When dream holidays become nightmares

Holidays. We look forward to them for months, confident that they will be among the best days of our lives. The sun will shine, everything will go to plan and all will be well for two blissful weeks. This is not always the case, sadly. Just as we can have bad days in the office, we can have bad days on holiday. Very, very bad ones.

We asked the Stylist team to reveal the biggest catastrophes they’ve had on holiday – cue an accidentally riding a camel down a motorway story. Sometimes, just sometimes, it’s better to stay home.


Things that go bump in the night

“On my gap year, my friends and I stayed in a hotel in New Zealand, which turned out to be as creepy as the hotel in The Shining. The son of the owner climbed through our window in the middle of the night to ask if we had a lighter (we were on the first floor…), then my friend woke up in the morning covered in bed bug bites. We won’t be going back.”


Once-in-a-lifetime holiday (thank God)

“I had a bad trip to the Philippines. It rained most of the time we were there. I left my phone on the plane. I was ill with food poisoning so was throwing up most of the time. I lost my wallet and all my cards on a bus journey. To top it all off, when I got back to London, my bag didn’t come through and was stuck in Beijing! Not ideal.”


Big bill in the Big Apple

“I had a trip to New York ruined when my gallbladder decided to play up. I had to have surgery in Manhattan and racked up a $50,000 medical bill. Worst. Time. Of. My. Life.”


The couple that does everything together

“My boyfriend and I were staying at an all-inclusive resort in Turkey. On the second-to-last day he got terrible stomach pains. The resort called the ambulance for us, and off we drove up a steep, rocky, narrow winding road to the hospital. The ambulance was jerking all over the place, he was in agony and they were attempting to inject him but failed. It turned out he had a parasite that had caused severe gastroenteritis. He was put on a drip and medicated for 24 hours. During the night I started getting the pain, so they tested me. Turned out I had it, too. So we spent the end of our holiday in hospital beds next to each other.”


The right hump

“I was 17, on my first holiday with my boyfriend and parents. We went to Tunisia and everything was terrible. Bad food, horrible hotel, unfriendly people. We organised a few day trips, one of them a camel ride in the desert. I thought it sounded romantic. I was wrong. We were on the camels for over six hours in 40-degree heat, climbing up extremely steep cliff faces and at one point down a motorway! It was horrendous. We took out quad bikes the following day and within the first 10 minutes crashed into another quad, suffered whiplash and got so severely sunburned that I had to smother myself in after sun for the whole night.”


If these don’t make you want to throw your passport in the bin, enjoy more holiday embarrassing stories with Appletiser. 


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