For all those travel gurus, who seem as though they live on the road, traveling must be a piece of cake. But is it the same with the non-professional travelers? Well, we seriously doubt it.
Realistically, most tourists make a whole bunch of careless mistakes when exploring the unknown. Worse still, it can turn their exciting trip into an unnerving, money-wasting experience. Very few fortunate tourists are familiar with the dos and don’ts when visiting a new place. But if you’re not one of them, we’d love to introduce you to 25 of the most common travel mistakes. Below you’ll also find useful tips and tricks you can apply to your next adventure, no matter the weather, destination or length of the trip.
Indeed, these travel hacks will surely save you lots of throbbing headaches and unexpected costs when traveling. Now, without further ado, go ahead and find out what you should pay attention to when traveling.
By the end of this article, you’ll surely have upgraded your travel skills without even realizing it. Also, if you’ve got a slew of useful travel tips as well, reach out and be our guest.
26 Staying On The Outskirts (Going On The Cheap Side)
As a traveler, you’d surely want to cut down on the costs whenever possible; however, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you must skip the fun part to accomplish this travel goal. In fact, staying on the outskirts with the idea to save more money is quite a poor choice, and here’s why. Upon arrival, you’ll most certainly experience that familiar uneasiness when struggling to get from one place to another - you just don’t know the place yet, that’s all.
On the bright side, though, you’ll be able to save more on accommodation. In most of the cases, hotels outside of the city center are usually a lot cheaper, Brightside.me assures.
What do we suggest?
It’s a lot better to stay in the middle of the action while enjoying incredible city vistas and top tourist attractions.
25 Spending Cash For Things That Are Usually Free
An excellent example of that is the free walking tours available at almost every destination around the world. After all, why do you insist on paying for activities when you can get to experience them for free? It’s nonsense, isn’t it? But still, it doesn’t stop many tourists from making this common and quite silly mistake.
What do we suggest?
Instead of booking a guided tour around the city – which might be quite pricey – visit the city’s official website for more information. For instance, if you’re traveling to Vienna, Austria, you might want to take a look at the free tourist attractions as well.
24 Not Checking Out User Reviews
Not paying enough attention to tiny, yet super essential details, such as user reviews, is another colossal travel mistake. Well, most travelers do take a look at hotel reviews, but that's pretty much all they do, Brightside.me says. Unfortunately, most people just forget to read more reviews of the local cafes, restaurants, and even tourist sights, and that’s quite a wrong move, to begin with. Interestingly, these small moments of negligence may not only cost you a few poorly spent dollars after a dissatisfying travel experience, but it may leave you with a bad taste in the mouth.
What do we suggest?
Always make sure to read the most frequent user reviews - you’ll know what to expect when visiting these places.
23 Not Bringing A Bottle of Water When Traveling
Once you’ve checked in at the hotel, you must’ve been exhausted to think of what you’ll be doing first thing in the morning; however, the last thing that rarely springs to mind is to bring your water bottle when going out. Well, that’s certainly a huge mistake that’s neither brilliant nor that healthy at all.
What's our advice? Well, we may not know you well; however, you’ll surely don’t want your body to suffer from dehydration. The solution? It's as simple as 123 - just drink more water, especially when being out in the sun for longer.
22 Going Crazy With The Packing
Have you noticed that most people usually pack items that they rarely use when traveling? We’re sure you’ve seen this as well. In reality, though, this trivial experience won't happen if every one of us packed the most essential travel items. But instead, most tourists often go the extra mile by taking more luggage than they can work with. Generally, people even tend to pack new sets of clothes and other items that they’ve never worn before; and guess what, their brand-new status remains the same.
What do we suggest?
Instead of trying to stuff your whole house into the luggage, just pick the clothes and accessories that go together. You’ll not only end up with multiple fashion choices, but you’ll spare yourself another burden on your shoulders.
21 Not Taking A Credit Card (Or Only Relying On Cash)
It’s cool to know that your wallet is filled to the brim with dollars; however, what if you got it stolen?
