You don’t research in advance
Planning activities in advance boosts happiness even before your trip. “The peak of enjoyment actually comes before a vacation in anticipation of the vacation,” says Pauline Frommer, editorial director of Frommer’s Guidebooks and Frommers.com. “Planning in advance by reading guidebooks, books of history, books about the culture…brings your vacation into your regular life.” The more you know before you depart, the better. Try to do as much research about your destination as possible. Look up recommended restaurants, public transportation, sights, and activities. By planning in advance, you’ll feel more prepared for your trip and avoid disappointments—like missing out on an exclusive scuba diving lesson in Hawaii or not scoring reservations at the locale’s most popular restaurant.
You pack too much
By packing lightly, you free yourself of the excess troubles caused by traveling with too much luggage: getting to and from the airport, checking into your hotel, and waiting endlessly at baggage claim. To lessen your load, make a list and stick with it. Leave behind unnecessary items like a blowdryer and those high heels you’ve yet to wear. Instead, pack your favorite shoes that you can wear day and night and select clothes that are comfortable and washable. Frommer also cautions against the danger of carrying too much money; “Cash cannot be replaced, plastic can,” she says. These are 14 vacation items you’ll always regret packing.
There’s no breathing room on your itinerary
Scheduling every hour of every day is simply exhausting and stressful. Unplanned events like delayed flights or canceled tours are part of the reality of vacation. If you don’t have room in your itinerary for these moments—and simply ones to just breathe, relax, and take in your surroundings—then you’ll likely face frustration, panic, and stress. Not having a jam-packed schedule will also allow you to stop rushing around as usual. According to Michelle Gielan, bestselling author of Broadcasting Happiness and founder of the Institute of Applied Positive Research, “a lot of the point of vacation is just to have a break from schedules” and by not rushing from activity to activity you’ll be able “to do whatever you feel like.”