You’ve dreamt of seeing the pyramids, Venice or Rome for your whole life.
Then you get there and it’s just not what you expected.
We’ve all built up a trip in our minds, only to find it’s not remotely like the brochures.
So to avoid this pitfall, here are your most disappointing destinations on earth, as voted for on Reddit.
1. Los Angeles: ‘The whole city is a lie’
LA was one of the biggest let-downs for holiday-makers.
Travelers expecting Hollywood glitz and glamour were shocked to find what they called a run-down, dangerous and dirty urban sprawl.
Many said it was concrete and “uninteresting”, believing there was little more to it than the tacky Hollywood Boulevard (with homeless people sleeping beside the Walk of Fame).
One of the biggest gripes was the fact that great distances make it impossible to walk around, and that the public transport is poor, making much of the city inaccessible to non-drivers.
2. The Pyramids: ‘Stayed 15 minutes’
Egypt tops many a bucket list, particularly for the world-famous Pyramids of Giza.
But you may think twice after you read reams of horror stories of stolen belongings and garbage-strewn streets.
The wondrous pyramids themselves “can be seen from Pizza Hut”, and are so close to the city you cannot imagine them away from the noise and chaos, visitors said.
Many said they were constantly harassed by locals trying to sell them things, and one said it was a “kick in the stomach” to find that the inside of the central chamber “looked like a cow shed.”
3. Stonehenge: ‘Very anticlimactic’
The ancient English monument is a major disappointment for tourists.
It’s small, you can’t get very close to it, and it’s really not worth the rather long journey from London, many agreed.
One commenter said his wife was back in the car before he had reached the second information board.
Many were confused over what a “henge” even was, with one asking if it was “Latin for tourist trap”.
An archaeology student pointed out that nearby Avebury Henge was much better — “bigger and you can walk right up to it.”
4. Paris: ‘Worst city on earth’
The French capital comes in for plenty of criticism from the naysayers, mainly thanks to the reported rudeness of the locals.
While some said this was down to tourists’ failure to attempt the language, others called it a general air of superiority.
“I couldn’t order a f***ing coffee, in English or in French, without a disdainful look from any cafe employee,” became a familiar story.
Other accusations levelled at the city were that it was overpriced, dirty and “smelled of urine.”
5. Venice: ‘A gigantic tourist trap’
While Rome and Naples also got votes, picturesque Venice was most frustrating for visitors.
Many thought it was sad to see how it had declined because of tourists, making it impossible to find affordable food and drink in central areas.
“The famed canals are horribly polluted and filled with garbage,” said one visitor.
Others said it was crowded and full of scammers, and worth a weekend visit at most. “Disneyland for middle aged American yuppies,” was the verdict.
6. Dubai: ‘Smoke and mirrors’
The UAE’s massive, expensive land of giant malls and skyscrapers hit the wrong note for many visitors.
Tourists slammed it as “overpriced, superficial, fake and unfriendly”, with others left feeling empty at the lack of culture.
Many hated the intense heat, coupled with scenery of “malls and slums”, while others objected to what they saw as a sexist culture.
The large buildings were “cool to see for about 45 seconds.
7. Jamaica: ‘I will never go back’
Jamaica came up frequently for being full of opportunists looking for “tips” for doing nothing.
Even beauty spots like the Duns River were dismissed as no more than “tourist traps”.
Some found that local vendors were aggressive or hostile, and even said they felt physically threatened by people who were simply after their money.
8. Bali: ‘Every beach sucks’
Lucky for Australians, our country only came up a few times, with a couple of complaints about Uluru being dull and one black traveler saying they had “never felt more ostracized or aware of my skin color”.
But Aussies’ favorite holiday destination — Bali — was a crushing disappointment to visitors from further away.
One said the infrastructure was so bad they wanted to “run away and hide” so as not to contribute to the “degradation of culture”.
Others said Bali’s beaches were filthy, touristy and full of scammers; certainly not the paradise they had flown around the world to see.
And the rest...
From Philadelphia to Florida, Tunisia to Turkey, the long list of shattered dreams shows that bad trip can really stick in your head.
The over-hype of world-famous landmarks from Niagara Falls to Times Square to the Taj Mahal has inevitably left us asking: “Is that it?”
Dirty streets, conmen and crowds of tourists were repeat offenders for ruining holidays, although the influx of visitors ruining popular resorts seems a self-fulfilling prophesy.
Reassuringly, for every negative comment there was someone who loved a place, recommending off-the-beaten track secrets and nearby hidden gems.