8 Expert Tips: How To Avoid A Nightmare VacationVacations even to paradise can result in a nightmare experience without considering the following tips. These expert tips will ensure you embark on your trip fully informed and ensure a memorable vacation. After all, vacation planning can be tricky.
Tip #1: Plan Ahead
Tip #2: Buy Travel Insurance
Tip #3: Learn
About the Destination
Soak in as much information about the destination as possible BEFORE arriving. Travel the streets using Google map street view, zoom in on the satellite map. Check out the reviews of each attraction or activity you are interested in. Tripadvisor.com is a great resource to check out what people are saying. Plan your vacations events giving weight to these reviews, especially if there are alot of reviews on one particular activity or attraction.
Talk to the local staff at the hotel, vacation home, or resort where youre staying to get first-hand advice from them directly of what they think of the activities youve chosen on your itinerary. They may give you ideas you hadnt thought of or suggest more exciting vacation ideas that only locals know about, or a special tip or trick that can save you time and money.
Tip #6: Search Tripadvisor.com and other review sites to for traveler suggestions and advice
As mentioned above, use Tripadvisor.com to narrow down the activities you really wanted to do based on the many reviews from real travelers. Its a good idea to place more weight on the activities that have many more reviews than those with only a few. Try to find an overall trend from all the reviews you read. For example, if the activity or attraction has 50 reviews, read 30 and see if you can find one or two things each review talks about. If more than 60% of the 30 reviews say the same positive thing about that activity, you can expect your experience there will be a positive one, increasing the chances of avoiding a nightmare experience. However, if the 30 reviews result in more than 60% of people saying the same negative thing about it, the chances you will experience the same negative thing are pretty good.
Tip #7: Study the city map of your destination
A common mistake many travelers make is failing to know their surroundings extremely well. Learn where things are and their proximity to where youre staying or plan to go. The obvious places you will have already identified are: the beach, theme park, or ski resort. But, what about identifying where the freeway is, or the grocery store, the US Embassy (if traveling internationally), the hospital, or police station? Learn directions LONG before you arrive at your destination. Know where north, south, east, and west are. When you arrive, orient yourself using key landmarks as a benchmark. This will help to avoid getting lost, or worse, ending up in the bad neighborhood. Remember, even in paradise destinations, there are always areas you want to avoid and locals who prey on unsuspecting tourists (pick-pocketers, scammers, companies who inflate their prices).
Tip #8: Pack extras
Once your itinerary is established and youve done all your research on each activity you plan to do, pack accordingly. If youre planning to spend the day on the white sand beach, be sure to pack more than just your bathing suit and towel. Consider the suns strength in that part of the world and bring sunscreen strong enough to keep your skin safe. For example, Mexicos sun may be stronger than Canadas. It may make more sense to buy sunscreen at your destination, but it may be more expensive or you may forget.
Pack more than you need: Pack an extra pair of shorts or underwear, especially
if laundry facilities are not available in your accommodation. It is also good to
bear in mind the airline restrictions on baggage and the additional costs.
Contact your airline before you pack so you are not surprised with $25 charge
per bag for everyone in your family or group at the check-in desk. This can often
start your vacation with your first nightmare.