Taking a vacation is always a fun and exciting time, but many travelers make common mistakes when they take that long anticipated trip. These common trips can be avoided with pre-planning, organization and understanding what is expected out of the vacation prior to booking.

Lack of Adequate Time Between Flights

When booking flights, many people simply look at the time the plane leaves the local airport and the time it arrives at the destination. Often, travelers fail to notice how much time is allocated between connecting flights. Experts recommend at least 90 minutes between flights to significantly reduce chances of missed flights or lost luggage, although, in smaller airports, 45 minutes is possible. Large airports, such as Chicago or Atlanta, may even require more than 90 minutes between flights as the gates in those airports are significantly farther apart than in smaller terminals.

Hotel Location

Although choosing a hotel away from a city center or tourist attraction may seem less expensive, many travelers forget to include the cost of transportation into their daily budget while on vacation. Many New Jersey towns are close to New York City, but a subway ticket into the city can be as much as $12 to $15 per day. For a family of four, that adds up to a significant amount of money each day to get to and from the city. In addition, choosing a hotel away from the attraction means that those who tire easily cannot return the hotel to relax and recharge during the day, something that is especially important when traveling with small children.

Too Many Activities

Allow plenty of time in each location to see all of the sites rather than squeezing everything into one day. Do not try to visit the Empire State Building, Ground Zero, Times Square and the Statue of Liberty all in one day on a trip to New York City. Instead, plan to spend several days in the Big Apple and visit tourist attractions at a more leisurely pace. Know before booking what type of vacation is expected as well. For those who don’t enjoy museums but prefer relaxing at a café watching people go by, trips to five museums in one day may not be very enjoyable.

Get Off the Beaten Path

Sticking to tourist attractions is one of the biggest mistakes many people make when traveling. It is usually easy to spot tourist attractions in travel destinations. Hotel and chain restaurants are often tourist traps, as are places located adjacent to the major attraction. These locations are often overpriced and crowded. Instead, research prior to the trip by reading travel blogs or online reviews to determine some out-of-the-way locations that might be interesting, and are often less expensive than those close to a major attraction.

Don’t Rely on Marketing Photos

Hotels and resorts often touch up promotional photos found in brochures and online advertising to make the property look more attractive. Visit review sites like TripAdvisor.com or Oyster.com, which offer user provided photos to show what the property actually looks like. In fact, Oyster.com provides a comparison of the promotional photos to those taken by actual guests to give a real view of the property.

These simple tips can help travelers avoid surprises and get the vacation of their dreams. Royal Holiday also offers tips and ideas for avoiding travel mistakes to make anyone’s vacation more enjoyable.