Your funny holiday stories: Boundless members share their travel tales

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Holiday mishaps dropped ice cream

Need a laugh? From boarding the wrong ferry to blushing at a vibrating suitcase, these travel-based anecdotes are sure to put a smile on your face

Summer may nearly be over, but there's still time to enjoy a break at one of the UK's many beautiful destinations.

If you're one of those who is planning to head off in the next few weeks, you're going to need some reading matter – and we have just the thing to keep you entertained for a few minutes while you enjoy a cup of tea in your hotel, B&B, motorhome or tent.

We asked Boundless members to share their funniest holiday memories with us, and the following are just some of the amusing responses we received. As well as giving you a chuckle, these cringey capers might just serve as a warning so that you don't make the same mistakes. Enjoy!

Last call long-distance dash

Holiday mishaps airport trolley

“I am a circus entertainer and was travelling back to the UK from Kuwait with five other performers after an event. There were two of us who love the game of backgammon, so, once settled at the airport, we set up a board to play.

Engrossed in multiple games, we suddenly became conscious of our names being called over the PA system for the last call for our flight and leapt into action, heading off at a run along an enormous concourse, up flights of stairs and onwards – only to find that we needed to take a shuttle to another terminal.

Alighting this at a sprint, we found there was another considerable distance to the gate. Thankfully, we made it in time and when we relayed our story to the gate staff, they told us that it was a 45-minute journey to get there from where we’d started. We had made it in 12!”

Steve White

• Read our guide to having a safe and happy holiday in the UK

Too close for comfort

Holiday mishaps women hugging

“Many years ago, my late mum was travelling to Bangkok for my sister’s wedding. At Heathrow airport, while going through security, the armed guard opened her arms for my mum to do the same so that she could be patted down. Mum, being so lovely, thought she wanted a hug so gave her one. Luckily, the guard took it well and we all still laugh about it to this day.”

Julie Nash

• Read our pick of the best UK holiday destinations

Multiple-choice mishap

“During a three-month tour of Europe in 1998, we met a German mother and daughter while in France, and got on so well that they invited us to visit them at home in Obernburg. So the following year we set off for Germany. We’d bought a new car just before leaving, which came with satnav – so to make navigation easier I decided to use this new system instead of my maps.

Little did I know there are three towns called Obernburg in Germany – we ended up over 300 miles from our intended destination. We eventually arrived at the correct place, more than four hours late, to a great welcome. Luckily it was a beautiful evening with lovely scenery for a fast drive.”

Charles Holyer

A cut above the rest

Holiday mishaps bull

“A few years ago, we holidayed near Plynlimon in mid Wales, deep in farming country. The house was remote and surrounded by animals, including a glowering bull.

One morning, there was a shriek from the children: ‘The bull’s out!’ What were we to do? I managed to get to the car and drove to the owner’s farmhouse. The farmer was out, so his wife and I drove for miles up into the hills to find him, only to discover a group of farmers preparing lambs for castration.

He was not impressed by the interruption, but after an animated conversation with his peers in Welsh he clambered into his truck and disappeared. ‘What was he saying back there?’ I asked his wife. ‘Oh nothing,’ she said. ‘Just that that’s what they used to do to the English.’”

Tony Painter

• Don't miss our beginner's guide to glamping holidays

Cross-channel confusion

“I once boarded a cross-channel ferry to go to France for a day of duty-free shopping. As the ferry left Dover, I began to wonder why people had cabins... and then when I asked the purser to change money into francs, he asked me why I wanted them. ‘I’m going to France for the day,’ I said in reply. He looked at me strangely and replied: ‘You’re not, you know. This ferry is going to Zeebrugge!’ 

I only had a one-day visitor’s passport for France, so the captain had to phone ashore to get permission to land in Calais. And after all that, we could only spend an hour there as we had to get the ferry back!”

Marie Overs

Shave it like Beckham

Holiday mishaps man suitcase plane

“I was flying back from France when a tannoy announcement asked if I could report to the departure desk. I approached the desk and was introduced to a member of security. Together, we walked towards the ramp that went down to the front of the aircraft. I asked if there was a problem, receiving the response that my suitcase was vibrating. I am not the nervous type, but this was surely a case of mistaken identity?

A nervous-looking baggage handler waited on the Tarmac with my case. 'Please...' she said, indicating for me to step forward. Sure enough, as I touched the handle, there was a definite vibration. As I unzipped the case, I swear her hand went inside her jacket and she stepped back a couple of paces.

Lifting the lid, realisation dawned and I softly said ‘David ‘bloody’ Beckham!’ I took out my toilet bag and there it was. I had only bought it a few days earlier, because David Beckham had advertised it on television – a wet shaver that vibrated to give a closer shave. Being face-to-face with a possibly gun-toting security agent was one close shave I had not bargained for.”

Mike Hayden

Save money on travel essentials

Boundless members can save up to 10%* on holiday essentials including airport parking, lounges and car hire with Holiday Extras. To find out more, click here. *Terms and conditions apply.

Illustrations: Adam Larkum

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