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13 worst things to hear when you’re on holiday

From bad weather to haunted hotels and lost luggage; the 13 things you really don't want to hear on your next trip.

Holidays are supposed to be the time to ‘get away from it all’ – but sometimes you’re left feeling like the only thing you need to ‘get away from’ is the holiday itself. There are certain phrases that are guaranteed to put a dampener on your trip; from news about your flight status to hotel horrors. Here are the 13 worst things to hear when you’re on holiday.

1) "Your flight is cancelled/delayed"

There’s nothing quite as frustrating as looking up at the airport flight information board and seeing the ‘c’ word – CANCELLED. You’ve travelled for three hours to the airport and now you’re stuck. Do you stand in the horrendous queue and try and reason with the airline staff or just go home? The ‘delayed’ status on the board isn’t much better – especially when the delayed time seems to be going up rather than down. What’s worse is when you are made aware that the plane hasn’t even arrived at your departure airport yet.

2) "You’re going to have to accompany me for further questioning."

This is the phrase no one wants to hear at the airport. You’ve come away for a peaceful holiday and suddenly an official has decided that he doesn’t like the look of you and is whisking you off to be interrogated. Perhaps it’s the fact that your passport hasn’t been renewed for nine years – you’ve grown a beard and put on a bit of weight. Let’s be honest – you really don’t look anything like your photo, but it really is you! Time to hit the gym when you get back…

3) "I’m afraid the hotel is currently being renovated so it might be a bit noisy"

You arrive at your resort and it’s 40 degrees C, it’s been a long flight and you’re ready for a relaxing sleep – no chance. The website failed to mention the renovation works going on at the hotel. You’re struggling to hear what the hotel staff at check-in are saying because the pounding of the electric drill is going straight through you. Don’t forget your ear plugs…

4) "Your room is haunted, but don’t worry it’s a friendly ghost"

Oh great! You’re of a nervous disposition anyway without the thought of ‘old Mildred’ visiting you in the night. You were excited about the prospect of a 19th century hotel – "it’ll be very romantic and quaint," you told your partner. After you’d booked the hotel, you saw the word ‘haunted’ in a review and decided not to investigate further. It’s only when you arrive at the hotel that the fearless hotel staff reveal the ‘good news’ that you’ve been allocated one of the most ‘popular rooms’ and if you’re lucky, you might have a sighting of ‘old Mildred’ in the rocking chair at 3am! Don’t worry though, she’s very friendly…

5) "Your reservation isn’t coming up on the system and your vouchers are invalid"

You arrive late, the hotel looks fantastic, and you can’t wait to let the good times roll. The prepaid hotel vouchers are at the ready – but there’s a big problem. For some reason, your vouchers are invalid and your reservation hasn’t been made. The staff try and reassure you that no money has been taken, but unfortunately the hotel is fully booked so you’ll have to go to the smaller ‘sister’ hotel a couple of miles away. Nightmare!

6) "It never usually rains here but we’ve had more rain this week than we’ve had in the past five years."

You fled the country to escape the bad British weather and an umbrella certainly wasn’t on your packing list. Neither were your wellies. You expect to walk out of the airport and greet the blazing sun, but instead it’s torrential rain and there’s no sign of it clearing. The hotel staff are thrilled because it has been a ‘very dry summer’ and they haven’t seen rain yet. Looks like it’s a week in the hotel room then. Hope they’ve got good TV channels…

7) "I haven’t got them – I thought YOU had the passports…"

Oh airport arguments! We’ve all had them. When you’re travelling in a couple, one of you should always be responsible for the travel documents. Unfortunately, if you have to leave very early in the morning, it’s easy to be forgetful. If you find yourself having this argument – just remember to check all your pockets first before throwing an accusation…

More: 10 most common holiday arguments couples have

8) "Your room rate doesn’t include the $5 a day service fee plus the $15 city tax, $10 resort fee…and we need to put a $50 charge on your card for ‘incidentals’. By the way…breakfast isn’t included either. Would you like it?"

You thought you had a ‘bargain deal’ until you realised about all the hidden extras. They’re not so hidden now you’re arrived. What on earth is a ‘resort fee’ anyway? You try to reason with the smug guy at check-in, but he knows full well that he’s ripping you off. You hand over your credit card and accept defeat.

For a hassle-free hotel search – check out Skyscanner’s hotel comparison tool

9) "Ah…problemo…"

You don’t even need to speak the local lingo to know that any sentence that begins with ‘ah… problemo’ isn’t going to bode well. Whether it’s to do with hotels, taxis, restaurants, transport or shopping – you can be sure that any phrase along these lines is going to cause a headache.

10) "I’ve fallen in love with the waiter, I want a divorce!"

This was supposed to be a second honeymoon. You think it’s going well, until your wife announces: "I’ve had more attention from Pablo the waiter in the last two days than you’ve given me in the last 10 years. He’s asked me to be with him, we’ve got a connection." You try and tell her that "the only connection he’s got with you is my wallet," but she’s fallen hook, line and sinker for the professional sleazeball and says she’s ready for a divorce. Holiday from hell…

11) "I’m sorry we don’t take credit cards"

Sometimes your hunger takes over. You see a great menu in a restaurant window and before you know it, you’ve sat down and placed your order. One problem – you haven’t got any cash with you and you’re relying on the assumption that they will take your credit card. When the bill comes, you realise it’s cash only, there are no nearby ATMs and the waiter looks angry. Get ready to do the dishes or leave your expensive watch with him while you return to your hotel room. What a pain…

12) "Sorry, your luggage is still in London…we’ll try and get it to you in the next couple of days"

After a long flight, the only things to worry about are getting your luggage then getting to your hotel. When you’re stuck staring at the empty carousel for 45 minutes – you know something’s wrong. The airport staff try to locate your bag and eventually track it down – it’s still at Heathrow. Your holiday is only a week long and your hotel is three hours from the airport. Good job you’ve got a change of clothing in your hand luggage. Maybe to soften the blow you can find out what compensation you’re entitled to?

13) "The hotel restaurant is closed – we had an outbreak of food poisoning last night"

After a day relaxing on the beach, you’re starving and can’t wait to hit the hotel buffet again. You enjoyed it so much last night but then you notice a big sign saying: ‘restaurant closed until further notice’. When you enquire further, you’re informed that there was a big outbreak of food poisoning last night and several people have reported ‘the bug’. Don’t even think about those sardines you ate…

It’s not all doom and gloom, here are 10 of the best things that could happen to you on holiday.

To avoid any travel mishaps, here are 10 holiday commandments you should never forget.

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