When we head out on vacation, we usually have high expectations. After potentially months of training and a significant financial investment, we want to enjoy the fruits of our labor.
Yet even the most seasoned travelers often make these simple mistakes that can quickly derail a vacation. To help you steer clear of any major travel headaches, here’s a list of the 5 most common mistakes that can wreck your vacation—and how to avoid them.
1. Short Layover Times
Few people enjoy waiting in the airport, and it’s tempting to select an itinerary with the shortest possible layover time.
But be careful. It’s better to give yourself some extra wiggle room—especially if you’re traveling internationally.
There may be situations where your initial flight is delayed or you’re in an enormous airport that takes time to maneuver. Consequently, most experts recommend a minimum layover time of an hour and a half to reduce the chances of losing your luggage or missing your connecting flight. Maneuvering the airport can already be a somewhat stressful experience. Don’t make it worse by not giving yourself enough time between flights.
2. Packing Your Schedule Too Tight
There are many different ways to go about a vacation. Some people like to wait until they arrive at their destination before they decide what to do, while others prefer to plan out every minute.
There is no denying that it’s helpful to do some research ahead of time, but people can be overly ambitious when it comes to planning a vacation. With only so many hours in the day, make sure you don’t plan too many activities. This can quickly turn a relaxing trip into a stressful experience. Give yourself some time to just be on your vacation. You never know what spontaneous adventures may arise when you leave some room for flexibility.
If you do happen to find yourself on a busy vacation, make sure to prioritize your rest. This will help keep you fresh and ready for all of the fun.
3. Forgetting To Check the Weather
An easy way to ruin a vacation is to not be prepared for the setting you’re visiting. You might assume that your chosen destination is going to have perfect weather, but that often isn’t the case.
At least a few days before you leave for your trip, make sure to check the weather one last time and pack accordingly. Be aware of seasonal trends, too. For example, don’t arrive in the rainy season without expecting some sprinkles, despite what a forecast may say. This will save you some time and money while you’re away and ensure you stay comfortable.
4. Not Planning for Transportation Ahead of Time
If you are planning on driving to your destination or renting a car once you arrive, you’ll want to make sure you iron out all those details before you go.
In the case you’re driving your own vehicle, scheduling an oil change and checking your tire pressure can help you avoid time-consuming car trouble. On the flip side, if you want to rent a car, make sure you do it in advance and that you’re renting from a reliable company that can step in if there’s an emergency. It’s possible for rental places to be out of cars—don’t let that happen to you!
5. Skipping Out On Travel Insurance
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when booking a vacation is deciding not to purchase travel insurance. As much as we want our vacations to be perfect, unforeseeable events are always possible. You may need to cancel your trip due to an illness or an injury, or something might go wrong once you’re there. From adverse weather events and natural disasters to accidents and theft, it’s important to make sure you’re covered in the case you find yourself in a sticky situation.
Traveling is an exciting and fulfilling experience that can open your eyes to just how diverse and beautiful the world really is, but it doesn’t come without its challenges.
When you’re en route to your destination or once you’ve made it there, you never know what surprises might pop up along the way, which is why it’s essential to plan for as much as you can.
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