So you had a terrible vacation. Whose fault is that: The airline’s? The hotel’s? Or yours?

As the busy summer travel wraps up, it’s too easy to point the finger somewhere – at an airline, hotel, or travel agent. Or, if all else fails, you can blame the pandemic. But the truth is a little more complicated.

“Trips are highly anticipated events in our lives,” says Joseph Tropper, a clinical therapist who specializes in trauma issues. “They bring the promise of adventure, exploration, or just rest and relaxation. What people often forget, though, are the stress and hassles that come along with a trip.”

A recent poll suggests that, although vacations occasionally go off-course, relatively few of them go entirely off the rails. The survey, by travel insurance company World Nomads, says that a majority of trips (57%)are “mostly” fine. But just over a quarter say their vacation had “moments,” and just under 1% described their vacation as a “total disaster.”

“The reality of travel is there is always something that goes a little wrong,” says Phil Sylvester, a spokesman for World Nomads.

A closer look at the vacation horror stories reveals a surprising truth. Occasionally, the mishap is the traveler’s fault. Yet travelers are reluctant to take responsibility. That makes them look like the worst kind of entitled consumers.

Who’s really responsible for a terrible vacation?

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