Five Ways to Plan a Better Vacation When Your Last One Didn’t Go as Planned

Everyone has high hopes when they go on vacation. It’s easy to assume that because you’re planning to do something fun that your time spent on vacation will actually be fun. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always pan out that way.

Some vacations don’t go as planned. You could find yourself in an accident, which means returning home and trying to figure out how to obtain an accident report. The kids could spend most of your vacation complaining, which means there were very few chances for you to relax, or you might have spent more time hounding your work email than you would have liked.

Don’t let one bad experience keep you from planning a vacation ever again! Although you can’t prevent every bad thing from happening, the things on this list will help you avoid some of the most common vacation complaints.

Consider Revisiting a Previous Location

If you had a bad experience on vacation, you may never want to go there again. However, once you’ve already been somewhere, you know what to expect, and you’ll be better prepared to handle any trouble that might come up during your next visit.

Vacationing in the same place can also be a helpful strategy if you’re traveling with children. Because you have already been there, you know the best things to do, the best places to stay, and your kids will love the predictability of going somewhere fun and knowing what to expect.

Make a List and Pack Well Ahead of Time

Many a vacation has been ruined due to poor packing. Make sure you aren’t spending more money than you should at the airport on a phone charger and skip spending an afternoon shopping for comfortable underwear by making a list and packing your bag well ahead of time. This will ensure you have enough time to remember things that might otherwise be forgotten.

Some items that are often left behind that you should put in your bag right away include:

  • Toothpaste
  • Swimsuit
  • Bandages
  • Lip balm
  • Pain killers
  • Umbrella

Make sure you help your kids pack early too! Children and teens are notorious for hitting the road only to realize they left something important behind because they decided to pack their bags the morning of your trip.

Plan Ahead at Work

The whole point of going on vacation is to get away from your normal daily routine. That often means getting away from work, and yet many people spend their vacation sending emails and checking in with coworkers in the office.

Don’t let work ruin your next vacation! Well before you leave, create an automated message that informs the people who email you that you will be out of the office, leave a coworker in charge of essential tasks, and give your team at least two weeks to prepare ahead of your departure.

To make going back to work easier, come home from your vacation a day early. That gives you time to catch up on your email and figure out exactly what you need to do your first day back.

Get Your House in Order

Most of us will never have a Home Alone moment where we realize we left a kid behind, but there are plenty of other things you may second guess yourself about. Did you leave the hair straightener plugged in? Is the stove turned off? Did you adjust the thermostat?

Make a list of all the things you have to check and mark them off as they get done right before you leave. You can even take pictures as proof that you turned off the stove burner after breakfast and unplugged the router before you got in the car.

Involve Everyone in the Planning Process

Did you end up with a lot of complainers the last time you went on vacation? Don’t give them the chance to complain next time by including everyone in the planning process.

Does your teen want to lounge by the pool? Does your youngest want to go to the zoo? Maybe your spouse just wants to sleep in? Give everyone a chance to plan things during your vacation and you’ll endure a lot less complaining while you’re away from home.

Vacations don’t always go exactly the way we want them to. Don’t let that discourage you from planning another vacation in the future! Use what you learned from your last experience to make your next vacation much better.