It’s enough to make you cancel your reservation

A vacation is supposed to be your time away from the crazy. Remind me never to travel to any of the same vacation spots these people have booked. I’ll take that upgrade and trade you a bus tour of “OH MY GOD THESE PEOPLE ARE NUTS!”

THESE ARE ACTUAL COMPLAINTS RECEIVED BY “THOMAS COOK VACATIONS FROM DISSATISFIED CUSTOMERS”:

1. “I think it should be explained in the brochure that the local convenience store does not sell proper biscuits like custard creams or ginger nuts.”

2. “It’s lazy of the local shopkeepers in Puerto Vallarta to close in the afternoons. I often needed to buy things during ‘siesta’ time — this should be banned.”

3. “On my holiday to Goa in India , I was disgusted to find that almost every restaurant served curry. I don’t like spicy food.”

I'll book it but only if I can screen my fellow travelers first.
I’ll book it but only if I can screen my fellow travelers first. (image via Thomas Cook)

4. “We booked an excursion to a water park but no-one told us we had to bring our own swimsuits and towels. We assumed it would be included in the price.”

5. “The beach was too sandy. We had to clean everything when we returned to our room.”

6. “We found the sand was not like the sand in the brochure. Your brochure shows the sand as white but it was more yellow.”

7. “They should not allow topless sunbathing on the beach. It was very distracting for my husband who just wanted to relax.”

8. “No-one told us there would be fish in the water. The children were scared.”

9. “Although the brochure said that there was a fully equipped kitchen, there was no egg-slicer in the drawers.”

10. “We went on holiday to Spain and had a problem with the taxi drivers as they were all Spanish.”

11. “The roads were uneven and bumpy, so we could not read the local guide book during the bus ride to the resort. Because of this, we were unaware of many things that would have made our holiday more fun.”

12. “It took us nine hours to fly home from Jamaica to England. It took the Americans only three hours to get home. This seems unfair.”

13. “I compared the size of our one-bedroom suite to our friends’ three-bedroom and ours was significantly smaller.”

14. “The brochure stated: ‘No hairdressers at the resort’. We’re trainee hairdressers and we think they knew and made us wait longer for service.”

15. “There were too many Spanish people there. The receptionist spoke Spanish, the food was Spanish. No one told us that there would be so many foreigners.”

16. “We had to line up outside to catch the boat and there was no air-conditioning.”

17. “It is your duty as a tour operator to advise us of noisy or unruly guests before we travel.”

18. “I was bitten by a mosquito. The brochure did not mention mosquitoes.”

19. “My fiance and I requested twin-beds when we booked, but instead we were placed in a room with a king bed. We now hold you responsible and want to be re-reimbursed for the fact that I became pregnant. This would not have happened if you had put us in the room that we booked.”

What’s your most memorable vacation nightmare? People, place, or thing?

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357 thoughts on “It’s enough to make you cancel your reservation”

    1. We could be like Mensa cruise directors. But first we’d have to explain Mensa. Let’s skip all that and just hit the bar on the Lido Deck.I’ll buy the first round.

              1. I think that the British know a little more of the world than Americans . . . Just compare the geography questions in “Who wants to be a Millionaire”

                  1. And yet there was that one person who thought it unfair they had a longer flight back to England from Jamaica than the Americans.

                1. 12. “It took us nine hours to fly home from Jamaica to England . It took the Americans only three hours to get home. This seems unfair.”

                  1. They probably were Brits . . Who else would complain about there being Spanish taxi drivers in Spain… Who would have believed it… On behalf of the ‘Not Dumb’Brits of the world… I Love Spain .. :-)
                    Oh and I Love Curry too . . .

                    1. Trust me, I know many Americans who would have made all of those complaints, even if in different variations. Likewise, I know some Canadians who would make the same. And Russians. And Germans. And etc.

                      Stupidity knows no place, knows no race. Remember this.

                    2. They were definitely Brits. Americans typically go on “vacations” and take “trips”; rarely do they go on “holiday.” Americans would be disappointed not to find “real cookies” in the store rather than “proper biscuits.” American biscuits are altogether different.

                2. That may be true that you’re smarter than us “ignant” Americans on geography, but at least we know we’re closer to the Caribbean than the English and are only 3 hours away from Jamaica.

                3. Ah, yes. This may be true. However, it is equally true that these comments (if one is to believe that these comments are anything other then B.S.) were made by British people. Sorry, I don’t watch “Who wants to be a Millionaire”.

