Charlie Higson, author and actor‘The youngsters had been in reality screaming’: Charlie Higson. {Photograph}: Chelone WolfMy son Frank was nonetheless a child once we went on vacation in southern France. He and his buddy Sophie went parasailing. It’s when you find yourself connected to a parachute and tied to a rope, then dragged by way of the air by a velocity boat. Up within the air, the pair had been waving excitedly, and – happy to know that they had been having fun with themselves – we waved again. Little did we all know, they had been in reality screaming and flailing, desperately making an attempt to hunt the motive force’s consideration. What they’d first considered plastic baggage polluting the ocean regarded more and more like a swarm of jellyfish as they descended by way of the air in direction of the water under.They had been dunked in, unsurprisingly getting very badly stung.I do know I ought to have been panicking, fascinated by air ambulances, insurance coverage and calling poor Sophie’s dad and mom. Actually, although? I discovered the entire thing completely hysterical.Worst. Vacation. Ever by Charlie Higson is printed by Puffin Books at £6.50 from guardianbookshop.comNaga Munchetty, journalist and presenter‘There was a snake below our mattress’: Naga Munchetty. {Photograph}: Karwai Tang/WireImageI’ve at all times thought it’s ironic that my dad and mom referred to as me Naga. In English, it interprets instantly as “cobra”, but my father is totally petrified of snakes. He’s at all times informed me this phobia got here from the truth that he’d by no means seen one. He’d grown up in Mauritius and since snakes can’t swim to islands from the mainland, Dad at all times informed me, there’d by no means been any.Then in 2008, my husband and I had been on vacation in Gozo, a small island off Malta. We’d been for a protracted stroll that day and I’d reassured him – and myself – repeatedly that there was no want to fret about something doubtlessly slithering by way of the bottom beneath us, given what I knew about islands.As we arrived again to our room there it was: an enormous snake curled up below our mattress. We ran again out screaming, calling reception from the corridor. “There’s an enormous snake in our room!” I squealed. “Sure…?” The girl replied. I defined many times, however she wasn’t bothered. Her resolution? Simply open the doorways and ultimately it’ll go away by itself. Jay Rayner, Observer restaurant critic‘I needed to get into my sleeping bag’: Jay Rayner. {Photograph}: Antonio Olmos/The ObserverTwice in my scholar years I travelled throughout Europe on my own and had a wonderful time. There have been adventures, sights to be seen, new pals to be made. I regarded the latter as my superpower. Wherever I went I used to be able to making instantaneous pals for all times, or a minimum of for the three days our paths crossed.Often, I went for a month. In 1987, I made a decision on a 3rd solo journey: two weeks travelling throughout the Greek Islands. I went to a seashore bar on Syros the place I’d spent per week in earlier years, re-meeting the identical individuals. Once I arrived I knew one thing was up. The administration had modified. Not one of the acquainted individuals had been there. Nor did their replacements appear concerned with assembly anybody new.I spent that first night time alone. And the night time after that. And the night time after that. I wasn’t simply alone. I used to be lonely. My superpower had abandoned me. I spent these two weeks wandering the islands, telling myself I used to be advantageous with my very own firm when, clearly, I used to be not. The vacation reached its nadir in some dusty campsite I stumbled into out of desperation. I had no tent and thought I’d be advantageous on a mattress roll. However there was no lighting and the onsite café, such because it was, closed at 7.30pm. This far south in August darkness fell by 8.30pm so I couldn’t learn. I had no selection however to get into my sleeping bag and stare into the inky black sky, ready for each the night time and this failed vacation to finish. Jon Snow, journalist and broadcaster‘The clouds let rip’: Jon Snow. {Photograph}: Jo Hale/Getty ImagesIt was a kind of remorselessly moist weeks that appeared to pervade each Dorset August of my childhood. My dad and mom had been obsessive caravaners and I and my two brothers could be condemned to tents.Connecting our tents to the caravan was an unlimited sheet to maintain out the rain. One night time the clouds let rip, bringing down the sheet in addition to our tents. Bedraggled, we