By: Gianni Jaccoma
If you're one of the 68% of Americans who actually used their vacation days last year, you know just how important it is to make every ounce of that paid time off count. And while the beauty of a vacation is that you can do whatever the hell you want without judgment, there are some decisions SO poor, so woefully bereft of sense, that no good outcome could ever hope to result from them. These are 15 of those decisions.
Staying at an all-inclusive resort
Sure, unlimited food and drinks sounds pretty damn fantastic at first, but the maddening realization that you just spent a massive lump sum on bottomless rail liquor and limitless frozen pizza will take the sails out of any vacation. Unless you're opting for one of these slick resorts, do yourself a favor and skip it.
Trying to do too much
It's only natural to wanna justify the cost of your vacation by cramming as many activities and sights as possible into every 24-hour period. After all, you're only gonna be in Australia once, right?
Wrong. After your third day of nonstop touring, you'll be wishing you'd penciled in a day of rest at the pool. Trying to squeeze an outback walkabout and a Great Barrier Reef snorkeling session into four days is a great way to enjoy neither activity.
Being a slave to your original itinerary
Even if you plan your trip out right, stubbornly sticking to your original itinerary only ensures that you'll miss out on the random opportunities that pop up. Factoring in flexibility can be just as important as giving yourself some time to relax, and it can result in some pretty awesome experiences -- like catching live music in a dive bar you just so happen to be walking past on your way to the Sagrada Familia.
Credit: Flickr/Or Hiltch
Not getting travel insurance
Like all insurance, you pay for travel insurance in the hopes that you won't need it; that said, you've probably already dropped a sizable sum on your trip to Aruba, so why not tack on an extra couple hundred dollars for some peace of mind? Yes, you could take your chances and hope that Hurricane Denzel doesn't hit when you're relaxing on the beach, or that your tandem skydive instructor knows what he's doing, but if the defecation hits the oscillation, you're out a thousand-dollar vacation. Or a life.
Carrying your passport with you
You'd be surprised how many people still leave the hotel holding the one thing that'll allow them to return to their home country safely. If you absolutely need to carry your passport for identification purposes, make a photocopy and leave the original in your hotel safe. Seriously, this should be a no-brainer: 160,050 UK passports were either lost or stolen abroad between 2008 and 2013 alone.
Not bringing these cheap travel accessories
For a total cost of less than $100, each of the 12 items above can safeguard you against some easily preventable travel disasters -- from emergency bag repair, to nighttime security, to accidental dismemberment. And to top it off, they can all fit into a reasonably sized fanny pack. You should totally get a fanny pack too, by the way.
While yes, it would be terrible if you left your galoshes at home and ended up needing them in Bermuda, consider the possibility that you might be the traveling equivalent of a doomsday prepper. Leave the Wellingtons at home, let your feet get wet, and use the added room in your luggage to bring back a sweet fertility idol or something.
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