Take a vacation, they said, it will be fun, they said. Except if it’s not. Because the truth is, no matter what the pitch-perfect shots on social media show, what the travel blogs tell you, what the summer getaway packages promise you, no one is safe from their holiday going from ripe to sour in no time.

The same goes with holiday pictures. It’s no secret that part of the motive to travel is driven by a wish to have great photos. Something to put on your Facebook page, something to share on Instagram, something to show off to your friends and colleagues, because humans are vain and it doesn’t take a whole lot to feel good.

This post is a safe place to talk about hard things. So if you've ever seen your dream holiday pictures crashing down like a sand castle, know that you’re far from the only one. We have all looked like lost potatoheads and sunburnt crabs, been photobombed or betrayed by weather at some point of our vacation.

So Bored Panda has compiled this list of travel photo fails to soothe our holiday-hungry souls and remind us that we can always take our fedora and go on yet another trip to collect not just good, but the very best pics. Psst! More vacation photo fails can be found in our previous feature right here.

#1

Tried To Take A Panoramic Picture Of The Eiffel Tower Today, It Went Surprisingly Well

Tried To Take A Panoramic Picture Of The Eiffel Tower Today, It Went Surprisingly Well

Lifelapse Report

Rabbit Carrot
Community Member
1 month ago

Funky.

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To find out more about what it takes to make a perfect vacation shot and how to avoid making common mistakes that lead to photo fails like we’ve seen in this post, we spoke with a couple of experts. For many people, vacation shots are something worthwhile when traveling to the furthest corners of the world. But even for more casual travelers, it’s always nice to take good photographs to share with friends and family.

#2

Thanks Tour Guide For Taking Such A Great Photo Of Everyone

Thanks Tour Guide For Taking Such A Great Photo Of Everyone

finnicko Report

Panda
Community Member
1 month ago

He looks good!! 😁

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#3

Going To Cristo And Taking A 3D Photo Is Priceless

Going To Cristo And Taking A 3D Photo Is Priceless

Pedromendonca15 Report

Rabbit Carrot
Community Member
1 month ago

Jesus, he’s just like the real thing.

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Vacation shots are “important because that's the time they get to enjoy together, whether it's a couple, family or just friends,” said Charlie, the team manager of The Parisian Photographers, a Paris-based photography service that joins talented professional photographers who make pitch-perfect memories for couples, weddings, family, solo portraits, elopements, you name it. “Also because there is excitement of travel and discovering a new country, city and beautiful places there.”

“In the case of Paris, this is even more the case as it's often related to the city of love and romance for couples, and visitors in general are in awe of the city landmarks, food and French culture,” Charlie said, referring to the beautiful city where The Parisian Photographers work.

#4

It's All About The Journey Though Right?

It's All About The Journey Though Right?

xoShaaan Report

Adam Chang
Community Member
1 month ago

wow you got so close to the top you only see snow.

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#5

My Sister Rented A Flat Here In North Of Iceland For Christmas, This Is Her View

My Sister Rented A Flat Here In North Of Iceland For Christmas, This Is Her View

maggipedia Report

broken_guy
Community Member
1 month ago

cool if you've never seen snow tho

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#6

Visited The Grand Canyon. Pictures Don't Do It Justice

Visited The Grand Canyon. Pictures Don't Do It Justice

bostontom Report

ElenaK
Community Member
1 month ago

Judging from the logo he also paid for this photo? Poor guy!

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There are multiple reasons why it's so hard to get good images on vacations. “First of all, because you don't know the place as locals do, that's why hiring a local photographer can be so helpful,” Charlie said. “Also, selfies may be a way to do it, but the angles will be the same. Tripods and selfie sticks can help, but a photographer will also bring his/her expertise by shooting from a distance, including more landscape or cityscape in the background, varying portraits and wide-angle shots,” he explained.