wandered about, combating to extract ourselves from the canvas chaos. My dad and mom slept by way of and it appeared a lifetime earlier than they’d allow us to into the caravan. They shortly resumed their place within the drop-down double mattress whereas we dripped away on the care-worn couch. I’ve by no means since needed to surprise why, as an grownup, I’ve not tried to inflict tenting by myself youngsters.Rosie Jones, comic, author and actor‘I used to be throwing up’: Rosie Jones. {Photograph}: Angle Journal/Getty ImagesI was 11 once we went on a household vacation to Cape Cod, well-known for whale-watching journeys. The factor is, I’m no good in boats and by no means have been. I don’t have good sea legs, primarily as a result of I don’t have good land legs both.Mum actually, actually needed me to have this expertise. “It’s OK, Mum,” I’d attempt to inform her, “I’ve seen Free Willy and know what the deal is.” Regardless, she got here up with a plan: someday she and my brother would report again after occurring the boat to see how rocky it was. Off they went, in the meantime Dad and I had a stunning day on land consuming clam chowder. Mum returned and informed us the water was calm and the whales wonderful. She was sure I wouldn’t get sick in any respect.Dad and I booked tickets for the following morning. As we boarded, the climate was turning. We sailed off into the storm of all storms. Our boat journey lasted eight strong hours. I’m not exaggerating once I say I used to be throwing up for seven hours and 58 minutes of that point. And I didn’t see a single bloody whale. All I noticed was yesterday’s clam chowder.Michael Rosen, poet and writer‘My older brother began complaining’: Michael Rosen. {Photograph}: David Levene/The GuardianIt was 2 June 1953 and my dad and mom determined to go away London in an effort to flee all sight and sound of the Queen’s coronation. Dedicated lefties, they needed to remain properly away. In order that they employed us a punt manner up the River Thames; on board there’d be no point out of the monarch. As a substitute, my dad and mom rowed relentlessly upstream.Not lengthy into the jaunt, my older brother began complaining. “I’m bored, I’m bored, I’m bored,” he moaned, mendacity flat within the boat. Dad determined to pop to the pub for a breather, leaving Mum alone on the helm. We had been crusing near Wallingford weir. Its dashing water – actually to this seven-year-old, who couldn’t swim – regarded pretty scary. Even now, I can image the indicators positioned alongside the water’s edge urging all to remain properly away. Nonetheless our little boat edged nearer, Captain Mum’s management of our vessel slipping out of her grasp. Far within the distance, a stranger ran alongside the banks shouting and waving: “Cautious! Hazard! Cease!” Along with his assist, Mum simply managed to steer us to security. He clung to the boat as we jumped on to dry land, abandoning ship for good.Dad, in the meantime, was none the wiser. All of us thought he’d had a fortunate escape. However unbeknown to us, as he arrived on the boozer for a beer, he’d opened the door to seek out all the room flip in direction of him tutting and shushing. Over within the nook was a tv set, and at that second his eyes caught the crown being lowered on to younger Elizabeth’s head. The entire vacation’s ruse was completely foiled. The remainder of us may need practically perished, Dad begrudgingly informed us later, however a minimum of we’d managed to overlook the coronation.Pores and skin, musician‘4 policemen burst into the eating room…’ Pores and skin. {Photograph}: Arved Colvin-SmithBack within the 90s, whereas courting my second girlfriend, we took a visit to Tobago. On our ultimate night time, the 2 of us had been strolling to a restaurant, when a gaggle of males tried to speak us up on the road. Politely, we made it clear we weren’t and thought little of it. We sat down for dinner and ordered our meals. That’s when 4 policemen wielding machine weapons burst into the eating room, weapons pointing instantly at us. They kicked over our desk and aimed proper at us, yelling: “Present us your weapons! The place is the gun?”They dragged us outdoors, throwing us to the bottom, nonetheless screaming. We stored making an attempt to clarify we had nothing, however they refused to pay attention. I can nonetheless see one in all them now, sweating and shaking together with his hand on the set off. A van door was flung open, and so they demanded we get in.I desperately requested to see some ID to show who they had been. One in every of them grabbed