Brits reveal most embarrassing holiday mishaps including awkward sunburns and arriving at the wrong hotel

MORE than half of the lucky Brits who managed to travel abroad over the last 18 months experienced some sort of embarrassing holiday mishap, research has revealed.

The most common errors related to preparation – with 34 per cent failing to have the correct papers to get through international borders and another third forgetting their COVID-19 travel docs.

But a third suffered the time-old problem and were left literally red-faced – and red-skinned – after getting sunburn.

More than a quarter (28 per cent) had left their passports at home, 27 per cent booked a hotel for the wrong date – and 24 per cent took the wrong currency with them.

Four in 10 of those surveyed by think they’re more likely to experience a travel mishap after not traveling for so long, with 37 per cent admitting it’s ‘back to school time’ for a refresher on how to prepare for their next trip. has teamed up with blunder-prone holiday lover Joey Essex to offer someone a £10,000 hotel voucher to let them have another go at organising a holiday.

Joey Essex said: “I always say a holiday fail is a holiday tale like. After being at home for so long it’s no wonder us Brits have been making travel mistakes all over the shop.”

The survey of 2,000 UK adults also found nearly a third (29 per cent) have missed a flight during their lives, while 27 per cent admitted turning up to the airport on the wrong date for their flight.

And almost a quarter (23 per cent) of those surveyed via OnePoll have headed to the wrong airport altogether.

West Midlands is the holiday disaster capital of the UK, with 73 per cent admitting to a mishap when travelling post-pandemic.

Packing liquids over the limit (40 per cent), speaking the wrong language (38 per cent) and getting sunburnt (30 per cent) making up their top three mistakes.

The top destination for a £10,000 dream holiday was mainland USA (31 per cent), followed by Hawaii (25 per cent), Japan (22 per cent), Barbados (20 per cent) and St Lucia (18 per cent).

Emma Tagg, head of global and EMEA brand communications at brand, said: “Over the past 18 months, travel has been hard – with 87 per cent of Brits saying it’s more complicated than ever before.

“ is here to make travel feel easy again by giving Brits a chance to re-do all the things that didn’t quite go to plan on holiday.

“Forget about the time you booked the wrong hotel, missed your flight or forgot Nan at home, we are giving you a do-over.

"So, enter your travel fail now, and may the best blunder win – it’s that easy.”

To be in with a chance of winning a £10,000 holiday, entrants have to share their funniest travel fail on’s Twitter page @hotelsdotcomuk between 8th October 2021 – 18th October 2021.


1. Didn’t read the government guidelines properly before leaving so didn’t have the correct documents

2. Didn’t have what I needed to get through international borders

3. Hand luggage was too big and had to pay for it

4. Got badly sunburnt

5. Spoke the wrong language while abroad

6. Packed liquids over 100ml in hand luggage

7. Left passport/boarding pass at home

8. Lost wallet

9. Got locked out of hotel room

10. Forgot COVID-19 travel documents

11. Lost luggage at the airport

12. Suitcase split open and everything fell out of it in public

13. Booked hotel for the wrong dates

14. Got food poisoning from local food

15. Got ripped off by a local taxi company

16. Didn’t pack the right things

17. Turned up at the wrong hotel

18. Left a friend/family member at home

19. Got lost on public transport

20. Went to the wrong airport

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