You research for months, compiling every place you want to visit. You save up over the year, opting out of brunch with your friends to save that money away to cross off another bucket list item. You save up your vacation days, and finally get enough to take that week long trip to your dream destination. You can hardly contain your excitement as the days get closer. Once you finally arrive, you check the forecast for the upcoming week.
Every freaking day.
Suddenly there’s a cloud over you, and you can’t help but panic about the trip. It’s easy to get lost in your thoughts, and question cancelling the trip altogether. Don’t let your mind take you down that path. There’s ways to get around the pre-trip anxiety, and to deal in the moment when things just aren’t going as planned.
1. Don’t check the weather.
The biggest mistakes I’ve made before many trips is checking the weather. I knew I was going to go on the trip, rain or shine. So why did I even check? A week before my trip to Banff, I looked up the forecast and it was like 70% chances of rain for the entire week! However, when we got there we had beautiful sunny days for all except a couple days. The mountains are especially unpredictable, and scattered showers aren’t uncommon.
Save yourself the negative thoughts and just don’t check.
2. Embrace water-based activities.
Pick things that you’ll get wet doing anyways. When it was raining in Jasper, we just decided to go rafting, and then pay a visit to the hot springs. We’re gonna get soaked anyways, so why not do it in the rain? It was something none of us had planned on doing, and was certainly a memorable experience!
3. Change your mindset.
None of us can change the weather, but we can change how we view it. When I visited Goa, it was the start of monsoon season and rained pretty much the entire time. Sure, we couldn’t go to the crazy beach parties they through there. However, we got to experience a version of Goa that most people never see. With the monsoon came beautiful lush green landscapes, and almost no crowds. There weren’t many tourists around, so we got to wander around to our hearts content, and go to do everything a lot cheaper! I was disappointed at first, but now I’m so glad that this is when I went to Goa.
4. Explore the local food scene.
When the outside world is just too terrible, stay in! Use the opportunity to really dig deep into the local food scene. Food is something I cherish, but I never really make a point to go to a bunch of different restaurants when I travel. Whenever the rain comes in, it forces me to try everything I wanted to, but initially didn’t have enough time to! In Jasper, I never would have tried all the breweries in the area had it not been for the rain. In Luang Prabang, I never would have embarked on a croissant crawl (it’s really a thing to try and find the best croissant in the city) had it not been for gloomy skies. These are some of my best memories, and it all happened when I was forced to be flexible.
5. Do ALL the inside activities.
I usually hate doing inside activities. Especially when I’m planning trips to national parks. Unfortunately, sometimes the conditions are just not good for hiking. This recently happened while I was at the Great Smokey Mountains National Park. We got some hiking done in the morning, but by afternoon it was absolutely pouring. No good sunsets were in our future. However, we decided to spend the evening hanging around Gatlinburg and doing ALL of the touristy things. We played mini-golf, went in a mirror maze, and tried cotton candy wine (it was terrible lol). It wasn’t what I was expecting to do at all, but I honestly had so much fun doing it!
6. Be flexible.
This is pretty much a combination of the first four points. All you need to combat the rain is a positive mind, and the ability to remain flexible. It might suck at first, but if you just roll with the punches and take control of your vacation, I guarantee you will have an amazing time.