A classic travel mistake is to stick to the beaten path. When in, say, Venice, sneak away from the popular squares and get lost—among unforgettable neighborhoods most Americans never set foot in.
(Valery Bareta/Dreamstime )
Even the most meticulously planned trip is subject to snafus, but with a little insider know-how, you can avoid making the common mistakes that can derail a vacation. Stick to the guidelines below, and you're more likely to have a trip that's memorable not for lost luggage and rushed sightseeing, but for the thrill of discovering a new place and savoring it.
Not booking enough connection time between flights
Leaving a window of at least an hour and a half between connecting flights will significantly drop your chances of missing your flight or having your luggage lost, says Sally Watkins, travel agent at Century Travel and Cruises in Austin, Texas. Having only 45 minutes to connect between flights might seem doable—not to mention the siren call of less lag time spent hanging out at a dismal food court—but it's often not enough, especially in large airports where the gates could be far apart. Don't rely on airlines to do the math for you, either: "Flights can't be booked unless it is a legitimate change time according to that airport, and usually if it's the minimum change time and airlines let you book that, they will make it work," Watkins says.
Not applying for your passport early enough
Routine passport processing takes about four to six weeks, so as soon as you start planning for your trip, apply for a passport if you need one, or make sure the one you already have hasn't expired. Plus, in certain countries you need at least six months' worth of validity remaining to enter, says Elizabeth Finan, spokesperson for the State Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs. (Go to travel.state.gov for more information.) If your trip is coming up quicker than that, you can shell out $60 to cut the processing time to two to three weeks, but if you're planning to board a plane in less than two weeks, make an appointment at your local passport agency by calling 877/487-2778. The $60 fee still applies. If you've traveled so much you've practically worn out your passport, flip through it as a precaution: "Frequent travelers should make sure that they have enough pages in their passports," says Finan. "For example, South African law requires travelers to have one fully blank visa page in the passport; without the requisite number of pages, you may be refused entry." No one wants that.
Underestimating the location of your hotel from the city center
When you're visiting a city, ponying up for a more expensive hotel that's in the middle of the action can be a better financial decision in the long run than staying out in the suburbs and spending money and time on transportation. Use time you save to explore—or just recharge in your hotel room. "Particularly if it's a European city in the month of July and it's hot… you're going to want to go back in the late afternoon and put your feet up before you go to dinner," Watkins says. "That's not easy to do if your hotel is a 30-minute bus ride away." Plus, if it's a family vacation, toting kids on unfamiliar trains or taxis with few breaks will increase the possibility that you'll have a frustrating visit. "Value is more important than what's the cheapest," Watkins says.
Trying to do too much in one trip
Allot a minimum of three days for visiting major cities like Rome, London, and Paris, and you'll end up with a richer vacation that includes time for simple pleasures like people-watching or relaxing in sidewalk cafés, says Watkins. "A lot of people say, 'I just want to do just one night in whatever and one night in so-and-so.' Slow down! By the time you either load all the bags into the car, drive, and park, or you schlep all the bags onto a train, you don't have that much of a day left," says Watkins. The same goes for multiple activities. Make time for wandering around. In Rome, for example, planning to see the Vatican Museums, the Colosseum, and the Forum in the same day is overkill, Watkins says. Really seeing the city via strolls and serendipity can be invaluable.
Not being honest about your interests, likes, and dislikes
There's no shame in wanting to leisurely sit in cafés in Paris instead of hoofing it to every monument—or preferring to check out Mayan ruins in Tulum instead of lying in a hammock. Before you plan vacation activities that others insist you'll enjoy, sit down and think hard about what you want your trip to be, then follow your own itinerary. "Many people plan the trip they think they ought to want, rather than the trip they actually want," says Edward Hasbrouck, author of The Practical Nomad: How to Travel Around the World. "If you rarely set foot in a museum, why plan a trip with museum after museum? A lack of self-awareness can lead to, among other things, relying on recommendations from people with very different tastes." Your trip, your experience.
Cabo San Lucas.... the best kept secret
The theme for Los Cabos is "Rediscover Yourself" because it is known for its striking natural beauty and range of activities. The quality of its accommodations, dining and shopping makes it the kind of place that brings visitors back again and again. Los Cabos is also known as "Lands End" because it is a place where the mountains, desert, ocean and sea all meet. Los Cabos is a dream destination with an ever-increasing array of activities, attractions and luxury accommodations.
Los Cabos includes the towns of San Jose'del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas, as well as the Tourist Corridor, which runs between them. The destination is located about 1,000 miles south of San Diego, in the state of Baja California Sur.
Los Cabos is a place where visitors of all types find the vacation they've dreamed about. Whether you are a golfer, shopper, fishing enthusiast, or into watersports, this is the place for you. Los Cabos has an array of beautiful hotels and resorts, beautiful scenery and a perfect place for relaxation
During my visit to Los Cabos I stayed at the Sheraton Hacienda Del Mar Resort and Spa in Cabo San Lucas. This facility is a 5 star resort that boarders on the Sea of Cortez. The beaches of Cabo San Lucas offer plenty of places to soak up the rays and enjoy the scenery. Whatever your preference, Carbo San Lucas is there to give you a reason to head out to the water. With a coastline that offers both the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez and includes dramatic coves and cliffs as well as peaceful bays and inlets, you can find whatever you’re looking for at the beaches of Los Cabos. One word of caution some of the beaches are not recommended for swimming (I found this out the hard way).
Cabos San Lucas holds many beautiful memories for me.... one was a luxurious massage under a private tent by the sea while listening to the waves hitting the shore in the background, another was a romantic sea cruise as the sun was setting at twilight time and the third was a delicious candlelight dinner served on a private balcony and later a moonlight stroll by the beach.
What can I say...whatever you want Los Cabos has it...I can't wait to return.
Post a reply to this blog and I will show you how to turn your vacation fantasy into reality.
Posted by IamN2trips @ 2:36 PM
Audrey Hyman is the owner and CEO of the Hyman Travel Network, a full service travel agency located in the suburbs of Washington, that specializes in cruises and all inclusive vacations