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The Trials and Tribulations of the Inexperienced Traveller

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When you go to a new place on a quest for new experiences, surely it follows that there will be new things for you to discover. That, particularly if you go abroad, there will be things you don’t understand, the location will have its own culture and history and was not in fact rapidly constructed overnight for your own, personal delight, and that, heaven forbid, the people there, the locals, speak an entirely different language than your own.

You’d think, at least you’d hope, that those very possibilities would occur to the average traveller before they step outside their own front door. But according to polls taken by Thomas Cook and ABTA (Association of British Travel Agents), as well as various Twitter rants, that just isn’t the case. Join us as we despair a little at some of those travellers, who apparently never imagined that the entire world wasn’t dreamt up to cater to their every whim.

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Spot the Brit

...because we’re embarrassingly easy to spot:

"I think it should be explained in the brochure that the local store does not sell proper biscuits like custard creams or ginger nuts."
Well, fair. Who doesn’t love a good biscuit to dunk? We bet they packed teabags as well (Yorkshire, hopefully).

"The bar wasn’t open so I couldn’t have my 7am airport pint."
Traumatic, we’re sure. If only they sold Special Brew in 100ml cans you could take through security.

"The street signs weren’t in English. I don’t understand how anyone can get around."

"The weather at home was nice while we were away so the whole holiday seemed a bit pointless."
Ah, yes, the perils of being a Brit abroad, when back home is experiencing one of its annual ten days of allocated Decent Weather™️. Next you’ll be complaining about the wrong kind of sand or something.

The wrong kind of sand

Oh. Forgive us, we didn’t really think that would be a thing.

"The beach was too sandy."
Happens, guys.

"We found the sand was not like the sand in the brochure. Your brochure shows the sand as yellow but it was white."
Do travel agencies not provide a sand colour chart or real samples? Scandalous!

"Nobody told us the sand would be hot. It was almost impossible to walk on it."

Tales of time and spatial (un)awareness

"It took us nine hours to fly home from Jamaica to England. It only took the Americans three hours to get home."
Well, there’s this thing involving latitudes, longitudes, and, you know, sheer distance.

"I compared the size of our one-bedroom apartment to our friends' three-bedroom apartment and ours was significantly smaller."
Correct! Spot the deliberate non-mistake.

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A Spanish affair

"It's lazy of the local shopkeepers to close in the afternoons. I often needed to buy things during 'siesta' time - this should be banned."
We do apologise for the blatant display of our way of life; normal service will resume shortly.

"We went on holiday to Spain and had a problem with the taxi drivers as they were all Spanish."
They do that.

"The brochure didn’t say from what cardinal point the sun rises in Spain."
…? Important.

And finally:

"There are too many Spanish people. The receptionist speaks Spanish. The food is Spanish. Too many foreigners now live abroad."
Kind of just going to slightly tilt my head.

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To be foreign

And on that theme:

"There were too many Bulgarians in Bulgaria!"
"We went to Turkey and there was far too many Turkish people for our liking,"

And don’t forget the trauma of Finding Foreign Food Abroad:

"Food in the Greek hotel was too Greek. We had to eat in the nearby fast food."
Go on, we beg you; tell us the fast food was a kebab.

"On my holiday to Goa in India, I was disgusted to find that almost every restaurant served curry. I don't like spicy food at all."
Now come on.

The Darwin Awards of vacationing

"We booked an excursion to a water park but no-one told us we had to bring our swimming costumes and towels."
...did it say it was a naked excursion?

"I was bitten by a mosquito. No one said they could bite."
...that’s… that’s what they do

"No-one told us there would be fish in the sea. The children were startled."

"We had to queue outside with no air conditioning."

"There was no sign telling you that you shouldn’t get on the hot air balloon ride if you’re afraid of heights,"

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If you really feel like despairing at humanity

"Topless sunbathing on the beach should be banned. The holiday was ruined, as my husband spent all day looking at other women."
Yes, the fault is entirely on everyone aside from your lusty husband.

"We bought 'Ray-Ban' sunglasses for five Euros from a street trader, only to find out they were fake."

"The ice in my glass melted too quickly."


"It is your duty as a tour operator to advise us of noisy or unruly guests before we travel."
Aye, aye!

And finally

Our favourites:

"Spotting the visibly aroused elephant ruined my honeymoon by making me feel inadequate."


"My fiancé and I booked a twin-bedded room but we were placed in a double-bedded room. We now hold you responsible for the fact that I find myself pregnant. This would not have happened if you had put us in the room that we booked."

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We don’t know about you, but suddenly we’re struck the very strong need to lay down or drink.