Did anyone NOT have a GREAT trip?

May 11th, 2003, 05:03 AM
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Did anyone NOT have a GREAT trip?

Not to be a pessimist, but I've noticed that most of the trip reports are glowing and very positive. I've been on a few that were not so. Do you leave out the negatives or is everyone just looking at the "half-full glass?"
lucky03 is offline  
May 11th, 2003, 06:07 AM
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I'm sure that most trips have some glitches. However, if you're a traveller you come to expect that. Most places have a lot of good.

Naples consistently gets among the worst ratings.

Last year we were in Rome, Sorrento and London. Had a great trip.

Stop in Rome before and after Sorrento. A few days each way.

Loved the Santa Chiara didn't like the Accademia Hotel. They were both about the same price. I wrote all this in my report last year.

But the trip was still great and among our best.
Myer is offline  
May 11th, 2003, 06:11 AM
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One of our trips to London and Paris was full of problems. My husband developed some sort of bone problem in his foot, which made every days walk painful. While in Paris for two days (my first time) I decided to have a 24 hour migraine!
But....I was in London in March, the flowers were blooming, it was lovely, the people were great, the food was good.
Paris was enchanting and we try to go back each year.
So even bad trips can be good
Scarlett is offline  
May 11th, 2003, 07:57 AM
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I actually am amazed at people who do let small things ruin their whole trip. On another message board I read a woman state that her ENTIRE 2 week trip was ruined because her luggage was lost for 3 days. Hmm.... Attitude is key here (and preparation, she had her prescription meds in her checked baggage!)
CarolLA is offline  
May 11th, 2003, 08:26 AM
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Trip reports should be positive. Tell about the glitches and boo-boos when you are able to laugh about them, and can make a good humorous contribution. Or in rare instamces, post a warning here about a pitfall that others really need to know about, when you genuinely feel that you were victimized in some way.

Best wishes,

rex is offline  
May 11th, 2003, 08:43 AM
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I think a mix of highlights and speed bumps is more honest. Sometimes mishaps become very humorous and bring the report to a more human level. Personally - speilbergish (pollyanish) trip reports make me somewhat suspect and bitch-n-moan reports make me recoil.
marktynernyc is offline  
May 11th, 2003, 10:46 AM
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I find that most people who enjoy travel are half full people. I remember a post on here about places you hated. We don't recall hating any place. I can say we didn't enjoy a place but we can always find something of interest there.
Bob_C is offline  
May 11th, 2003, 10:49 AM
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The reason for a vacation is to enjoy yourself. If you can't find a way to do it, you don't go...

My trip reports are full of the silly little glitches and problems that traveling can entail... that doesn't mean I didn't have a GREAT time going to London, Dublin, wherever. Lost luggage, surly innkeepers, late trains... all these are minor to me in the face that I"M ON VACATION TO ENJOY MYSELF!

I take the bad with the good, mix well, and have fun
GreenDragon is offline  
May 11th, 2003, 01:13 PM
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I ALWAYS enjoy my trips! On the last trip a cab driver got angry with me and took me straight back to my hotel! I thought that was so funny I couldn't stop laughing about it! Things don't always go exactly as planned and I am a serious planner, but I make the best of it. Last year in Venice it rained 2 out of 3 days and I didn't get to see everything I wanted to, but I still enjoyed every moment. I had the best trip ever to Europe last year(32 days,)but someone on fodors actually accused me of lying about a fabulous hotel when I wrote a luxury trip report - they said it sounded too good to be true. Geez, I guess it is how you look at it! Take Care. WT
WanderingTexan is offline  
May 11th, 2003, 01:40 PM
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story: Jack Daniels Tour. Guide took out camera and asked us to pose. One lady asked about pictures, where did they go? To your home address. Oh, maybe we shouldn't have pictures. Later guide explained that there had been some strange stories about results of pictures arriving at home address. Late 60's an American air line sent thanks to home address for business travel for wife and husband. Surprise, not wife!
Happy Travel!
GSteed is offline  
May 11th, 2003, 02:21 PM
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Try getting a very bad cold on the flight over and arriving in London exhausted and unable to breath. And then, waking up coughing every night. And having to fly some more...By the time we got to Amsterdam, I couldn't even taste food or smell the pot on the street. I had a hard time figuring out cold meds to purchase also - which would make me too sleepy during the day? etc.