#7

Me, Outside The Duomo In Milan, Getting Photobombed. By A Pigeon

Me, Outside The Duomo In Milan, Getting Photobombed. By A Pigeon

wilko2205 Report

John Dwyer
Community Member
1 month ago

Where's Wally? (Waldo to you yanks)

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#8

Trying To Explain To The 70-Year-Old Swiss Man Who Offered To Take Our Pic That His Finger Was Covering The Lens

Trying To Explain To The 70-Year-Old Swiss Man Who Offered To Take Our Pic That His Finger Was Covering The Lens

Inesmu Report

Kathi Schäffer
Community Member
1 month ago

Haha had the same experience with an elderly gentleman in Thailand. He was very nice, though :)

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#9

Smile

Smile

cheekytlacuache Report

Rabbit Carrot
Community Member
1 month ago

Probably not a moment he wants immortalised.

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When asked about the most common mistakes people make while taking vacation photos, Charlie listed a handful of them. The first one is taking only selfie photos. “It will be the same angle every time and wide-angle lens from the camera is not the most gratifying.” Another one is “only taking photos of your family/better half or friends since you won't be in the photo. Feel free to ask a stranger to take a picture of you all,” Charlie suggested.

#10

Not Mount Rushmore, But I Woke Up At 3AM And Hiked Up Machu Picchu To Be There At Sunrise

Not Mount Rushmore, But I Woke Up At 3AM And Hiked Up Machu Picchu To Be There At Sunrise

ranzprinzessin Report

Rabbit Carrot
Community Member
1 month ago

And you made a new friend.

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#11

Went To Go See The Golden Gate Bridge

Went To Go See The Golden Gate Bridge

thebeardedteach Report

Rabbit Carrot
Community Member
1 month ago

I like this pic. So atmospheric and you can still see the bridge.

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#12

We Hiked 3 Hours To Get A Good Picture Of Our Hometown. Our City Is On The Left

We Hiked 3 Hours To Get A Good Picture Of Our Hometown. Our City Is On The Left

97Hshk Report

Rabbit Carrot
Community Member
1 month ago

Still a good picture.

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Doing it in the middle of the day is another common faux pas in vacation photos. Instead, Charlie’s advice is to aim for sunrise or sunset when the light is better. The last one, according to him, is not hiring a local photographer. “Even just a short/mini session can do wonders to have photos you'll cherish forever.”

#13

This Guy Having A Selfie With Mona Lisa

This Guy Having A Selfie With Mona Lisa

tarandfeathers Report

Rabbit Carrot
Community Member
1 month ago

He still got to see it and at least he’s not at the back of the huge crowd that flock around it.

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#14

The “Waterfall” My Family Drove Two Hours To See

The “Waterfall” My Family Drove Two Hours To See

Single_Savage Report

Tomas Holicka
Community Member
1 month ago

Well, technically...

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#15

Expectation vs. Reality. London Edition

Expectation vs. Reality. London Edition

anticlimaticveg Report

ElenaK
Community Member
1 month ago

So, who is in the first pic? It looks like the same girl, so mission accomplished.

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According to Charlie, a couple of things to think of when aiming for a pitch-perfect vacation shot are: more photos by sunrise/sunset; asking someone to take a picture of the whole group (for friends/family) or couple; asking for someone who has a camera and seems to know what they're doing; hiring a local photographer.

#16

Go To The Taj Mahal At Sunrise, They Said. It'll Be Beautiful, They Said

Go To The Taj Mahal At Sunrise, They Said. It'll Be Beautiful, They Said

the_breadlord Report

Rabbit Carrot
Community Member
1 month ago

Phil Colins

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#17

Bought These Binoculars Specifically To Go To The Grand Canyon Today

Bought These Binoculars Specifically To Go To The Grand Canyon Today

Ericalva91 Report

broken_guy
Community Member
1 month ago

winter, the enemy of good photos

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#18

I've Noticed This Guy Just Now, A Few Days After I Took The Photo And This Photo Will Be In My Tourist Association Book

I've Noticed This Guy Just Now, A Few Days After I Took The Photo And This Photo Will Be In My Tourist Association Book

Monaj1 Report

Vasha
Community Member
1 month ago

Poof! He's gone: bad-vacati...6065b9.jpg bad-vacation-photos-310-6272802c7d7c1__700-62821186065b9.jpg

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We also spoke with Krystal Kenney, a photographer working in Paris, France, specializing in portraits. Kenney is originally from Baltimore, Maryland, but has been in Paris for 10 years working with organizations such as the Louvre, Orsay, and diplomats.

