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.
At home, with your complete wardrobe available, there's no reason not to run through work, workout and working-the-clubs outfits in a single day.
But when your life is crammed into a couple bags, your fashion morality changes.
Those socks you wore on the plane should be good for another go.
The purple tee you slept in ought to be alright for a third wear.
Yesterday's undies? Well ...
According to a recent survey by Travelodge, two-thirds of travelers typically return from a trip with at least six unworn outfits.
The lesson: You don't need a new set of anything for each day of a trip. Figure on at least two wears for (almost) everything.
2. Not buying something you like as soon as you see it
You think you're gonna circle back to that shop.
You think you'll see a cheaper, better version somewhere else.
That evocative street painting or those Metallica nesting dolls you didn't buy? Now not having them will haunt you for the rest of your life.
When you see something you like, just buy it and live without regret.
3. Trusting "near city center" descriptions
"Near city center" is like a Bible verse -- open to vast interpretation.
When you find the money you saved on your "near city center" hotel is being spent on 30-minute commutes and outrageous taxi fares, you know you've committed one of the cardinal sins of travel.
Online booking websites do not describe specific location of the accommodations they put on. Discuss what you want and dont want to your travel consultant.
4. Taking the "super" shuttle
Wait on the curb for a ride in a sweat-soaked van or bus (i.e. DAMRI BUS) and risk being the last one dropped off on a nine-hotel run, all in the name of saving a few bucks?
Your time is worth more than that.
Adam Carolla brilliantly sums up this classic travel blunder in his book, "In Fifty Years We'll All Be Chicks."
"The shuttle is the worst a few Rupiahs you'll ever save. It adds 90 minutes to whatever a Town Car or cab would have been. You have the unenviable choice between being dropped off last or being dropped off first and having a bunch of losers who can't afford cab fare and have no friends or loved ones with cars knowing exactly where you live."
The lesson: Take our private car service where we will take you directly to wherever your destination is after landing at Lombok International Airport.
5. Trying too hard to chisel out a bargain
There's no faster way to become embittered with the locals than going toe-to-toe with a market full of hungry sales people and shopkeepers.
Yes, we understand there's principle involved, but do you really need to whittle the equivalent of fifty cents off the price of an embroidered handbag that's going to sit in the back of a closet anyway?
Just buy the damn thing and spare your heart the cortisol burst for when it actually needs it.
6. Buying cheap flip-flops
You think, "I'm only gonna wear 'em for a week, I might not even take 'em home, why buy the good ones?"
The answer comes when you blow out a toe strap and shred the bottom of your foot a mile into a hike across the local lava beds.
And now you have to go back.
7. Fearing street food
No one wants to get sick on vacation, but why travel all the way to Lombok and not eat the local grub?
The locals don't like food poisoning any more than you do. If they're in line, consider the place vetted and assume you're going to be fine.
Click here for ideas on local food Lombok can indulge you.
8. Over-reliance on guidebooks
Making a travel plan using only your guidebook is like making a plan to stand in line at the bank for a week.
Guidebooks are great -- we use them all the time -- but it's best to pull just one or two suggestions per day from a guide that thousands of like-minded travelers have read or downloaded.
Again, plan your trip with a travel consultant will save you from wasting a lot of money, effort, and possibilities of becoming stressful in arranging your trip.
9. Obsessive photography
The obsession/obligation to document every street scene, templs and starter course kills the spontaneity and visceral experience that should be the backbone of travel.
It's now so easy to take photos that one click leads to another.
Before you know it, you have 300 pictures on your phone comprising old buildings, blurry sunsets and plates of food.
Congratulations. Your trip is now defined by low-quality images on a handset that, trust us, nobody back home wants to spend 20 minutes scrolling through.
10. Not printing out reservation details
They're already on your phone and computer, so why bother with hard copies of your hotel name and address?
Because your phone, computer, tablet and other electronics might not work with the local network as soon as you land, especially after crossing oceans.
Now where are you supposed to go?
*This post is inspired by this.