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5 Classic Vacation Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

“Stressed out? Take a vacation!”

If only it was that easy.

Taking a trip or a vacation can sometimes be just as stressful as the ‘everyday life’ you’re trying to escape. Whether you’re leaving the country or just going a few hours away, a lot of planning goes into making a vacation happen, and it’s not always easy. According to a study by Wyndham Vacation Rentals, nearly 40% of Americans delay or cancel a trip they’ve previously scheduled due to stress or lack of planning.

Even though stressing less doesn’t take any of the work away, you can make your life much easier if you avoid these 5 classic vacation mistakes:

Overpacking

It’s the classic dilemma: How many outfits will you need? Do you need a backup outfit? How many pairs of shoes should you pack? There’s just something about having extra clothes that makes us feel safe. However, this can backfire at the airport when your bag is too heavy, or you pack so many things that you end up needing two suitcases to fit it all.

How to avoid this? Lay out everything you need, and then remove half of it. Odds are, you don’t ‘need’ as much stuff as you think you do. But if you simply must pack 5 additional outfits, roll up your clothes instead of folding them to save room in your suitcase.

Misjudging Airport Traffic

Never underestimate the power of a short-looking airport security line. No matter how many people may (or may not) be in it, airport wait times are just never predictable. The age-old advice is to arrive two to three hours before your flight time, just to make sure you don’t have a Home Alone moment and end up sprinting through the airport to make it to your gate on time.

(Speaking of flights, did you know that Shop Your Way members get 3% CASHBACK in points when they book through Expedia? Nothing says ‘vacation’ like some extra points.)

Trying to Have Too Much Fun

It’s normal to want to do and see as many things as possible on a vacation. But when you sandwich so many activities together that your entire day is booked solid, this can end up causing more stress than anything. A long line, unexpected traffic, or an unforeseen delay can cause your entire block of activities to shift, which is much more stressful than it would be if you left some room for adjustment. Leave at least 45 minutes to an hour in between activities. That way you can regroup, unwind, and prepare for your next adventure.

Not Keeping Your Stuff Safe

If you’ve ever traveled abroad, you’ve probably been warned about pickpocketing. According to TripSavvy, Barcelona and Prague are the two worst cities for item theft (Barcelona has actually been dubbed the ‘pickpocketing capital of the world’). However, it’s fairly easy to minimize your chances of getting pickpocketed, starting with bags. Backpacks and large purses are gold mines for thieves, because they’re easy to access. Traveling lightly with smaller bags worn closer to the body can deter pickpocketing. It’s also a good idea not to have all your money on you at all times. That way, you aren’t out of luck if something bad happens. (If you leave it in your hotel room, make sure to lock it up somewhere safe!)

Budgeting…or Not

“Splurging doesn’t count on vacation.” This may work for calories, but it doesn’t always work for money. According to a study done by American Express, an average vacation for a family of four costs about $4,580 total. When you factor in travel, tourist attraction prices ($9 bottled water, anyone?), souvenirs, and last-minute expenses (not to mention international card fees if you’re leaving the country), those numbers add up faster than your kids can say “Are we there yet?”

Luckily, Shop Your Way has your back when it comes to planning your next vacation. Shop Your Way Hotels can save you tons of money on your next trip, and reward you with up to $100 or more in CASHBACK in points per night. Our easy-to-use search tool makes planning your dream vacation (at competitive prices you’ll love) easier than ever. Book today and start earning and shopyourway.com/hotels.

Taking a road trip instead? Sync your Shop Your Way account with GasBuddy to earn CASHBACK in points every time you fill up at participating gas stations nationwide. No matter where you’re going or how you’re getting there, Shop Your Way makes vacations even more rewarding.

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