How to turn a bad vacation into a great one!

Now that I am done with narrating my recent trip, I want to write something else. I hinted at our difficulties in the beginning of our trip. Though I won’t write about the details at length here, G encouraged me to write about it generally, so here goes…

view from my tamarindo beach chair

1. Before you decide to go to a place for vacation, do some in-depth research. I know that’s common sense, but you will be surprise that even with seemingly good research, you will still be caught — surprised.


2. If a deal seems too good to be true… It usually is. Someone wants to sell you a dream vacation? They packaged it so nicely that you ignore all the warning signs. And then you find out that you should have trusted your instincts. Make sure to find a reliable travel agent if you are not familiar with the place you are going. Once you are out of the United States or Canada, it’s totally different and you are most likely on  your own.

at the mouth of the masaya volcano

3. There are bad people in the world, but don’t forget there are also good people. There are some bad people around to mislead you, but there are also good people who will make it right or at least, help you make it tolerable.

cat in costa rica

4. When life hands you a bunch of lemons, make some lemonade and enjoy the adventure. It’s so true! If you and your friend can turn a seemingly bad situation into a tolerable one (and then into a good/great one), you two really have made the best lemonade together. Make what seems impossible, possible!

Meyer Lemons

5. Work Together! Take matters into your own hands and don’t be afraid to ask for what you want! (It helps if at least one of you speak the local language.) When others are not being fair and/or you didn’t get what you paid for, step up and ask for it. My friend is great at taking matters into her own hands but uncomfortable at asking for what she really wants sometimes, so I step in and do the talking or asking. When it’s my turn to be uncomfortable about something, she does it for me. Win/Win for both of us.

costa rica seashells

(See those long spiral white shells? Those are from Tamarindo.)

6. Deal with culture shock like a normal human being. Drink beer & carry on! (See #7)

good selection of beers at Bloodhound

7. Enjoy your vacation. Don’t let bad feelings and unusual circumstances force you to have a bad time. It’s all in your head. It’s either you are going to have fun or you don’t. You are there. Try to enjoy it. Eat, drink, and be merry. Responsibly of course. 😉

Fried Fish at Soda La Teresita

8. Be thankful. Before we go to bed each night, we talk to each other about the top 3 things we were thankful for that day. It could be anything from, “I am so glad I traveled with you on this trip” to “I am thankful that the monkeys didn’t throw sh*t at us today – ha ha ha.”

monkey on one of the islands lake nicaragua

9. Take lots of photos. Even unflattering ones. My friend reminded me that even unflattering photos have a place in our vacation albums. After I thought about it, I think she’s right. Not only can they make you laugh your behind off later, you can really use those photos to help you leverage an unfair deal.  Example #1: I have that photo of you, so don’t go showing people that other photo of me! Example #2: Remember that photo of you? Yeah? Don’t make me do this or I will have to show it to (your favorite person’s name here.) Now you get the idea? 😉  It also reminds me that life’s not perfect, but I should embrace every moment anyway.


10. Hold on to the good memory for a little longer after the trip and then let it go. By blogging about my adventures, I was able to see things I missed. Sometimes you are caught up in the moment. Or prehaps not in the best of mood to enjoy, but photos help you capture some of what you may have missed.

Now that I am done with the series, I am free to live for today.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoy the recent blog series as much as I have enjoyed writing them. Remember, the secret ingredient in making sure you have a great time is — you.

6 responses to “How to turn a bad vacation into a great one!

    • I like that…embrace it and keep on. Thanks Renee. Have a great one also! Your trip is coming up…hope you have an amazing time.

  1. Lisa, this is a beautiful and informative post! You are correct all the way!! So true, just be happy and forget all that other stuff 🙂

Comments are closed.