Rescues, rows and crimes sometimes vacations dont run according to hope. Tell us your own holiday nightmares in the comments or via GuardianWitness

The Whitsundays: What sort of holiday compels rules?

Our first holiday as husband and wife was a disaster. This is not counting the honeymoon clearly, because honeymoons must be resolutely remembered as joyful, otherwise the union is doomed. But our first vacation afterwards, still newlyweds, still getting used to life in tandem: disaster.

No one actually mentioned the word divorce so early in the piece but when youve got one sailing boat, five days of unseasonably appalling positions and two skippers overinflating their sailing experience and underreporting their bossiness, thats security threats lurking behind every curt instruction.

What sort of holiday expects educations? Well exactly. A holiday in which one person must necessarily take charge in a bossy-boots various kinds of style is no holiday at all. Include to this disgruntlement it is necessary to yell listen to this over roaring winds while you stray dangerously off-course, and “youre starting” dreaming of official holidays to get over the holiday.

This is what we dreamt: the becalmed beauty of the Whitsunday Passage, that splendid accumulation of islands protectively nestled inside the Great Barrier Reef, safe from prevailing winds; bright blue languid daytimes flying over turquoise seas, taking movements at the tiller in our togs; seeing our own private cove as the sun is down; diving into warm pristine oceans; the tinkling of intimate laughter; the fizz of champagne and the sizzle of prawns on the barbie.

This is what we got: driving horizontal rainwater( freezing ); cyclonic gales( freezing ); nasty, choppy, steel-grey water( freezing ). A heaving boat, the relentless blow, slap, smacking of the hull , no relief in quiet creeks, and hollering from stern to submit. Ill look at the delineate, you steer! No, Ill steer, you look at the map! Release the cleat, I answered, the CLEAT.

Our compounded instants of sailing suffer brought us destroy where reference is affected a ridge on day 2, with a nauseating crunch and lunge onto that pallid bit on the map that youre supposed to avoid. Cant you consider the blood-red strings? The Ruby-red LINES!

Ill save you the ache of dates three and four and take you straight to date five: a mayday call, a salvage mission, and a midwater transport from careening craft to careening boat.

A friend of mine once told you he anticipated best available test for any brand-new tie-in is the camping excursion, but the yachting in cyclonic ailments with next-to-no sailing suffer tour will do the trick very. If they are able to make it through that, calmer liquids await. Lucy Clark

“Thats what we” reckoned: the becalmed allure of the Whitsunday Passage. Image: Maureen Dettre/ AAP

Tokyo: Please do not be offended by my appearance

Before I got on the plane from Barcelona to Tokyo I emailed the friend I was staying with. Please do not be shocked by my image. I search a little different. Likewise, I wont have any coin when I arrive, so if you can help me sort it out appreciate.

My appearance was offending. I gasped with fright whenever I accidentally glimpsed at myself in the reflect and that was before I even registered that it was me looking back. My look get worse on the plane go to Tokyo whether it was just the cabin pressure or the time that bruises go for bloom. But my friend, satisfying me at a Hilton in Tokyo, blanched when he saw me. My seeings were pitch-black and swollen shut, one slope of my face was too swollen and bruised and a long position of black, severely stitched strand loped down my right tabernacle to my brow. The sewing looked like someone had killed a extremely black spider on my appearance but left the body there.

I had been assaulted and robbed in Barcelona a few epoches before, which resulted in two black eye, a swollen-headed mouth and fractured skull , now dented and stitched together by an exhausted apprentice who are able never acquire a medal for the neatness of his craftwork.

My friend in Tokyo was a lawyer who dealt with the intricacies of transnational airline rentals and wore immaculately tailored clothings. We made an odd-looking duo as we started from bank to bank with my passport, trying to get fund out or get coin wired or merely access it somehow. In his flawless Japanese he negotiated on my behalf as I stood there my look a grotesque mask. But every time “were in” rebuffed. In a chilled Starbucks my friend raised me an iced coffee, which I booze through a straw( my jaw still hurt) and pronounced, The beings in the bank probably suppose I hit you up and am trying to drain your bank account. Thats what it looks like.