What would happen next, right? Well, you don’t want it to happen, and neither do we. So, instead of running such a silly risk of getting it stolen from right under your nose, back yourself up with a credit card as well. Same goes for another scenario where you’ve only got cash a credit card in you and zero money.
What else do we suggest?
Also, make sure that you don’t keep them all in one place and ask the hotel receptionist for a safe in your room. It will undoubtedly help you enjoy your vacation without stressing over your belongings.
20 Not Booking Tickets Online
Showing little interest in online tickets could also be a significant travel mistake, and we’ll tell you why.
Ever had the headache-triggering experience of waiting in a mile-long queue at great tourist attractions? Well, now you know what we’ve got on mind. So, if you don’t want to wind up in such an incredibly long queue with no clear end in sight, book those tickets online and save yourself the trouble.
Best part, there’s often a more exclusive entrance (and a separate door) for those with booked tickets, Brightside.com shares.
TIP: Next time you’re traveling, just make sure to book the tickets, and you’ll surely enjoy the experience at the best tourist sites.
19 Talking To Strangers Scares The Wits Out of You (But It Shouldn't)
Don’t worry, we’ve all been there as well, but believe us, you’ll get over it eventually. Talking to strangers shouldn’t make you feel uncomfortable. Why would it anyway when these strangers are the ones who can give you better directions than any guide book you can find at any bookstore? Additionally, these friendly folks may even help you out if you got lost in the city.
Of course, that’s certainly not the best way to make new friends; but still, it’s a unique experience that will make you a better traveler as well.
What's our advice for you?
Suppress these reoccurring childish fears by challenging yourself with a few simple tasks. Next time you're traveling, smile more and try to greet more people with a simple "Hi" or a "Good Morning." This simple exercise will definitely make you more communicative.
18 You Always Want To See Everything
Indeed, it’s virtually impossible to explore a whole myriad of activities that a destination has got in store, especially in a matter of days, or even hours. This unwritten travel rule sure applies to the town resorts around the world. There’s just too much that deserves to be seen and discovered that it makes the exploration tour impossible to complete in a span of a few days. In fact, you’ll probably need a few weeks to visit every excellent and top-rated place in any big city, ski or summer resort.
TIP: Do not rush it – enjoy your trip or family holiday as much as possible. By the time it’s over, you’ll have remembered its best sights.
17 You Overspend On Souvenirs And Gifts
Don’t get this wrong – it’s always nice to bring home a handful of lovely gifts and souvenirs that immortalize the time spent at the destination. But is a whole backpack full of souvenirs really worth it? Do these otherwise cute gifts justify the high cost? We doubt it.
Listen up: More often than not, these little reminders of a trip are super overpriced because of the tourists. But while most people get hooked on such items almost right away, others kindly walk away in pursuit of better, more meaningful purchases. Hopefully, you’d be one of these smarties next time you’re off to somewhere nice.
16 You Insist On Traveling In The High Season
If that’s your plan for the next few days, you’d better come up with a better one. Believe us - you’ll be more satisfied and less stressed out when traveling during the low season. Otherwise, you and your partner will most likely end up in a densely crowded and noisy location. If you ask us, it certainly doesn't sound like the best travel experience. Seriously, there’s just too much going on in the high season no matter the destination.
TIP: If you've already decided to visit beautiful cities, such as Milan or Rome, but in late fall, you might not be able to savor the delicious gelato, Brightside.me shares. But on the bright side, you can enjoy a more peaceful Italian stroll around the city's best tourist attractions.
15 You Always Expect Too Much From The Trip
No trip can be perfect, and we can hardly change this fact. In reality, it’s almost like an unwritten travel rule that we always try to modify, and yet it’s still valid. Your whole travel experience in a new place may be going just perfect; however, there’s always something that cannot live up to your expectations. It could be the poor room service or the ill-mannered receptionist at the hotel. But whatever happens, you shouldn’t give in to the wave of emotions that’s about to rush all over you.
TIP: So, instead of letting such marginal things ruin your vacation, try to ignore it no matter how annoyed you might be.
