Travel Mistakes Everyone Makes During the Holidays

Don’t turn your vacation into a trip you’d rather forget


About 47 million Americans journeyed 50 miles or more from home in 2015, the highest number of travelers since 2007. This is a 0.6 percent increase over the previous year, according to AAA Travel. Airlines carried more than 27 million passengers over the 4-day holiday, a 2.5 percent increase. If your Thanksgiving or other holiday plans include traveling, whether by plane or car, you need to know how to cope with the imminent chaos.

Does the perfect vacation exist? Most people will say “no,” but you can get as close to this idealistic dream as possible. Meticulous planning, which has been scientifically proven to improve mood, is one way of ensuring you’re going to have a jolly time. But you also have to know your audience, budget and costs. A lot of trips don’t end up being perfect for many reasons.

Set realistic expectations. It’s better to be nicely surprised than deeply disappointed. If you are going to a cheap hotel so you can spend more money on thrilling things to do, don’t expect room service and toiletries at the hostel. If you’re going to a place known for its serene atmosphere, don’t be disappointed if you can’t find many bars that are open all night.

Research ahead of time, get a sense of what you want to do and how much it will cost, and multiply that by 2 and bring cash. Vacations always turn out to cost more than anticipated because of hidden or unplanned expenses. Keep that in mind when you plan your trip budget. That’s how you’ll know if you can afford it.

Oftentimes, saving money on travel depends on the timing. People look for cheap flights without really counting the cost of living – hotel, food, transportation, shopping – for the number of days they plan to be away. Regardless of how long you’ll be away and where you’re going, there are several universal guidelines you can follow to avoid turning your vacation into a trip you’d rather forget.

Click here to see 22 of the most common travel mistakes people make

Related stories:

Worst Mistakes People Make When Flying With Small Children

Travel Tips for Vacationing With Your Pet

The Biggest Mistakes Everyone Makes on Cruise Ships

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