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This is a question Shit Holidays

Camping on a dried-up river bed, we discovered when it rained during the night and half of our equipment and clothes were already most of the way to the Irish Sea why you shouldn't camp on a dried-up riverbed. Tell us about crappy holidays.

Suggested by Zuowon

(, Fri 15 Aug 2014, 10:32)
Pages: Popular, 4, 3, 2, 1

This question is now closed.

When child 1 arrived, we had a few things go wrong around the house - washing machine and central heating packed up with 2 days of each other and with a new baby at home, we needed both of them. So our little holiday pot was used.

So my nan, without our knowledge saved the vouchers from the paper for the "holidays for £10" and then booked it. For February half term.

We drive down to some shitty Haven holidays called Devon Cliffs, getting there about 4pm, and first question is do you want to upgrade for £20. I jokingly say "Are we in the shit caravans then"?

I'm sure she wanted to say yes. Due to the baby we did upgrade, and then were given a map to where our van was.

This deluxe van was one of the best on site. but that didn't include any form of heating at all. Or a door on the toilet. And no gas in the bottle. And a hole in the roof. No plates/cutlery/glasses. It had a TV, but no ariel.

We went back to the front desk and complained, "no other deluxe ones available - all booked". I hadn't seen another person on the site. Swimming pool was closed. Entertainment was cancelled due to not enough people on site that week. Restaurant had closed at 6pm due to having no staff.

That night, we discovered the bed came with sheets, but no duvet. The hot water was powered by an on demand heater, that didn't work. It was -4 the first night outside. And the same in the caravan. We went to bed fully clothed. Found frost in the carpet in the living area.

At 6am we woke to give baby food. I went to see about moving to any other accommodation on site and was basically told it would cost £350 to move to another van, and they would also charge me for the repairs on the van we were in (Their words - "No-one else mentioned a hole or heating not working, so you must have done it").

We were packed and on our way home 8 minutes after I got back to the caravan. We took pictures and sent it to Haven head office and to the paper my nan had booked it from. We got a full refund and a free stay in the summer. We did not take it.
(, Sat 16 Aug 2014, 20:33, 11 replies)
Surfing Safari
My best friend Brian's family had a static caravan on camp site an hour or so away, next to a man-made lake. The plan was that he and I would spend the first week of the school holidays up there, where he would teach me windsurfing and there would be the distinct possibility of meeting girls.

And so it came to pass that I purchased a wet suit, and his parents deposited us there.

Windsurfing had created images in my mind of Californian sun and blue water. The reality was somewhat more subdued. After a couple of hours, I decided windsurfing was not something I was capable of.

For the rest of the week, when the weather allowed, Brian went off surfing, and I would remain in the caravan. There was no TV. No radio, no stereo, no phone. The only entertainment was reading his mum's womens magazines.

One day, a van load of Germans turned up and pitched a tent. They built an impressive wall of beer crates around their pitch, and then drove off for more supplies. We watched in glee (or should I say schadenfreude) as their tent blew away. They returned half an hour later, and much puzzlement ensued.

The highlight of the week was when we cycled to the adjacent camp site, which had a shop where we purchased hot dogs in a tin.

There were no girls. It later dawned on us that we had chosen the first week of our school holidays - and since school holidays were staggered across the country, the locals were still at school.

The caravan had a small gas heater. One day I was standing wondering why I could smell roasting pork, and it took a couple of seconds for me to realise it was my own calf on the heater. I ended up with a nice criss-cross branding, which luckily didn't scar permanently.

Each evening, our attire heavily inspired by Miami Vice, we would walk around the camp site wearing canvas deck shoes and sunglasses, looking in vain for fit birds.

In a last ditch attempt to see some T&A, it was decided we should paddle across the lake on surfboards to where Brian insisted there was a nudist beach. We never made it.

Having learnt nothing, we did exactly the same thing the following year.
(, Sat 16 Aug 2014, 20:30, Reply)
I had a bad time in Wales.
Some people there really don't seem to like the tourists. Now I admit I ought to have planned my trip better, rather than leaving key details of a holiday to chance; but I have to take time off as & when possible, and that means staying wherever I can find on arrival.