The photographer told us that it’s hard to get good images of your vacation by yourself because there are certain principles that make a good image. Moreover, “you don’t know the best locations when you are traveling. Sometimes there are hidden gems,” Kenney said. According to her, the most common mistake while taking vacation photos is not shooting at the golden hours. “Sunrise is best because there are no people around and beautiful light,” she added.

#19

Climbed North Europa's Tallest Mountain At 8100 Feet, And Got This Picture

Climbed North Europa's Tallest Mountain At 8100 Feet, And Got This Picture

White_Plastic_Cup Report

Rabbit Carrot
Community Member
1 month ago

Pretend it’s in 8 bit and you were going for a retro feel.

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#20

My Wife At The Top Of The Sears/Willis Tower On A Foggy Day

My Wife At The Top Of The Sears/Willis Tower On A Foggy Day

heming_sway Report

Rabbit Carrot
Community Member
1 month ago

Nope. You would never get me in there even on a good day!

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#21

A Nice Asian Family Asked My Son To Take A Picture Of Them. He Didn't Understand

A Nice Asian Family Asked My Son To Take A Picture Of Them. He Didn't Understand

truth_seerum81 Report

Noorma Hanifah
Community Member
1 month ago

I love his expression 😆

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#22

Waited Forever For The Crowd To Dissipate To Take A Picture, Then This Happened

Waited Forever For The Crowd To Dissipate To Take A Picture, Then This Happened

Shaneblaster Report

Spacey
Community Member
1 month ago

He is actually posing.

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#23

Guy Took Week Off Of Work To Climb Mountain Kilimanjaro And Raise Money For Charity. This Is The Picture His Guide Took At The Summit Before The Phone Died

Guy Took Week Off Of Work To Climb Mountain Kilimanjaro And Raise Money For Charity. This Is The Picture His Guide Took At The Summit Before The Phone Died

crash288 Report

Trisha Howson
Community Member
1 month ago

All man that sucks!

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#24

I (Left) Was Excited To See The Tip Of Africa From Gibraltar But - Fog. Still The Closest I’ve Ever Been

I (Left) Was Excited To See The Tip Of Africa From Gibraltar But - Fog. Still The Closest I’ve Ever Been

WhatAJSaid Report

Katy McMouse
Community Member
1 month ago

They don't seem to care, they're having fun anyway.

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#25

The Only Photo I Have Of Myself On My Camera From My Only Overseas Trip

The Only Photo I Have Of Myself On My Camera From My Only Overseas Trip

Neon_state Report

Cyndielouwhoo
Community Member
1 month ago

Well, what do you expect when you join the witness relocation program :D

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#26

Tried To Grab A Quick Photo While Driving Past The Washington Monument

Tried To Grab A Quick Photo While Driving Past The Washington Monument

spiggerish Report

PandaJon
Community Member
1 month ago

I love hide and seek

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#27

Went On A Hike Today Which Promised Stunning Views. My Pic Is On The Bottom

Went On A Hike Today Which Promised Stunning Views. My Pic Is On The Bottom

reddit.com Report

Marianne
Community Member
1 month ago

Looks like the famous painting by Caspar David Friedrich.

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#28

I Traveled From UK All The Way To Germany To Take Photos Of The Devil’s Eye, But When I Got There

I Traveled From UK All The Way To Germany To Take Photos Of The Devil’s Eye, But When I Got There

AlleDs Report

Wistiti
Community Member
1 month ago

The world is loosing its water reserves.