14 Not Purchasing The Street Items That You Liked
This sounds familiar to you, doesn't it? Well, most of you certainly regret not having bought that beautiful street painting while exploring a new city. In most of the cases, we believe that we’re going to circle back to that locale again as soon as we’re done sightseeing. But guess what happens – you just forget about it. Also, most people secretly hope for finding better (cheaper) versions of the same object, cnn.com reveals.
What would we do if we were you?
We would have bought it right away. After all, a life full of regrets means no adventure. So next time you see something beautiful, just have it and enjoy the rest of your trip without harboring any regrets.
13 You Put 90% of Your Trust In Those "Near-City-Center" Descriptions
We’re genuinely sorry to discourage you again, but when a description says Near City Center, it usually means something else, cnn.com assures. In other words, this combination of words is often subjected to vast interpretation. Admittedly, most of these descriptions are not only misleading but are literally quite far from the truth. Who should you believe instead?
TIP: When reading about location reviews, make sure to double-check everything from A to Z. After all, you wouldn’t want to end up on a 30-minute train only to get to the city center, would you?
12 You Always Take “Super Shuttle”
We get it – you want to get around the city without having to fork over hundreds of dollars. Alright, that’s fair enough, but let us ask you something else. Would you change your mind if you had to wait on the curb for a ride in a sweat-soaked van?
Worse still, you certainly wouldn’t want to run the risk of being the last one dropped off at a location either. Besides, we do believe that your travel time is worth more than this. Writer Adam Carolla perfectly presents the classic travel blunder in the book “In Fifty Years We’ll All Be Chicks.”
According to him, this “super shuttle” is the worst $20-$30 you can ever save on a trip.” TIP: It might be so much better to skip the super shuttle and go for a different option (taxi, subway, bus, etc.)
11 Thinking You Know When To Book A Cheap Ticket (But You Don’t)
According to Kayak’s research, the perfect time for reasonable ticket purchase is 21 to 34 days before the actual domestic or international flight. Also, CheapAir.com revealed that a significant part of the cheapest travel deals could be discovered about 49 days before a trip. Apparently, there must be some muddled science to finding the optimal timing for traveling. But according to Texas A&M University, weekends are the best time for finding the best deals.
What’s our advice?
Well, with all due respect, we don’t really believe in such golden travel rules and elusive theories. So instead of reading different opinions about it, just try to keep yourself updated with the discounts. Tickets are cheapest when they’re cheapest, cnn.com says, and we do agree with that.
10 You Do The Impossible To Chisel Out A Bargain With The Street Seller
When it comes down to bargaining, there’s really no shortcut to it – you’ve got to get in the game to get away with what you can. But whether that’s really needed when traveling is a whole different story. If you ask us, though, you shouldn’t be wasting the precious minutes of your trip in efforts to chisel out a bargain. This unwritten rule works at full steam especially when it’s about street sellers, hungry salespeople, and underpaid shopkeepers, cnn.com says. After all, cutting fifty cents off the price won’t make you any richer, especially when it’s about a cheap item that probably says Made In China.
What to do instead?
Enjoy your sightseeing tour around the city without looking like a stingy person that we’re sure you’re not.
9 Changing Money At The Airport
When traveling abroad, the common sense is to stop by the exchange bureau and change money; however, only amateurs do this exercise right there, at the airport.
The exchange rate for foreign currency at the airport is usually not that great when compared to the one in town, cnn.com reveals. But there are often exceptions as well.
A recent check of the $ to £ exchange in London Heathrow (which is the airport) goes like $1.71 to £1 (with no commission for changes more than $300). Interestingly, the exchange rate at Oxford Circus is $1.62 to £1, ( with no commission included).
8 For London Visitors: Underestimating Heathrow
Speaking of London, and Heathrow, travelers often underestimate the time-consuming security searches there. Of course, it’s a standard procedure at most airports, but according to cnn.com, the situation at Heathrow is virtually hell-like. Eventually, the unnerving atmosphere there usually creates jumbled queues in which tourists seem more like camp refugees rather than jet-setters.