In the working day, when I should have been researching Tokyo( envisioned ), I lay on the couch in the chill, dark flat and watched reruns of Dawsons Creek. Image: Steven Beijer/ Getty Images/ EyeEm

We tried one more bank, and when they said no, snaps burst with some difficulty from my swollen-headed attentions, and the seeing might have been so weird and sad that they lastly said yes.

The rest of the time in Tokyo I didnt leave my friends flat. I was anxious and wearied, and to begin to dream of the assault in shattered and jumbled scraps. In the working day, when I should have been examining Tokyo, I lay on the lounge in the hot, dark flat and watched reruns of Dawsons Creek. Brigid Delaney

New South Wales: Upchuck and a snowstorm

Holidays with children are wonderfully unpredictable. Our three-week international stroll with a four-year-old and two-year-old, which included about 50 hours of running hour, was a dream, despite the horror stories involving toddlers and long-haul flights. It was a week-long expedition to the snow that turned out to be their own families holiday that would bring us to our knees.

We had it all planned. This would be a skiing vacation that would not break the bank. We borrowed gear, waited all year for Aldi specials on girls snowboots and booked a family room in the student lodging.

The journey from Sydney to the snowfields takes about six hours, according to Google, but by the time we had stopped multiple times to be involved in childrens combats, change nappies and for plentiful snack violates, seven hours had passed and we were only in Canberra. We booked a last-minute area at enormous overhead in a hotel where there was a meeting of tariff listeners or something, so the whole neighbourhood was full.

The next day, we reached it to our cosy room at the hostel. Then the projectile upchuck started. Our two-year-old had developed a high fever within instants of us putting our baggages down and was quite ill. Instead of marvelling at the snow twiddle across the mountains outside, we were stuck in a area about the size of a small auto trying to administer Panadol to a writhing toddler.

I remained up the majority of members of the darknes am concerned about how to drive in the snow to a hospital if circumstances got worse at one point he started shaking. Vomit was on all of our robes, the bedsheets, everything. We couldnt change the light on because it would wake our daughter so we had to use mobile phones to try to see what was happening( we hadnt jam-pack a lamp ). We couldnt open the window to get rid of the smell because there was a blizzard outside.

The next morning, the conditions on the mountain were perfect but the little bloke was still very ill. Fresh white-hot powdery snow was everywhere but we had to shape the call to pack up and intelligence residence, horror another night of temperatures in the 40 s and no access to a doctor. While my wife packed up, I took our daughter to the snowfield to build a speedy snowman and trip on a toboggan. In the end, we invested three days circulating, thousands of dollars likely( I didnt want to add it up) and about 30 instants total at the snowfall. Patrick Keneally

Sicily: Even shouting, we couldnt discover each other

Id pre-booked the majority of members of the adaptation for our driving errand around Sicily because with a five-year old the working day of gives just see which is something we end up were all behind us. But there was one day when I wasnt sure how far across the southern coast wed drive so I figured marriage precisely find something that night. How bad could it be? I reputed. As it turns out, very bad.

Everything was full when we started looking in the late afternoon. Hours afterward, as the Im thirsty moan from the back seat turned into a meltdown, the tourism place in Sciacca said they had a private rental. We followed a bloke on a bicycle to a nifty little terrace residence near the port, paid him, promised to leave the keys on the living-room counter, and walked across the road to a trattoria for dinner, seeming quite pleased.

But as we rendered we observed the terrace next to ours was setting up chairs and counters on the pavement outside its front door and ours. Well-dressed young Italians were going out of cars and a very loud seem check seemed new and emanating from our living room.

The terrace next door was a night club. The music embarked around nine, shaking the walls and shaking through the flooring. The sidewalk outside our front entrance was jam-pack with screaming, jigging revellers. The beer garden included our back courtyard. Even wailing, we couldnt discover one another. We boozed some beers and tried to entertain our son who was hysterical with fatigue. Eventually, at 4am, the music stopped, but then the clean-up personnel crushed bottles and talk football psalms until dawn.