their library card from the dashboard, which someway reassured me. We obtained within the van and it sped away. Once we arrived on the police station, the truth of their mistake dawned on them. We had been put in a room, whereas the officer in cost defined they’d been tipped off that we had been armed. It turned out one of many guys on the street had spitefully referred to as the police on us: revenge for not falling for his or her charms.Josie Lengthy, comic and filmmaker‘We spent our funds on two beers and a toastie’: Josie Lengthy. {Photograph}: Steve Meddle/Rex/ShutterstockIt was my first 12 months at uni and I used to be nonetheless clinging on to a doomed relationship with a boy from residence. Within the Easter holidays of our first 12 months, he needed to journey. Our funds was a few hundred kilos every. He got here again from the journey agent with two choices: an all-inclusive tour of Egypt through the pyramids and a cruise down the Nile, or flights to Iceland with funds hostels and hitchhiking. He lit up when he talked about Egypt. I insisted on Iceland for causes I nonetheless can’t clarify… Perhaps Björk?Touchdown in Reykjavík, we popped right into a mediocre pub for 2 beers and a toastie. It price us half our complete funds for the month-long journey.There have been some good bits: we stayed in some lovely and distant hostels, and managed an evening out in a bar as a result of some locals – presumably millionaires – took pity on us.However we needed to go away – skint – after solely 9 days. On our final night time we stayed at a hostel filled with grizzled males smoking pipes and consuming clear spirits out of the bottle. He dumped me a month later and went to Egypt that summer season with out me.David Baddiel, comic and writer‘I referred to as reception’: David Baddiel. {Photograph}: Channel 4The youngsters had been nonetheless little once we picked a elaborate resort in Crete for a visit, to spoil ourselves. My spouse and I made a decision we deserved a deal with.We had been put in a small villa a good distance from the resort. In the event you needed something – meals, booze, water (there was no fridge or kitchen) – you needed to stroll by way of the warmth, there and again, with youngsters.I used to be sure we’d learn prematurely there could be room service, so popped to see Mr Nikos, the marginally horrifying supervisor. He informed me I used to be mistaken and that this was solely supplied to company contained in the resort. That’s not what I’d been informed and with two younger youngsters to please would’ve rendered the entire vacation barely pointless. However he refused to budge.Again within the room, I pored over the resort info booklet. I’d discovered it in a drawer and was decided to be proved proper. Once I positioned the road, which stated we’d get room service, I referred to as reception. I learn Mr Nikos the passage: “No,” he stated, “You’re fallacious.” I made a decision to avoid wasting the following argument for the next day; this was, in spite of everything, a vacation. I deliberate to proudly march as much as the workplace and win.The following day, after a morning out of the resort, I got here again to our room to seek out that particular web page had been freshly ripped from our booklet. And one thing informed me it had solely simply been carried out. Clutching this paperwork, I ran up in direction of the resort. And there, sneaking again, was Mr Nikos, holding a crumpled piece of paper in his hand. “You’ve bloody ripped it out!” I stated chasing him, however he denied it. We reached a bonkers stalemate, and that was that.David Baddiel’s one-man present, Trolls: Not The Dolls, is on a nationwide tour from 10 September ( Bhogal, chef and author‘Two lizards had been mid mating name’: Ravinder Bhogal. {Photograph}: Alex Lake/The ObserverIn 2018, my exhausted husband and I travelled to Thailand. We’d opened our restaurant in 2016 and obtained married simply months later. This was our delayed honeymoon. Our villa was precisely what we’d hoped for: a king-size mattress with crisp white linens and a giant bathtub with ocean views. We obtained into mattress and switched off the lights and, for the primary time in months, we relaxed. As quickly as I closed my eyes, I heard loud chirping sounds from two corners of the room: two large lizards had been mid mating name.I grew up in Kenya, a lizard fell on my head as a baby, giving me a lifelong phobia. Reception dispatched three porters to return and take away the critters. Glancing out from below the sheets, we watched grown males roll round our bed room