“To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries.”
– Aldous Huxley
When it comes to travel, everybody has a story or an opinion, maybe both! Just like movies and art, everyone is a critic and everyone is an expert! Everyone has a travel story or two or three that they can’t wait to share with you! Some are funny, some are inspiring and some, well, better left unshared!
From well meaning friends and family to travel writers, magazines, and brochures, and, yes, even bloggers, … there is no shortage of information and reviews.
As you flip through the pages of a magazine or brochure and look at websites, everything and everyone looks absolutely perfect! Expectations are set high – the weather is perfect, the food looks scrumptious, the room looks fabulous, it’s your dream vacation! Yes, please, I want to go there! But the reality is, well reality doesn’t always match the hype. So, who do you believe? Who do you listen to?
My best advice: Be absolutely clear on what is important to YOU and what you want YOUR vacation to be like. Have a checklist of your priorities and your budget range. Then research: consider information from a variety of different sources. Be sure your sources are current and on track with what you will be comfortable with, i.e., consider the source. Your friend may love that Four Seasons in Paris, but it isn’t quite in your budget range. Conversely, someone on Trip Advisor may love that little bungalow on the beach, but then they think Motel 6 is stylin’! That B&B looks great, but it’s in an iffy part of the city…
Again, consider the source; is the advice coming from a source that is reliably on the same page with you when it comes to travel preferences? Often the input/advice is dated and based on a single incident – unpleasant or fabulous – which renders it basically irrelevant. And remember, it’s always an opinion, their opinion.
Bottom line? This is YOUR trip. Don’t talk yourself (or allow yourself to be talked) into anything that is in conflict with your priorities and better judgment. Likewise, don’t allow yourself to be talked out of anything that you have your heart set on and that you feel is right for YOU!
And once your decisions are made, don’t second guess yourself. If doesn’t quite live up to your expectations, learn and make the best of it. If it meets or exceeds your expectations, all the better! In any case, enjoy the adventure!