How to Know When to Bail on Your Travel Plans [FB Live SHOW NOTES]


Have you ever been in a travel situation that felt totally off? But maybe you stuck with it because you had already paid for it or didn’t think you had an alternative? Sometimes you just need to know when to bail on your travel plans – even if it means you lose money.

I want to talk about when to cut your losses when you’re on the road. I’ll share with you 5 times I bailed on my prepaid plans, and 3 times I wish I had.

You’ll also learn how to spot when to pull the plug and the art of giving yourself permission to do it.

Who am I? I’m Juliana Dever, an experiential travel expert. I’ve been traveling the world for over 20 years.

I create off-the-beaten-path adventures for awesome, fun people who enjoy connecting with other cultures, supporting women-owned businesses, and traveling somewhere a little less obvious.

In 2022 you can travel WITH me to Poland, Georgia, or Slovenia. There are SO MANY fun people already going with me this summer and we want YOU to join us! The only thing you have to do is show up, the planning’s already been done for you.

There are so many unknowns when you make travel plans. Sometimes the reality of what you’ve booked doesn’t match the expectation. And that’s when you need to bail on those travel plans.

So let’s talk about turning that loss into a win.


How to Know When to Bail on Your Travel Plans

I told you I was going to share a few of my travel stories specifically relating to times that I bailed on my travel plans. And a few times that I wish I had.

Why is this important?

Travel is never perfect. In fact, often those are the best stories. But obviously, you do want to maximize your good time. Sometimes that means adjusting your course mid-way. Even if you lose money.

Why You Should bail

1)  Let’s talk about what’s renewable vs. what’s not

You can always make more money. You cannot create more time.

So if you’ve gotten into a situation that you are not enjoying, CUT AND RUN

When I bailed on my travel plans: Rio de Janeiro Jeep Tour [watch replay for story]


2) The situation is a fiasco (Fallacy of Sunk Costs)

Have you heard of this principle? Who knows what this is?

The Sunk Cost Fallacy describes our tendency to follow through on an endeavor if we have already invested time, effort, or money into it, whether or not those costs outweigh the benefits.

Example from Behavioral Economics: individuals sometimes order too much food and then overeat just to “get their money’s worth”.

Similarly, a person may have a $20 ticket to a concert and then drive for hours through a blizzard, just because she feels that she has to attend due to having made the initial investment.

If the costs outweigh the benefits, the extra costs incurred (inconvenience, time, or even money) are held in a different mental account than the one associated with the ticket transaction (Thaler, 1999).

Research suggests that rats, mice, and humans are all sensitive to sunk costs after they have made the decision to pursue a reward (Sweis et al., 2018).

3) Your perceived safety is compromised

Time when I bailed on my travel plans: Airbnb in Paris with mom. Felt we were followed. Keys wouldn’t work easily, entrance was dark, no front desk, too many stairs…what did we do? [watch replay for story]


4) Your comfort/health is compromised

Why are you going on vacation? To be a martyr? No! To get a break.
I’m not saying be unreasonable ie: European hotel rooms can be small, have no air conditioning, have too many stairs. That’s just being in another culture.

But only YOU can decide when it crosses the threshold from “new experience abroad” to “officially ruining your trip”

Time when I bailed on my travel plans: Hartford, England hotel [watch replay for story]

Time when I wish I’d bailed on my travel plans: Pera Palas Hotel in Istanbul, on my honeymoon [watch replay for story]


5) You’re pushing yourself too hard

Are you trying to see everything on your trip? This is something many travelers – especially for Americans that have short vacation breaks – fall prey to.

You want to pack it all in. You’ll sleep when you’re dead.

Except it’s also a recipe for exhaustion and burnout and the need for a vacation from your vacation. This is why I schedule free time into nearly every day of my immersion trips and why I always tell everyone to OPT-OUT of activities when they feel like it.

You need time to process. You need to slow down, sit and connect with the people you’re meeting or the location itself. You need to switch off.

I’m also super guilty of this.

Time when I bailed on my travel plans: Melk, Austria just this past summer [watch replay for story]


6) You are NOT having fun

What is the point of taking that break from reality and getting away?


If you are not having fun, why are you doing anything, really? Especially when it comes to travel, which is such a precious endeavor? You’re not leaving your work/home/dogs/cats/children/spouses behind so that you can perform some forced march through a new location and get a t-shirt.

You’re in search of relaxation, expansion, laughter – FUN

So if it ain’t fun, don’t do it.

Time when I bailed on my travel plans: Albuquerque [watch replay for story]

Time I TRIED to bail on my travel plans: Bergen, Norway during a Bon Jovi concert [watch replay for story]


Review: How to Know When to Bail on Your Travel Plans

Today we talked about: How to Recognize the signs that you need to bail on your travel plans:

  1. It is wasting your TIME
  2. The situation is a fiasco
  3. Your perceived safety is compromised
  4. Your comfort/health is compromised
  5. You’re pushing yourself too hard
  6. You’re not having fun

We also talked about the art of giving yourself permission to bail on your travel plans.

And the TWO BIG THINGS I want you to remember when deciding whether or not you should bail:

  1. Your Time is not renewable – use it wisely. Your TIME is the most valuable resource you have. And the crazy thing is that you don’t even know how much of it you have.
  2. The Sunk Costs Fallacy – Just because you spent money on something, or because you put energy into planning something, or you’ve invested time in it…doesn’t mean you have to torture yourself by seeing it through.

There is no award for Most Miserable Travel Adventure (that I know of)!


And a little story time recap, I shared with you 5 times I DID BAIL on my travel plans and WHY

– if you missed my stories go back and watch the replay!

  1. The time I jumped out of the back of a jeep in Rio de Janeiro
  2. The unsafe Airbnb in Paris
  3. The impossible to sleep in pub hotel in Hartford, England
  4. The exhaustion of taking cars/trains/ferries/busses in Austria
  5. Albuquerque

+ the 3 times I WISHED I’D BAILED

  1. The time I was bussed to a moldy seaside hotel in Athens
  2. The worn bedspring debacle at the Pera Palas in Turkey
  3. The pay-as-you-go sheet plan in Norway


Join me next week next to discuss why Slovenia keeps getting “Best Destination of 2022” and How to Visit Slovenia Like a Local: What you need to see and do there before everyone else figures it out!

I’ll have my very special guest and daughter of an Olympic Gold medalist – my rock star Slovenian tour guide Tina. Don’t miss it!



Ready to travel somewhere so fun you’ll never ever need to bail on your travel plans?

Book your 2022 adventure with me OR book a call with me and I’ll answer any and all of your travel questions! 


Get all the details below…

Next year I have FOUR amazing trips – all insider, authentic experiences. You can go to Poland, Slovenia or the country of Georgia with me. You can find all the details below.


Best tour to SloveniaSlovenia (gourmet foodie + stunning nature)

7-Day Alps to Adriatic July 3 – 9th, 2022




Best tour to Poland Poland (history + sea-faring Baltic coast)

11-Day Windswept Coast to Cobblestones

June 6 – 16th, 2022

August 29th – September 8th, 2022




Best tour to Georgia the countryGeorgia (800-year-old wine history + monasteries, mountains and CHEESY BREAD)

June 20th – 29th, 2022





About the Author

Hi. I’m Juliana Dever and according to science I have some sort of "exploration" gene. Embracing this compulsion, I spend a lot of time hurtling around the planet in metal tubes experiencing other cultures and writing humorous essays about it. Enjoy.


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