We left as elderly neighbours arrived dwelling on the back of scooters, having certainly fled to sleep somewhere quieter. My husband may have shed the keys into the harbour. Lenore Taylor

Sydney: A ordinary weekend epoch( in a bad way )

Our previous expensive family holiday had ended in tragedy, this is why we decided to be smart and holiday at home this time. It would be cheap! It would be merriment! We would save day wandering to our end and simply … be.

We shaped it to the peach farm and successfully picked two bags of fruit! It was to be the highlight of the holiday. Photo: Attila Balazs/ EPA

I would like to write that stuffs went well initially, but they didnt. On the eve of our staycation my daughter got a temperature and was up all nighttime saying her tummy hurt. Exhausted, we scrapped plans to go fruit picking the next day and stood neighbourhood. It was like a ordinary weekend day. We even went to the supermarket.

The following date we moved it to the peach farm and successfully picked two bags of fruit! It was to be the spotlight of the vacation. Gastro struck the rest of the family down in the following days. Oh, it was a staycation all right in the bathroom.

When we finally developed, thinner, paler and jaded, we had one day continues to be of holiday. We went to the supermarket. The gondola broke down on the way residence. Bonnie Malkin

The Netherlands: Car trouble

At one point on this holiday we called the Vaalserberg, a lieu where their own borders of Netherlands, Belgium and Germany meet. So they are able to stand in three countries at the same period. That did not make it the worst holiday in itself, but I say that as a prologue for a detail about this story. Which is that when we my papa driving, my mum alongside, a 16 – or 17 -year-old fractious me in the backseat, my younger sister and brother thoughts down a remote country road, I cant remember what conversation the road sign reading DO NOT ENTER was actually in. Or maybe it was just a signaling with no messages. Regardless, the entail was fairly obvious, in retrospect.

I recollect the next bit, which was about 100 m away: the rotates of the Nurofen-coloured Talbot rotating round in the silt, countryside winging everywhere like an outtake from Carry on Camping. Us going out of the car while the local farmers Dutch? Lets say they were Dutch watched amused and incredulous. My daddy in his ropes, out of the car, plucking clumps from tyres. I consider then a tractor, and a line. And an exchange with the Dutch farmers about that signal back there, you know the one suggesting DO NOT ENTER in one( or possibly two, or nothing) of four languages. It wasnt raining; I guess that was a silver lining.

We appreciated not so much of Milans Piazza del Duomo( envisioned) but quite a lot of the Talbot dealer in the less-fashionable outskirts. Image: Giuseppe Cacace/ AFP/ Getty Images

And it also meant that when I became a driver myself I had learned my reading. Ive exclusively so far since “mustve been” plucked out twice by a tractor, when I was a reporter in east England, both experiences within weeks of each other. No one told me there was a furrow there. Or there.

Everything was wrong with that holiday. Night frights. Family dynamics. Me. Flat as a pancake the country and the sky. It was the family holiday you dedicate not to go on again and you dont until you get older, when you find that your parents are just the kind of people you want to spend time with like that. Strangely enough it produced one of the best all-family pictures we ever had taken, us all smiling. It contained a broader truism but in that week was a gruesome lie. My pa had a very dry banter and was not enormous with cars.

A year later, or before, we got off the motor-rail in Milan and bang the exhaust gases fell from. So we looked not so much of the Piazza del Duomo, quite a lot of the Talbot dealer in the less fashionable outskirts. And he had a line about fabricating a new Olympic sport: Battery-carrying on the Pembrokeshire coast. We didnt think it was much of a goer, but that was before they tolerated synchronised dive, and golf. Will Woodward

The Whitsundays II: Sea rescue in miscarrying light-colored

Tears of fear reeling down my childrens cheeks are the most enduring remembering of my worst vacation ever a sailing trip in the Whitsundays in April 2014 that was transformed into a sea rescue in fading light.

We perhaps should have twigged that something was wrong when the outboard engine on the dinghy flunked on day one. An architect was completed to repair it and we voyaged north towards Hayman Island in a blustering 40 -knot easterly.

