Family vacations are perhaps called such because you often need a vacation from your family after spending so much time together. Regardless of how far you travel and how many people you take along for the ride, one thing is certain: you are bound to take a multitude of pictures. Fortunately, today’s technology allows us to delete the duds before anyone else sees them. Yet, there was a day not too far back when we shook that Polaroid proudly, anxiously awaiting what would appear. More times than not, it revealed an awkward image depicting the crazy ride we chose to call our vacation. For your entertainment, we have compiled a list of some of the best worst family vacation photos to offer you a little vacation from your busy day.
20 Hidden camera
Most people can agree that the only thing more entertaining than a hilarious family vacation photo is a hilarious home video. This particular photo offers the best of both worlds with someone capturing a dad making a home video. He looked happy with his high tech camera and was so caught up in filming that he forgot about the kids, or at least one of them. It looks like one little toddler was not included in the filming, since there was a huge retro camera case in front of the child’s face! Mom did not seem too concerned either, as she stood back with a blank stare on her face. Perhaps they were actually aware of the baby’s situation. They could have been making some sort of tourist mocumentary and planned on giving the baby recognition in the credits for production assistant.
19 Meet me at the pole
Sometimes, part of the fun in taking a trip out on the open road is documenting where you traveled by posing on the side of the road. Most people choose a state sign, mile marker, or landmark for their backdrop, but this particular family decided to meet at an iron pole. Not only that, but they thought it would be fun to all pose on the pole, too. They could have sat facing forward, but someone obviously thought straddling the pole would be even more fun. Dad, in particular, seems a little too relaxed in this position, not even needing to prop a hand to hold him up. Maybe he has had some experience with straddling poles before?
18 Stop and smell the flowers
When you are not stopping on the side of the road to pose by signs or sit on poles, you may just want to stop, stretch, and take a little time to smell the open air, or perhaps whatever flowers are sprouting on the side of the interstate. Hopefully, you chose to stop. Otherwise, that probably means your vehicle is broken down and you have been forced to walk to the nearest gas station or any sign of civilization. That seems like the case for this family. The good part about having grown kids is that you can take photos of the journey and your husband can smell the flowers—literally, while the kids carry all the luggage. It looks as if this poor girl also had to carry pails of water, too.
17 A tale of two tanks
There appears to be two tanks in this picture: the actual army tank and that man’s tank of a belly hanging out in front of it. Judging by that hand on hip pose, it appears that grandpa seemed pretty confident in his physique. We can all agree that it does take a great deal of confidence to wear short shorts with those white legs and gut hanging out so prominently. How could he possibly pass up such a photo opportunity like this one? The only thing that could possibly make this photo better would be if he had climbed up inside the tank for a nice action shot. But then, we would have missed out on such an awesome view of those snow white crab legs.
16 I can’t see the waterfall
Niagara Falls is a popular tourist attraction that brings in a multitude of tourists every year. One of the most iconic markings of taking a trip to the Falls is when someone takes a picture in front of the waterfall wearing a big yellow poncho. This father and son could not pass up the chance to do so, but the son also could not stand to get wet. While dad decided it was worth getting misted in order to have his face seen in front of the waterfall, the little boy decided to keep his poncho pulled tight. So tight, in fact, that all he could do was see and breathe (we hope he can breathe). There is no way to know if he was smiling since we cannot see anything but his upper lip.
15 Barrels of fun
You could put on a yellow poncho and hope it will not be a bad hair day during your trip to Niagara. Yet, there is a different alternative to standing in front of the actual waterfall to document your trip to Niagara Falls. For instance, you could head to the photo booth to take your chances in a fake barrel, rolling over the Falls. This family chose that fate and even made the most of it by putting on some petrifying faces for the camera. It is hard to tell from the barrel caption if they were “Dare Devil” or “Dared Evil.” Either way, it is evident that they made this memory in the 1970's by their choices of clothing and hairstyles. Not to mention, the large frame dark glasses worn by the dad and eldest son.