In what I suspect was an elaborate joke played on unsuspecting visitors, I ended up wasting 3 hours on a hundred-mile search following signs for the elusive Hotel Gwesty.

In the end I gave up and slept in a hedge. Cold and damp, but it had en-suite berries.
(, Sat 16 Aug 2014, 17:38, 2 replies)
I ain't telling you where I've been.
Jog on, plod.
(, Sat 16 Aug 2014, 15:51, 4 replies)
I couldn't relax on my honeymoon..
Due to worrying about Baldmonkey following the breakdown that he had when he wasn't invited to the wedding.
(, Sat 16 Aug 2014, 11:32, 12 replies)

(, Sat 16 Aug 2014, 10:13, 2 replies)
Having lived in Cornwall, I have seen many families pass through on holiday, having a shit time.
Yada yada, family circumstances, ex wife, for whatever reason I had family ties down in Cornwall and because of this I ended up living there for nigh on 6 years. Idyllic? Whimsical? Rustic? Well as I am fond of saying, nice place to raise a child but I wouldn't wan't to try getting a job there again.

For indeed it took me 6 months of living down in Fukkin' old Helston town to even be able to get a job (trade in those parts was not geared up to my skillset) so I ended up having to work at the town's greatest employer, Flambard's Theme Park. I think the theme was 'it's the only amusement park in 600 square miles. Come and be fleeced for not very much amusement'.

Despite the perception that Cornwall has glorious weather all year round, that particular patch was a bit of an oddity as weather that rolled in from the Atlantic first touches the SW peninsular it often backs up and does weird things with fog, low cloud, sudden downpours etc. which 5/10 times means the annual flying display at RNAS Culdrose is a waste of fucking time as well.

So oftentide a family that thought Camping Was The Way (with the promise that even if the sleeping was a bit rough, beaches and golden sunshine would be their reward by day) would usually be found stomping around the town during a cloudy drizzle wearing only the shorts and flip flops and t-shirts they had packed, shielded from the mist by a single solitary kagoul apiece and dispiritedly shuffling along the pavement nibbling at a pasty while the patriarch became increasingly pissed off with the lamentation of the kids (who were missing Playstation, Sky TV, indoor toilets and heating) until Bingo! He would blow his top and issue the standard exasperated statement "LOOK WE'RE TRYING TO HAVE FUN TOGETHER! AS A FAMILY!".

Back to Flambards. I suppose at its inception the 'Aero park' with static exhibits of 50s/60s prop and jet fighter aircraft was worth 50p admission. Then they expanded into a 'Model Victorian village' exhibition that soon got added to with a 'Britain in the blitz' walk-through area. OK, maybe charge £1.50.

Then fairground attractions started creeping in, then go-karts, then crazy golf, and before you knew it a whole 'amusement park rides' theme became prelevant. Except they were piss-weak. And for what is probably now £17.50 an adult, a bit fucking steep.

'Family based fun' meant that even when the 'Hornet' roller coaster was commissioned, it was watered down to - in their own words - a 'pink knuckle ride'. It was not uncommon for outspoken 4-year old brats to get off the ride - sporting 'Nemesis at Alton Towers baseball caps'- stating "That was the rubbishest thing I've ever been on".

The log flume did at least give you a thrill of gravity-induced freefall and so in the quiet days there would be a hardcore of bore-crazed teens going around and around and around getting stupidly soaked as AT LEAST IT MADE THEM FEEL ALIVE. Also my personal favourite, the balloon race elevated basket dangle whizzathon, because there was a genuine thrill of fear that a bolt would snap and you would be catapulted into the field of cows next door.

If by chance you end up down Helston way, my advice is simple. Take the kids down Poldark Mine, then go to the Blue Anchor and get some Spingo real ale. If there is a storm on go to Porthleven and watch the shit fly in and batter the coast from the Atlantic Inn or Ship Inn. Go to the beach at Praa Sands if it's a nice day. There is a cinema in town if all else fails and the town museum does have a nice gift shop with polished minerals and jewellery.

