Vote on The Worst Vacation Story

by on June 22, 2012 · 29 comments

in Contests, Family Travel, Guest Blog Posts

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The responses to the TPG contest to find the Worst Vacation Story Ever have been overwhelming. Literally some of them had us reeling in disbelief and gagging from the descriptions! We’ve narrowed the list down to 5 of our favorite stories and would like your help deciding who deserves the Carnival cruise prize-pack and 10,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points.

Please read through the following stories and then cast your vote to determine who wins our “consolation” prize. We can’t give them back a better vacation, but hopefully the Chase points will help our winner start thinking about his or her next great adventure!

Voting opens immediately and will automatically close at 8:00pm ET on Sunday, June 24th. Our winner will be announced early next week. Have fun and good luck!

Road Kill:
My first time traveling alone (I’m a 24 year old girl and petite), someone in Malaysia drove past me on a motorcycle and tried to snatch my bag. I held onto it and was dragged down the street until he gave up. It was like belly-flopping on waterskis… except on concrete. People were so kind; they helped me clean up my wounds, gather my bags, and put me in a cab to the airport (my flight to Mumbai was leaving in 2 hours!).

Crappy Flight. Literally:
Flying back home on a 4-hour flight with my kids (ages 5 and 2) by myself was stressful enough. The kids were behaving well, so much so that the couple across the aisle commented on how wonderful they were acting despite all the turbulence. More turbulence, seat belt signs come on. Then my 2 year old starts passing loud, foul gas. Can’t get up because of the turbulence, but no worries since he’s wearing an overnight (extra-thick diaper). A few minutes later he has a major diaper blow-out, coating himself with liquid brimstone from the back of his neck to his socks. He’s understandably upset, but we can’t get up for 20 more minutes due to turbulence. Everyone around us was gagging on the smell. I finally carried a dripping child to the lav, getting soiled myself in the process. I used all my wipes and the clean parts of his outfit to help clean him up, then threw the whole outfit away. Fortunately I had packed a full change of clothes for him, but unfortunately none for myself. I cleaned up the seat as well as possible, then put down 2 American Way magazines across the seat cushion for him to sit on for the remaining 2 hours of the flight.When we landed I informed the flight crew of the location of the toxic waste seat, apologized, and offered to pay for the seat cushion (which I’m sure they had to burn). They were amazingly kind, thanked me for letting them know, said they would take care of it and that they hoped my son felt better soon.I actually waited about 20 minutes before going to claim my bags, so I could avoid running into all those unfortunate people who had been forced to endure us on the flight!

Jellyfish Jam:
I nearly died from sudden paralysis, on my worst trip ever. We were on Roatan island, Honduras. It is a great place for diving and snorkeling, even close to the shore. We went to a dive shop next to the hotel, and in 30 minutes were in the water looking at the amazing underwater colors. After some time in the water, I suddenly started feeling very mild burning sensation around my body. I thought that perhaps I simply overheated, and so climbed back into the boat and lied down. This most likely saved my life.When we got back to shore, as I walked off the boat, I suddenly felt that I could not move my hands! I sat down, and realized that getting up is no longer an option, I could not move my feet. Scared, I told my wife what was happening, and realized that I had great difficulty speaking, my tongue was like a piece of steel and I could not move it!

The shop owner came over, and declared this to be an allergic shock. At this point I am completely paralyzed, cannot move or speak, yet I am fully aware of everything. Two guys picked me up, carried me to a van, and drove us to a small private medical office (“clinic”!). There I was given a shot of Benadryl, and in 15 minutes I more or less returned to normal, except for the emotional scar. But this wasn’t the end of it. The doctor looked at my wife (who couldn’t feel much because her adrenaline was pumping, as she was trying to figure out how to deliver the news of my untimely demise to my parents), then gave her a tube of cortisone saying simply “you will need this.” As she calmed down, she realized that she had a terrible rash all over, the worst of which was under the swimsuit.

Turned out that we came into contact with jellyfish larvae. Apparently, they swim under the swimsuit, get scared and release their poison. It is interesting how different our reactions were. I had no long-term effects, but my wife suffered for weeks. She bought all the cortisone in the local pharmacy. Back in the US several days later, she went to a dermatologist, who was very excited to see such a “nice reaction.” Beware of jellyfish season, and wear a tight wetsuit!