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#29

This Is My Wife And I At The Highest Point On Skyline Drive, Overlooking The Majestic Shenandoah Valley

This Is My Wife And I At The Highest Point On Skyline Drive, Overlooking The Majestic Shenandoah Valley

anarchistchiken Report

Rabbit Carrot
Community Member
1 month ago

Still a nice picture though! Cute couple.

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#30

On Our Honeymoon In Hallstatt Austria

On Our Honeymoon In Hallstatt Austria

reddit.com Report

Jennifer .S
Community Member
1 month ago

Honestly still looks good I think

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#31

Missus Taking A Photo Of Me With A Llama vs. Me Taking A Photo Of Her. When The Llama's Rear Becomes Your New Hairstyle

Missus Taking A Photo Of Me With A Llama vs. Me Taking A Photo Of Her. When The Llama's Rear Becomes Your New Hairstyle

jacksonjdsouza Report

Francisco Manuel Teruel Gutiérrez
Community Member
1 month ago

Merge with the environment, they said.

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#32

I See Your Scenic Photos Ruined By The Weather And Present The Time I Fulfilled A Life Long Dream To Visit The Taj Mahal

I See Your Scenic Photos Ruined By The Weather And Present The Time I Fulfilled A Life Long Dream To Visit The Taj Mahal

Phteven_with_a_v Report

Ranger Kanootsen
Community Member
1 month ago

I think it looks so mysterious like this thooo!

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#33

Travelled Nearly 300 Miles To The Northernmost Point Of Vietnam So I Could See China - This Was The View

Travelled Nearly 300 Miles To The Northernmost Point Of Vietnam So I Could See China - This Was The View

siyoung91 Report

Mixed Reality Portal
Community Member
1 month ago

You have firewalls? We have fogwalls ... Move along now there's nothing to see here...

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#34

Told My Girlfriend To Use The Last Piece Of Film We Had With Us To Get A Picture Of Me In Front Of Some Mountains

Told My Girlfriend To Use The Last Piece Of Film We Had With Us To Get A Picture Of Me In Front Of Some Mountains

JasonLDB Report

just a random panda
Community Member
1 month ago

still kinda nice, probably something to laugh at later on

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#35

Travelled 10,000 Km To See The Total Solar Eclipse In Chile. Heavy Rain And Low Clouds Blocked The Entire Show

Travelled 10,000 Km To See The Total Solar Eclipse In Chile. Heavy Rain And Low Clouds Blocked The Entire Show

youyouxue Report

Sue Lynn Chan
Community Member
1 month ago

But the dog is still there

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#36

What I Expected To See At Preikestolen vs. What I Got

What I Expected To See At Preikestolen vs. What I Got

fakejew Report

Johnnie Meechan
Community Member
1 month ago

At least you managed to dodge the crowds

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#37

Took My Buddy To The Grand Canyon For The First Time Today. Spectacular Views All Around

Took My Buddy To The Grand Canyon For The First Time Today. Spectacular Views All Around

happyeggplant_ Report

Catarina
Community Member
1 month ago

I love this PIC is still beautiful

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#38

It Was Always A Personal Dream To Be Able To Go And Visit This Remarkable Oak Tree In The Shawshank Redemption

It Was Always A Personal Dream To Be Able To Go And Visit This Remarkable Oak Tree In The Shawshank Redemption

Turns out that people after the film released took away all those stones from the little wall that led to the tree away to their homes and lately in 2016 the tree fell in a thunderstorm.

