Don't let common annoyances ruin your vacation

After months of considering, researching, reconsidering and ever-heightening anticipation, your vacation has finally arrived.  And now that your expectations have been raised to highest possible degree, it's alarming to discover how quickly your vacation can go off the rails due to these small annoyances. 

Bad service.  We've all been there. The help behind the desk at the hotel won't give you the time of day, the waiter at the local diner was blatantly rude, and you just know your cab driver took the longest possible route from the airport.  But you have to let these things roll off your back.  Once you let your ire rise, even unintentional slights will start to feel like major insults, and you'll spend your whole trip feeling injured and self-righteous.  Remember you're on vacation, the service people are not.  You've already won.

It costs how much?  Sure, you went into this vacation knowing it was going to cost some money.  But you've budgeted it down to the last dollar, and you know you can swing it.  But guess what?  All kinds of things are going to pop up, and they are going to cost you.  All those $3 bottles of water at the major tourist traps are going to add up, and the hotel tax might might turn out to be exorbitant at your destination of choice.  No matter how carefully you think you've budgeted, always assume you'll be spending more.  Otherwise you won't be able to afford to leave your hotel room for those last few days.

Bad food.  You've heard great things about the food in this area, so how disappointing when your meal turns out to be a dud.  Don't let this put you off trying the local cuisine!  No matter where you go, your destination will have more than its fair share of crappy restaurants.  Just don't go back.  Don't hesitate to ask the locals what they recommend, that's usually the best way to find the best food in the area.

We came all this way for this?  Misleading PR is the bane of every vacationer.  No matter how many 5-star reviews you may have read, wherever you end up may not quite to live up to your expectations.  The best solution to this is to NOT raise your hopes to the heavens.  No place is perfect, and you may have a different vision of perfection than the rest of the world.  Keep your expectations reasonable, and you will probably be pleased.  The next best solution is to have a Plan B.  Don't pin all your hopes on one single place of event. 

It's raining . . . again.  Nothing ruins a vacation faster than a spate of bad weather.  Unfortunately, I have no advice for how to fix that, except to learn to love the local museums and movie theaters.  Weather can't be controlled.  All you can do is research to find the best and worst times to travel to your destination, then hope for the best.  If you keep a good attitude, you and your fellow travelers will hopefully be able to salvage the situation and have a good time together anyway.

For more vacation tips and tricks, check out Roadtrippers.com.

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