HOWEVER, in spite of all that, my memories of the trip are great and I only regret we didn't have more time! Go figure! I think that the culture, the history, the sites, are so different, it is hard not to appreciate it and find the experience enriching, even if everything isn't 100%.

The moral, though, take cold meds with you just in case....
gocats2002 is offline  
May 11th, 2003, 03:08 PM
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I've got to admit that I considered asking the same thing, being semi-disappointed in a recent trip to Spain and Portugal. The fault did not lie with either country and I would go back to both again. Long-distance travel can be tiring, with 10 hour transatlantic flights, 5-hour layovers, language barriers, unfamiliar foods, living out of a suitcase, and schlepping said suitcases in and out of cabs and trains repeatedly. It's not easy to do for a month, which I just did. That said, most things worth doing are worth putting effort into and it's worth enduring the occasional mishap to see all the wonderful interesting places in the world. As for my disappointment, it was personal, mostly based on being really tired the whole time, not having sunny weather everywhere (I live in Oregon, I crave sunshine), I didn't care much for the food, I was intimidated by the language barrier, and I didn't buy some of the souvenirs that I wish I had picked up. None of which is the fault of the locals and I learned a few lessons on this trip which will help on the next one, which will likely be Germany and/or BENELUX, by the way.
I also think we had really high expectations of this trip, envisioning one amazing sight or event after the other. While it was a good trip, I think we were unrealistically expecting more from it, what exactly that was I don't know.
And just because I'm a little disappointed doesn't mean I will never travel to Europe again - you never know before you go how it's going to turn out.
I don't think you should gloss over the negatives because other posters might accuse you of having a bad attitude or might tell you to stay home if you can't say only positive things about your trip. Tell it like it is; maybe someone else can learn from your mistakes/mishaps.
jenneepoo is offline  
May 11th, 2003, 03:36 PM
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Once I had a really bad allergy attack in France (my fault for not bringing my allergy medicine--why did I think I wouldn't be allergic to pollen there) and the trip to the California wine country when I was 6 weeks pregnant wasn't much fun for me what with no wine tasting and constant nausea on very curvy roads, but it had been planned obviously before I knew I was pregnant (and my husband had a great time, what with a designated driver for the whole trip!) But I still remember fun things about both trips.
RachelG is offline  
May 11th, 2003, 04:53 PM
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It really is all in the attitude.

I wanted to go to Paris my entire life. Finally, we got there to visit my daughter who was studying at the Sorbonne.

The first day was wonderful, climbing to the top of Notre Dame, having lunch at an outdoor cafe, etc., etc. Day two, I tripped and fell and sprained my ankle so bad that I wound up in Hotel Dieu (hospital near Notre Dame) and the doctor told me I would be fine but to stay off the foot for two weeks. I told him, "You don't understand...I HAVE to see Paris. Just wrap it up." He did and we were off to dinner. After dinner, my husband and I wound up with the worst 24-hour virus we ever had.

But the next day, barely able to walk, we rented a car and were off to the Loire Valley to visit friends. They pampered us for a few days, gave me crutches and we returned to Paris still recovering from the virus.

But we only remember the wonderful parts of our trip: Chambord, Chartres, night cruise on the Seine, Saint Chapelle and lest I forget, the magnificent Louvre.

