There's a lot to do before we go on vacation. We have to pack. If we're going to a resort in the tropics, we check how close we are to the beach. We plan, plan, plan, but when we get to our destination, we realize we've forgotten to bring some essential things. We all do this, but we'll never admit it because we feel stupid. We tend to forget things when we are pressed for time, like forgetting to bring sunscreen lotion or comfortable shoes, which could lead to unplanned vacation expenses if you need to replace items while you’re away.
On top of that, we waste our experience of discovering the city or discovering new things that we can easily do at home. We sleep in. We keep texting. We get fizzled. We go to a chain restaurant because we feel comfortable there, which makes us miss out on the chance of eating as the locals do. We also do things while traveling that we would never do at home and which we also wouldn't admit because it makes us look rude. We take too many pics while sight-seeing and our partners get annoyed because they all have to stop what they're doing, yet again. We even, hoard the complimentary miniature soaps, and shampoos, and conditioners and hide them in our bag so that housekeeping can keep replacing them. Even worse, we rifle through a housekeeper's trolley when no one is looking.
Think that's all bad? Well, we've seen worse. So here are 25 things we all do on vacation but won't admit.
25 Taking Too Many Pics
We would never admit it, but we all do it: we take too many pics, especially selfies. Photos are a sure way to capture memories of the place you're visiting, but clicking away too much can spoil your vacation, as well as your companions' who have to stop everything so you can take another pic.
You should limit your photo-taking because you're not really enjoying where you are.
Instead, soak in the atmosphere and really take in the locale so you can have a first-hand memory that can't be replicated by photos.
24 Not Exploring Your Hotel
We book a nice hotel and when we get there we just sit around our room after checking in and don't explore our lodgings. One reason for this is that we think all the excitement--the boutiques, restaurants and bars--are elsewhere.
But it would be a pity if you don't check your surroundings.
If there's a pool, use it. If you need to go to the gym, your hotel probably has one. Your bar may be more stellar than what's out there, and the hotel's restaurant may offer the best meals in town. Also, you can use your hotel's concierge service to plan an itinerary.
23 Not Checking In On Time
We all do it. We decide to go sight-seeing or have a nice meal at a restaurant before we check-in at our hotel's check-in time. But checking-in on time is the best way to go.
You can get rid of your luggage and have it go to your room so you can then go out freely.
You can avoid lines at the desk. You can sit around the lobby and decide what to wear, check a neighborhood guide to know which sight-seeing destinations you should go on, and also make plans with the concierge.
22 Thinking Staying At A Hotel Is A Waste Of Money
For those travelers who are on a budget, they turn to Airbnb or other kinds of house-sharing arrangements. Many often argue that staying at a hotel is a waste of money because you're only using it to sleep. But that's not really true.
Do you really want to wait in line at your host's house to take a shower? Are you willing to give up your privacy? What if you want to go bonkers with your companion? A hotel acts as your home base. You use it to make plans, to lounge around after a long day of shopping, and most of all you have privacy. You may even have a gorgeous view.
21 Sticking Together And Not Making Friends
Staying at a resort or a hotel is a great way to meet people. They are probably interested in the same things as you are (hitting the beach, dining out, etc.)
But what a lot of us do and won't admit is that we stick together and not be open to make friends.
But making friends (and not just at your lodgings) can bring an added excitement to your vacay, as you can trade info about your experiences. And when you make friends, how much better is it to go to dinner or a nightclub with them? We guarantee that making friends will lighten the mood and make you laugh.
20 Sleeping In
We all do this but won't admit it. We sleep in during our vacation. We never mention it because we fear we'll be shamed.
To travel across the country and exploring a place you've never been to and instead you're sleeping in.
Every minute counts on a vacay. You may be sleep-deprived from your busy job, but do you really want a takeaway of sleeping in for your memory of your trip? You're missing out bonding with your companion, friends and family while doing something fun like shopping like natives or sightseeing.
19 Texting And Emailing Too Much
Another thing we all do while on vacay and won't admit is that we keep using our iPhones to text or check email. Adults do this to make sure they're on top of things at work. But kids--especially teenage girls--are the worst.
Picture it: you're out at a fancy dinner and instead your daughter is ignoring her meal to text.
Those who have their electronic devices on them are missing out on exploring and enjoying what the locals do. If your phone is always in your palm, why go on vacation?
18 Forgetting To Bring Extra Contacts
People who wear contacts would never forget to pack saline solution, a contact case, and the eyeglasses that you wear when you're not wearing your contacts. But most people only take the contacts they're wearing now. That should not be the case.
You always need back up in case something happens to them. So always carry a set of new, unopened, lenses in case you drop your contact in the sink while trying to put it on and it goes down the drain. This happened to all of us.
17 Not Packing Smart
If you're on vacay, you know that carrying a lot of luggage is a hassle. We all do it. We pack too much. If you're traveling abroad, for example, you don't want that large piece of luggage holding you down through customs and then at the baggage claim. And if you're checking your bag because of its weight, there goes $50 for your fee to let the airline handle your luggage. $50 is a huge loss! So pack smart.
You want one carry-on bag, a computer bag (it doesn't count for airplanes) and one piece of luggage, preferably one you can take on the flight.
