It's summer time! And what does that mean? It's time to round up your family and friends and start your vacations.
Before you get psyched up for your amazing adventures, how will you be able to tell when your vacation is headed in the wrong direction? If you know the signs, you can be prepared to salvage your trip and make the best of the situation.
Here are 10 signs that your vacation may not end up so well.
1 Flat tire on the road trip
Imagine being on your way across the country on a road trip when all of a sudden you hear "thump thump thump thump" and your car is now slanting to one side. This can only mean one thing: flat tire. Depending on where you are, you may be able to put on the spare and find a tire store somewhere within 30 miles. However, your vacation may have another downside if your spare tire is flat as well. If this happens to you, your six-hour drive may turn into a six-hour wait in the sun, which will definitely put a damper on your parade and your vacation.
2 It's raining in paradise
Speaking of rain, there are very few things that could be worse than making a trip to a tropical island and finding that Mother Nature decided to pull a prank on you. No matter where you travel, you want the weather to cooperate. If it doesn't look good from the get-go, you may just have to learn to play -- with a smile -- in the rain, snow, hail or anything else in the forecast.
3 Your destination is closed
Where are you going for your senior trip? Disneyland, you say? Well, you may want to check the schedule before you go all the way to California. If you arrive at the gate and no one is there to welcome you to the Happiest Place on Earth, your trip may have been for nothing. It's hard to keep your plans when your plans are closed.
4 Lost passport and ticket
You're at the airport. The attendant asks for your ticket. You reach in your pocket. Not there. You look in your bag. Not there. You frantically search through everything you own only to discover that your ticket -- or your passport -- is nowhere to be found.
If you can't even get to your vacation spot, there is no need for me to tell you that your vacation isn't going to work. This situation could be much worse, however, if it happens on your way back, once your vacation is over. Although it's fun to get away, it's always nice to know you have a way home. And if this happens at the end of your trip, you may temporarily forget all the good times you just had. So keep those passports and tickets handy!
5 Sickness strikes
So you've been planning this trip for months, right? And two hours into your vacation you get sick. How wonderful. ... Not only do you feel terrible, but you also will probably be given all sorts of medicine to make you feel better. The problem with this scenario is that most of these medicines work best by putting you to sleep, which your mother will (of course) make happen, with or without your permission. Needless to say, you may not remember your vacation if you spend most of it asleep.
6 No reservations?
"Hello, my name is John Smith, and I have a room here ... What? You don't have my room?" Whether you book your room over the phone or online, there is always a chance that there will be some technological glitch in the system which will randomly delete your reservation. Sleeping out under the stars may have sounded cool when you were 10, but it's not so fun when you should have been sleeping in a nice, comfy, king-size bed. Now it's just kind of a killjoy.
7 Oh, where did I put that?
One of the top things on your packing list would be your wallet. It has money, ID, credit cards and all sorts of necessary items for your vacation. Leaving this precious object behind somewhere during your trip could have detrimental effects, such as canceling out key parts of your vacation or even going home early. If you lose this baby, your trip will take a turn for the worse no matter when you discover it's gone.
8 Luggage left at home
If you are anything like the hundreds of other teens going on vacation this summer, that probably means that you packed absolutely everything you would ever even think about needing. What could possibly go wrong? Well, nothing except for the fact that you forgot your suitcase! Not only does this require you to scrounge up some clothes in a strange place, but if you happened to forget your glasses or contacts in your luggage, you may not even been able to see where you're going while you're away from home.
9 Nature invading your space
Whether you're camping in a tent or staying in the Plaza Hotel, having any kind of creature sleeping with you is definitely not a perk. When your head hits the pillow, there are very few things worse than having a mouse, bedbugs or any other part of nature crawling over you. Unless you get a new room or a completely new place to stay, you may be out a lot of sleep by the end of the trip.
10 Lost in the big city
Let me just say this, maps can be confusing, especially if you're in a place where you can't even see the sun because the buildings are so tall. To make matters worse, if you're in a foreign country and can't understand the language, you may be wandering around the streets for while instead of seeing the sights. It might be a good idea to pick up on some French or German before you head out of the country. You could also brush up on your charades just in case you get desperate.
Now that you know the signs of a bad vacation in the making, you can do your best to plan ahead and make the best of that summer trip.
Jaycie Miller is a recent graduate of Fremont High School. She enjoys debate, and having fun with her friends and family. E-mail her at email@example.com.