      1. I’m in total awe of the gargantuan stupidity of these people. I’ll get the next round. You know, it’s funny that when I travel I go out of my way to not be a rude American. I learn some key phrases and most of the time the locals really appreciate that! I speak slowly in their language and apologize profusely for butchering their language but that I am trying and when I was in Romania, the local shopkeeper in Bucharest stood outside with me as we smoked a cigarette and he spoke some English and I got a street side lesson in Romanian as we smoked and laughed as we corrected each other in each others languages.

        1. I do the same. When you travel to another country, at least have the politeness to accept their rules, language and culture. Otherwise stay in your own country :)

  1. Really, these are real? Gad some people are to stupid. What prevents their skulls from caving in. These were funny, thank you for sharing and allowing me a good giggle.

    1. I couldn’t think up anything to even come close to what real people actually write on trip reviews. This should be a series somewhere…there’s probably enough statements like this across all the travel sites to fill up a year’s worth of blogging.

      1. Reminds me, 64 years old, of a man who wrote to Volvo’s insurance: The accident can’t be my fault. I was driving when the graveyard’s stonewall hit my car….. :-)
        Some people in real life they just ‘are’. No author could come up with such stereotypes….

      2. While working as crew on a cruise for a large cruise company (there was a fiesta like air, almost like carnival in rio), our glorious ship was based out of Canaveral in Florida, US. Here are some of the mazing questions I was asked by some of our north American brethren. First, some details. I would work every intake on the third deck, midship, helping to direct new guests around the ship. At the rear on Lido (deck 10) was where the standard welcome aboard buffet was held.
        Guest with a cabin on deck 5: Do i take the elevator up or down to get to my cabin?
        Guest after enquiring as to location of buffet: Will this elevator take me to the rear of the ship?
        Guest after querying whether there is a sea night (ie no landfall for a greater than 24 hour period): Do the crew sleep on the ship as well?
        And of course, the perennial favourite (please excuse the spelling, but this was truly spoken as a single word): Wherdafoodat?

        1. Thank you for confirming my belief that I never need to take a cruise. I don’t want to be anywhere where there’s no hope of immediate escape from travelers who’ve lost their minds along with their luggage.

        2. As I have never taken a cruise, there are decks above and below the main deck. That request for the elevator answer seems a little off to me. So is Deck 5 listed as being 5th from the bottom (take elevator down from main deck) or 5 decks above the main deck where the more expansive cabins are (take elevator up). Yes I can look it up but your actual answer for someone not staring at their phone all day looking shit up on Google just don’t fly….Elevator to the rear, why yes, yes it does, but it is out of service today. Apparently it was broken by a bucket of steam that spilled.

    2. More than likely! I was employed in complaints at the NHS Blood Service. These people wrote complaints about the music, there being no Jaffa Cakes, the banana was too sweet, the water was too cold! One woman complained that her companion( the person who chats with you whilst you donate) ran to the aide of man having a seizure, next too her!
      According to the incident report he was over 6 ft,( so it took a few people to help him), he bit his tongue and the needle messed up his arm.
      I refused to apologise to this nut job! That is the NHS standard practice, apologise to everyone,placate too them, so they will donate. No one needs her blood in their veins.

      1. Fair enough.
        Too much sand? On the beach?! What were they expecting?!?
        As for the trainee hairstylists, I think they were right, it was some sort of conspiracy.
        Also…how about airline food, huh? I mean, right?

  2. Hilarious!!! In my years as a travel agent, I was subjected to the odd tourist-traveller who’d come up with comments similar to these… it does boggle my brain how they’re allowed outside of their own cities ;)

        1. They don’t. They wander out when the meter reader leaves the door open. They spend a day or two trying to get back in, but eventually give up an go on vacation instead.

      1. Maybe their government pays for them to go on a holiday…. on a small but worthwhile chance that they wont come back :P

    1. It’ a shame they were allowed outside the womb….these people are poster children for birth control!!!

  3. On my very first trip to Vegas (which I love and have been back many times since) He-Who booked us into a hotel he wasn’t that familiar with. He had been a frequent visitor in the past and was excited to show it to me. He hadn’t been for awhile and …well…Vegas just has a way of completely reinventing itself on a regular basis. Anyway, the first night there I found myself on the floor having fallen out of bed. It turned out the bed was broken and I had to hang on all night to stay in it. We changed rooms in the morning and hotels on all our other visits. That’s it. That’s all I’ve got. I have been very lucky with vacations.

    1. You have been lucky. I guess He-Who’s didn’t get on base that night. *grin* (Abbot and Costello reference. Sorry.)

      Tell me all about Vegas. I’ve always wanted to go even though I’d only work a few slots. Is the scenery outside the city as interesting as I think it is? I love dry, arid climates.

      And I’ve never been to a strip…as in street or joint. That’s something everyone should experience. I think. Okay. Maybe not.

