Guaranteed Ways To Ruin Your Summer Vacation

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Are you looking to ruin your vacation time? Are you looking to waste the valuable downtime that you have from work? Are you looking to make yourself absolutely miserable this summer? No, of course you’re not (we are assuming), but if you are planning on going away, and fall prey to any of the following mistakes, we can almost guarantee that your summer vacation will be a terrible one.

Mistake #1: Forgetting something vital 

When you are preparing for your travels, you know that there are things you really shouldn’t forget. The obvious things are your passport and toothbrush, remembering to pack them into your hand luggage. You may need to ask somebody to look after your pets or house while you are away. You should double-check travel arrangements, ringing the hotel and airline to make sure everything is still booked for you. You should remember your flight reservation for visa application. You should ensure you are insured for the trip. You should also ring your bank, letting them know that you are going away, so you aren’t arrested by any country’s police thinking you are using somebody else’s bank card. There are a lot of things you need to think about, and forgetting any one of them could be detrimental to you on your trip.

Mistake #2: Choosing the wrong traveling companions

No, we aren’t suggesting you will accidentally end mistaking your best mate for somebody else, and then dragging that poor unfortunate (or fortunate) soul away on holiday with you. Rather, we are warning you not to go on holiday with anybody that is going to suck the enjoyment factor out of the trip. It may be mother-in-law with her complaints and petty demands. It could be a mate who is known to get excessively drunk when abroad (or indeed anywhere). Or it may be somebody you don’t know very well at all, though you soon will when they begin to exhibit all the bad habits that drive you absolutely crazy. Our advice is this: whatever you are looking for on your vacation, travel with the people who are going to enhance your time away and not sabotage it, or alternatively, consider the benefits of solo travel, without the interference of anybody else, no matter how fond you are of them.

Mistake #3: Running out of money during your trip

You did remember to budget for your vacation, didn’t you? If not, you may run out of money, and you don’t need us to tell you how bad that will be for you. How will you eat? How will you get around the place you are visiting? Will you be able to get home? The consequences of not budgeting can be terrible, especially if you don’t have the money to buy that cheap knock-off souvenir that would look lovely on your mantelpiece! There are ways you can save money when away, so never go over your budget, and if you can do something for free, then go for it, instead of wasting any money you have available to spend.

Mistake #4: Not studying the culture 

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Consider the country you are visiting, and make sure you know what is expected of you. There will be certain customs that need to be adhered to, and you may be accused of breaking the law if you don’t follow them. In some cases, you may be slapped with a fine and a firm warning. In the extreme cases, you may be thrown into prison, or worse. In doing our research for this article, we discovered a list of countries that still consider being in a same-sex relationship as criminal, so it’s worth reading if this applies to you. You are a stranger in a strange land, and you will soon discover that the laws and standards you adhere to may be vastly different elsewhere. You can get help from your Embassy in that country if you do get into trouble, but your best bet is to always commit to research first to ensure you don’t find yourself in a very difficult position.

Mistake #5: Being susceptible to scam artists

As a tourist, you will stick out like a sore thumb. You are susceptible to being conned, whether it’s somebody trying to sell you a worthless trinket, or a local vendor trying to fob you off with fake currency. You can find examples of other common scams here. So, what can you do? Whenever possible, try and blend in. Wear outfits common to the country, learn how to speak the lingo, and act confidently so as not to appear gullible. If you do get scammed, contact the local police and your Embassy, and let your bank know if there are financial repercussions. Then learn from your mistake so you don’t fall prey to the same scam twice, and warn others to prevent the same thing happening to them.

Mistake #6: Not having an itinerary

You don’t need to micromanage every aspect of your trip, but you don’t want to waste time visiting a place, to then discover you have run out of time before seeing and doing everything you wanted to do. Before going away, use popular travel sites such as TripAdvisor to find out what is on offer in the country you are visiting. Make a list of all those things you really want to do, and put those other  things of less priority further down the list. This way, you can make a plan to follow through on your must-see-and-do things, without getting distracted by anything that isn’t a priority. After all, you may not have the money to return anytime soon, so you don’t want to miss out on any fantastic opportunities.

Mistake #7: Spending too much time on your smartphone

You may not want to leave your smartphone at home. This is especially true if you are relying on travel apps, and you will need it if you get into any kind of emergency. However, remember your vacation is time for rest, relaxation, time with family and friends, and the opportunity to indulge in as many new experiences as possible. You won’t get any of that if you are continually stressing over work emails, checking your Facebook status every five minutes, and spending more time tweeting about what a good time you are having, instead of you know… actually having a good time! Therefore, get your nose out of your smart screens, turn your phone off when you’re out and about, and actually enjoy a holiday without worrying about your work colleagues or social networks. They will get on fine without you, we promise!

Mistake #8: Eating the wrong foods

Unless you want to spend your vacation time with your head down the toilet bowl, be careful what you eat. Now, being away is a time to try new foods, but care needs to be taken. If you know you have any allergies or a sensitive stomach, don’t take the risk, no matter how tempting. Remember health and hygiene too. We aren’t trying to put down food sellers in other countries, but where possible use a travel site to let you know what food establishments are safe to eat in. When using street vendors or back-alley food joints, you never know how safe their food is to eat, or how clean their venue is. Explore new tastes by all means, but exercise caution if you want to get through your vacation unscathed by a stomach bug.

Mistake #9: Relying too much on guidebooks 

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Now, we have advocated the use of an itinerary, as there will be places you are desperate to visit. However, provided it is safe to do so, it is always worth going off the beaten track at times. You may find a place of unexplored beauty, a food venue, that despite our warnings above, has a fabulous menu, or stores that sell rare items that aren’t available in the countries shopping centres. Follow your guidebook by all means, but don’t forego your adventurous spirit by playing it safe during the entire duration of your stay.

Mistake #10: Not staying safe

Okay, so we told you not to play it safe when exploring, but caution still needs to be taken. As we said earlier, you are susceptible to people wanting to fleece you, and this includes pickpockets and muggers. If you are traveling solo, you are at more risk than anybody traveling in a group. If you are out late at night in an unknown area, you are putting yourself in danger. And if you flash money around at the local bar, you are really just asking for trouble. You need to stay safe, with cautionary measures that put you further away from any risks you may face while away. Your vacation time will be ruined if you are robbed or hurt, so protect both yourself and your belongings throughout the duration of your holiday.

Finally

Are you looking to have a good time while away? Are you looking to create happy memories? Then follow our tips and avoid the mistakes we mentioned so as to not ruin your vacation time.  Whatever you are doing this summer, we hope you have many great and wonderful experiences while you’re away.

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Mark Miller on a Scottish bridge

Extreme travel is the name of my game and I love to get that adrenaline pumping. Blogging and blagging my way across the world one country at a time... come join me!

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