There is one common mistake I see all the time that newer travelers always make and it is an extremely simple concept but can be hard to see initially.
I am in a ton of travel groups and it is always the same thing over and over I see that I know is a mistake so I finally am just writing about it.
What is the mistake new travelers always make?
The mistake is cramming too many places into too little of time. Listen, I am MR. ADHD and when I travel places I always am zooming around to see as much as I can for just myself but also for these travel articles.
With that said… do not do this. Vacations are supposed to be relaxing… not go non-stop, even though I prefer to always be busy, however there is a nice middle-ground.
Why You Should Not Cram Too Many Places Into Too Little of Time
Murphy’s Law | Travel is never quick & simple
You need to keep in mind that travel is never easy… especially when in a different country. Things will go wrong, especially if in a third-world country.
Everything takes twice as long, bags may not show, hotel may not be ready in time… minimize all anxiety by giving yourself a ton of time to do it all vs. cramming it all into a few days so you can go elsewhere.
Travel Always Takes Longer Than You Think | Minimize your anxiety with giant buffers
Here you are planning your trip and have it planned out to the hour from x to y to z and all set! Did you factor in that often from the plane landing, through customs etc, hotel check-in takes forever and more.
For instance something as simple as going to Cancun, from landing in the airport to getting to your hotel and checked in… expect 3-4 hours before you actually get your bags into the hotel and enjoy your first cocktail.
From customs, to bags, to waiting on the group shuttle (if you do that) to other annoyances, to slow hotel check-in process… just take the anxiety out of this by leaving 1-2 days of just relax arrival time with no plans.
Cancun is a great simple example alone, don’t plan anything and just have 1-2 days of no anxiousness or planning and chill… I know it can be hard as I am the worst with “chilling.”
However, you land and if you have a shuttle know it could take 15 minutes to 1 hour for you to actually get on the thing… so enjoy a cocktail outside the arrivals area at the cool tiki bar.
Right away instead of worrying you have to get to xyz for a reservation or trip… whisked away. However, if you try to cram everything into 2-3 days in Cancun so you can go to Tulum or Holbox for 2-3 days etc you are just going to not enjoy it.
Rushing Around = Frantic = Arguments = not enjoying your vacation
The word “rushing” alone isn’t a fun word. If you are like my family rushing around and anxiety turns into arguments and then it is just a bad trip.
To use Cancun as an example again… stay there for 5-7 days and do day trips from there.
You don’t want to land and just need to rush to the next thing and the next and before you know it you need 3 vacations from your vacation and it causes more stress then your regular life.
Travel Time In The Country | Go To one Place with a ton to see vs. 2-3 places just to see a little of each
Costa Rica is a perfect example. I love Costa Rica, La Fortuna & Manuel Antonio are a couple of the best places in all of Latin America.
I see people trying to go do both in one week… there is a ton you can do in both places over a week vs. scramble up and spend 2 full days in each.
People don’t take into account, what was mentioned above in just landing and getting to your hotel… let alone in Costa Rica’s case you need to add 4-6 hours to travel to one of those towns.
Then between the two you need to checkout, travel 5-7 hours to the next place, check-into your hotel again and that literally will take up almost and entire day of your 7 day vacation.
It will essentially take one full day for your travel from your country to your hotel, on day to transfer between towns, and then one full day for the return. This leaves only 4 full days to see 2 of the most immaculate places on earth where you could easily spend 10 days in both!
Nothing is more annoying than unpacking just to re-pack 2 days later. This is kind of reiterating what is mentioned above but RELAX.
Unpack your bags, put things on hangers, lay your shoes out, toiletries etc. It is not vacation to just unpack and then re-pack 2-3 days later and move to the next place.
You Can Plan a Pretty Picnic But You can’t Predict the Weather
Lastly, you can setup the perfect trip with stuff crammed into every day… but then what happens when a storm creeps in that takes out 1-2 full days of your beach or adventure days?
It would be miserable if you are a huge fisherman and some crazy storm takes that out, or your waterfall day is an epic downpour so while you can enjoy it… it isn’t ideal. Among a ton of other things ruined by rain that you will find in lots of destinations.
Not only weather but also what if someone gets sick etc… always leave a few relaxing day buffers so you can be flexible.
Examples of What To Do Vs. What Not To Do
The Costa Rica one mentioned above is a perfect example. If you only have one week… spend it all in La Fortuna or Manuel Antonio.
If you have 5 days, choose Cancun or Tulum or Holbox and just enjoy everything there to the fullest vs. feel the need to rush to Tulum for 2 days just so you can take some artsy picture.
Trust me, you will enjoy your trip so much more if you don’t try to see it all and just stay in one place and enjoy it to its fullest vs. just experience 33% of the main highlights just to rush to the next place.
It will also eliminate a ton of the angst for when things go wrong or take longer than it should have… which it always does… so take your time, enjoy yourself and enjoy your time.