Not arriving early enough before the flight is also quite risky; however, this doesn't mean that you should get there five-six hours before departure. But anyway, if you’ve decided to visit London, get prepared for an episode of total chaos and mess when you arrive there.
7 Purchasing Cheap Flip-Flops
Most people think, “I’m only going to need them for a few days,” and eventually, they end up with the cheapest flip-flops available, cnn.com says. But that’s not okay, even when you don’t plan to wear them outside of the hotel. In most of the cases, the cheapest flip-flops “live” for a few days, so when their life “expires,” you get a shredded bottom and all the like. All of this creates unnecessary annoyance that is actually 100% preventable. So, instead of purchasing such useless flip-flops (or other similar items), just get the slightly expensive ones. You’ll surely see the difference, even when it comes down to comfortability.
6 You Fear Street Food
Nobody wants to get digestive problems on a trip, and that's not breaking news.
But what’s the point of traveling all the way to Thailand or India and not savor the local cuisine? It doesn’t make much sense, does it? Besides, locals aren’t fans of food poisoning, either, so relax and get in line.
TIP: But if you need more social proof, make sure to check out recent user reviews on the internet and see what people say about this particular place. After all, if you don’t like what people share about it, you can always ignore it, cnn.com reveals.
5 Purchasing Musical Instruments As A Gift
When traveling internationally, the last thing you’d want is to make enemies in a place where you’re a guest. Well, it’s not like they’ll spy on everything you do in the hostel; however, nobody would enjoy the moment when you start unwrapping your sweet gifts on the thin floor, cnn.com says. But if you feel like you must purchase such cool items for somebody, leave the boxes the way they are. After all, you can’t blame people for not liking the presence of musical instruments before bedtime. Also, ask for an international delivery if it’s possible.
4 Not Having Full Insurance Policy
All sorts of things happen when traveling abroad, so why run the risk anyway? Having a full insurance policy can give you more freedom and fewer worries when traveling internationally. Believe us - you wouldn’t want more stress, only in the name of saving a few dollars, cnn.com says. Besides, we’re all vast spenders anyway, and we usually waste a ton of money on all kinds of unnecessary items. Make the difference this time and take care of your insurance before catching the flight. Last but certainly not least, if you wind up needing it, you’ll be less stressed out since you know you’ve got full coverage.
3 Being Overly Obsessed With Selfies
No judgments intended here. Realistically, though, you just cannot enjoy your trip to the fullest if you make pauses to capture every single moment of it. It’s great to make memories and immortalize the vacation with a string of cool photos and selfies; however, it would be a lot better to feel and enjoy the place. Also, this overly obsessive behavior will surely leave your travel companions a little annoyed.
What’s the solution to it?
The tech-savvy side of you might be pretty cool, but eventually, a single click leads to another one, cnn.com assures. So, if you don’t want to be left behind, stop taking a hundred pictures of the same old building in front of you.
2 Not Checking Visa Requirements Before Departure
Sometimes we forget to get familiar with important details, such as visa requirements when traveling to foreign lands for the first time. But although we understand the struggle, try not to make this colossal travel mistake. Otherwise, your lovely, exciting trip may suddenly turn into your worst nightmare. Unexpected situations at the airport happen more often than you can imagine, cnn.com reveals, but the good news is that this it 100% avoidable. So, if you don’t want to get turned away right at the ticket counter just a few hours from departure, follow this easy piece of advice. If you must travel to exotic places, such as Brazil, make sure to find more info on visa requirements to avoid unpleasant moments at the airport.
1 Always Print Out Reservation Details
Another thing that frequently escapes people’s minds is the reservation details. No, we don’t mean the actual hotel but the paper version of this reservation. Note that even though they’re already on your tablet and phone, you still need them on paper.
What for? Because all of these devices might turn out to be less brilliant if the battery suddenly dies. Also, when crossing oceans, it’s possible to find them barely working, cnn.com explains. Now that you know why you also need a text version of your docs, you'll surely have no problem with the reservation details.
References: cnn.com, aol.com, brightside.me