/done with that town.
(, Sat 16 Aug 2014, 8:51, 13 replies)
What the fuck business is it of yours, you cunts

(, Sat 16 Aug 2014, 1:44, 5 replies)
when I was a nipper, we went on a camping holiday up in the mountains, but after 4 days of torrential rain we gave up, packed up, and headed home
The river was flooded, so a local farmer had to tow our car across it with his tractor so we could leave. After fours hours driving, all of us tired in wet clothes, still two hours from home, my brothers asleep, I asked "Mummy, where's Belle?"
We'd forgotten the dog.
When the farmer took my dad across the river again four hours later, there was Belle the fat Beagle, sitting in the rain where we camped.
(, Sat 16 Aug 2014, 1:43, Reply)
I live in Sydney.
My folks live in Worksop.

I live 5 minutes from the beach. We get about 300 days sunshine a year. Temperatures in the high twenties throughout summer. A plethora of beachside pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes. Good food, excellent wine, decent beer (some of it). Ocean swims. Harbour cruises. Beach barbecues.

Every couple of years I save up and take my family on holiday to Worksop.
(, Sat 16 Aug 2014, 0:46, 7 replies)
This is starting to remind me of why I hated qotw in the first place. Tales from the wallpaper catalogue at best.
I read Bill Bryson, he has a special way of taking the most mundane shit and making it barely interesting.

I went to Tenerife on a christmas and new year vacation, it was totally unseasonal weather and pissed it down every day for 7 days - so I got a flight back to blighty and went to Puerto Rico. DO YOU CUNTS HAVE ANY IDEA HOW MUCH THIS PISSED ME OFF.
(, Sat 16 Aug 2014, 0:40, 5 replies)
Brown trainers
The Cameron Highlands afford a welcome relief from the sweltering heat of the Malaysian coast and were used for precisely that back in the days when the map was coloured pink. Today they're part of the Asian backpacker trail and you can go hill climbing and visiting tea plantations if you go there.

Unfortunately, getting there requires a bus trip and I was feeling distinctly uneasy when I settled into my seat at 10pm for the bus ride up. One reason I was feeling uneasy was the curry I'd just eaten in Ipoh, which I could tell was planning to cause havoc with me in due course. The other reason I felt uneasy was the presence of the sick bag attached to the back of the seat in front of me. A sick bag? On a bus?

It turns out there are something like 470 hairpin bends on the road up to the Cameron Highlands and in the dark you can't fix on the horizon.

After half an hour of those bends I'd already filled one bag with vile-smelling puke, I was drip white, shaking like a leaf and drenched in sweat. But the bus was just beginning. I lost count of the number of sick bags I swiped from other seats, they were quite small and I was heaving up soupy-lumpy vomit like a discount Mr Creosote. Because of the constant lurching of the bus as it went round corners, a not inconsiderable amount of said vomit was deposited on the floor, on the seat and on myself. At least three other passengers were inspired by my performance enough to join me in wretching their own guts up but we had the sympathy of the driver who was grinning his brown leathery face off in his rear view at us all.

He deposited the acrid-smelling bunch of us off in the middle of Tanah Ratah village at 1am. Everybody wandered off to their various guesthouses they'd had planned. Unsurprisingly nobody was eager to share a room with me so I went to a separate guesthouse and roused the grumpy owner who grudgingly allowed this shivering, carrot covered foreigner to have one of his rooms.

Just in the nick of time too. The trip up had been that long that the curry had worked it's way through my digestive tract as if it were a ticking bomb passed hand to hand. I'd just squat down on the Asian hole in the floor bog when the Krakatoa of liquid shits erupted from my arseparts. Fucking hell, it was like I had a pressure hose on a tanker of diarrhoea and my thumb partly over the nozzle. About half of the pungent slurry made it into the crapper, the remainder went over the floor, my calves, my shorts and my trainers. I shat for a good few minutes, feeling fainter by the second, wiped, flushed then stumbled into the shower in all my clothes.

