For most of us, we can only take a few trips a year so it’s important to make the most of them. With limited vacation time and budget, there’s a lot of pressure to plan and execute a successful trip. While there’s no such thing as a perfect trip, you can certainly come close by following some simple guidelines. There’s nothing more disappointing than an underwhelming trip that leaves you feeling unsatisfied and uninspired. Not to mention, the agonizing pain of not getting your money’s worth. To ensure you don’t fall victim to “vacation regret,” here is a list of 6 common travel mistakes and how to avoid them. If you steer clear of these snafus, you’ll be well on your way to a legendary vacation.


In some instances, overpacking could be the difference between a smooth or stressful trip. If you pack too much, your heavy bags could slow you down to the point where it starts to impact your itinerary (and body!). Make sure to only bring the essentials so that you’re not burdened with extra weight and clutter. How do you know what to bring versus what to leave behind? Check out our 10 best packing tips to help conquer this process.

Blowing Your Budget

If you took the time to create a budget, you probably had intentions of sticking to it. It’s important to keep track of your expenses and do your best to keep to the plan that you outlined. It’s perfectly acceptable to splurge here and there but make sure you don’t get too caught up in the moment. Try to create a realistic budget from the start (with some breathing room) so that you don’t feel too restricted. In the months leading up to your trip, try to save up as much as possible to ensure you can make the most of your travels.

Not Doing Your Research

Spontaneity is always encouraged on any great vacation but the success of your trip mostly rests on proper planning. It’s critical to do your diligence when it comes to planning the itinerary for your trip. Between flights, hotels, restaurants, and landmarks, there are a lot of decisions to be made. Your time and money are precious so you want to ensure you are thoughtfully selecting what will be the best fit for your needs. Take the time to visit review sites, ask friends, and purchase travel guide books to ensure you’re embarking on the absolute best trip possible. A little bit of homework will go a long way, especially if you’re visiting a place you know nothing about!

Having Unrealistic Expectations

This one is tough to manage but try to set reasonable expectations about your trip. Accept that not everything will go as planned and be willing to compromise when things don’t quite turn out as you had envisioned. It’s important to have a positive attitude and remain optimistic. Some of the best memories usually stem from an unexpected speedbump. On that same note, try not to plan an overly ambitious trip. Attempting to see and do it all is a sure way to disappoint since it will be nearly impossible to conquer everything on your list. Try your best to plan a trip that’s satisfying and sensible.

Being Too Trusting

It’s great to have an open mind when traveling but it’s more important to protect yourself from harm. Unfortunately, there are plenty of scammers out there that are looking to take advantage of vulnerable tourists. If you’re traveling internationally, you’re even more exposed to fraud given the difference in language and currency. There are lots of different scams out there and falling victim to one could seriously ruin your entire trip. Here are 8 travel scams to avoid as an introduction to some of the warning signs to look out for. For example, try not to accept any “free” gifts from the locals as chances are you will be expected to cough up some cash in exchange. When in doubt, trust your instincts and err on the side of caution.

Not Checking Your Reservations

When taking a big trip, the details are everything. Make sure to triple-check all of your important documents to ensure everything was booked correctly. It’s easy to get a date or location wrong so there’s no harm in being extra thorough. If you’re typically the planner in the relationship, have your partner review everything with a fresh perspective. This step could make all the difference in executing a stress-free trip.

While there’s plenty that can go wrong on any trip, there’s more room for things to go right! So long as you’re flexible and keep an open mind, you can turn any travel hiccup into a win.