flooring. I used to be wired and sleep disadvantaged, my mood frayed and unfurled. That’s once we had been lastly moved into one other villa: excessive up on a hill the place the lizards couldn’t get us.Greg James, DJ and presenter‘We camped. After all we did!’: Greg James. {Photograph}: Rex/ShutterstockMy worst vacation by far was Newquay 2004. It was submit A-Ranges, mid 00s. There have been 4 boys and two ladies, my mum’s previous Renault Clio and Jack’s mum’s Peugeot 206. One of many ladies was my girlfriend and the opposite was one in all her pals who my mate Dan was making an attempt to get off with.We camped… in fact we did. It felt quirky for youngsters from Bishop’s Stortford. And we thought it will be fun, or on the very least a ceremony of passage. And to be honest to us, it ought to have been. Besides, that June weekend, Newquay skilled a few of its worst storms in years. One of many tent poles fell, smashing a pint glass into my buddy Will’s hand. There was a daft quantity of blood and he nonetheless has the scar.That didn’t cease us. We endured, we obtained drunker, we put the tents up once more. Then the tents flooded. Then the tents floated away, together with each our provides and hopes of having fun with ourselves.After an evening huddled below coats in our mum’s automobiles (Dan with the lady he fancied, the remainder of us squashed into the Renault), we awakened and assessed the scene: Will’s bandaged hand; lacking tents; no meals or drink. There was just one possibility left – a depressing and silent six-hour drive to Hertfordshire. It turned out that Dan didn’t get off with Katie, by the way in which. And I’ve not been again to Newquay since.Gary Younge, journalist and writer‘Our passports and money had been gone’: Gary Younge Composite: The GuardianI was making an attempt to develop dreadlocks in the summertime of 1987 and was doing fairly properly at it. I used to be 18 and in Sudan for a 12 months educating English in a UNHCR faculty. Throughout one break, me and two different British teenagers hatched a plan to journey to Nyala in South Darfur to hike up the Jebel Marra. Trains left as soon as per week, however we opted for a extra adventurous route: paying for a spot in a lorry, which bumped alongside for per week. Nestled among the many onions, we took it in turns to take care of the group’s valuables by carrying the painful cash belt.John determined to take the belt off, it was reducing into his facet. He awakened and we jumped off to take a break from the desert solar. On our return, it was gone, together with the passports and all our money.John had misplaced our passports, in the meantime I’d gained some little pals. A boy sitting subsequent to me had given me nits – my hair itched unbearably. Lastly, once we reached Nyala, I grabbed the particular shampoo and a blade, ridding myself of nits and my goals of dreads. With (actually) nothing to lose, we headed out on our four-day hike. One dodgy jar of pilchards and diarrhoea ensued. They carried on strolling, whereas I dragged myself again to city: no passport, dreadlocks, or dignity, nor a single mountain view.Paris Lees, author‘I had by no means carried out lengthy haul earlier than’: Paris Lees. {Photograph}: S Meddle/ITV/Rex/ShutterstockIt was technically a piece journey, in that it was a press journey I needed to write up for {a magazine}. For me it was this wonderful alternative to go to Thailand. I’d by no means carried out lang haul earlier than. To be sincere, I hadn’t travelled overseas in any respect very a lot, having been poor rising up and feeling manner too self-conscious (and nonetheless poor) as a scholar and younger trans girl early in transition.We went in January, however a number of days earlier than I had actually damage my shoulder falling over on Hampstead Heath whereas strolling the editor’s canine, in fact. I obtained on the flight in ache and 12 hours scrunched up in a small seat didn’t assist. The “vacation” felt extra like a boot camp – we might take pleasure in ourselves precisely the way in which the PR needed us to, whether or not we appreciated it or not.I used to be in critical ache, however she had zero sympathy. Throughout one night of organised “enjoyable”, she informed me I wasn’t allowed to go away the seashore. For sure, I jumped on the again of a scooter with some random man, who took me up a mountain to look at the dawn. It was the one a part of the journey I loved. Thanks, babe, I’m perpetually grateful.What It Feels Like For a Lady by Paris Lees is printed by Penguin Books at £20. To order a replica for £17.40, go to