After lunch the catamarans port-side locomotive failed. Potent puffs or missiles as they are known locally researched our fasten overnight as we waited for another designer. Surely day three would be better.

The soothe before the storm: Alison Rourke and her daughter Ella sailing towards Hayman Island, before the engine set on fire, they breached the reef and “mustve been” rescued. Photograph: Alison Rourke

In the late afternoon we set off for a sheltered overnight mooring. After 10 instants, the starboard engines gauge flow hot. My son came up from the hut saying he could smell smoke as black gloom billowed out of the stern hull.

If a barge is on fire, you get off they tend to go up( or down) very quickly.

I distributed the shoot extinguisher as my husband lowered the dinghy into the sea. The children, aged eight and nine, sat quietly, frozen with fright. I dont think they had ever seen their parents in disaster mode.

I asked them to find their treasured couch teddies pieces I knew we were not able to live without. They say thats when they knew we were really in tribulation. The raking resound that followed was unmistakeable. We had floated onto the ridge in a falling tide with no hypothesi how much damage had been done … by the ardor or the coral.

Eventually the harbourmaster at Hayman Island came to our assistance as nighttime fell but catamarans were permanently impressed off our holiday inventory the working day. Alison Rourke

Corsica: It is forbidden to pissing in your wetsuit

Corsica, Zonza in particular, was, according to every person I knew whod been( two beings ), a brilliant locating for canyoning. You couldnt go to Corsica and not canyon.

Our tour was jam-packed with outdoorsy natures, the true species not the manner who are do outdoorsy for one day on one vacation per year. They gazed fit, had hiking paraphernalium and, unlike us, had introduced lunch. As the only non-French speakers, we felt alone and outcast. We went off to find a sandwich, contemplating for the first time that we may have got ourselves into a semi-dangerous place. Or worse. A just plain dangerous statu.

When our steer told us to try on our abseiling gear and that he would check it for security, I weighed up in my sentiment the pros and cons of the day as I now insured it.

Pros: Zonza was a great place to try canyoning. And the templates were cute!

Cons: we look like absolute morons, or worse succumb! And that would be in front of the cute guides.

Perhaps had I been a bit more meticulous while hiking down to the canyon, instead of practising in my manager all the words I knew in French that I could possibly put together to impress upon the navigates and fellow travellers that I was not a complete clown after all, I would not have tripped on those stones, lost offset, descended over and then wheeled sideways down the bumpy hiking path.

We hadnt even got to the dangerous place yet. I started to wonder if my 10 m wandering insurance policy would embrace a helicopter “re coming back” to get me right about now when your best friend Helen enquired 😛 TAGEND

Why didnt we find out exactly what canyoning was?

I dont know.

A guide started giving instructions in French. He seemed to be remarking damned important stuff. Parties were watching him and ogling serious. Every now and then some apprehensive laughter broke out. Eventually he looked at Helen and me and announced: Mathieu will tell you in English.

Gabrielle Jackson on the working day, but shortly before, she realised what canyoning was. Photograph: The Guardian

After roughly five to seven minutes of watching him talk, Mattieu did. So in canyoning you rush like this. You take one step forward and push off with the other paw, almost like loping. Use your limbs to get your offset and then do this.

He intersected his arms across his chest. That was it. The other steers pep talk to minimise three sentences.

Before we left, our template acquired one more proclamation in English: It is forbidden to pissing in your wetsuit.

We contacted our first cease quite quickly, and were there met with a choice: a two-metre or four-metre startle. So this was canyoning: jumping off rocks into sea you cant check and abseiling down rocks at ever-greater heights.

My first jump turned out to be quite refreshing and I began to believe the hike may have been the scariest part of the day. Then Helen said there was no way she was jump-start off a nine-metre high waterfall. I maybe should have thought that my horror of altitudes may have affected my ability to do this, studied Helen, as she swam through the canyons fresh creek, face white-hot and nature pounding.

Lets just say, the next five hours were long. Im glad Ive done it, but Ill not be canyoning again any time soon. On the plus area, we never had cause to call in that helicopter. Gabrielle Jackson

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