      1. Vegas is wonderful. Everything that you’re curious about, I’ve explored and had a blast. You really should visit.

      2. One time we were in Vegas and there was an earthquake .. we were in a little motel off the main drag, so we were on the ground floor. We all rushed outside in time to see ALL the lights go out, then right back on. Then we realized we were surrounded by strangers in pjs. Weird feeling of comraderie…

      3. There is just something about Vegas. It is weird but every time I go there I have a sense of coming home. As it turned out I was going at least twice a year. Always once with He-Who and then either on my own or with colleagues for a conference. I always have felt safe there. It is always so lit up there that walking around in the middle of the night is almost as bright as daylight. Personally, I think just wandering around all the different themed grand hotels is entertaining. The “Cirque” shows are amazing and we try to catch one every time. We have also taken time to drive around outside the strip area and outside of Vegas and we did the helicopter trip through the Grand Canyon where we had a champagne brunch. There is always something to do other than feed than slot machines. You should definitely go.

    1. Why are you blaming the men? Both comments were written by women. The man wasn’t complaining about seeing naked women, nor should anyone give a damn if he does. The sex thing? Takes two to tango. She shoulda kept her vagina in her pants.

      1. She’s not blaming the men. I think you missed her point, which *includes* the fact that the man wasn’t complaining about seeing naked women. It was the letter-writers who blamed the men, and Kimberly Pugliano’s comment was pointing out that it’s silly to do so.

  4. I’m going out on a limb here but surely — SURELY — some of these were just smartass comments. That’s my hope anyway… because that’s too much crazydumb… and no surely jokes, ok?

        1. Did they let the crazies out for a walk on these days that had too much money!!! Reality people!
          I mean if they didn’t like it, they can always pay for my holiday and I’ll tell them all about it.
          That way they can say they went & just experience through my family & I!!!

      1. Maybe they just want to get a free ride and would find any excuses that would make the hotel just pay up… But yeah there’s not enough money in the world to make me look that dumb.

      2. Not travel related, but definitely idiot related. My late partner was blind and read books on tape through the Library for the Blind. He speed read them at about double speed so it sounded like Alvin and the Chipmunks. A couple passed him as he was sitting on a bus bench, the woman stopped and asked what he was doing. He replied “I’m reading”. To which she turned to her husband and said “Isn’t it a shame they don’t make music for people like that”. Because as we know, blind people have special music.

    1. Working in the tourist industry… they are 98% real. I can’t say 100% because I wasn’t the one to whom the comments came to, but I get enough of my own that are similar to this.

    1. On one of my trips over to Thailand I met a tourist in Chiang Mai that complained loudly that he’d been there for several days and couldn’t find any American food. Wouldn’t he have been better off going to McDonalds at home and reading a travel book?

    2. Made worse by the fact that curry is only ever one-fifth of the menu, if that, in most Goan restaurants (as well as restaurants across India). How do you skip over all of the starters, gravy dishes, Chinese options, and rice dishes to see only curry? Not to mention the rows of restaurants in every tourist area on or near every popular beach in Goa offering Continental options for the tourists and menus that clearly identify spicy food versus non-spicy food.

  5. I was looking forward to trying the guacamole in Spain but I couldn’t find any places that served it. The brochure should have had a disclaimer.

  6. We have been to hospitals on 3 separate vacations, I should have complained that we weren’t warned about food poisoning and injuries. It should have said in the brochure that, one could dislocate one’s shoulder, or toddlers could bite through their tongues. I have to find out, whom I should write to, about this. It should have also said, do not eat at the buffet at the Hilton in Vegas, because you will get food poisoning. This is totally irresponsible of them, not to have warned us about these potential hazards.

  7. I remember once asking a person at the top of Haleakala in Maui why they didn’t bring a coat since it was at nearly 10,000 feet, to which they replied “I thought it would be hotter since we are closer to the sun”.

  8. Have a control failure on your vehicle while on vacation and be forced to drive an SUV and large RV trailer into a ditch at 60 mph to avoid involving other traffic. Lose over $60K worth of nice stuff, sustain a broken back & spinal cord injury, and have one of your dogs stray, never to be found. Then get back to me about how “awful” it was that you got sand between your toes at the beach. SMH.

      1. Mind you, I have to say in that woman’s defense…. Italian Pizza in Italy, tastes nothing like ‘Italian’ Pizza in any other part of the world! I came to the conclusion that Italians don’t actually know how to make good pizza. Or maybe it’s that I’m used to eating too much Dominos and Pizza Hut!

