Are You Making These Simple Mistakes While Traveling?
It’s nearly impossible to go traveling without facing some sort of problem, be it something small like a smelly room or major such as missing a flight. While some issues are beyond your control, many of them are entirely your responsibility.
In order to enjoy a worry-free adventure, you should learn about the classic mistakes travelers make and try your best to avoid them.
Making Last Minute Bookings
Although there are companies that offer last-minute deals, it’s generally not a good strategy if you’d like to save money. Nowadays, with dynamic pricing, you may end up paying a premium.
Ideally, you should buy your flight tickets at least three months in advance and around a month in advance for accommodation. If you’re traveling to Asia, you’ll probably find cheaper hotels or guest houses by talking to the locals once you arrive, so just book a couple of nights.
Forgetting Travel Documents
Imagine arriving at the airport only to realize you left your passport at home? If your home is not too far away, you may be able to collect it on time. Otherwise, the plane will probably leave without you.
Apart from passports, flight companies also ask for proof of onward travel if you don’t have a return ticket. The last thing you want is to try to find a cheap refundable ticket when the boarding gate closes in the next 10 minutes.
Ignoring Local Customs
One of the greatest things about traveling to a new country is the chance to explore new cultures. However, it must be done in a respectful way. Obnoxious travelers are a nuisance and ruin the fun for everybody else.
It’s important to learn about the local customs in advance as each country has different traditions and rules. You might need to cover up in religious and conservative regions or just leave your shoes outside in most Asian countries.
Choosing the Wrong Travel Companion
Traveling is one of the best ways to get to know someone. As such, it can make or break a relationship. You’ll probably experience some stressful situations on your trip, so you don’t want a travel partner who makes things worse.
Try to avoid high-maintenance people who are always complaining about something and never seem to be satisfied. Sometimes, the best course of action is to embrace your freedom and go solo.
Not Budgeting Properly
If visiting lots of different countries, it’s important to understand that your daily expenses will vary wildly. A seven-night accommodation in Paris can potentially cost the same as a month in Vietnam.
With that in mind, travelers need to figure out when they need to save money and when they can splurge. Failing to do so might result in coming home earlier than you previously expected.
Visiting Too Many Places in a Short Period
At first, it might seem like a good idea to visit nine countries in a week. However, the reality is that you’ll spend most of your time traveling between places. This hectic schedule can cause you to be tired and stressed by the end of the trip.
While you should make the most of your time, ask yourself if you’d like real and immersive experiences or just selfies of attraction you won’t even remember the name of? In all honesty, the former is the better choice.
Not Telling the Bank You’re Going Abroad
Forgetting to let your bank or credit card issuer know that you’re traveling abroad is a simple mistake that can turn into a massive nightmare. For instance, you might go to a restaurant to have a nice meal and your credit card gets declined even though you have plenty of money.
You must understand that the banks are merely trying to protect you. If they see an international transaction, they’ll assume your card has been cloned or stolen and immediately block it.
To save some unnecessary embarrassment, make sure you tell them when you’re traveling.
Traveling Only with All-Inclusive Packages
All-inclusive packages seem like the perfect solution for those who hate planning trips, especially trips with young children. While staying in resorts can be fun, you’re likely missing interesting cultural aspects of the destination.
When you book your own accommodation and activities, you have a bigger chance of meeting and interacting with locals. If done properly, it can be a lot cheaper than travel packages.
Not Leaving Room Between Connected Flights
So, you’ve booked your flight to Morocco with a connection at Paris Charles de Gaulle. If you think 30 minutes is long enough to get from one flight to the other, you’re sorely mistaken. Without delays, that’s probably how long it takes from one terminal to another.
If you’re traveling on a tight schedule, you just need one thing to go wrong for you to miss your flight. Ideally, you should leave at least one hour between flights. Also, remember that gates usually close 20 minutes before departure.
Packing Too Much Stuff
Most novice travelers tend to overpack believing they need clothes and gear for all situations. While that may have been the case in the past, nowadays it’s easy to find everything you need in any big capital.
Why carry a big coat if you’re visiting cold countries in a couple of months or high heels if you’re staying three weeks at the beach? Learn to travel light and focus on what you really need.
Not Checking If You Need a Visa
It’s not uncommon for travelers to be refused boarding at the airport because they don’t have the visa for their intended destination. Even the most powerful passports still need visas for certain countries.
Instead of assuming you won’t need one, make sure you research the destination to avoid any headaches. Sometimes, you can just apply for a visa online. Other times, a visit to the consulate is required. If you leave it to the last minute, you won’t have enough time to get it.
Trying to Leave from the Wrong Airport
This may sound like an extremely silly mistake. Unfortunately, it happens quite frequently. You get to the airport on time, but as you try to check-in, you find out it’s the wrong airport and have to cross the city to get to the right one.
While small cities usually have only one airport, big capitals might have more than four. Sometimes, you might arrive via one and leave from another. That’s the main issue as many travelers assume they’ll use the same airport and end up getting in trouble.
Not Going Off the Beaten Track
Many countries are famous for specific tourist attractions that draw visitors from all over the world. However, there’s a lot more to a destination than a handful of popular sites. By sticking to the tried and true sites, you may be missing the hidden gems.
Next time you visit a new city or country, make sure you venture to places not many people explore. You’ll probably find a more authentic side of the culture. Plus, you’ll escape the hordes of tourists.
Assuming Every Destination is Safe
In an ideal world, you wouldn’t have to worry about scams, muggings, or weird exotic diseases. Sadly, that’s not the case. Depending on the country or region you’re traveling to, you need to be acutely aware of the potential dangers you may face.
Most of the time, you’ll be safer than most travelers if you make an effort to research the destination, understand the problems, and take the necessary precautions. If you just blindly arrive at a notoriously dangerous city, flashing your valuables, you’ll certainly suffer the consequences.
Not Buying Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is a necessary evil. It’s the price you pay to have some peace of mind. At the very least, you should be covered for extreme situations such as major accidents or flight company bankruptcy as the cost of paying for medical care or last-minute tickets on your own can be prohibitive.
When you’re traveling, it’s indeed better to be safe than sorry.