We all yearn for a much-needed vacation, but many of us hate the part of actually planning one. That’s because while every get-away promises an adventure, it isn’t always the one envisioned. No one can promise hassle-free travel enroute to paradise or that there won’t be any hiccups once there, but you can still have a truly memorable vacation with proper planning…and a reality check on occasion as well. Here are 13 common mistakes to avoid:
1. You don't read reviews or are too overly dependent on them.
You might be surprised at how many people will book a trip based on a single photo or description. Do you homework and read reviews on travel sites first. At the same time, don't become overly obsessive about finding one that ONLY has perfect scores. Chances are there's never a perfect paradise for everyone.
2. You pack way more than you need.
Go ahead and lay out everything you think you might want to take. And then put about half of it back. Over packing means extra baggage costs, feeling like a pack mule, and then clothes that are simply never used. You're on vacation...so simplify!
If possible, stick with a carry-on. While everyone else is waiting around baggage claims or filing for loss luggage, you'll be on your way!
3. You change your sleep cycle once you've arrived.
Time changes can create jeg lag, or perhaps you're just overly exhausted from all the pre-flight and travel coordination. But the worse thing you can do is fall in bed and sleep the day away. Chances are you'll then be on an off schedule you will have to fight to recover from for the rest of your vacation.
4. You get upset at the small stuff.
Attitude is almost everything when it comes to a vacation. If you fixate on little things gone wrong, you may end up missing out on what could have been the time of your life. Try and adopt a carefree attitude and enjoy the diversion from your normal life. If you lighten up, you may find it's the best trip you've ever taken!
5. You never leave the resort.
Many resorts are set up to keep you there. If that's truly all you want to do, then go for it. But chances are you booked the location for its scenery, places to visit, and exploration opportunities, so don't let those pass you by.
6. You buy into all things tourist.
You don't need to scream "tourist" when on vacation. Chances are, all the locals already know it. But blending in and not buying every gimmick around will probably result in a vacation where you aren't always being approached to take part in something touristy. Or worse, you may find you didn't really need to buy all those goofy tourist souvenirs, after all!
7. You don't exercise.
While part of a blissful vacation includes relaxation, getting out and about, walking on the beach, taking a bike ride through the city, or even participating in a sunrise yoga class will make you feel re-energized!
8. You strictly rely on your itinery and guidebook.
Make sure you allow for ample free-time to be able to do what you would like once you are there! Itineraries may get you to major sites, but you will miss out on lots of the local ambiance and attractions as a result.
9. You don't unplug from technology.
This New York City tourist set up a hammock rin Central Park, only to talk on his cell phone.
Do you really need to talk on the phone while strolling on the beach?
10. You fixate on taking pictures of all the views instead of actually experiencing them.
Take the obligatory snaps and then put the camera down and truly take in the sights!
Of course you'll want a few special photos of you and your vacation partner together, but don't go to the extemes.
11. You don't try anything new or different while on vacation.
If there something you've wanted to do, but never had the opportunity for? Now's your chance to try jet-skiing, a morning balloon ride, or an ATV trek in the mountains. Chances are that it will become your favorite memory!
12. You don't make provisions for rain or less-than-ideal weather.
These visitors aren't quite dressed for the Times Square downpour. At least they have an umbrella! Be sure to do research on weather patterns and pack accordingly!
13. You overeat...after all, it's all included, right?
Dining out can be a key component of a vacation, but it shouldn't become your fixation. All-inclusive packages encourage overeating, because you've pre-paid for it all.
Have you fallen any of these downers that have kept you from having the best vacation possible? If so, what did you do and how are you going to fix it for next time?