In a perfect world, your family vacation would be planned months in advance, everyone would arrive to the airport on time, there would be no hold-ups, hiccups or delays and you’d enjoy your destination exactly how you had always dreamed. You’d return home with perfectly-lit, candid photos of every little memorable moment, stories to share for years to come and absolutely no regrets. Of course, not every feature film portrays travel this way. In fact, there are lots of pieces showing the Murphy’s Law side of a vacation (National Lampoon, anyone?), but that’s not always the case either.
The truth is, travel can be as unpredictable as it can be exciting, and just because one thing goes right or wrong doesn’t mean everything else will. Let me explain.
Arriving at your destination is half the battle when it comes to travel, and deciding where there is and when to go can often be a tough task all by itself. Taking ample time to plan your trip is great. You can secure all your reservations at better rates, you’ve got a chance to figure out exactly what you’d like to see or do and you might even have wiggle room to change your mind about some of those details. Unfortunately, time is not always on your side. You may have some unexpected free time pop up with very little advance notice. Maybe you get extremely stressed and decide it’d be nice to get away as soon as possible, or you might get lucky and win a free trip to some special event from a radio contest (cheers to being the 99th caller!). Whatever the case, sometimes you won’t be able to plan as meticulously as you’d like. It’s okay. This happens to the best of us.
Extra long airport security lines, freakishly terrible weather, flat tires and lost luggage also happens to the best of us. Thankfully, there’s travel insurance.
While You’re There
If you manage to arrive with no problems along the way, congratulations. This is something to brag/tweet about. However, the destination might not be how you anticipated; find ways to make the most of it. Contrary to how it seems on the silver screen, you don’t need to be lodging at a 5-star resort to do this, and on the flip side, a crappy hotel does not a terrible vacation make. Grab your camera, hit the streets and start making some memories. Take a tour of the land to familiarize yourself with the new surroundings. Stay smart and alert, but keep an open mind. Taste some new foods, mingle with some new people and try not to control all the details. The trip will never go exactly how you’ve imagined, so take each moment as it comes.
The art of getting back home is just as delicate as getting there. The same issues may or may not arise, you may or may not leave your phone, charger, camera or souvenir shot glasses in the hotel room, and that’s okay, too. Seriously, these things happen to the best of us.
However your plans take off, just know it’ll never be exactly what you’re expecting, but that’s what makes the experience.