Missed Connections:
For the most part, I’m always happy to be traveling even when it’s a business trip. I love new experiences and being uncomfortable sometimes. However, certain things can definitely leave a bad taste to a trip. A group of my friends and I took a trip to Barcelona in 2008. It was my first European trip. Everything went great during our 8day trip, but that last 24 hours was a nightmare. We took the 2 trains to the airport. We took the wrong train going the opposite direction of the airport. We had no idea till we saw the ocean and realized we’re going the wrong way. It was an express train, so it took 45mins till the next stop. We got to the airport 5 minutes before takeoff, but the airline agent would not let us in. The next stand-by flight was not till the next morning and we each had to pay an extra $175. Then there was a mystery of who’s actually on the flight or not. We slept and wandered the airport all night. They were issuing tickets one by one and I was the last one to receive one, so there was a panic of all my friends going home and I’m left there alone. Finally, we all went home at the same time. But even now, anytime I see a Lufthansa airline, it brings me back to that awful experience.

Mr. Sandman:
A few years ago, I booked a 7-night Caribbean cruise on Carnival. We had a flight down to Miami, but unfortunately our alarms didn’t go off and we missed the flight. The flight was already cutting it close in terms of making the cruise, but now we were sure to miss it. The first stop on the cruise was Cozumel, Mexico so we changed our flight destination from Miami to Cozumel to catch up with the the cruise in Mexico. We arrived in Cozumel the next day. We stayed in a hotel in Cozumel that night as our cruise was not arriving until the next day. We made it onto our the cruise with no issues.

After two days on the cruise we were finally relaxing and enjoying our vacation. We were having a great time…until we stopped in Grand Cayman. We had booked a tour with local guide to go scuba diving. Our guide was a very nice young man. He said that he had been hired only the week before. After a great day of diving, we headed back to the ship. On the drive back, we were met with a ton of traffic. It didn’t seem to be much of an issue as our ship wasn’t leaving until 4 pm and it was only 3 pm. However, we’d completely forgotten that the ship’s time was different than land time. It was 4:35 ship time by the time we got to the port. We got their just in time to see the ship sailing off in the distance.

The cruise only had two more nights, and at this point we figured it was probably time to just give up and go home. We booked flights leaving at 7:35 am the following morning and stayed in a hotel in Grand Cayman that night. I woke up feeling rather refreshed the following morning. I got out of bed and looked at my phone and noticed it was 10 am. I thought for a minute…that can’t be right. I was still kind of in a daze. In fact, we had forgotten to set our alarms and had missed our flight yet again. You think we would have learned by now!

We ended up changing our flight to later that day and we finally made it home. Originally, the cruise and the flights to Miami cost a total of $1,450 for the two of us. By the end of the trip, we had spent an additional $3,000 on new flights, change fees, and hotels. Suffice it to say, we won’t be taking another cruise any time soon.

Who do you think should win our consolation prize for having the Worst Vacation Ever?

  • Crappy Flight (43%, 341 Votes)
  • JellyFish Jam (24%, 189 Votes)
  • Road Kill (17%, 136 Votes)
  • Mr. Sandman (14%, 110 Votes)
  • Missed Connections (2%, 19 Votes)

Total Voters: 795

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Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • Ben

    Mr. Sandman wins the contest for dumbest traveler ever!

  • RS

    the last two shouldnt be in the running because these were things in their control…..the first three are legitimate “worst trip ever” contenders. I feel most for the lady who was dragged on pavement….ouch….

  • Brent Cuntly


    Missed My Flight:
    I had a flight from LGA-MCO. I overslept and rushed to the airport by taxi but still missed my flight. I had to pay $175 for a new flight and it wasn’t until the next day. I slept overnight at the airport to save money. When I woke up I went to the check-in kiosk but realized I was rebooked from JFK. I still had 3 hours so I figured I could take the bus. But I took the wrong bus and ended up in Brooklyn. I then took a cab to JFK to make up for lost time but missed my flight by 5 minutes. I was rebooked for a later flight that day for another $175. I was tired by that point so I feel asleep in the lounge, but when I woke up my flight had already left without me. I gave up on the trip and decided to just go home. I got on the airtrain and took the LIRR back to Manhattan. Except I got on going the wrong way and ended up in some town called Port Jefferson, LI instead. I’m still trying to find my way home. If I win the Carnival cruise I will be very grateful. But I can’t guarantee I will be able to get to the ship on time.

  • Mindy

    The draggee in Malaysia was stupied and should have let go; she could have been killed. What’s more important – a purse or her life? The diaper lady might also have taken more precautions with a toddler. Missed Connection could have double-or triple-checked that he was on the right train. Sandman — helpless, helpless, helpless.

    Jellyfish man was presented with circumstances that were absolutely not under his control. Jelly for the win!