  9. What’s the point of going abroad if you’re just another tourist carted around in buses surrounded by sweaty mindless oafs from Kettering and Coventry in their cloth caps and their cardigans and their transistor radios and their Sunday Mirrors, complaining about the tea – “Oh they don’t make it properly here, do they, not like at home” – and stopping at Majorcan bodegas selling fish and chips and Watney’s Red Barrel and calamares and two veg and sitting in their cotton frocks squirting Timothy White’s suncream all over their puffy raw swollen purulent flesh ‘cos they “overdid it on the first day.”

    And being herded into endless Hotel Miramars and Bellvueses and Continentales with their modern international luxury roomettes and draught Red Barrel and swimming pools full of fat German businessmen pretending they’re acrobats forming pyramids and frightening the children and barging into queues and if you’re not at your table spot on seven you miss the bowl of Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup, the first item on the menu of International Cuisine, and every Thursday night the hotel has a bloody cabaret in the bar, featuring a tiny emaciated dago with nine-inch hips and some bloated fat tart with her hair brylcreemed down and a big arse presenting Flamenco for Foreigners.

    And adenoidal typists from Birmingham with flabby white legs and diarrhoea trying to pick up hairy bandy-legged wop waiters called Manuel and once a week there’s an excursion to the local Roman Remains to buy cherryade and melted ice cream and bleeding Watney’s Red Barrel and one evening you visit the so called typical restaurant with local colour and atmosphere and you sit next to a party from Rhyl who keep singing “Torremolinos, torremolinos” and complaining about the food – “It’s so greasy isn’t it?” – and you get cornered by some drunken greengrocer from Luton with an Instamatic camera and Dr. Scholl sandals and last Tuesday’s Daily Express and he drones on and on about how Mr. Smith should be running this country and how many languages Enoch Powell can speak and then he throws up over the Cuba Libres.

    And sending tinted postcards of places they don’t realise they haven’t even visited to “All at number 22, weather wonderful, our room is marked with an ‘X’. Food very greasy but we’ve found a charming little local place hidden away in the back streets where they serve Watney’s Red Barrel and cheese and onion crisps and the accordionist plays ‘Maybe it’s because I’m a Londoner’.”

    And spending four days on the tarmac at Luton airport on a five-day package tour with nothing to eat but dried BEA-type sandwiches and you can’t even get a drink of Watney’s Red Barrel because you’re still in England and the bloody bar closes every time you’re thirsty and there’s nowhere to sleep and the kids are crying and vomiting and breaking the plastic ash-trays and they keep telling you it’ll only be another hour although your plane is still in Iceland and has to take some Swedes to Yugoslavia before it can load you up at 3 a.m. in the bloody morning and you sit on the tarmac till six because of “unforeseen difficulties”, i.e. the permanent strike of Air Traffic Control in Paris – and nobody can go to the lavatory until you take off at 8, and when you get to Malaga airport everybody’s swallowing “enterovioform” and queuing for the toilets and queuing for the armed customs officers, and queuing for the bloody bus that isn’t there to take you to the hotel that hasn’t yet been finished.

    And when you finally get to the half-built Algerian ruin called the Hotel del Sol by paying half your holiday money to a licensed bandit in a taxi you find there’s no water in the pool, there’s no water in the taps, there’s no water in the bog and there’s only a bleeding lizard in the bidet.

    And half the rooms are double booked and you can’t sleep anyway because of the permanent twenty-four-hour drilling of the foundations of the hotel next door – and you’re plagues by appalling apprentice chemists from Ealing pretending to be hippies, and middle-class stockbrokers’ wives busily buying identical holiday villas in suburban development plots just like Esher, in case the Labour government gets in again, and fat American matrons with sloppy-buttocks and Hawaiian-patterned ski pants looking for any mulatto male who can keep it up long enough when they finally let it all flop out.

    And the Spanish Tourist Board promises you that the raging cholera epidemic is merely a case of mild Spanish tummy, like the previous outbreak of Spanish tummy in 1660 which killed half London and decimated Europe – and meanwhile the bloody Guardia are busy arresting sixteen-year-olds for kissing in the streets and shooting anyone under nineteen who doesn’t like Franco.

    And then on the last day in the airport lounge everyone’s comparing sunburns, drinking Nasty Spumante, buying cartons of duty free “cigarillos” and using up their last pesetas on horrid dolls in Spanish National costume and awful straw donkeys and bullfight posters with your name on “Ordoney, El Cordobes and Brian Pules of Norwich” and 3-D pictures of the Pope and Kennedy and Franco, and everybody’s talking about coming again next year and you swear you never will although there you are tumbling bleary-eyed out of a tourist-tight antique Iberian airplane…..