Yes, it's all in the attitude.
Lorac1127 is offline  
May 11th, 2003, 06:17 PM
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Bad things that happen to you on trips to Europe cannot be equated with bad things that happen to you at home, unless someone dies or is seriously injured or you end up in the middle of a war zone. Bad things that happen on trips to Europe are usually the result of something you forgot to do, didn't realize was going to happen, didn't understand because of the language, or whatever. Bad things that happen on trips become fodder for great stories in the future and possibly lessons learned for later vacations.
I don't post my trip reports on Fodors, but all of them are totally objective. One concerns my daughter getting injured and having 13 stitches in an Italian hospital in Anzio, another how miserable the Incroyable Piquenique we attended in France in 2000 was. I take notes daily for my trip reports and call things as they happen - no frills, no embellishments. I record the bad along with the good. The thing is, when bad things happen in Europe, there is at least the different European context in which to interpret it - getting stitches in an Italian hospital is a chance to learn something unexpected, but still valuable, about Italy. Traveling to Ussel to see the Incroyable Piquenique gave me the opportunity to realize that there are some French towns that are indescribably gritty and gross and some events too pitiful to attend. No, in my trip reports I didn't leave out the negatives, but I do think in general as far as travel goes I look at the glass as being half-full. One doesn't, or one shouldn't, travel abroad with the same expectations that one travels with in one's own country. You gotta expect a few snags along the way. Only if the snags FAR outweigh the insights, delights, chances to learn something, and unexpected revelations does a trip really register for me as a negative.I do think that truly awful trips are probably mostly the result of truly awful planning.
StCirq is online now  
May 11th, 2003, 06:51 PM
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Two years in a row I became sick while traveling in New Zealand - nothing to do with NZ mind you, just some nasty bug that waited until I was on vacation to mysteriously appear.

I began to think I was a cursed traveler, as I'm generally very healthy. I went to NZ again this year and I was the picture of health - Yippee!

Getting sick gave me the opportunity to meet some of the local folks - doctors, nurses, pharmacists - it confirmed my suspicions that New Zealanders are the friendliest people in the world - it was actually a positive experience.

Not long ago I found myself in the middle of an "anti-American" demonstration in Bahrain (very scary, as I'm an American), and I've had my share of bizarre taxi driver experiences, but they certainly don't ruin my trips.

Guess I'm just a "half full" kind of gal.
Melnq8 is offline  
May 11th, 2003, 07:22 PM
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I have had, of course, misadventures on many of my trips that made them less than 100% upbeat (both in Europe and in the US). I have had problems with home exchange cars, an injury to my son's wrist that landed us in the emergency room, and a few years ago a pickpocket incident in Marseille that meant the last day of my trip was no fun.

The worst incident on a vacation, however, occurred in New Mexico. On the first day of a trip, I tripped and fell and broke my left arm in two places. I had it splinted and we did the best we could considering that I was in a lot of pain. The arm was casted after I returned home (and the swelling went down). Works fine now, by the way.

The only trip to Europe that I can remember that was totally miserable was one many years ago where on the plane going over to London I realized I was coming down with a cold. It was only a one week trip and I was sick all the time. I still managed to have some fun, but, due to the bad cold, I was just "washed out" the entire time.

Anything that can go wrong in the US, can go wrong on vacation. When you have problems on vacation they are always more stressful than at home because--for starters--you are not familiar with where you need to go to resolve them.

I do carry all my meds with me in hand luggage. When I traveled with children, I always got powdered amoxicillian from the pediatrician just in case anyone got an ear infection. I usually had a very large assortment of meds because I did not want to have to spend time looking for medication in Europe. I usually brought all of it home, of course.
LaurenSKahn is offline  
May 11th, 2003, 08:43 PM
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I suppose I am only rehashing what the others say but it is true that when you are away even things that seem terrible at home can seem not as bad. I had the Norwalk Virus (VERY bad stomach flu) on my last trip to Paris. Instead of it ruining the trip I thought well, at least I didn't gain any weight from all those big meals and I'm glad I splurged on a hotel room that time because I actually spent time in it. It was only a couple of days out of a week long trip and when I think of the trip I barely even remember being sick. Trust me, when I came down with the same bug at home a few months later, I pouted and felt sorry for myself for days. So even the same person can have a different attitude depending on the circumstances.
Sally30 is offline  

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