Whether you’re a frequent traveler who jets to different locales throughout the year or simply planning a one-time holiday that’s your first trip abroad, it is common to make those headache-causing travel mistakes that can ruin an otherwise perfect vacation.
Sometimes, the things we don’t know or the mistakes we overlook while planning a trip can turn travel into a nightmare and make a trip turn out to be a disappointing, resource-wasting experience.
The good news is that if you do your research and make your plans with the help of smart travel guides or thrifty lists like ours, it should be fairly easy to not make any of these common mistakes. So, here’s a list of some of the biggest travel mistakes… We hope these travel tips can help you avoid them and not be a victim!
Travel is exciting, and even when it’s a short business trip you always want to have all that you would need. But skip things you can buy for cheaper at your destination and save on those excess baggage charges. Once you’re completely packed, reduce your load further by checking that there’s nothing you can leave behind.
Compression sacks are helpful if you want to fit more of your outfits into your carry-on, so you don’t have to check a bag. But remember you won’t wear half of those clothes anyway and hauling heavy baggage around is not how you want to spend your trip.
2. Creating an impossible itinerary
Instead of filling up your travel itinerary with an activity for every other hour or day down to each detail, leave yourself time to do spontaneous things… that’s where the real fun is to be had. Be aware that weather changes and money shortages can severely disrupt an itinerary so go easy on yourself with the scheduling.
As for transport, be conscious of possible delays from airlines, Factor additional time for possible delays as well as extra time to rest. Remember, you don’t need to see the whole country in one visit; planning to do so will make you feel unaccomplished.
3. Sticking to doing things the tourist way
Sites like TripAdvisor and Lonely Planet are only meant to make you more informed about your destination and what it offers. The real guides are locals, so interact with them and allow their lives inspire some activities during the trip. This way you can explore unique trails and create your own magic.
Related: 10 Airport Travel Tips You Should Know
4. Abandoning budgets and overspending
Create a decent budget that is realistic and allows breathing room for unplanned expenses and stick to it. This budget should be determined before initiating your trip and for long trips, you should always back check weekly to avoid overspending.
5. Booking fights with very short transit times for connections
Life is unpredictable and so are schedule flights, trains, etc. Give yourself time to make sure you don’t miss a flight and have to pay fees. When booking a connecting flight through any airport, ensure there is a safe buffer in between especially if it’s through two different airlines and the next flight would not be held back for you to arrive.
Certain airports require connecting passengers to go through fresh security checks so you should keep that in mind and leave even more time between flights for such unexpected scenarios.
6. Roaming without an international cell plan
Before traveling, you should check what your plan covers and do everything to avoid high charges from data or call roaming. Putting your phone in airplane mode is your safest bet, as that way you can still stay connected over Wi-Fi.
7. Forgetting to buy travel insurance
Spending some extra money on travel insurance is useful as it covers cancellation fees, airline delays and medical emergencies. Check what’s included in the fine print before purchasing any insurance plan.
8. Not having extra copies of your documents
One of the overlooked travel tips is to have extra copies of important documents like your passport, in case you lose them or have a run-in with law enforcement. It can help facilitate easy identity verification and avoid unfriendly encounters.
9. Failing to grab some local currency on arrival
If you haven’t already got some from your destination use the airport ATMs to get better exchange rates for some handy cash which you would need almost immediately.
Use your credit card where you can (if you do not have fees), but always remember that cash is also necessary for transport, shopping and visits to local markets.
Related: How to Choose the Right Travel Luggage for Your Vacation
10. Not notifying the bank of future foreign transactions
You could totally be stranded if you fail to notify the bank of your travel and your card is flagged for unusual activity. Foreign transactions on an account could be flagged or lead to an account freeze in order to prevent cases of credit card fraud. Also find out about any international fees so you can plan for them.
Traveling is always a learning experience, so if you fall victim to any of these travel mistakes… live a little and enjoy your trip anyway.