14 Falling in plane sight
Just when you thought a photo booth could not get any cheesier than that of the fake barrel drifting over Niagara Falls, this little beauty pops up. Sticking your head through the window of a fake plane is silly enough in itself, but these three girls had to go the extra mile by pretending to hang one out the window. Whether the two in the plane are pretending to help pull her up or drop her out, the little girl hanging seems terrified while they are all smiles. It may have seemed cool at the time, but we are sure that years later, it became a staple in the family photo album and a photo that everyone will laugh about for years to come. We can’t quit laughing about it ourselves!
13 Surf’s up
Part of the fun of a beach vacation is hanging out by the ocean. Mostly the experienced athletic people choose to surf the waves, too. Then, there's this family. Despite their efforts to make their pose look real, we all know too well that it is fake thanks to all the red flags (and we don’t mean red flags at the lifeguard stand).
First of all, there is no way that that many people could fit on one surf board. Second, people don’t dress in jeans, shoes, and suspenders to go surfing. Third, there is the pitiful paint job on the backdrop. And, as if all these signs of fakeness do not make this scene funny enough, grandpa looks like he is passed out from heat exhaustion while everyone else is just surfing alone. At least he can obviously float.
12 Going on a bear hunt
We have all seen our share of hilariously posed vacation photos where the family took to a photo booth for a themed background to display the place they choose to visit. Even funnier though is this family who stood in front of an icy cave with someone in a bear suit. They are seen holding up ice picks as if they were mining the icy walls, while the youngest child held a white teddy bear that he proudly got from the souvenir shop. Everyone is all smiles in this photo, even the fake bear that is seen creeping in the background. We are having a hard time deciding what is creepiest: the fact that there is someone in a bear suit, the fact that it has a toothy but constipated expression, or the fact that it has an arm around the daughter’s shoulder.
11 The love between a father and son
Photo booths can be found in the strangest places, like perhaps in the center of a souvenir shop. It is always fun to stop and take a photo when traveling, especially when you can get a free backdrop. It is important, though, to first consider who is in the photo and what is present in the background. For example, the so-called tunnel of love is not a likely place for a father and son to hang out. Then again, there is nothing like the love between a father and son. Someone needs to tell this pair that fact, though, as they look a little sad or bored in this photo. If only we could keep a straight face while staring at their straight faces in the tunnel of love.
10 Making waves
Forget surfing or boating, this family went straight for the waves! Well, it actually looks like the waves went straight for them. Whoever caught this moment on photo could not have timed it better, though the family probably disagreed. The parents look terrified, while the son is just trying to keep from falling under. It is lucky that the little girl is being held up by her dad, but it's unfortunate that we could not see her face. We can tell, however, that she got splashed face first by the huge wave coming right toward her. She may have gotten the worst of it even though she could see it coming. She could not get away, and it hit her head on. There is no doubt they will never forget this trip to the beach. No staged photo opt could beat this gem.
9 Drowning in love
When you think about romantic date ideas, riding horses on the beach often comes to mind. This couple not only did that, but they also got to ride off into the ocean on their horses. But horses are known for being extra skittish creatures, and unless you are a horse whisperer, you will most likely need a tour guide to help with such a feat. Especially if you venture into wavy waters, you may even need the tour guide to hold on tight to the reins while you snap a photo. Just make sure you get a tour guide who knows how to swim. Otherwise, he or she could innocently drown in the sea while you share a passionate kiss on horseback for the camera. While one family was fighting off waves, another couple was oblivious to what their tour guide was going through! Maybe the photographer was able to come to the rescue.
8 Cabbage Patch canyon
No family photo is complete without the kids—Cabbage Patch Kids to be exact. It would be totally normal for the little girl to have a doll armed up, but it is a little more than weird for the mom and brother to both be holding on. The expressions on their faces are priceless. Mom looks very solemn and serious. Brother, on the other hand, has this “too cool for school” expression that is amplified by the dark shades and then totally destroyed by the Cabbage Patch in his grip. Sure, these dolls were extremely popular in the 1980s, but to take multiple ones on vacation and have the whole family pose with them in front of a landscape, is a little over the top.
