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Top 50 Holiday Regrets Revealed

6th April 2017
Top 50 Holiday Regrets Revealed

Hindsight is indeed a wonderful thing and I wish I’d had a crystal ball on my trip to South Africa last summer; instead I was left feeling cheated following a conversation I had at a market stall. 

You see, I’d gone to Victoria Street Market on a day trip to Durban to browse the fine wares, and I came across some beaded food nets; you know, the nets you put over dishes to keep the flies off.

They’re a practical item and nicely made, and something that you can take home as gifts for family and friends.

I started the haggling process after being told that each net was r40 (just over £2) and asked the woman if I bought five of them, could I pay r100 (about r20 each – r100 in total – just over £5).

The haggle

She agreed and I was a happy customer. Then her boss came over and started to shout “No, no. That’s not the price!”

There were two problems with this.
1. I only had r120 in my purse.
2. A few days earlier, I had actually picked up a huge table net for r21, so I was aware of the mark up.

Actually, there was the third problem of course – a deal is a deal and they shouldn’t have retracted it in the first place.

But instead of re-haggling, I decided to walk away, hoping that they might just ‘call me back’ as most seem to do. They never did – and I just kept walking.

Playing on my mind

For days later, I regretted doing that. It played on my mind quite a lot – especially as it was nearing the end of the holiday and I still hadn’t purchased gifts.

What eventually happened was that I couldn’t find the nets anywhere I was staying (Scottburgh) and I ended up buying them from the airport on the way home – for five times the price!

So that’s just one of my big holiday regrets – and it appears we all have them – from choosing a destination that was too ‘British’ and travelling with the in-laws, to failing to ‘switch off’ from work according to one report.

cut costs on summer holidays
We all have holiday regrets

The survey (of 2,000 adults) revealed that more than a third have returned from a break abroad only to feel disappointment at what they did or didn’t do.

For 14% of people the biggest reason for remorse was their own bad behaviour, while 24% regretted the location of their holiday.

Being too lazy to leave the resort to sightsee, sticking to known foods rather than trying local cuisine and being too scared to experiment with different activities also leaves Brits feeling dissatisfied with their overall experience.

Other holiday regrets include choosing a destination where there was literally nothing to do, and some wish they hadn’t booked the cheapest hotel as they found they were stuck in the middle of nowhere.

As in my example, opting NOT to buy a souvenir and then wishing you had, along with forgetting to wear sun cream and drinking alcohol to excess were other reasons for disappointment.

Incredibly, 22% of those polled don’t bother getting travel insurance when going on holiday and 61% don’t think to get their vaccinations up-to-date.

The Top 50 Holiday Regrets

  1. Letting others dictate how you spent your holiday, rather than doing what you wanted
  2. Choosing a destination that was too ‘touristy’
  3. Choosing a destination where there was literally nothing to do
  4. Falling out with the people you went on holiday with
  5. Deciding not to purchase a souvenir and then wishing you had
  6. Choosing a destination that was too ‘British’
  7. Forgetting to wear sun cream / sunbathing all day and getting badly burnt
  8. Drinking local alcohol to excess
  9. Drinking too much on a night out and behaving badly
  10. Getting food poisoning
  11. Not bringing plug adapters
  12. Choosing not to leave the resort, and failing to ‘sight see’
  13. Not making any effort to learn language basics
  14. Going on holiday with the wrong people (in-laws, annoying friends)
  15. Failing to try local foods when given the opportunity
  16. Getting ripped off (e.g. not knowing the exchange rate or currency value)
  17. Falling into a deep sleep on the sunbed and getting sunburnt
  18. Being too scared to experiment with different sports and activities
  19. Going out on the last night before a really early flight home
  20. Not taking more sun lotion / mosquito repellent and paying more for it abroad
  21. Walking through unsafe, unlit areas at night
  22. Not telling your bank you’re going abroad
  23. Failing to ‘switch off’ from work
  24. Forgetting your phone charger
  25. Embarking on a holiday romance
  26. Deciding not to embark on a holiday romance
  27. Not saving space for holiday purchases
  28. Choosing not to pay for priority boarding
  29. Talking about work on holiday, instead of enjoying the holiday
  30. Being overly trusting when approached by people
  31. Trusting a local and ending up lost
  32. Getting to a sun bed too late to reserve it with a towel
  33. Not querying your hotel room on booking – so you end up with a bad view
  34. Forgetting your ear plugs
  35. Not knowing local dangers (e.g. avoiding tap water, salads etc)
  36. Deciding to get a really early flight home
  37. Leaving your passport in the room
  38. Sleeping with a stranger
  39. Booking the cheapest hotel – and being stuck in the middle of nowhere (no research on locations, facilities etc)
  40. Working on holiday instead of relaxing
  41. Being hospitalised / sustaining injuries
  42. Not paying extra to take more luggage
  43. Failing to research the hotel, and its other residents, well enough
  44. Not knowing what to do in an emergency (e.g. 999 equivalent)
  45. Getting into unsafe taxis
  46. Travelling without insurance
  47. Taking all your currency out with you
  48. Not knowing local customs (e.g. appropriate dress)
  49. Riding mopeds without helmets
  50. Sleeping on the beach

Spot any you’re familiar with? What are your holiday regrets?


