I came across a funny article about ridiculous complaints by spoiled holidaymakers. That inspired me to create this little worksheet/activity. I used it as a warm-up activity for my students the next lesson in which we covered writing complaints – holiday edition 🙂
Teacher tip: If they can’t come up with any own ideas in the second task, let them use some ideas from the list.
Download a PDF version for easy printing Travel complaints student worksheet
ESL Role play: Holiday
In pairs read the ridiculous complaints holidaymakers made to their travel agent.
Which is the craziest one? How would you have answered if you were in the place of the travel agent?
Why do you think people complain about these things?
Astonishing holiday complaints
1. “I think it should be explained in the brochure that the local store does not sell proper biscuits like custard creams or ginger nuts.”
2. “We booked an excursion to a water park but no-one told us we had to bring our swimming costumes and towels.”
3. “The beach was too sandy.”
4. “On my holiday to Goa in India, I was disgusted to find that almost every restaurant served curry. I don’t like spicy food at all.”
5. “It’s lazy of the local shopkeepers to close in the afternoons. I often needed to buy things during ‘siesta’ time – this should be banned.”
6. A woman threatened to call police after claiming that she’d been locked in by staff. When in fact, she had mistaken the “do not disturb” sign on the back of the door as a warning to remain in the room.
7. “We found the sand was not like the sand in the brochure. Your brochure shows the sand as yellow but it was white.”
8. A guest at a Novotel in Australia complained his soup was too thick and strong. He was inadvertently slurping the gravy at the time.
9. “We bought ‘Ray-Ban’ sunglasses for five Euros from a street trader, only to find out they were fake.”
10. “Topless sunbathing on the beach should be banned. The holiday was ruined, as my husband spent all day looking at other women.”
11. “No-one told us there would be fish in the sea. The children were startled.”
12. “It took us nine hours to fly home from Jamaica to England. It only took the Americans three hours to get home.”
13. “I compared the size of our one-bedroom apartment to our friends’ three-bedroom apartment and ours was significantly smaller.”
14. “I was bitten by a mosquito. No one said they could bite.”
15. “The brochure stated: ‘No hairdressers at the accommodation’. We’re trainee hairdressers – will we be OK staying there?”
16. “There are too many Spanish people. The receptionist speaks Spanish. The food is Spanish. Too many foreigners now live abroad.”
17. “My fiancé and I booked a twin-bedded room but we were placed in a double-bedded room. We now hold you responsible for the fact that I find myself pregnant. This would not have happened if you had put us in the room that we booked.”
18. “We had to queue outside with no air conditioning.”
These complaints are all taken from a survey from Thomas Cook and ABTA, revealing the most ridiculous complaints holidaymakers made to their travel agent.
Think of two similar ridiculous complaints.
Role-play the dialogue with a classmate.
Student A You are an unsatisfied holiday maker and you are going to complain!
Student B You are a holiday representative and you try to be as polite as possible and explain the misunderstanding.
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