    1. …& what is really worrying….I am old enough to remember & identify with all the above……………late 1960’s/70’s package trips to Spain & Morocco were just like the above.

    2. Wow! Some vacation you had!
      How about my friend going to Hawaii, coming back saying, “I hated Hawaii. Too many Asians.”?

  10. They’re only to be expected, like the crazy insurance claim explanations:

    “I turned into the drive and hit a tree we don’t have” (wrong drive)

    See Jasper Carrott for more ;)

    1. The problem is that a lot of these people don’t have money either! I have an aquaintance who would probably, in all seriousness, have put in one of these complaints and the only way they manage to go on these holidays is by taking out a LOAN each year! She can’t quite figure out why hubby and I have our holiday in the UK each year…. it’s because all those idiots go abroad, which means no idiots to deal with in the UK. Well, less of them anyway.

  11. I heard some of these (or very similar) on trips I have taken to other countries. There are times when I have felt the extreme urge to announce that all of us (members of the group I was with) aren’t that clueless, etc.

  12. Martini, please. I’d stir it with the stick that was up these people’s asses when they traveled if it would grant me the opportunity to actually travel to those places before I’m 80. Dirty side down, too. Hold the olives.

      1. They might be ‘British’ comments – but I met and spent a horrendous day in Udaipur (India) with a woman from Florida. She said she didn’t like spicy food so, having looked at the menu, I told her the Korma was the least spicy. She checked with the waiter and he agreed. One taste – that was all. she nearly spat it out and berated the poor waiter: “this food is spicy!”
        When I told her that to him it wasn’t she told me “He’s dealing with Americans – he should know.”

        And where should she go to next? Everywhere I suggested met with ” but we have x (waterfalls, lakes, caves, temples, etc, etc,) in America… I want to see something different.”

        She wanted to spend more time with me: “We have so much in common” she said. I made my excuses and fled town.

  13. “What time do you let the animals out?”

    It’s a National Park, not a zoo.

    “Oh, so it’s closed on holidays?”

    – Conversation I had in Jasper, AB while working at the front desk. I couldn’t even reply, I had to ask my manager to help them.

  14. Anyone who questions that these are real have clearly never worked with the public. I once had someone ask me if Vitamin C had even been shown to work. I also had a customer return a video she bought for her child because the people who made the video used puppets due to being too lazy to film real dinosaurs. Not kidding. I am sure these are real.

  15. Regardless of how crazy the comments are, Thomas Cook should never divulge this information. Highly unprofessional!

    1. This stuff has been doing the rounds for years & years………….the egg slicer thing…………..30years old if it’s a day!

  16. I spent a week in Goa — known for it’s Portuguese food, which is in abundance. Thanks to all the tourism, there was also way too much American, Israel, french, and Chinese food. But curry? Of everywhere I traveled in India the curries in Goa were without question fewest and farthest between there….

    1. That is just wrong. You travel to a country to experience everything about it, including its food. Some people don’t see the forest for the Big Macs.

  17. Reblogged this on One More Attempt At Blogging and commented:
    I think such reviews on your travel agency site are good for business. First, they could entertain people and decide to book a vacation with your agency. On the other hand, it could scare away possible customers with the same mindset with the ones who wrote the reviews. It’s a win-win situation.

  18. Reckon a few of the complaints are from morons who have thought long and hard about what they can come up with as a reason to get a refund or at least a voucher to make the next holiday cheaper. Imagine the eureka moment as they struck on the perfect recipe for a freebie. The smug smile on their face as they penned their fail-proof claims and waited hungrily for the abject apology and generous offer of compensation from Thomas Cook:

    Scary fish in the water…
    Curries in Goa….
    Too sandy beaches….

    As the Japanese say, there’s no medicine for what they’ve got!

    1. We need to start up a cruise line business just for these people. Give ‘em something to really complain about by putting them on their own ship and off ours. *smile*

  19. Green swimming pool, yes… Green.
    cocktails made by the drunk barman were made so wrong you couldnt drink it, rubbish on the beach, a mini hurricane, clubbing teens banging on the doors and screaming down the corridors at 3 am every morning and a man in the next room snoring like a crashing jet fighter! I swear the wall vibrated!
    It was 2 weeks of hell in corfu Oct 2002… Never went back.
    Oh… I got pregers to on that holiday too … Maybe I should have blamed the holiday company for that too… Lol

    1. After a cruise like that, you had your choice of possible baby names. Algae, Hurricane, Crash…and a great story to tell about how you came up with the name.

  20. I remember English girls stopping the bus because they wanted to go buy vodka to the local store for the evening party. We were in a very small village near the desert in a muslim country…

  21. Our family was going to visit old haunts in New England. My niece thought we were going to Europe, and she is a teacher.

