General Holiday Enquiries, Hints and Tips

General Holiday Enquiries? Got General Hints & Tips? Post Them Here.
Just looked back over 40 years of "foreign" travel. We have had a couple of less than stellar experiences!!
First holiday we took without the kids back in the late 90s. My wife got a last minute "deal" on teletext to Halkidiki - we arrived in a Greek heatwave at 10pm -it was so hot that everyone was staying up til the early hours because they couldn't sleep.
The apartment was tiny ,no a/c not even a room fan available. It looked out on to a blank concrete wall of the next door (unfinished) building. Mosquitos aplenty. We went in the pool at ~ 8am for a swim and got screamed at by a guest who was in a room overlooking the pool for splashing and making noise!! Finally we had a pair of young lovers next door, who performed like rabbits usually at about 3am!! Fortunately it cooled down the second week (and the next door neighbours went home!!)

We have also suffered at the hands of First Choice -we were going on holiday with them when they got taken over by Thomson -we got bounced out of the 5* A/I hotel we had paid for ,about 36 hours before we flew -no choice just moved to another 5* -except it was far from 5* - No a/c, no sea view (which we had paid for) poor food, very crowded pool and an underground bar which was populated by what looked like the cast of Shameless (string vests and all) .When we complained about the issues, the First Choice rep. couldn't care less because she had been told that they were going to be out of work because of the take over. Fortunately we were only out for a week and had enough money to eat out for most of the week! Had a number of goes at Thomson but never got any compensation or apology.
Had a few other hiccups - one year we were away in Cyprus when Aspro Holidays sold out to Inta Sun (I think). Their planes were grounded due to unpaid landing dues, so we flew back to Luton and were bussed back to Cardiff - lost about 16 hours but at least it was on the way back!!
  • Edited by brewerdave 2019-05-30 08:45:30
Only had the one disastrous holiday & that was with First Choice to Gran Canaria for the millennium.

Some of you will have heard my tale in the past as, it was due to the circumstances that I found HT.

We paid £1500 for the self catering break, which was a lot of money in those days, for myself, husband & then 15yrs old son.

We got to our accommodation late at night & on entering our apartment we're mortified. Blood on the sheets, graffiti on the walls & the furniture, wires hanging out all over the place, it was dreadful. I knew instantly that I couldn't stay on night in the place but, being so late there was nothing that could be done. We met up with friends who, thankfully, put us up in their apartment on a different complex.

Next day we trooped to the welcome meeting in order to nab the FC rep. We took her to our accommodation & she couldn't believe what she was seeing. However with it being the millennium, there wasn't much availability. I heard her speaking to her superiors explaining what a cesspit it was & eventually, hours later, they took us to see a different complex, however there was only availability for 4 nights, then we'd have to move again. We didn't care, we just wanted out.

When the rep took us to see the alternative accommodation all 4 of us got trapped in the lift for 20 minutes. 🙄. The apartment was much nicer so we moved there temporarily, then had to move again to the otherside of the resort for the remaining part of our holiday.

On return I set about claiming compensation as I was so annoyed.
Summer of 1972. My parents first visit to us in Germany. We had booked a week in a hotel in the resort of Diano Marina on the Italian Riviera and we drove from Germany to the resort. I had booked the hotel through the resort tourist office and we arrived late Saturday afternoon. We checked into the hotel and went to our rooms, this was in the days when not all hotel rooms had private bathrooms and we had rooms with a bathroom down the hall. My mother went to use the bathroom and came back horrified, I went to look and it was absolutely filthy. I won't describe the state of it, it was really nasty. When I had a better look round the hotel I saw the place was in really bad repair and not very clean. I said to my parents don't unpack, we aren't staying. OH and I got into our car and drove to the tourist information office and told them we needed another hotel. Saturday night, high season there was nothing to be found in the resort. The woman at the tourist office asked if we would be prepared to stay in a small village in the hills behind the town , we agreed and drove to the original hotel to pick up my parents. When I told the manager we were leaving he didn't say a word.

We drove to the village and found the hotel, it turned out to be a small pretty hotel where we were the only guests and our rooms were ensuite. The manager spoke no English and my Italian was only very basic but we managed to communicate . We were offered another hotel in the resort after a few days but we were enjoying our stay in the hills despite having to drive every time we wanted to go anywhere. We were the first foreign visitors to stay in the hotel and almost every evening one or other of the villagers would come over to the hotel to try out their English and have a chat with us. What had started out really nasty turned out to be one of our nicest holidays ever.
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