Holidays can be some incredibly wonderful and exciting times. You get to meet new people, experience new things, embrace new cultures and indulge in new traditions. Even though the internet is capable of teaching and showing us weird and wonderful things, let’s not forget that traveling is still one of the purest forms of entertainment that can teach us about life and the world.
There’s nothing quite like scaling the Great Wall of China or spending Christmas on a sunny beach in Australia. They’re experiences that, even with modern technology, cannot be replicated and must be seen first-hand. Travelling offers us some unforgettable experiences, but sadly, it also applies the other way and we can end up with disappointing holidays that leave a horrible memory.
In order to prevent that disappointment, we’ve put together a couple of considerations and tips that will help you ensure that your holiday is one hundred percent perfect.
Find the right people to travel with
Here’s a newsflash: friends don’t always make good travel companions. If you want to go explore, try new things and eat plenty of unique food, then it’s probably a bad idea to bring someone who isn’t adventurous. Sure, they might be your friend, but there’s no guarantee that they’ll be a good travel companion. Find the right people to travel with by discussing your plans beforehand.
Or just travel on your own and meet new people along the way
If you’d rather not have to worry about travel companions, then travel on your own. You have more freedom, you’ll get to make lots of unique and interesting friends, and you won’t have to worry about the interests or tastes of others. You can visit whatever you want, eat what you like and be free of having to plan for a group of people.
Make sure you increase your budget when traveling
Travelling is expensive, let’s not lie to ourselves. Even if you plan to go on a backpacking holiday, it’s still a good idea to carry lots of extra money with you so that you’re never caught stranded in a city that you’re unfamiliar with. Plan to use a certain amount of money each day and include everything from food expenses to accommodation, then increase it by anywhere from 20-40%. Extra money to spend is always welcome and you’d be surprised at how much safer you’ll feel with more funds.
Learn to travel for experiences and not tourist attractions
Tourist attractions are expensive, and they’ll make your holiday cost even more money than you’d expect. Learn to travel for the sake of experiencing new things, not to see typical tourist attractions and eat at fancy restaurants. Explore the cities you visit and walk the less traveled path. Look at where the locals go and avoid following other tourists around.
Do some proper research into the hotels and airlines you plan to use
There are many lesser-known companies such as Frontier airlines that can offer fantastic deals for your next holiday. If you do your research, you can save plenty of money on expenses, and it also helps to look at reviews of the places you plan to visit before you go. Look at an airline’s reputation to find if it’s suitable for your needs, and take a look at hotel reviews so you can be sure you’ve picked a good location.
Skip last-minute holidays and learn to plan ahead
Last-minute holidays can be cheap and cheerful, but they’re also prone to disappointment. Unless you don’t expect much from a last-minute holiday, it’s a good idea to try and plan ahead for your holiday by booking hotels and flights several months in advance. This gives you ample time to research a location before visiting, thus avoiding the potential for disappointment.
Do some research on the destination before you book your tickets
Speaking of research, it’s important to actually take some time and research a location before you visit. Make sure you learn a few phrases so you have an easier time speaking with locals, and consider if you need a visa to actually visit the country. There are many considerations to keep in mind before you book a flight, so don’t skip any of the details.
Have realistic expectations for traveling
Remember that no matter how much you plan, there’s always a chance that it could be ruined by weather, getting sick or even things that are out of your control like delayed flights. Don’t get frustrated that these things are happening—learn to accept them as part of the experience so you don’t create bad memories during your holiday.
You’re not a superhuman, so remember you need to sleep as well
When planning, you should make sure you account for sleep. Make sure you get at least 6-7 hours of sleep each day and add a couple extra hours for when you’re re-adjusting to the time zone. It’s natural to be excited about traveling, but make sure you get enough rest as well so you aren’t tired or exhausted the entire trip.
Try not to get too upset or frustrated while on holiday
Perhaps some food you ate was terrible or maybe you met some people that were aggressive and rude. Whatever the situation may be, try and stay calm and stop yourself from overreacting or getting frustrated. The last thing you want to do is get into a fight or trouble with people from another country.
Remember to take plenty of pictures to record your memories
Thanks to the ease and accessibility of smartphones and tablets, it’s easy to record memories by taking pictures, recording videos and even writing entries into a diary or a blog. It’s essential for creating memories, and you’ll have plenty of pictures and videos to look at and share when you’re back at home. If you want something that produces better pictures, then you may want to consider a dedicated camera instead of a phone.
Double-check with your mobile carrier about data limits and calls
In order to share those pictures live, you’ll need to have an internet data connection. Most hotels and hostels will have some kind of WiFi connection (though it may be slow) but you might also want to check if there are data services available in the country such as 4G connections. In addition, you’ll want to check what services are blocked (if any) when you visit another country. For instance, China blocks certain websites that are commonly used in the Western world, such as Twitter, Facebook and many Google services.
Don’t pack too much, but don’t travel lightly either
It’s important to keep your luggage to a minimum, but you should never forget to bring essentials. If you’re carrying a suitcase with you; don’t fill it to the brim with clothes because you’ll have no space to take things back home. If you’re tight on space; then don’t take things such as toiletries because you can easily purchase them when you land.
Embrace the culture and traditions of a country, don’t try to change them
When you visit a country with a unique culture and traditions; it’s important to play by their rules instead of trying to change them. For example, many countries in India eat with their hands instead of cutlery. Although many Westernised restaurants will offer cutlery; you’ll get the full experience by eating with your hands at food stalls or restaurants that the locals eat. If you embrace the culture and traditions that the country has to offer, you’ll have a far more fulfilling holiday.
Assumptions will quickly lead to disappointment
Assumptions can seriously hurt your holiday enjoyment. Just because you’re a tourist, it doesn’t mean that hotels or restaurants will give you extra treatment. In addition, if you see that a restaurant has English text on the outside or if certain menu items are in English, it doesn’t mean that every member of staff can understand you. If you’re worried about a language barrier, then consider countries that are easy for English speakers to travel in.
Realise that perfection isn’t a possibility
It’s important to remember that the perfect holiday doesn’t exist. Even if you try your hardest by planning everything in advance; there’s a good chance that something may ruin your holiday. As such, it’s important to take your holiday for what it is. And try to find as many enjoyable things about it as you can. Whether it’s recording memories or turning bad experiences into a funny one; you have to stay positive if you want to avoid disappointment.
Hopefully, these tips have given you some insight into how you can avoid a bad holiday. It’s all about changing your mindset about holidays; it takes a lot of planning to try and avoid obvious pitfalls.