Well, traveling isn’t always as fun and smooth as we plan it. Our phone becomes our go to person for everything, “Siri I’m lost, where am I?” “Let’s Pinterest things to do in Iceland”, “This café has bad reviews as per Trip Advisor, let’s not go there.”
With the excitement of packing (never excited about unpacking) and the eagerness of visiting a new place, most of us neglect requisites of planning a trip, which lets us down and upsets the aura. Hence, in this blog, I want to share 15 common mistakes one is bound to make while traveling and suggestions to avoid them, based on my travel experience.
1. Not booking in advance:
The last moment decision of traveling can really empty your pockets and make traveling a sky-high experience than it would otherwise be unless you’re fortunate enough to get cheap last-minute flight tickets. So, if you are planning to surprise your loved ones by taking them to dream destinations like Santorini, Bora-Bora or Seychelles, always make sure to book your flights in advance.
2. Not checking the hotel website for the price:
“Cheap hotels in……”. Is this what you type in Google while planning to book a hotel in a city you are traveling to? Yes, we all have done it, but do you know sometimes hotel websites provide rock bottom prices of the rooms. So don’t be conned by the rates you see on Google or other fare comparison websites, always make sure to check the hotel websites for room prices.
3. Heavy luggage:
AYE, we all yearn to look chic in our Instagram posts, after all, who doesn’t want to look voguish. Keeping this in mind, we schlep bags full of clothes and shoes, which cause a great discomfort while traveling. Plus no one wants to bear the cost of an extra luggage at the airport or hurl away their junk they’ll need. Consider reviewing your bags de novo and dig out the things you don’t need.
4. Long Queues:
Indeed money is important when we travel, but do you know what else is important? It’s, “Time”. Tourist attractions like Colosseum in Italy or Eiffel tower in Paris have long tardy queues during peak tourist season. Waiting time can take up to 3-4 hours, and no one wants that especially on a blazing summer day. Being an early bird really helps, so reach at the major tourist attraction at the earliest and you’ll see how much time you will save or just book your tickets online in advance, you might have to pay an extra buck but you’ll get to sidestep the queue.
5. Money exchange at the airport:
Avoid exchanging your currency at the airport’s currency kiosks, as the exchange rate they offer is highly unfavorable. On the contrary, to get the best deal, either order currency in advance (by using websites like Travelex) or use a debit card in an ATM when you arrive at the destination.
6. Not buying travel insurance:
Ever wondered why you need a travel insurance? I’ll tell you why. First and the foremost, it covers your medical and hospital cost, it covers your lost or stolen luggage, in fact, some insurers even offer housekeeping services if you’re injured or disabled when you return home. Hence, always buy a travel insurance. Furthermore, before buying a travel insurance separately, always ask your credit card provider if they offer travel insurance for free. (I say so, because our credit card covers our travel insurance, provided more than 50% of expenses of travel ticket are paid by the credit card.)
7. Falling for tourist traps:
Going only by the travel guide will mostly lead you to tourist traps and crowded places and that is another common mistake most travelers make. You should rather ask the locals or refer to travel blogs to get extra information on places to visit rather than visiting only the mainstream touristy places.
8. Assuming your passport is valid until it expires:
We generally check the expiration date on our passport to make sure it precedes the date of our flight; however, sometimes we forget that certain countries like China, Russia, and the U.A.E, among others require the passport to be valid for three months past the date of our flight home. So to be on the safer side always make sure that your passport expiry date precedes your travel return date at least by six months.
9. Having all the money in one bag:
I remember when I took my first trip in high-school, my father advised me to keep all the money in two different bags. It seems like his advice works even today when I travel. Thus, always leave an extra credit card or money in your hotel room, while you leave to explore the place.
10. Paying for the car damages which you didn’t cause:
Though all car rentals check the car before renting it out further, but be a little smart and take pictures on your phone of all the scratches and damages you see in the car before renting it.
11. Not doing your groundwork:
If you want your travel to be all beer and skittles, then always do your homework. Once you book your tickets make sure to do some research about the place and the language.
12. Going to the wrong airport:
Going to a wrong airport is a very common mistake that people make especially if the city has more than one international airport and you are in a jiffy. This can lead to a big disappointment or even you missing the flight. Always double-check the airport name on your ticket and make sure you have plenty of time to reach the airport.
13. Forgetting travel adapters:
Have you ever? I know, I have. No, all countries do not have the same sockets, so make sure you always carry a multiple travel adapter.
14. Unrealistic expectation:
We see pictures on social media and get impressed very easily, but guys I’m sorry to break this to you, “NO TRIP IS PERFECT”. There will always be certain unexpected circumstances which will let you down during your trip, never let such situations spoil your trip. Always remember “just a bad day not a bad life”.
15. Only staying at the international chain of hotels:
Yes, staying at luxury hotels can be a light-hearted pleasure but local hotels, hostels or Airbnb can give you the real feel of the city, culture and offer some finger licking delicacies. So, try them out as they will fit your budget and give you a different experience.
Yes, we have been guilty of making a few of these mistakes too and ended up paying a heavy price, like over packing and then throwing away stuff at the San Francisco airport. Being caught in long queues to see a place (from our bucket list) in Hongkong, going to the wrong airport in Berlin and being robbed in Italy.
-Travel Nerd Story-