So you’ve finally saved enough for that trip of a lifetime. You’ve been working hard, counting your pennies and stroking the days off the calendar. But don’t let your imagination run wild without taking the time to plan for the good, bad and the ugly. Here are some of the ugly things to look out for when you take off the rose colored glasses:
Alexey Tsiprianovich / Shutterstock
1. Not Dressing for the Weather
There’s nothing worse than being wet in the cold or hot in the heat. Oftentimes we have a vision of what the climate will be like in our travel destination, and then we’re surprised to find out we were dead wrong. The southern states do experience cold and snow, and Canada does hit skyrocketing temperatures in the summer; it’s not a barren frigid wasteland. Getting off of a plane dressed like an ass with a suitcase filled with similarly inappropriate outfits can make for a disastrous holiday. It also makes you immediately recognizable as a tourist.
LoloStock / Shutterstock
2. Not Familiarizing Yourself With the Laws and Customs
In Singapore, it’s a $100 fine for not flushing a public toilet. (But no fine for missing it altogether!) In Florida, if you are a single woman, you dare not parachute on a Sunday. Driving a dirty vehicle in Moscow will cost you $100, and the level of dirt is to the discretion of the officer. These are all actual laws that need to be recognized and observed when traveling. Although these ones probably aren’t enforced, in some countries they are — and will be met with severe consequences if not abided by.
The same goes for customs. It can be very insulting and make your stay awkward and uncomfortable if you have insulted a host and/or a host country by making a rude gesture. In Japan it is never acceptable to wear shoes into someone’s home. You will be given slippers, and then a separate pair of slippers for the washroom. You never wear your regular slippers into the washroom; it’s considered dirty. Also in Japan, at an Onsen (bathhouse), you must never wear a bathing suit. Nudity is mandatory — but the good news is, it’s not too late to add it to your itinerary.
Antonio Guillem / Shutterstock
3. Choosing the Wrong Travel Companion
There are many ways you can do this, depending on your vacation objectives. If you’re traveling for R&R, you don’t want to bring a party animal. However, if you’re traveling for the nightlife, you don’t want to bring your Mom. Everyone also has that one sleazebag friend who will be fixated on ‘hooking up’ the whole time, infringing on your privacy and enjoyment. Obviously, this can also pose a problem if you are married or in a relationship.