  22. In 2006, I traveled with a small group of people from different countries to the deep desert in Libya. After one entire day of crossing the desert on off-road vehicles, we arrived at a spot inside the central track where the already started eclipse would be total. No civilization whatsoever in a 400 km radius. One of the travelers made a signpost with two sticks and put a paper sign on it, where he wrote the date, so that we could take a group picture near the sign.

    Another traveler, who had not seen him doing that, was intrigued (not really amazed, just intrigued): “Oh, where did you find that? Isn’t it just incredible? With today’s date and all! How lucky we are!”

    True story…

  23. 7. “They should not allow topless sunbathing on the beach. It was very distracting for my husband who just wanted to relax.”

    Somehow, I do not think that the husband was the one dissatisfied with the situation…

  24. My brother drove a tour bus in Vancouver, BC for many years. Lots of great tourist stories, but the one I always remember first is about one of his colleagues driving a tour around Stanley Park. Somewhere along the way, someone asked how far above sea level they were. The driver stopped the bus, opened the door, looked out at the ocean and said, “I’d say about six feet.”

      1. You are very welcome! The story has been the source of much laughter at parties at our house!

  25. Duh! I am surprised that these idiots can actually travel at all…

    I suppose I should complain to Thomas Cook about the brochures not mentioning that there are idiots like these existing…

  26. I grew up in New Orleans and worked in various jobs there. Some of my favorite tourist things: people calling the waiter back because there were crab claws in the gumbo (You’re supposed to pick them out and extract the meat yourself, as you would with any boiled crab) … people complaining because it was hot outside in August … people suggesting that we change our street names so they are easier to pronounce … people complaining that we should have fewer bars so their husbands would get less drunk … people asking if we celebrate Christmas … white people asking why so many black people live in New Orleans … people who didn’t believe the house I was showing was 300 years old (“No, really, this has to be a movie set and you just use it as a tourist trap”) … people rummaging in the dresser drawers and personal effects of individuals who opened their historic homes for tours during Spring Fiesta … people asking me if the world-famous Hurricane cocktail from Pat O’Brien’s would make them tipsy … people who didn’t believe we were “real” Southerners (native New Orleanians have an accent that sounds like a slow Brooklyn drawl — we do not sound like Scarlett O’Hara) … people who went on swamp tours, saw real alligators and complained that their child/wife/girlfriend was frightened … people who complained that they thought we were on the seashore and who were disappointed to find no beach … but my two favorites are people shocked to see women flashing their assets at Mardi Gras, and people wanting their money back because they thought they were booking a “tropical” vacation and they showed up in late January or early February having packed nothing but shorts, T-shirts and flip-flops (we don’t get the deep freeze like Chicago, but if it’s 40 degrees Fahrenheit and raining, that is PERFECTLY normal New Orleans winter weather. You at least need a sweater and/or raincoat, and real pants.) Gawd, if we could only tax stupidity we could erase the national debt.

    1. Hilarious! I think I need to plan a trip to New Orleans just so I can eavesdrop on travelers conversations.

      A stupid tax…I’d vote for it. *grin*

  27. Can you imagine all of them on the one bus/cruise ship/hotel that you are also in?

    Things don’t seem to have changed much or perhaps I should say that stupidity is a constant? I heard this one from a tour guide who had just guided a group through Israel back in 1990. They were having lunch on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, the scene of the miraculous catch of fish occurred. You can imagine the speciality of the restaurants there.

    Some on his tour claimed that the tour agency was trying to pass off cheap food on them and demanded meat; beef, chicken, PORK. Lovely. They then demanded to have Chinese food instead.

    He had quite a few more tales but I can’t remember the others. They were very similar to those on this list though.

    Thanks for the chuckle.

    1. If only you could spot them on sight. And change cruise lines immediately.

      Isn’t there a saying about “travel is wasted on the young?” At least with kids they have an excuse for not appreciating the joys of travel. They’re still learning.

  28. During a British Air flight from London to Mumbai, I was seated next to an older British couple. Two hours before the flight landed, we were served an Indian-style breakfast. These two went nuts. They asked the attendant for a “normal” breakfast, then wondered aloud to each other how anyone could eat such disgusting food while watching me eat. (It was actually pretty good as far as airline food goes.) They made such a fuss it was actually embarrassing to watch. I wondered if they were on the wrong flight and meant to head to Orlando, Florida, instead of India.

  29. Amazing. So glad much of my recent Europe trip was spent staying with friends and family… at least then you know the kind of crazy you’re getting before you go!