7 Mom’s big moment
It is totally normal for a family of four to pose together on the beach. None of the family members seem overly odd or dressed really weird in this photo either. In fact, it would be a perfect family photo except that mom jumped in everyone’s arms to take the place of where a 130-pound fish should go. Her cougar pose puts this picture over the top. The son is smiling, perhaps laughing, at the odd situation. Meanwhile, his dad and sister both have more to be suspected on their faces. Maybe mom enjoyed her little escapade, but it looks like she is the only one. That is, until some wonderful person shared this little snapshot across the world wide web for all to enjoy (there is a safe bet that it was the son).
6 Grandma's got more than guns
This grandmother and grandson visited Wild West City on vacation one year. Grandmother seemed to get into character by wearing a stagecoach T-shirt and choosing to have them pose in a Wild West fashion. What was supposed to be a stickup by the grandson turned out to look more like he was showing off his grandmother’s chest. The expression on her face makes it even funnier. Maybe if he had placed his “guns” a little lower or at least stood a little farther back from her, it would have been better to convey what they were wanting the pose to show. On second thought, we like it better the way it is so that the rest of the world did not have to miss out on this wonderful photo that looked like something totally different.
5 Dying in Dollywood
While grandma might have been showing off her boobs in Wild West City, Mrs. Boobs herself, Dolly Parton, built her own theme park to show off hers. But not everyone’s time in Dollywood is filled with smiling Smoky Mountain memories. This little girl is showing some teeth, but is in no way smiling. It looks as if she were dying in this awesomely hilarious photo of a park ride in action. Either that or she is possessed. The man beside her, who we are hoping is her dad, looks a little disturbed himself. He may not look scared or terrified, but he is certainly terrifying us with a smirk similar to that of Christopher Walken’s iconic expression. By the looks of this photo, it is safe to say we would rather take our chances in the Wild West instead of heading to the mountains.
4 Between a rock and a hard place
This sweet couple thought it would be cool to take their picture in front of a picturesque mountain landscape. It looks as if they got more than they bargained for, judging from the left side of the background, though. Few tourist attractions are as exciting as this mountain, as the mountain itself seems way too excited to be a tourist attraction. Since there are no kids in the photo, it makes one wonder if this might have been an R-rated tourist attraction after all. The only thing that could make this picture any funnier would be if they had climbed the mountain and taken a photo right in front of the rock. It is much safer on the ground, though; that rock could easily erupt at any moment.
3 Bros on the beach
A beach vacation is always a fun destination for the whole family. Even adults love a dip in the ocean, especially if you pay attention to when the waves are coming. These two brothers seemed to escape the waves unscathed. So much so that the guy in the back had a bit of swagger in his step. Either he knew that he was being spotted by a camera, or he was channeling his inner Ace Ventura, Pet Detective. The speedos, white legs, farmer’s tan, and dark shades make for one awesome look. One thing that does seem to be missing, however, is a ring from his ring finger. That’s right ladies, we are pretty sure this one is still up for grabs!
2 The family that fights together
Some siblings will fight over anything at any time, but when you possibly put your life in jeopardy by fighting your brother hundreds of feet in the air on a bench with nothing to keep you both from falling but a thin metal bar, you must have a lot of hate. That, my friends, is sibling rivalry at its finest. Oh, the joys of what gets caught on the sky lift camera. This one is sure to be a keeper. Probably the funniest part of this photo is that the mom and younger son sitting off to the other side seem oblivious to what is going on with the other boys. These mischievous siblings may think they have gotten away with this little scuffle. Too bad for them when mom views this little gem at the souvenir shop later.
1 Let’s get together
This family decided to get together for a nice family photo to show off their vacation memories. They even went the extra mile by wearing matching swimsuits. From the looks of it, the suits appear to be homemade. If that is the case, it seems like they could have added a little more material to everyone’s. Maybe the entire idea stemmed from this float that features none other than the Hawaiian Punch guy and the words, “Let’s get together.” It is hard to tell where they are vacationing by the photo. By the looks of the murky water, it is some place beside a creek or stream, but definitely not a lake or ocean. They probably went camping, and may have even had a homemade matching yellow tent. Chances are, they heard a couple of banjos playing on this trip, too.