Vacations are meant to be a time for adventure, excitement, rest, and relaxation. But far too often, holiday dreams turn into vacation nightmares. For one reason or another, the experience is far from the fun time you expected and feels more like a series of hassles and headaches. You can’t believe it, but you find yourself looking forward to going home.
No more! It’s time to put bad vacations in the rearview mirror. While it’s impossible to eliminate every potential piece of misfortune to befall a vacation, taking time to plan accordingly will go a long way in making sure your upcoming vacation lives up to your expectations and perhaps even exceeds them.
The following are six ways to avoid bad vacations:
Do your research
From social media posts to travel-based TV shows, there are many ways we discover destinations we want to visit.
But just because it looks great in pictures and videos doesn’t mean you’ll have a good time. Take the time to do further research about a potential destination before booking a trip there.
You may discover the weather isn’t as nice as you assume or the price of products and services is too expensive to afford.
It also pays to do research in order to prepare yourself for cultural differences that may otherwise come as an unwelcome surprise upon arrival.
Avoid street scammers
Virtually every tourist hotspot on the planet is home to unscrupulous scam artists preying on unsuspecting tourists.
The nature of the scam may vary, but it always boils down to one thing: tricking you into giving them money for nothing or pickpocketing you while you’re distracted.
The result is the potential to lose money and valuables in a matter of minutes. The best way to avoid street scammers is to never, ever stop to see what they have to say.
If someone on the street tries handing you something, refuse to accept it. If someone pops out of an alley trying to start a conversation, politely decline and keep walking.
It might seem rude, but it’s a necessary precaution to take if the goal is to prevent yourself from becoming a victim of common street scams and ripoffs targeting tourists.
Bring backups and replacements
From getting roughed up during your flight to going missing on the trip, there are many ways in which important items and accessories can get lost or damaged.
Rather than be forced to buy an expensive replacement at your destination, consider packing backups and replacements whenever possible.
For instance, buying replacement lenses for your favorite pair of sunglasses keeps you from buying a whole new pair if the original lenses crack on vacation.
Backup power adapters for phones, laptops, and other electronics are also worth packing. And make sure you bring enough cash for emergencies.
You may even need to take out a Western Shamrock loan or use a credit card to cover unexpected expenses.
Practice safe social distancing
While the worst days of the COVID-19 pandemic appear over, infection rates continue to be high in many hotspots around the world.
Combined with the ever-present threat of common cold and flu viruses, consider practicing social distances on your vacation.
When doing so is not possible, wear an N-95 mask. Remember to wash your hands with warm soapy water on a regular basis. Doing so reduces the chances of getting sick on vacation.
Use AirTags or similar devices
Losing one’s purse, wallet, or phone is an easy way to ruin an otherwise great vacation.
Given the affordability of AirTags and similar tracking devices, consider purchasing a pack or two and attaching or inserting them into these and other items you can’t afford to lose.
While coin-sized trackers won’t force a thief to return your possession or make a difference if you dropped your phone into a large body of water, they’ll help you determine the location of items you’ve left behind at restaurants, hotels, and other places you’ll be visiting on your trip.
Keep an open mind
Lastly, you want to keep an open mind as much as possible. Just because things aren’t how you prefer them doesn’t mean you can’t have a good time.
From local foods to the customs and traditions of the inhabitants, the point is to sit back and soak it all in, for better or worse. As the saying goes, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.”
We all expect to have a great time on vacation. Unfortunately, that’s not a guarantee.
While nobody can prevent canceled flights and similar forms of bad luck, there are ways to increase the odds of your vacation being memorable for all the right reasons.