Travel expectations vs reality: How vacation expectations can ruin your trip?

We’ve all been there before.

That long anticipated trip, saving money, reading all about the place on travel blogs, and imagining yourself enjoying the perfect holiday, only for the day to arrive and your expectations is way beyond the reality.

There are so many reasons why this can happen – maybe you missed your flight and arrive at your destination a complete wreck, your luggage got lost, the website and Instagram picture of the hotel is totally different from the actual place or worse of all, you got food poisoning.

The cold truth is that most holiday destinations don’t live up to the hype, and this happens to even the most experienced traveller.

So why do most travel holidays disappoint?

Too much expectation

One of the reasons people get disappointed with the reality of their travel holiday is because they had too high an expectation. Of course, it is understandable to expect a lot after seeing the beautiful pictures on social media and crazy rave reviews on traveller websites.

But the truth is that most of these amazing pictures and 5 star reviews were done by people who were paid to do so. Therefore making the choice to visit a place based on reviews and online images is not exactly a good idea. It leads to too high expectations and easy disappointments.

Equalling destination with holiday

Most people blame the disappointing reality of their holiday on the unsatisfactory destination. This is not always true. Every holiday destination has its unique features, but the success of a holiday is not in where you visit but in the experiences you gain on your travels.

Every city has its own unique set of cultures, beliefs and traditions, some of which may be strange and unique to a visitor. In fact, you are likely to suffer from culture shock and make a few cultural errors that can mar your holiday in a foreign city. Rather than see this as a problem with the holiday destination, see it as an experience you have learnt that can serve you in a different place and time.

Not going with the flow

Most people experience a different reality from their travel expectations because they embark on the travel holiday with a rigid idea of what to expect. When going on a travel holiday, it is best to keep an open mind regardless of what you have heard or read.

Going with the flow is the best way to enjoy any trip. If you have a fixed itinerary and the conditions on ground does not favour your fixed plans, throw your itinerary out the window and look for the next best thing. In fact, as long as your trip is holiday related, it is never a good idea to make fixed plans.

Trying to control every aspect of the holiday

Humans have an innate desire to be in control, and thanks to technology, we are able to do this most of the time. We are able to determine what we watch on TV, what we eat, the friends we keep, and to a large extent, the places we go to.

But travelling takes away this sense of being in control. When we travel, especially to a foreign city, we are totally subject to rules and regulations set by someone else, and factors that are outside human control.

While it is very easy to determine where you will travel to, you cannot determine the state of the landscape, friendliness of the people, or weather.  So instead of enjoying the hot tropical air of the Caribbean, we are thinking about the last holiday on the Swiss Alps. This makes the whole thing a complete disappointment and waste of time.

Wrapping up

Travel expectations and reality is something that happens to everyone. Fortunately, preparing yourself properly for the place you want to visit will help reduce the chances of this happening.

It is not enough to have the right expectation about your travel destination. You also have to keep your travel goals at the front of your mind. If the plan is to have loads of fun, explore every avenue for fun in the area where you are and try to forget about what seem not to be going right with your plans.

Leave a Reply