I was ill for four days. Climbed no hills. Saw no tea plantations. I saw a squat toilet and the shop which sold toilet rolls and that's it. The clothes cleaned up and you could only faintly smell the puke.

The trainers were still brown though. They had to be chucked.
(, Fri 15 Aug 2014, 22:11, 3 replies)
Army recruits are drilled to ignore tents.
"A tent - shun!"
(, Fri 15 Aug 2014, 21:42, 7 replies)
If you're going camping, buy your tent at the end of the year, they'll be cheaper.
Now is the winter of our discount tent.
(, Fri 15 Aug 2014, 21:03, 1 reply)
I once got arrested because I stayed inside when camping.
I was loitering within tent.
(, Fri 15 Aug 2014, 21:00, 1 reply)
Elm Guest House. Not good.

(, Fri 15 Aug 2014, 20:46, Reply)
'We're going to meet the family you didn't know you had!'
Folks wrangled us into a car and drove up from Stourbridge to Morpeth in Northumberland, as this was where my mum's mum was from and she had aunts and uncles up there. It turns out me and my siblings were to be 'presented' to these aged crones and doddering old gits (for whom we always were compelled to send Christmas presents even though we had never seen them).

Now I have not been there in 35 years so perhaps things have improved but at the time it was a grey town with little joy or amusement to the place, grim austerity (well it was the 1970s) and the people we went to 'visit' were incomprehensible (Geordie-like accents), everyone smoked, the properties were like the typical 'clogged with all manner of bad memorabilia and ceramic ornaments', faded 1940s wallpaper and furniture and carpets and broken lights/dark corridors......WOO HOO! A HOLIDAY TO BE LAPPED UP.

Concession time to cheer the kids up- ooh, let's go to the seaside?

YEAAAAH! Beach, swimming, candy floss, arcade machines, donkey rides!

*Arrive at seaside. the North Sea Side. In October.

It's fucking freezing, the wind is cutting through my clothes like a knife, the grey clouds cover up the sun, there aren't even any interesting shells (some sea coal, that's about it) and everything is closed because it is Sunday and it is out of season anyway. the jolly yachts and pedalos promised by my 'Racing To read- A Day At The Seaside' book illustrated was instead populated by distant container carriers and supertankers, slicking up the weakly breaking surf with globs of heavy oil leaking from their tanks.

Final concession to amuse the kids- would you like to visit your auntie Pat at work?

Oh that would literally be ENDLESSLY FASCINATING.

She works in a sweet shop?


You can have 12p to spend.

*Deflates visibly.

So the high point of that holiday was a tube of 'Double Agent' sherbet sweets. 10 minutes later, all done.

Well we better go back home now. You start school again on Monday!

(, Fri 15 Aug 2014, 20:41, 12 replies)
Uncle Monty

(, Fri 15 Aug 2014, 20:26, 3 replies)
Jolly japes on Exmoor
In the late 90s a group of 8 of us decided to club together and hired a beat up transit van and go camping for the week on the Exmoor coast.
We found a cheap campsite that was fairly close to the beach and also good for hikes further out onto the moors.
The van kept overheating so we had to keep stopping, what should have been a 2 hour drive was nearer 5, by the time we got there is was already getting dark and tempers were getting a little bit frayed.
At the campsite all the tents were bunched together at one end of the field and we thought we were lucky to get all that space to ourselves at the other end.
Discovered during the night it was because there was a rather large slurry pit the other side of the hedge and we moved all our tents away pretty sharply in the morning.
One the second day Chris slipped on a rock at the beach and was convinced he'd broken his ankle, cue most of day 2 at the nearest town that had an A&E.
Its only sprained but that puts paid to his hiking and swimming.
We offer to drive him home but he wants to stay, so for the rest of the week one person has to stay behind each day and keep him company, that caused a few arguments.
I got bitten on the derriere by a horsefly when answering the call of nature on the moors.
Martin got kicked in the shins by an exmoor pony he tried to pat.
We all got the squits after eating takeaway pizza.
I got shouted at a couple of time when I got the hysterical giggles , it was so bad it was funny.
The drive home was a little bit tense.