16 Not Stripping Down To Bring Only The Essential Clothing
Travelers often want to wear a new outfit for each day. You can't, unless you want to carry a lot of suitcases that will weigh you down. So when packing, strip down to the essentials. The key is to use pieces at least twice or three times. Take your favorite jeans, a casual navy blazer, and a lightweight blouse for a classic American look. Accessorize to make the outfit look different.
Bring only one dress if you have a formal evening planned: the little black dress. It can go anywhere. Accessorize again. Pair it with a floppy hat and costume jewelry for an informal outfit. At night, pair the dress with a string of costume pearls and you'll look like a million bucks.
15 Not Getting Vaccinated
We all do this but won't admit it. We don't get vaccinated. If you are traveling to a foreign country, this is essential.
There are all kinds of different bacteria there.
If you opt out because you forget or don't want to spend money, at least make sure your children get vaccinated. If they get sick, that small sum you saved will be lost and your sick child will have to visit an international hospital and be billed some astronomical fee.
14 Not Bringing A Full Bottle of Prescription Meds
Always pack the whole bottle of that Ativan you use to calm yourself down. Even if your vacay will only last 3 days, it doesn't make sense to bring enough for only those days. You never know what might happen. You may be in a foreign country and the inclement weather forces the airlines to cancel flights. Or you may want to stay longer on vacay.
If you just bring enough meds to cover the days on your trip, you'll be at a loss.
If you're a parent and your kids take meds, make sure to pack those too. We all make this innocent mistake, but when your children are involved, yep, you won't admit it in fear of looking like a bad parent.
13 Not Bringing Long-Sleeve Clothes
We all do this on vacay, especially when we head for somewhere warm. We forget to bring a long-sleeve T-shirt, a sweater, a hoodie, a lightweight jacket, or some fleece and sweats. Remember that every place blasts the A/C.
The airport is cold, the plane is cold, your hotel room is cold, and even in the tropics at night it gets cold.
And every place you go, some overhead fan is always on, like at a restaurant. But because we are going somewhere warm, we often forget to pack smart. You have to, especially if you're on a budget, because you may end up having to purchase it in the country you're visiting.
12 Forgetting To Bring Sunscreen
Yep, we all do this while on vacay but won't admit it because we look stupid. While traveling to some destination that's warm, we forget to pack sunscreen. Without it, you will burn at the beach or even just by walking. And you probably will pay a huge markup for sunscreen if you buy it at your hotel's mini-store.
It may even be hard to find sunscreen at a reasonable price if you're staying near a tourist area. You end up spending money that you don't want to if you didn't pack smart.
11 Not Knowing About Electrical Outlets In Foreign Countries
Some may argue that electrical outlets in foreign countries are the same as they are in the states. They're wrong. Different outlets are used abroad. And if you try plugging in your iPad, Kindle, or hair dryer, you may just get a spark, which is a warning sign that you should not avoid. The next thing you know, there's a fire at hand. Again, pack smart. And do your research on what exactly you need to get. You can get what you need easily at Amazon.
10 Ordering What You Can Easily Eat Back Home
There's a reason why there's a Red Lobster and other chain restaurants in Times Square. Travelers tend to eat what they eat back home because these places make them feel comfortable. Or they may not be familiar with popular restaurants that locals inhabit.
If you are heading to another country, go to a restaurant where the food is foreign to you, and authentically made by locals.
If you're ordering a hamburger at a fancy restaurant abroad, what's the point? You could've just gone to a McDonald's.
9 Forgetting To Check The Weather Before Leaving Your Room
So you, and your companions, and kids are staying at a resort and are ready to go to the pool or maybe some water park. You've already put your swimsuits on, your tanning lotion on, and packed your travel tote with essentials like bottled water. We all do this, and won't admit it as this is another thing that makes us look bad.
We don't check the weather first.
We may look out at the window and see it's sunny, but when we get to the pool it's so windy that the beach umbrellas are shaking. Just don't forget during your next excursion.
8 Using a Starbucks as a restroom
It's the worst feeling. We have to do # 2 when we're at the Champs-Élysées but don't want to use public bathrooms because we assume they're gross. They may very well be, but you're not going to be comfortable if you don't go. It may be difficult to find a restroom that doesn't require you to buy something first at the place you choose.
Don't panic. Find a Starbucks (they're everywhere abroad) fast. The coffee king now has a policy that you can use their bathrooms without ordering anything, and they are relatively clean.
7 Not Bringing An Umbrella
One thing we all do on vacation is forgetting to pack the umbrella. We won't admit it because it looks like we don't know how to pack. What are you going to do if it rains where you are staying? Do you really want to buy an overpriced umbrella at your hotel gift store? Are you near places where you can get an umbrella for cheap? It'll be a lot of work finding one. A foldable umbrella is small enough to pack, thereby not taking too much room in your luggage.
6 Getting sauced
This is definitely something most of us do but won't admit: we keep getting sloshed from having too much sauce while on vacay. Like spending the day at your hotel's pool and telling the servers to keep the battered fish and chips coming.
There's nothing wrong with that, but if you spend a good amount of money to go on vacay and spend the day sloshed, you're missing out on all the adventures you could go on. And besides, you can always bark at the moon at home. The point of a vacay is to experience things you can't do while at home.