Months of jittery anticipation followed by utter disappointment. Sound familiar? Hopefully not, but many travellers do experience such dissatisfaction abroad because of unrealistic expectations and poor planning.
Often, the root of these problems stems from a lack of purpose. Thus, the best advice we can give is to not only determine what you want to do on your vacation but also why.
Setting Smarter Expectations
Try to separate significance from substance when you travel. For example, a famous monument can represent so much yet evoke little emotion—the idea transcends its physical form. Even the most grandiose attractions sometimes fall flat because we’ve built them up in our heads.
Often, others are to blame for our false expectations. They return from a trip of their own and brag about the sights and activities. The more raving you hear, the more you feel convinced that the destination could never disappoint. Consequently, your negative feelings get exacerbated when it does not to deliver.
Not to mention, people leave out small details that make a huge difference. For example, you rarely hear about the crowds or dirtiness surrounding some European highlights, but both things are very apparent the moment you step out into the city streets.
Researching Your Destination
Unrealistic expectations often develop out of ignorance. The more you research a place, the more details you have for framing your expectations. That said, where you conduct your research can lead you astray if the message is controlled by a biased party.
For example, a hotel will boast its best features, but the marketing will never admit to bad service or uncomfortable beds. The only way to uncover such information is through user-generated content like reviews. Read through other people’s stories—the good and the bad. Context is extremely important when considering bad reviews.