Aadarsh18 Report

Soggy Crumpet
Community Member
1 month ago

While this is very sad, the wall removal wouldn’t have anything to do with the tree falling. Oak trees have some of the most invasive root systems and go very wide in all directions. Must have been a very serious thunderstorm

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#39

Expectation vs. Reality. Travel Edition

Expectation vs. Reality. Travel Edition

First picture is me at the Mar Rosado En Galerazamba 2 years ago. The next pic is what it looks like in 2021. The final picture is me looking embarrassed because I hyped this place up to my friends, and it was beyond disappointing.
 

yupshetravels Report

N G
Community Member
1 month ago

it all depends on what time of the months you see the lake

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#40

Unfortunately These Images Are Not An April Fools Joke. This Really Was Our View After Hiking The Famous Preikestolen. We Had To Rely On Google Images To See The View

Unfortunately These Images Are Not An April Fools Joke. This Really Was Our View After Hiking The Famous Preikestolen. We Had To Rely On Google Images To See The View

mcstockmisadventures Report

Kevin Corcoran
Community Member
1 month ago

Don't show this to Ripley! The silhouette has some Alien Queen vibes with the head😬

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#41

Drove 4 Hours Round Trip To See An Active Volcano Today, While On Vacation

Drove 4 Hours Round Trip To See An Active Volcano Today, While On Vacation

marinefuc86ed Report

CookieCrump
Community Member
1 month ago

You can still sort of see it.

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#42

On Top Of A Volcano, Waiting For The Sunrise To Materialize. Thanks To The Clouds, This Was The Best View We Saw

On Top Of A Volcano, Waiting For The Sunrise To Materialize. Thanks To The Clouds, This Was The Best View We Saw

izzy_mitchz Report

Injun Joe
Community Member
1 month ago

A really beautiful picture though.

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#43

Wait What?

Wait What?

paris.instatour Report

Donkey boi
Community Member
1 month ago

There was a guy at the leaning tower of Pisa that offered to take photos of the tourists doing the whole "holding up the tower" thing. He'd position them to do something similar to this. I watched him do it to at least 15 people.

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#44

Travelled To London To Go On The London Eye

Travelled To London To Go On The London Eye

thiccnuthair Report

Hermien Greeff
Community Member
1 month ago

Surely this could have been predicted from below? Before paying and going on the ride??

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#45

Finally Able To Travel To Paris And The Arch De Triumph Looks Like This. It's An "Art" Project

Finally Able To Travel To Paris And The Arch De Triumph Looks Like This. It's An "Art" Project

hhyyerr Report

Tomas Holicka
Community Member
1 month ago

Yeah, that's Christo and I'd say it's a once in a lifetime win, not fail.

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#46

Expectation vs. Reality. At Least It Was Just A Four-Hour Hike

Expectation vs. Reality. At Least It Was Just A Four-Hour Hike

reddit.com Report

boredpandaki
Community Member
1 month ago

I feel bad for the buddy who waits yo take the picture of the other far away who pose

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#47

My Parents Got To Visit Mt. Rushmore Today For The First Time. The View Is Spectacular

My Parents Got To Visit Mt. Rushmore Today For The First Time. The View Is Spectacular

HoneyBadgeSwag Report

Pungent Sauce
Community Member
1 month ago

Ask the Sioux Nation how they feel about that ‘monument’

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#48

Flew To Kauai To View The Na Pali Coast

Flew To Kauai To View The Na Pali Coast

kwisssy Report

Katy McMouse
Community Member
1 month ago

Too close! TOO. CLOSE! This is giving me the jitters.

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#49

Flew 13 Hours To Hawaii To See Volcanoes National Park

Flew 13 Hours To Hawaii To See Volcanoes National Park

P-dubbs Report

Chloe Serrano
Community Member
1 month ago

They’re so beautiful!

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#50

My View From The Top Of Mount Machu Picchu vs. What The View Could Have Been

My View From The Top Of Mount Machu Picchu vs. What The View Could Have Been

PinguProductions Report

Sabs
Community Member
1 month ago

Visited Machu Picchu in 2009, the historic site was amazing the view was breathtaking, I watched as my family walked the ruins as I was too sick to walk too far from the altitude. We visited the town and visited a few families and watched a parade and soccer match. Sadly the mudslide the next year took half the town with it. We have pictures of us standing in parts of the town that are gone.

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Note: this post originally had 100 images. It’s been shortened to the top 50 images based on user votes.