On the plus side though it never rained once
(, Fri 15 Aug 2014, 19:34, Reply)
I went camping in Scotland

(, Fri 15 Aug 2014, 19:04, 2 replies)
Another answer reminded me - 2 Can Chunder
The time I went to Salou in the late eighties at the time they were dumping raw sewage on the beach and sea. There were outbreaks of typhoid. At least one dead person found floating in hotel swimming pool. Giant rats inhabited the beach. It didn't help that I was with an utter twonk. For some reason that escapes me I decided to learn to windsurf. The horror of dunking into this sewage mess speeded up the standing on the board bit no end. There was a certain corner in town refereed to as 'pooh corner'. I believe raw sewage was running down the streets. We arrived in a thunderstorm, it was pissing down most of the time and flooding. At the airport they were selling 'I was there in the scare' T shirts.
(, Fri 15 Aug 2014, 18:19, 1 reply)

(, Fri 15 Aug 2014, 18:00, 34 replies)
I have had many pleasant holidays in Scotland.

(, Fri 15 Aug 2014, 17:43, 6 replies)
Normally I enjoy camping.
Not when I have a fractured right wrist and fractured right scaphoid, am 15 1/2 years old, forced to go, it's Whitsun, it's Scotland.
It drizzles morbidly for a week.
I'm stuck in my tent, bored out of my mind with only my radio for company.
Midges and horseflies conspire with each other as to who can bite more.
250yd walk to the bogs.
Showers rubbish.
2 miles to town.
Nightlife?. Midges, horseflies, bucktooth, inbred, knuckle draggers and fucking hikers and twatballing hippies.
Parents, God fuck their souls, enjoyed getting pissed and arguing. Oh, they went out at night and left me in their caravan to watch television. Back to my tent when they got back.
Rained too.
Went for walks. Which hurt the arm much. Couldn't do my favourite seaside activities of cliff walking, rock pool delving and landscape photography thanks to wrist.
Other teen activity?, no. Left hand coordination issues would lead to damage. Girlfriend many miles away.
7 days of pain, confinement to a tent most of the time except mealtimes or to go visit some shitpox museum on tartan pissgravel or the dubious history of the relationship ’twixt the whelk, the limpet and the garfish or to go on a forest walk with cap'n grumpoid Mc'tootbreath and vinegar tits the screechhag bitching at each other whilst each footfall caused a jolt of pain in my wrist.
I don't usually get bitten by bugs. This time, horsefly ( v.nasty ), gnats, mosquitoes and other minute creatures summoned from another dimension.
Usually, I'd be out and about on my pushbike. Not this time.
Good weather = sober parents, because they weren't in each others company.
Then I got the shits. 250yds to the bogs on rough terrain. Take your own bog roll.
(, Fri 15 Aug 2014, 17:22, 2 replies)
I actually enjoyed the caravanning, and the camping, however cramped and manic it got.
Hell, it was the seaside! Sand castles and a fairground and arcades and tat-filled trademark-oblivious bucket-shops.
But it was my parents' planning on always going away for the last week of the summer holidays, when it would always fucking rain. And lets be clear here, they were both teachers, so both had exactly the same time off as us kids. And usually we'd go away earlier in the holiday as well, and I loved them for that. But always that last week again. And it Always. Fucking. Rained.
(, Fri 15 Aug 2014, 17:01, Reply)

(, Fri 15 Aug 2014, 17:01, 2 replies)
I just got back from a bit of surfing in Devon.
It was awesome... so HAH!
(, Fri 15 Aug 2014, 16:36, 3 replies)
Something something, Maddy
(, Fri 15 Aug 2014, 16:32, Reply)
I can't remember anything about the holiday until I woke up on a beach near the humber estuary, with four teeth missing, wearing a silver jumpsuit and clutching this photo

(, Fri 15 Aug 2014, 16:16, 1 reply)

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