Travel mistakes to avoid

Jean Claude Reuille06-Oct-2020

Planning an international trip is always a thrilling experience. You are all set for the next adventure of your life. You have booked the hotel and done your research on the places you will be visiting. Unfortunately, if you think you prep work stops here, then you are leaving yourself to tons of international travel mistakes. Travel mistakes are inevitable. No matter how well you plan and execute, there are inherent amount of risks.


Plenty of travel mistakes lead to lost time, wasted money, and missed opportunities. Between the paperwork needed to cross international boundaries, medical preparation, and packing preparation, it’s easy to let something slip. 


We have compiled a list of travel mistakes so that you can avoid these mistakes on your next vacation:


Overpaying for airfare

Everyone knows that buying a last-minute plane ticket cam turn out to be expensive. From one day to the next, the fares fluctuate by hundreds of dollars. It is true to a certain extent that if you buy in advance like 3 or 6 months before, you get a low fare as compared to buying last-minute. 


What you can do, you can use websites/apps to check prices and track the fares. For example, you can use Skyscanner to compare prices across dozens of airline carriers. Not just this, it also has a feature “show whole month” that will help you to choose the cheapest days to depart and return. If you do not go with the cheapest dates, then it will tell you how much you can save by changing the dates. Here, you can also set a price alert for multiple options to get a better deal. You can refer to https://www.skyscanner.co.in/ for your future travel requirements. You can also visit https://www.hopper.com/ for comparing prices. 


Failing to get an entry visa

If you’re a citizen of the UK, UK, or EU, then you may not even look into the visa requirements a few weeks before your trip. This could be one of your travel mistakes that could spoil your entire trip. Sometimes getting a visa is a simple affair but some countries have strict policies when it comes to travel, it can take weeks to have the paperwork and visa approved. If you wait until right before your trip to apply, you will end up paying costly fines to speed up the process. 


Check your home country’s government website in advance to confirm the requirements of the visa. You will get to know about different policies for passport expiration dates and mandate vaccinations. In case you are a US citizen, you can visit https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/before-you-go.html page on the State Department’s website. On the search bar, you can enter details like destination country, and then you can simply view visa and entry requirements.


Forgetting your important travel documents 

Many times you forget to pack important documents and you realize when you reach the airport. We suggest out of our experience that you must make a packing checklist depending on how long you are going for and where you are heading to. 


You can also check the restrictions of baggage while making the list. This ensures that you pack everything, from passport to unplugging power strips. Make copies of the passport for ensuring safety. 


Not packing a travel adapter

There are around 15 types of plugs that are used across the world. If you are traveling to a country that uses a different plug type, then you require an adapter that could allow you to power your home country’s devices. Get a versatile adapter with USB ports and keep in your suitcase. On Amazon, you can get a universal portable one that can accept a range of voltages for smartphones and tablets, etc.


You can purchase the Ceptics World Travel Adapter Kit (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06XSJ14CX/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B06XSJ14CX&linkCode=as2&tag=theportablewi-20&linkId=2bca1ec91cd1975a38ed722bd63a7d32 ). It provides plenty of power to multiple devices without falling out of the socket.   


Carrying just one card

Before your departure, notify your bank and credit card providers of your planned trip. Most of the banks allow you to do so via their website/mobile app. You can also contact customer care.


 If you make a large number of purchases abroad, those transactions may get declined by the fraud department as it gets flagged. Make a separate call to your bank/card issuer before making a purchase.  Carry a second card in case the first card does not go through. Do not forget to carry some cash. 


English language will work everywhere 

English speakers definitely have it easy while traveling. As it is the most studied language, often the road signs, public transit, and food menus will be in English across the globe but that does not include every place on the earth. 


Google Translate is a must-have app for the globetrotters. It can help you in facilitating a conversation in two languages, translate text right on your screen as you move your camera over it. You can also add words and phrases to your phrasebook that you have already translated for your future reference. You can also download an entire language’s dictionary for offline use. 


You can memorize some basic travel phrases of the country you are visiting. YouTube and podcasts are a good way of learning a new language.

 

Not knowing the options of transportation

Research ahead of time to save on transportation. Depending on the destination, you may choose options for commuting. The cities in which it is safer to use public transport/rideshares, you must use that. In some cities, it is not safe to use public transport and rather it is better to use private cabs. A lot of cities in Asia and the Middle East have options of tuk-tuks or cheap taxis. So it is always better to do your homework before leaving your place. 


Overspending on groceries

You are definitely saving a bit by cooking your meals by purchasing local produce from the nearby supermarket. But in some city areas, they charge a lot for the basic items. Some cities have loads of options for cheap street food which is worth trying. 


If you wish to cook your meal, then buy the ingredients from the farmer’s market instead of a grocery chain.


Keeping money and credit card in the same place

While traveling, never keep all of your cash and credit cards in one place. If that wallet is stolen, then that will leave you with zero back-ups. So keep at multiple bags for a secure trip. 


Not backing up your photographs

Every second day, try to back up your photos in more than one separate location. You can store in Cloud using Dropbox, backup drive, and laptop. Your memories are one of the most precious things you can have. 


Carrying too many clothes

There is no need to carry so many options for clothing as you get laundry facilities worldwide. If your load is less, then you can shop some new at your destination and also it saves you from heavy baggage and paying extra baggage charges. 


Staying close to tourist attractions

Everyone wants to stay close to the tourist attractions or prefer the centre of any city. But with the location comes overpriced hotels and restaurants. So try Airbnb/small boutique hotels and travel in shoulder periods.


Booking wrong connections

You need to allow a lot of time between connections. Do not rely on timetables and have at least one hour or more of buffer for traffic and flight delays. Traveling is unpredictable and you never know when you miss a connection. 


Exchanging currency at the airport

Exchanging currency at airports will give you the worst rate due to high commission/exchange rates. We suggest you withdraw from ATM at the airport and exchange money in cities where you can get a competitive rate or coming before to the destination. 


These are some common mistakes but some that you can avoid is forgetting power bank, sticking to comfort zone, pack with packing cubes, traveling without travel insurance, setting unrealistic expectations, putting medicines and valuables in checked baggage, not negotiating a taxi rate beforehand, leave luggage unattended in the car, blindly trusting the first directions you get from a local, relying on the guidebook, not double-checking your documents and bookings for errors, drinking too much, ignoring local's advice, not checking your cell phone plan, etc.


Traveling abroad has its pitfalls, but with a little advanced preparation, your trip can go smoothly. 

Whether you’re gearing up for your first out-of-country adventure or just need a refresher, if you avoid the above-mentioned things, then you’ll be able to travel cheaper, smarter, and longer. Use checklists, technology, and a little forward thinking to make your next trip a success!

Written by "Jean Claude Reuille" on 06-Oct-2020

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