    1. As in the movie “A Good Year” when someone in the small French town wanted a typically American meal…”fish & chips in Avignon, MacDonald’s in Marseilles.”

  30. Reblogged this on WFLBC and commented:
    Haha! The stupidity of people never ceases to amaze me… Check out these ACTUAL travel complaints received by Thomas Cook Vacations.

  31. I worked at the frontdesk of a cruise line where 90% of the customers were american. We receive complaints like this all the time, and even worse. And most of them were in their 70s… I quit, I was going NUTS !!!!!!!!!!!! Stupidity all over. The best one I remember: “The beach at the Bahamas is full of rocks! In MY ocean in Florida we don’t have so many rocks! What? Is this natire? YOU ARE SO RUDE!!!!”

  32. My favorite Nightmare Tourist memory: In Acapulco, at a small shop, when an American asked loudly (in Texas-accented English) “How much for these Cigarettes?” Politely, the shopkeeper told him “100 Pesos, senor,” whereupon the Texan shot back “Don’t give me that Peso crap, buddy, I wanna know how much it costs in REAL money!”

  33. Here’s a merry one. In a small beachside hotel in the Bahamas (truly great place, actually) dining is family style. Halfway through the meal, a gent who was a first-time guest leaped up from the table he and his wife were sharing with us old-time returnees, holding his full water glass up on high and screaming at the top of his lungs what sounded to all and sundry in the dining room like “There’s a leech in my water, there’s a leech in my water!” Every person in the room stared down into their own water glasses looking for the parasites as he continued to scream and ran out of the room onto the beach, his wife hastily following after him. Over in the corner the dining room staff were all peering intently down into the water pitchers that they used to fill diners’ glasses, searching for the elusive leeches. It was yet a few moments of leech-searching before my spouse realized that what the gent was actually yelling was “There’s bleach in my water,” his having caught a hint of the drop of bleach that the local island health department required be put in the kitchen’s dishwasher rinse basin. To this day, the story of the “leeches in the water” is merrily shared among the old-timers who return to the hotel.

  34. I was once in the Canaries with a woman screaming at the rep because she’d seen a cockroach outside. She refused to accept she was off the coast of North Africa even after being shown a map.

    These people should be made to pass an IQ test before being allowed a passport

  35. As a travel agent, it was a running joke with my co-workers that every time I sent newlyweds to Jamaica, they came home pregnant. Cheaper than IVF!

  36. I’m from Spain. I’m sorry to tell you that most of us are Spanish. We mostly speak Spanish, although sometimes there are some non-foreigners speaking understandably. The sand is sandy. The sun is sunny. Sometimes it even rains and, I have to tell, rain is wet. Be careful.

  37. I feel the urge to apologise for these people on behalf of all British people who are not completely bonkers just partly in my case!! I can only assume these complaints were written in crayon as I hope these people were not allowed to use sharp objects like a pen or pencil!! lol

  38. I’m from MI but I live in Alaska. It’s NOT a foreign country in relationship to the contingent US, but to talk to many of the tourists, you’d think it was. There are SO MANY… um… ignorant questions/comments that should 1) be clear if one has EVER looked at an actual map of the USA (not the ones w/ HI & AK in tiny boxes @ the bottom opposite the legend) and/or 2) questions that one might reword if they just stop and THINK a moment. I’ll only share a few and because these questions are SO common, I apologize in advance if I offend anyone.
    Q: How do you get around in the summer time when there is no snow for your dogsled?
    (only mushers have sleds & dog teams; most of us are NOT mushers)
    Q: Do you have to rebuild your home every winter?
    (as if we live in igloos and spend summers in a tent?)
    Q: (summer tourist) When does it get dark? I heard it’s dark, like, 6 months out of the year here.
    (we gain and lose daylight just like everyone else in the US, just more drastically)
    Q: (summer tourist) I can’t wait to see the Aurora Borealis! When do they come out?
    (it doesn’t get dark here in the summer time)
    C: (winter tourist) I didn’t realize it would be so cold.
    C: (disgruntled summer tourist) I haven’t seen a single bear or moose the whole time I was in town.
    There are SO MANY more but I’ll leave it at that.

    1. Those questions are legitimate – especially the ones about your seasons and daylight. Even in your post you state that you ‘gain and lose daylight just like everyone else’, but then in the next line state that it doesn’t get dark in the summer – that’s not gaining and losing daylight normally, and is not common knowledge to anyone that doesn’t live there. You claim that even though MOST of you are not mushers, there are still mushers, therefore their question is not that far off asking about dog sleds. The igloo questions are dumb, but you’ll always get at least one forehead-smack inducing question. The questions about Aurora Borealis are completely legitimate – people that don’t live there might not even know where it happens or when. One of the things it’s good to remember when working with tourists is that they are tourists – they aren’t there every day like you are, and you need them. Yes, maybe they should have done some research about Alaska before going there, but c’est la vi. When I was a tour operator in New York City, people would ask very silly questions. I’d just remind myself that they didn’t live there, and I did.

