headache, and feel nauseous. A full-blooded sunstroke was opening its wings, inviting me inside. By the time my sisters and parents felt okay again, I was vomiting all over the place.
Ah, Jakarta. We fought, and you won.”
“My husband put the kibosh on two cruises we went on. On one I had to go to the ship’s clinic for a head injury I got from a fall. Luckily it was nothing serious. He was in the cabin and locked me out. When he condescended to open the door, he threw a fit because ‘all you do is spend thousands on doctors!’ and ‘You only pull this nonsense for attention!’ By the way, I have epilepsy.
The second time we went for breakfast and joined four other couples at a big round table. When I sat down, the window we sat near was blinding me with its view of the bright sun. I smiled and said I thought I better move to another table. The staff tried to pull the curtains shut but they did not meet in the middle and the sun was still blazing in. No way I could enjoy my food. I smiled at our table mates and wished them a good day, and they returned my words, smiling too.
I went to a table for two and my husband started yapping at me he was going to walk out because I was such a prick. I simply read my menu and he left. I enjoyed my breakfast, drank another cup of good coffee, and then went back to the cabin where he was in a panic because he couldn’t find me. He had gone to every deck looking all over but never found me. I just smiled and went to the bathroom.
But the vacation wasn’t fun for me anymore. This was no isolated pair of incidents. He does this all the time. I used to cry and cry, but now I consider the source and let it go. But the fun just isn’t there like it should be.”
“We were holidaying on the South Coast of England where we had a flat in Weymouth as a base. We were going to take day trips out to various places as well Weymouth itself.
We had taken a day trip to Lyme Regis and were walking along the Quayside when I tripped and fell, cracking my ribs. After a quick trip to A&E (Accident and Emergency) to make sure there was nothing seriously wrong. I spent the rest of the holiday feeling sore and miserable.
It was later when I found out the reason I suddenly tripped was that I had a vitamin B12 deficiency that has caused nerve damage meaning my balance has permanently been affected.”