With all of its ups and downs, traveling can be stressful. Disappointments can leave a bitter streak across what could otherwise be a memorable getaway – unless you learn how to overcome these disappointments to make the most of your travels. Here are five ways to cope and get back to enjoying your trip.

Don’t deny it. While it’s typically a relaxing and fun experience, sometimes traveling is downright disappointing – and that’s OK. Trying to force yourself to just get over it will likely make your feelings of disappointment fester into resentment and anger. Instead, allow yourself a few moments to rant, cry, journal or do whatever it is that will help you work through a disappointing moment.

Let it go. After you acknowledge your disappointment, you’ll have to let it go or you risk ruining your entire trip. You have an entire vacation to enjoy, and just because something didn’t go as planned doesn’t mean your entire trip is now ruined. Let it go so you can move on to more positive travel experiences.

Shift your expectations. Could it be you’re feeling disappointed because your expectations were set a little high? While you don’t have to lower your expectations necessarily, a shift in your point of view can help rid you of disappointment. If your expectation of five-star service at a local hostel is dampening your vacation, try shifting your expectations to focus on having a clean place to sleep with complimentary breakfast at a price that made your vacation oh-so-affordable. Changing your outlook can make all the difference in overcoming travel disappointments.

Weigh your options. Before you fall down the rabbit hole of doom and gloom, ask yourself: Is there anything you can do to improve the situation? If your resort ended up being a rundown motel rather than the luxurious hotel it looked like on the internet, can you cancel your reservation and find a neighboring resort that better meets your expectations? No matter what part of your trip has left you disappointed, you can always try to turn it around by moving past the frustration and into the solution.

Keep it in perspective. While you should allow yourself to feel disappointed when things fail to meet your expectations, it’s also important to remember that there is always a silver lining, and the experience could usually be worse. Focus on the positives of your trip, such as the fact that you get to spend a few lazy days on a pristine white-sand beach, eat exotic cuisine like a local from a street cart or see the country’s rainforests by zipline. Keeping the positives in mind will help you overcome whatever has left you disappointed.

(Main image: jonathan mcintosh used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license)

About the author

Marissa WillmanMarissa Willman earned a bachelor's degree in journalism before downsizing her life into two suitcases for a teaching gig in South Korea. Seoul was her home base for two years of wanderlusting throughout six countries in Asia. In 2011, Marissa swapped teaching for travel writing and now calls Southern California home.

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