Ways Guys Sabotage Their Mancations

You've finally found a weekend when you and all of your buddies can get away to the lake for some R & R, away from the endless honey-do lists and invitations to brunch. The cooler’s stocked, there’s gas in the truck, and the boat’s ready to go. It should be an amazing week, with nothing to do but land that large mouth that you just know is lurking somewhere out in the lake. Except that the trip is a disaster and you come home more stressed than when you left — and bummed that it didn’t even come close to meeting your expectations.

And it’s probably your own fault. Sorry, but it’s true. Even if you were excited about the trip, there’s a good chance that you sabotaged it by making some common mistakes. Now, we're not trying to be all “I told you so,” and chastise you for messing up your long-awaited fishing trip. But think about it. Did you do everything that you could have to make sure your trip was awesome? Yeah, we thought so. If you've had a disaster trip, or even if you haven't but you’re planning a mancation, take a few minutes to think about the most common trip saboteurs — and find ways to avoid them.

Not Planning Properly

Yeah, yeah, we know. No one wants to hang out with the guy who has a color-coded Excel chart dictating everyone’s activities down to the second. But you also don’t want to arrive at your destination and look at each other and say, “Now what?” Beyond figuring out where to stay, try to have at least a rough plan for each day and an idea of who wants to do what, so you don’t waste half the day trying to decide whether to head to one lake or the other.

On the other hand, packing the schedule with back-to-back activities can lead to burnout and frustration among the group. You need to strike a balance here between being free and open and having a structure so all of the guys on the trip with you know what to expect. Men often look forward to relaxing and bonding over unplanned adventures. However, overplanning restricts spontaneity and can make the trip feel more like a series of appointments than a vacation.

Making a plan — and reservations, if necessary — prevents you from missing the things that you really want to do and going home disappointed. So just do it.

Not Setting a Budget

This one kind of goes hand in hand with the first one, because if you aren't sure what you want to do, how do you know how much to plan on spending? But even beyond that, if you don’t think about how much you can and are willing to spend beforehand, you could have some unpleasant surprises. Even a “cheap” fishing trip, for example, requires you to shell out for gas, bait, and food in addition to your lodging and transportation expenses — not to mention the new gear you had to have when you stopped at the huge sporting goods store on the way to the lake.

Don't worry, though; there are lots of ways to save money, such as using credit card points and airline miles to offset hotel prices. You can also look for deals on affinity programs such as AARP and AAA or membership programs like Got2Go where you can find exclusive pricing offers for a ton of different vacation items.

Regardless of how much money you might save though - it's still essential to set the budget ahead of the trip and plan stuff out. This way everyone will be on the same page when it comes to how much money this ultimate mancation or guys trip will cost.

List what you think you’ll need to spend and overestimate expenses. You'll be less stressed.

group of men staring at broken car

Not Making Sure Everything Works Before Leaving Home

Want to ruin your trip? Get all the way out to the lake and discover that your boat needs a new engine — or worse. 

Excessive Drinking

While enjoying a few drinks is part of many vacations and this is especially true for most guys weekend getaways and mancations, overindulgence can lead to regrettable decisions and wasted days nursing hangovers. Moderation ensures that everyone enjoys themselves without the trip devolving into a blur of excess. Responsible drinking enhances the experience for everyone involved.

Disregarding Local Customs, Rules, And Norms

Disregarding the customs and etiquette of the destination can lead to embarrassing situations or even conflicts with locals. This can be as basic as improper tipping etiquette when traveling to Europe or Australia, or it might be as severe as being caught with displays of public drunkenness, public urination, graffiti, or flirting with a girl in public when visiting more socially conservative places like Dubai, Abu Dabi or Singapore. These things are all frowned upon in the United States, but they can land you in jail in other countries. 

Even some things, such as homosexual acts, wearing a pride shirt, or joking about kissing another man, can land you in trouble in many Middle Eastern countries.

So, before you depart, take the time to research local traditions. Being culturally sensitive can turn a good trip into a great one ... while avoiding a disaster.

Unrealistically High Expectations

It’s cool to be excited about a vacation. It'd be weird if you weren’t. But when you expect your trip to be the most amazing trip of all time, and prepare for it like you’re preparing for your death (getting all of your affairs in order, obsessing about cleaning our your inbox, reminding everyone a million times that you’re going away) you're only setting yourself up for disappointment.

Your trip might be amazing. It might just be okay. Just enjoy it either way, and revel in the chance to get to do something you enjoy with people you like to hang out with. This won’t be the only vacation you ever take, so relax, and don’t ruin it for everyone else.

Not Fully Unplugging

There’s no other buzzkill quite as powerful as an email from your boss reminding you of the meeting you have when you get back from your trip. By definition, vacation means not working so leave the laptop at home, turn off your email notifications, and focus on relaxing. The work will be there when you get back.

Bonding With The Boys Is Good - But You Need Alone Time Too

Expecting the group to be together 24/7 can lead to tension and irritation. Even the best of friends need a moment to recharge. Encouraging individual time or solo exploration can add variety to the vacation and allow everyone some personal space.

Not Considering Physical And Mental Limits

Not considering the personalities and preferences of all group members when planning can lead to conflicts. Sometimes, it is more than that, though. For instance, no matter how much I might want to do some activities like SUP or a Zip Line - at my weight and size, I'm severely limited in terms of what I can do. I'm used to it ... but it still sucks to have to sit on the dock while the other guys go kayaking. Other men might not be strong enough to go rock climbing or have dexterity issues that would prohibit them from being surefooted in a stream while the group goes fly fishing.

Activities that cater only to a few can alienate others and dampen the overall experience. Choosing activities that offer everyone something to foster inclusivity and group cohesion is essential.

Letting Personal Conflicts Simmer

Avoiding addressing disagreements or tensions among the group can lead to a negative atmosphere. Small issues can escalate if not dealt with promptly and openly. Fostering an environment where everyone feels comfortable voicing concerns can keep the peace and strengthen bonds.

Ignoring Health and Safety Recommendations

Let's face it ... a group of guys on a mancation getaway aren't always the most conscientious when it comes to health and safety or following the rules in general. This however is a recipe for disaster!

Neglecting basic safety measures and common sense advice, like not staying hydrated, ignoring weather warnings, or engaging in risky behavior, can result in accidents or illness. Prioritizing the group’s well-being by planning for contingencies and respecting physical limits ensures a smoother and safer experience. Taking precautions now, allows for enjoyment without unnecessary risks.

That doesn't mean you can't have fun ... but just don't be stupid!

men trying to check into a hotel

Forgetting To Confirm Reservations

One of the biggest rookie mistakes that I see guys make is assuming that all bookings for flights, accommodations, and activities are set without double-checking. Unfortunately, this can lead to unpleasant surprises. Missed reservations can derail plans and lead to scrambling for last-minute alternatives. Always reconfirm bookings a few days before the trip to avoid unnecessary stress.

Of course, other things will ruin a vacation, like someone acting like a jerk, but assuming you know how to behave, these are the things that are most likely to turn your getaway from awesome to “meh.” So don’t do them, and enjoy your mancation.