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30 comments

Lux G. 14th April 2017 at 1:35 am

Ugh. Yes. This post is just so honest and real!
How many times have I fallen out with those I went for a holiday with. Tsk. But thank God for social media. At least there are a few “how have you beens” once in a while. 🙂

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LaurettaCWright 14th April 2017 at 1:57 am

Yes – tricky going away in a group = it’s hard keeping everyone sweet!

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Stephanie 10th April 2017 at 9:50 pm

Not realising you could still get VERY burnt in the cloudy weather!!! God I was sore!!

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LaurettaCWright 11th April 2017 at 12:43 am

Ouch. Lesson learnt for you I guess then!

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Jayne @ Sticky Mud and Belly Laughs 9th April 2017 at 6:36 pm

Yes to not getting that souvenir! And the going out the last night, pre kids of course! Not pretty feeling hungover on the flight home :-0 x

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LaurettaCWright 9th April 2017 at 9:34 pm

Too true Jayne!

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Ana De- Jesus 9th April 2017 at 9:08 am

I always aim to buy souvenirs but a big regret has been letting others dictate my holiday. I want a holiday where I can have control over what I do and do not do!

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LaurettaCWright 9th April 2017 at 1:10 pm

It’s not a great holiday if you’re not deciding where to go Ana…you need to be selfish once in a while!

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Katy (What Katy Said) 9th April 2017 at 7:20 am

I am terrible for not switching off on holiday – social media makes it 24/7 doesn’t it? I am not guilty of any of the other things as far as I can see thank goodness!

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LaurettaCWright 9th April 2017 at 1:09 pm

Yes – social media always takes over for me too while i’m away – especially if they have free Wi-Fi!

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Fashion and Style Police 8th April 2017 at 10:21 pm

Yes I have booked a very early flight before and it was so stressful.

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Cherryl 8th April 2017 at 10:42 am

One of mine has been not spending enough time amongst the locals, and spending too much time doing touristy things. Can’t believe people still travel without insurance – I take out annual cover which works out cheaper and means you don’t have to keep thinking about it as I guess it’s a hassle, especially if you like to jet of on last minute deals.

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LaurettaCWright 9th April 2017 at 1:12 pm

I also take out annual insurance cover Cherryl – it actually works out cheaper than buying insurance for individual trips.

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Anosa 8th April 2017 at 3:33 am

I can relate to those list provided by you. “Deciding not to purchase a souvenir and then wishing you had” most of the time this is so me because of the budgeting efforts hahaha! Sometimes the language barrier too.

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LaurettaCWright 9th April 2017 at 1:12 pm

Yes – good point Anosa.

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Jo 7th April 2017 at 7:36 pm

I always seem to forget the sun cream and after sun, so I end up looking like a lobster! I think sometimes I am too ‘vigilant’ when abroad to the point that it can spoil the experience for me a bit.

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LaurettaCWright 9th April 2017 at 1:15 pm

Ha ha…yes the lobster look isn’t great – I think most of us have been there!

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Caroline 7th April 2017 at 4:22 pm

On our honeymoon, a road trip along the Californian coast line, my husband broke the roof of our convertible. So we had to drive the whole way with the top up – just not quite the same experience. A good excuse to go again though!

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LaurettaCWright 9th April 2017 at 1:15 pm

Definitely a good excuse to go back! x

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Kara 7th April 2017 at 3:50 pm

I still hanker after a salad bowl I saw on the streets of Barcelona and have never found one similar in all my travels

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LaurettaCWright 9th April 2017 at 1:16 pm

Very annoying Kara 🙁

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Laura 7th April 2017 at 10:27 am

I very much enjoy your list. I love to try local cuisine but if you venture too much you risk to regret and spend the rest of your holiday sick in bed.

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LaurettaCWright 7th April 2017 at 1:18 pm

Yes – don’t eat the ice is often good advice!

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Newcastle Family Life 7th April 2017 at 8:51 am

I always regret not doing more sightseeing and trying new foods when I go away x

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Rachel 7th April 2017 at 8:34 am

Oh some interesting regrets and I love the part about choosing somewhere too British ha, I am one of those people who moans about that but then is equally annoyed when I can’t get a full English x

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LaurettaCWright 7th April 2017 at 1:18 pm

I think most of us are Rachel! ?

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Musings of a tired mummy...zzz... 7th April 2017 at 6:46 am

I think some of these regrets can apply to every day not just holidays!

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LaurettaCWright 7th April 2017 at 1:17 pm

Yes – agree with that!

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Erica Price 7th April 2017 at 6:29 am

Yes I’ve regretted not buying a souvenir in the past. We had a decorative item left behind in our garden when we moved in and we liked it so we kept it. We saw some more in the Caribbean and I fancied buying a companion for it, but my husband thought I was daft. Every time I go down the garden I wish I’d ignored him.

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LaurettaCWright 7th April 2017 at 1:17 pm

I’m glad I’m not alone Erica!

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