Travel Tips

Perfect Trips Aren’t Planned

Does this title shock you? Me, too. I am a planner. I like to plan my travels, my day, my week, my blog schedule, my meals, etc., etc., etc. Unfortunately, I have learned over the years that no amount of planning can make for a perfect trip. So, while I still subscribe to the old adage that “Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail,” I also believe that the best laid plans can fall apart with little or no notice. Here are some reasons why. 

Our flight from SFO to New Zealand left without us, but the next day we got to fly business class on Air New Zealand for the first time! Winning!

People are Different

I not only run my own travel blog, I also read a lot of other people’s travel blogs! I scour the blogosphere via Pinterest and Google to help me plan all my trips. I’m always looking for suggestions on the best things to do, what to skip, tips about what to know before I go, photo ops, and more. 

But people are different. Honestly, the things most bloggers want to do are not the things I want to do. Every single blog I read about Morocco said to stay in the medina (or old town) and shop at the souks (shops) or just walk around and let yourself get lost. This was not for us! We hated being lost in the souks, being on high alert for scammers and pickpockets all the time, and guess what: if you actually stay IN the medina, you will have to walk through those confusing streets to find your riad or dar (Moroccan guesthouses) because cars cannot get through. 

Also, the things some people find surprising will not necessarily be shocking to you, but other things will. Most bloggers wrote about not being able to drink the water, and that bottled water was provided at riads and dars for brushing teeth. No one mentioned that sometimes you have to bring your own! The nicest riad we stayed in did not provide any bottled water, so we were glad we had stopped for a couple of bottles of water enroute. 

Instagram, travel articles, and bloggers all indicated La Mamounia would be a sure positive experience… but that was not true for us!
Read on: Why I Will Not Recommend La Mamounia

Cultures are Different

No matter how much research you do on a culture, you don’t really know about it until you experience it—and then there will always be nuances you didn’t notice the first time around that will surprise you the next time. This can be very frustrating, and sometimes that frustration is greater when you really thought you did more than enough research!

Different cultures are beautiful and exciting to explore!
Read on: Travel Planning

Sometimes You Get Sick and You Don’t Know Why

I’ll give it to you straight: even the strongest stomachs are unprepared for the food and beverages of the world. I rarely get sick at home, but I have had some of the worst diarrhea in Mexico, Turkey, Kauai, Bali, the Galapagos, and Cambodia. And in Morocco, I threw up for the first time in 10 years. Sometimes you know what made you sick, and sometimes you don’t. Pepto Bismol is actually supposed to kill the bacteria in your stomach and intestines that make you sick, so I always carry some with me wherever I travel. But you know what? No amount of planning stopped all that from happening. 

I never get sick of beauty… but beautiful places sometimes make me sick!
Read on: Staying Healthy on Travel

Jet Lag is Rough, Man

And by rough, I mean awful. Unfortunately for me, sleep medications like diphenhydramine and even melatonin don’t always work for me, but even if I do get lucky and one of them helps me sleep, I almost always have very vivid nightmares those nights. 

Beyond just the sleep deprivation, jet lag can also make you clumsier, disoriented, and forgetful, all of which can be frustrating to the point of anger or even depression. You can try to set your clock to your destination’s time zone as soon as you get on an aircraft, avoid alcohol and caffeine, caffeinate more than usual, take sleep aids, or try any number of other jet lag remedies, but the first day at a destination is always a “throw away.” Kind of like the first pancake every time you make pancakes. 

Jets = Jet Lag
Read on: Jet Lag: Your Secret Travel Weapon

What travel plans have you had that went awry? Comment below to tell your story!

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4 thoughts on “Perfect Trips Aren’t Planned

  1. I have been planning or more like researching my Peru trip for almost two years. With 5 months to go I have booked my international flight to Lima, flight to Cuzco, last two nights accommodations in Lima before flying home.
    I have secured my first nights lodging and a taxi ride from airport.
    Due to demand and timing of some excursion, some things a person has to book like my train ride to Machu Picchu, it is bought and paid for, I have reserved accommodations in Ollantaytambo and Aquas Calientes to combat being overwhelmed or frustrated, I will be going at the start of high season. basically my first five days are planned, but the next 23 days I will be winging it. I agree. Got to leave space for the adventure….. Cheers

  2. Oh no! Not diarrhea in Cambodia! I’m heading there in a few weeks. Actually, the travel medicine doctor said that even if we don’t get “officially” sick, expect to have some stomach issues just due to the new gut bacteria we’ll be encountering. Yay! 🙁
    We’ve given ourselves about 36 hours in Laos before our tour officially starts, both as a buffer against flight delays (we are leaving the Midwest in winter, after all) but also because of that “throwaway day” you mentioned. For our extra night at the beginning we’re staying at the same hotel that the tour has put us in for the other days and with any extra time we have we’re probably just going to sleep, relax by the pool, and lounge to try to get over that jet lag. Wish us luck!

    1. Hanging out in Laos for a couple of days before your trip is WISE! I hope you love it. I’ve never been! Even after getting diarrhea in Cambodia, I would go all over again! Just take pepto or whatever your doctor gave you and enjoy it! I still don’t know what happened, whether I ate something that had been washed in questionable water or an ingredient in something I ate was to blame. I had an iced coffee, so maybe the ice was the culprit. I never know what brings it on, but it honestly has never ruined a trip so mich that I regret going!

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