      It’s tough to see, but the questions you listed really aren’t as stupid as you think. Take a look at the people behind the questions, and you won’t get quite so frustrated with them. :)

  39. As a regular user of booking.com I can vouch that reviews like this are a more than regular occurrence, people are getting more stupid by the day.

  40. In 1985, I took a Mediterranean cruise with my mother. Our ship was registered in Greek and had a Greek crew. In Seville, we got stuck sitting with a man and his mother who were universally disliked by everyone else. The man was irate that the waiter “wouldn’t” serve him Greek coffee like he got on the ship.

  41. Take it from someone who’s worked in the tourist industry for ten years in several different countries, on cruise ships, and in several major theme parks and tourist attractions…

    You may laugh, but this is you at some point. At some point in your vacation, sometimes the entire time, you are this dumb. I see it every day. MAybe you’re okay for most of your vacation, but there will be at least one moment where this is you. You may not think so, but other people look at you as you are looking at these people.

    Face it. You are them, they are you. Don’t point your nose up so quickly my friends. I’ve never seen anyone above being an idiot on vacation.

    1. This is an exaggerated view at best: Yes, I can see how even a quite reasonable and intelligent person could slip up and say at least some of things on the list in the heat of the moment—especially on a bad day or after a drink too many. No, most of them are not something a reasonable and intelligent person would say, let alone write in or otherwise utter after gaining some distance.

      (It is not stated in which form or at what time the above complaints were made. However, based on the language used and some hints, e.g. mentions of where the vacation took place, I suspect that a considerable portion were in writing and/or post-vacation.)

  42. Well, to be fair, an egg slicer is not what us North American’s think it is. That is what the British call a pancake flipper. It would be hard to cook breakfast without one.

    Love the last one. So the company is to pay for the cost of raising a child? Okay then…

  43. Dear gods, I think I’ve traveled with some of those people…

    A couple of years ago I went on a walking tour in Japan via a little company called Oxalis. It was a fantastic tour and I had a wonderful time– we climbed a volcano, bathed in tons of hot springs and walked for miles and miles through the countryside through tiny villages and rice-fields with wildflowers blooming along the edges. Glorious country, and the people were so incredibly kind and friendly! I loved it. However… we had a Swedish woman in the group; unfortunately she had been slated to be my roommate, and I remember her complaining about how she couldn’t find any familiar food, how she couldn’t stand sleeping in a room with no windows (it was an interior room of a ryokan– she insisted we keep the door ajar!), how my snoring kept her awake (funny, I could sure hear HER sleeping) and why wasn’t anything translated into Swedish anywhere? Hello– it was JAPAN. I learned some rudimentary Japanese and how to at least read hirigana and some common kana so I could be polite, and they say that Americans are the rudest tourists; what on earth was her problem? The tour was still great, but it would’ve been a lot nicer if she had stayed home.

    1. I’ve learned from my travels that if you make an effort with the locals, they’ll return the favor. Sometimes you have the most fun just trying to have a conversation with your waiter. If you end up with something on your plate you’ve never had before, take an extra big bite and savor. Thanks for the story. Fun to read.

  44. I’m loving all the crazy tourist stories! But sometimes it’s not the tourists who have the problem. When we were kids, our family drove from Canada to Disney Land. We thought it was a great holiday. Now, I know it was the mid-70s, but still . . . was it really necessary for waitresses to ask whether we lived in houses or igloos? Or whether it was difficult to get around on dog-sleds? I mean, really. Some of us Canucks actually do live in houses. And we even have indoor plumbing!!

    At least they provided lots of entertainment during our meals :)

      1. Right next door and know nothing about us. I met an American in London many years ago who told me Canada was a nice town.

  45. The last one is hilarious…if this had happened in their own home, they should demand they get their money back on their mattress, bedframe and maybe some funding for their future child?!

  46. My parents had friends who travelled the world – but ONLY to places where they could stay at a Holiday Inn. We could never figure out why they bothered leaving the US.

  47. Maybe the Brochure should state, “Stupid” people should not leave their own area, due to Darwin’s Law!

  48. It’s been a wild ride following the comments to this post. I’m glad you all enjoyed them and the stories you’ve shared were all totally hilarious. But it’s time to close down the comments…and plan your next vacation.

    Good luck with your traveling companions! *big grin*

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