  • barelyelite

    Crappy Flight takes the cake for me. Road Kill was pretty bad, but she walked away with her bag, and people were kind to her afterwards. Jellyfish Jam is sympathetic but probably not terribly uncommon. Mr. Sandman was all in his control, but still comical due to the number of errors. Missed Connections is the big loser… totally in her control, unreasonable expectations, and a very reasonable resolution by the airline.

  • Dahandyman

    Roadkill has my vote.

  • Asdfasdfa

    stopped reading after two sentences into the first story….just saying…

  • 3737

    Crappy flight! Traveling with clean kids is hard enough!

  • abarmot

    When I sent a link to this post, some people get the message “you already voted, your voter id is #20″. Something is not right.

  • Evodad

    you realize the prize is not a cruise correct?

  • Yolanda Davis

    Crappy Flight, hands down. It was probably the worst for her and for the people around her lol

  • mojoshtudd

    Crappy flight, hands down.

  • Sam

    agree, its hard to feel sorry for the last 2 because their grief was totally self caused. I can relate with the lady dragged on pavement. On my last vacation I fell off a bike going 30 mph and ended up in the hospital. Although it was pretty careless on my part :)

  • BunMama

    Not sure what more I could have done with my toddler. I packed a ton of wipes, changes of clothes for both kids, extra diapers (Overnights-which are extra thick) and my usual ziplock bag just in case. One never knows when a virus is going to hit and it ran through the rest of my family in the following few days.

    In retrospect I probably should have offered to buy a round of drinks for the folks in the rows next to us. And I will NEVER again say that flight attendants have an easy job.

  • Scott

    missed connection isn’t even that uncommon. Nothing spectacular here why is it in the mix?

  • soleil

    He thinks he’s creative enough to pull one over on us. I read it again and it’s a made-up story if there ever was one. Documentation, please. In fact, the winner should have photos and affidavits!

  • spiffy

    Bag him in three or four triple-strength garbage bags with armholes and let his face stick out!

  • mindy

    “One never knows when a virus is going to hit. . .”

    My point exactly.

  • Jen

    Crappy flight!

  • Gee Emm

    Ouch! Road Kill got my vote.

  • Lisa

    I hope you run another one of these contests in the future. When I initially saw this I couldn’t think of anything that I could possibly share. I now realize I had repressed the memories of my travel nightmare. It has been good for me to think about that experience again and I can actually laugh about it now though it was a sure disappointment at the time.

  • Patmom4

    “Crappy Flight”….there but for the grace of God….(either as the mom or one of the passengers!)

  • JJ

    I agree with Mindy. Only the Jelly Fish victim was in a reasonable circumstance over which the traveler had exercised reasonable caution and control. The rest of these travelers are just dumb. By the way, unless your family is MOVING to another, distant location, or you are going to see a dying relative for the last time – this is no reason to travel with babies or toddlers. No reason. Stay off the plane.

  • Darth Vader Ginsburg

    I vote for Brent Cuntly. The voting system doesn’t seem to be working anyway.

  • Pingback: Crappy Flight Wins Worst Vacation Story Contest Giveaway | The Points Guy()

  • Cory

    Wow, pretty weak finalists for the most part. Crappy Flight and Jellyfish do seem the most deserving. I won’t pass judgment on Crappy Flight mom or anything as I have no kids or idea of how to prepare for explosive diarrhea. Missed connections had happened to me. Once took the express train from Montpelier to Paris instead of Marseilles and had to turn right back around. Had an incident in Brussels which was caused in part by a problem and a slow line in Paris. Those things are probably pretty typical though. Thought I’d get a bit more traction on my own near-death experience on boat trip in Belize that ended 8 hours after it started and left me noting the location of the moon and stars for when I was certain I would have to swim to shore. Oh well, a much more harrowing experience than telling a story can do justice to.

  • Kayak3

    “unless your family is MOVING to another, distant location, or you are going to see a dying relative for the last time – this is no reason to travel with babies or toddlers. No reason. Stay off the plane. “……………that is a stupid statement and I don’t use that term often. My wife and I have traveled a ton w/ our twins as early as 3 months old and our daughter at 11 months on a 14 hour flight from Beijing to the US and they did awesome. I realize that is anecdotal evidence, but we travel a bit and there are great kids on many flights and a few cranky ones, but I wouldn’t tell any parent to “stay off the plane”………..

  • Pingback: My Worst Vacation Story | Occasional High Flyer()

  • robin.joshua

    Well, I would say , Crappy Fight would have won the contest, still its ok, I had ready how a travel can turns to work travel story.

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