8 Expert Tips: How To Avoid A Nightmare Vacation

Vacations 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
Plan your itinerary in advance. Its helpful to identify the activities you wish to do each day and leave ample time in between to travel to and from. Many nightmare vacations result from missing a flight, a bus, train, or other transportation because you did not leave enough time or plan ahead. This also causes stress and frustration among those traveling with you. Good planning which includes ample travel time will greatly improve your vacation.

Tip #2: Buy Travel Insurance
Purchase travel insurance if you are traveling internationally, especially with a group. Certain travel insurance providers charge about 7-10% of your entire reservation, making it economical. Travel insurance is perfect for families. It includes coverage for children aged 17 and under traveling with an insured adult. It also covers things like cancellations due to work reasons of job loss. Keep in mind, many resorts, airlines, and hotels do not offer refunds for cancellations within a certain time period prior to arrival. Travel insurance is also great to protect you against lost luggage, disasters, misrepresentations, lost flights, or medical emergencies. Its a must for international travelers or if you are traveling to a new destination youve never been to. Travel insurance provider we recommend.

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.

Tip #5: Call the Resort Where Youre Staying Ask Questions of the Local Staff
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.