Meet the Winner of our 'Worst Vacation Ever' Contest

When we asked for the best of your worst vacation horror stories, we never suspected our readers would have so much material on hand. Close to 25 Massachusetts families shared tales of near drownings, actual food poisonings, ER trips for stitches and broken bones, and encounters with hurricanes, cockroaches and swarms of angry bees.


After much deliberation, our editorial team chose Jo Hannah Katz of Lexington as our grand-prize winner. Read her account of a disastrous vacation below. To make up for her awful vacation, this mother of six has won a trip to Purity Spring Resort in Madison, N.H., which includes lodging, meals and fun summer activities like wakeboarding, biking and fishing.


Thanks to all who entered our contest. We hope your summer vacations go much more smoothly from now on. Read on for our winning entry from Jo Hannah Katz:


A Vacation To Forget


“DAY 1: Within six hours of arrival in New Hampshire for summer vacation with friends, daughter No. 4 (age 9) clicks a special pen she found – an Epi-Pen. Needle through her thumb and thumbnail. A 30-minute drive to the emergency room. There by midnight, home by 2 a.m.


DAY 2: Daughter No. 1 (age 16) slips and falls on carpeted stairs. E.R. trip No. 2, same time, same doctor. Ankle broken, on crutches, needs to see orthopedist.


DAY 3: Drive home to see orthopedist. Others stuck at boring indoor pool. Son (age 18) loses electronic game.


DAY 4: Same son learns cell phones should not go swimming.


DAY 5: Finally go to area's best beach. It’s closed due to high levels of E. coli bacteria. Endless disappointments for two moms and seven kids.


DAY 6: Have reservations for boat trip. Discover car battery has died overnight. Others go off while I wait for AAA. Head back to the house to get book to read while waiting. Door is locked. Everyone’s gone and with all the keys. Car won’t start, no book to read. Half hour later, they return: no boat trip. We pack immediately, leave a day early. We’re happy to head home and relieved to be leaving THE WORST VACATION EVER!”

– Jo Hannah Katz of Lexington





More Vacation Story Gems

While only one entry could be named the winner, here are a few priceless excerpts from other contenders:


“The buzzer sounds as I walk through the [airport] detection device. Imagine the look of horror on my husband’s face when the TSA worker discovers not one, but three box cutters inside my bag! As a merchandiser for Hallmark, my job involved opening boxes to unpack greeting cards. For safety, I routinely put my tools in the outside pocket of my handbag.”

– Diane Piper of Foxboro


“Our family of four, plus our daughter’s friend and our dog, were heading to Myrtle Beach. At about 9 p.m., about three hours away from our destination, we were hit by another driver who ran a stop sign. He hit us and sent us careening head-on into a utility pole. The other driver ran away on foot, leaving us with our totaled car and his truck in the middle of nowhere.”

– Kelley Conrad of Upton


“Our first day of our first trip to Disney World and my 7-year-old son ends up in the ER for emergency surgery ending with eight stitches in his testicle. Need I say more?”

– Becky Rabson of Newton


“The side of the RV came loose (you could actually see the highway zooming by), we had torrential downpours for days (the RV lacked a few windows), there were several flat tires, and we were stranded in Nebraska because we ran out of money. But my family persevered. We found the humor in everything that went wrong. My parents made sure of it.”

Tammy Kelly of Tewksbury


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