Its easier to blame recurring vacation flops on the taxi driver that ripped you off or the roachy hotel, but as the saying goes… if you cant identify the problem, its probably you.
Whether in the name of safety or health, fashion or reputation, time or comfort, travelers often manage to ruin their own vacations by avoiding the abundance of unexpected experiences as they would the Bird Flu. Vacations are a time to get swept away, not to hunker down within the confines of a hotel room! On your next vacation, keep these things in mind for an overall more memorable experience.
1. Never Eating on the Street: When we’re talking about the intersections of Bangkok or the side streets of Sayulita, expensive food doesn’t always mean better food. Sometimes eating below your budget is an experience unto itself. Start by trying local restaurants that don’t cater to foreigners and you’ll probably eat your best Som Tham, wondering why you ever paid the premium.
2. Trying to Fit too Much into Too Little Time: Ambitious itineraries look fabulous on paper, but it doesn’t take long to realize that making time for everything leaves you time for nothing. Try to be selective with your sightseeing and spend more time at the places you enjoy. Over-scheduling leads to stress and that’s not much of a vacation at all!
3. Sticking to the Major Sites: Every destination has a long list of must-see sights, but an even longer list of untraveled wonders just waiting to be found. Of course you’ll visit the Eiffel Tower, but venture down a side street and wander into a sleepy cathedral or bakery for an oh-so-French pastry at half the price. It will not only make your experiences more unique, but more memorable.
4. Getting Around Exclusively by Air: The journey is often far more fascinating than the destination. Sure flying is becoming a quick and increasingly cheaper way to travel around, but insert an overland route here and there. Out of the tall glass windows of your bus, you’ll see fascinating countryside farms, quaint towns and expansive landscapes you’d have missed otherwise.
5. Packing too Much: It happens to everyone at some point in their explorations. The cream cashmere shrug that you ‘couldn’t do London without’ starts to itch when you’re wearing it around in the mid-day heat with a bag too full to zip. You don’t have to go sloppy, but pack smart for a more enjoyable hauling experience. There’s nothing worse than hauling a 5 piece luggage set up and down the staircases and tunnels of the Paris Metro system. The less you’re lugging around, the more free you’ll feel.
6. Following a Plan: At the very most, you should have a framework of expectations for your trip. If your expectations are specific, you’ll almost always be blindsided. If you’re stuck with a plan, you’ll miss out on a lot of the opportunities that arise sporadically. Try your best to travel freely to get the most out of any and all time abroad. Take it all in!
It’s ok… everyone makes mistakes sometimes. Just don’t let it happen again.
How did you sabotage your last trip? Let me know in the comments below! (If you can’t see Facebook comments, click here: 6 Ways to Sabotage Your Own Trip)