Whether it’s your first trip or you’ve been travelling for years, making mistakes while travelling is unavoidable. And these mistakes, no matter how big or small, spoil the plan. The good news is, however, that with a little planning, it’s easy enough to avoid some of the most common travel mistakes so you can spend your time enjoying your vacation.
If you avoid these mistakes, you can travel for much cheaper, smarter and happier.
One of the biggest travel lessons that I’ve learned in life is: never overpack. I know it’s tempting to pack everything you use at home but when travelling remember that you’re going to have to carry it all as well. I remember when I left for my first ever backpacking trip to Bhutan I carried a 90L rucksack with things that only sat in my backpack. Not only did it make me look like a complete idiot but it also made my journey a lot tougher altogether.
Eating or shopping near a tourist site
If you’ve ever noticed, food joints or shopping outlets located right next to a popular tourist site often sell things for a much higher price. And often, the quality of the product and service isn’t good either. When a seller knows that the people they are dealing with, are not going to return ever, they don’t have to worry about anything. And since they know you’re a tourist that has no idea about how much that thing may originally cost, chances are that you’re going to pay a much higher price.
Exchanging money at the airport
Out of all the foreign money exchanges I’ve done in life, the worst exchange rates I’ve received were at the airports. The exchange rates at airports are, in fact, so bad that you’re was better off lighting your money on fire. Never exchange money at the airport unless you really need to do so. And even if you do, exchange only a bit and save the rest to be exchanged at a bank downtown where you will get better rates and fewer fees.
Not booking enough time between connecting flights
I once missed a connecting flight from Singapore to Australia because of insufficient time to clear security check and I learned the easy lesson the hard way: of not booking enough time between flights. If an international journey, have a safe buffer of at least one and a half hours.
Packing too many activities in one trip
Travelling isn’t about ticking places and attractions off a list but understanding the local culture too and ramming too many activities in a short time doesn’t let you do that. It, in fact, also makes the entire experience a lot more stressful so make sure you give yourself some time to relax and soak up the best of what each destination has to offer.
Not keeping a track of your reservations
Always keep a note of your reservations, and carry at least two copies of it as well as of your passport. If you can, other than keeping a printed copy of your itinerary, keep an electronic copy of it in your phone as well.
Letting mistakes ruin your trip
When travelling, the most important thing is travelling with an open mind and not feeling discouraged with small disasters on the road. Don’t let small mistakes ruin your trip, and this is the biggest travel lesson I always share with people.
Many tourists get indignant when they make a mistake or get ripped off. When something happens, it’s best to get over it. The joy of travel is not the sights but having fun with the process and laughing through the mistakes and learning from them.