How to Not Ruin Your Vacation
Memorial Day will be here before we know it and that has always been the unofficial kick off for summer around here. With summer, of course comes summer vacation. Whether you’re heading to the cabin for two weeks, overseas or just on a family vacation to Anywhere, USA here are some ways to avoid ruining your vacation.
Pack What You Need – I’m so guilty of this. Packing too much is a hassle because you have to carry your own stuff and forgetting something at home can short you on your travel budget because if it’s something you absolutely need, you have to buy it and running around looking for it or a place to buy it can cut into fun time. Check the weather for your destination and pack accordingly. Even if you’re headed to Vegas, just remember, you’re in the middle of the desert and it’s cool at night out there. Also account for cooler indoor climates as well so pack a cardigan or two just in case. Also don’t forget to pack one or two dressy outfits because some restaurants and night clubs have strict dress codes and if your clothing isn’t up to snuff, you’re not getting in.
Fighting – Fighting with your kids, husband, or travel partner, nothing can drag the mood down faster than a spat. Fighting just sucks in general but if you’re on a trip together it can really wreck things. Try and plan in advance what you’re going to do and sneak in a “free” day so if you and the kids want to do one thing and the hubby wants to play golf, let him go. If you make him do something he doesn’t really want to do on his supposed “free” day, he’s just going to sulk. Same with the kids. So, compromise where needed and everyone will have a better time.
Getting Side Tracked by Work – Vacation is vacation. You take a vacation so you don’t have to deal with work, but according to one study, one third of vacationers get sucked in to the work trap while they’re supposed to be on vacation. Make it clear to everyone that you will, for all intents and purposes, be unavailable. Make sure you have the out of office auto reply on saying you are out of the office and then resist the urge to check your email. Leave your laptop and work cell phone at home. You’re leaving town to get some rest and relaxation, so rest easy that all will be taken care of and relax by the pool or in the hotel spa.
Getting Lost – If you’re on a road trip, going way out of the way can jack up your vacation schedule and your budget if you waste time trying to find out where you are and waste gas going the long way to get back on track. Before you leave, get a good set of printed directions and don’t always rely on your GPS. Also take a map.
Overbooking – You have to be here at a certain time and then there at another time, but the first thing ran long so you’re late for the other thing and you aren’t going to make your dinner reservation on time which means you lost the table, have to find another place to eat, but there’s a wait for that place and if you eat there, you won’t be able to make the play and so on and so forth. While you may want to see and do all you can see and do, don’t try and jam it all in leaving yourself no time to breathe. That’s just going to wear you down and stress you out. If you’re traveling with your family, take a survey and find out who wants to do what and take a vote. Majority rules and no whining allowed. If Dad and one kid want to do one thing, but Mom and the other kids want to do something else, split up and agree to meet at a designated time. If whatever you’re doing runs late, find out if there’s a way to leave a message so the others that you’re traveling with don’t think something happened or leave and do something else without you.
Sunburn – If you’re going to a sunny destination, or you’re going out on the boat, slather on that sunscreen. I got sunburned in Wisconsin Dells. It was awful. I put on sunscreen before we went to the water park, but didn’t reapply it all day and I walked around looking like a lobster. Those vacation photos are not ones I treasure, so, before you leave the cabin or head to the pool or beach, put on the sunscreen. Give it about a half an hour to sink in to your skin and start working. Don’t forget to bring it along and reapply every two to three hours.
Oversharing on Social Media – You may want to show your friends and family that you’re having a great time on vacation, but wait until you come home to do it. If you post every photo you take to Facebook and check back incessantly for comments and likes, you’re going to get sidetracked. It may also rub your travel partners the wrong way. Take photos with your digital camera and upload them when you get home. That way you can comb through the ones you really want to share and toss the ones you don’t. This also prevents you from accidentally telling people that you aren’t home. Nothing says, “HEY! Rob me!” like photos uploaded from a resort in Mexico.
Allergies, cranky kids and missing your plane are also ways to ruin your vacation, so pack your anti-histamines, make sure the kids have something to do and try and arrive at the airport three hours before your scheduled departure. Especially if you have small children.
Oh, yeah. And don’t forget the most important part; HAVE FUN!