Travelling is always extremely exciting, but planning for a big trip can also be super hectic. We always make a super long to-do list that goes through all the things we should get done before our flight, however, how much of this actually gets done every time? While some people may somehow manage to check every single thing off that lengthy list, most of us, unfortunately, do not. Time tends to be a major issue when preparing for our vacations, meaning some of the steps that are not exactly necessary may not get done. Yup, you're not the only one who struggles!
Many seasoned travellers recommend that we do certain things when planning for a trip, and others while on vacation. While some of these tips are extremely helpful, chances are we never get to do these extra steps because we’re so rushed. Some of these tips, however, are simply not practical and most of us choose to not follow them. Read on to feel a little bit better about your travel planning and habits! Chances are you’re not the only one who doesn’t listen to every piece of travel advice.
25 Buy Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is a truly smart purchase, however, unfortunately, the only people who think this are those who have been caught in a sticky situation because they didn’t purchase it before. This is the kind of thing that we convince ourselves we’ll simply never need. It’s one of those total worst-case scenario situations, where you get sick in a foreign country or have to cancel your trip, something no one can picture ever happening to them. Despite knowing that getting travel insurance is the smart and safe thing to do, many skip this expense.
24 Don't get a Fanny Pack
The best piece of advice you can get while travelling is: Try to fit into your environment. Don’t try to stand out as a tourist with obvious things, like a giant map, a selfie stick and of course, the worst thing you can get, a fanny pack. Sure some people say it’s a safe way to carry all your belongings, but it totally shows the world: “Hey, look at me I’m a tourist.” Be careful with your wallet, passport and phone, but there’s no reason why you need to go out and buy a fanny pack.
23 Skip the Touristy Sites
We always hear seasoned travellers talk about how the smaller, more local villages are where the real sites are and how the touristy locations are overhyped and overpriced. While they may be right about some of these locations, it’s not all that easy to just go to Paris and not see the Eiffel Tower. Feels like a total miss. While these touristy spots should not make up your entire trip, you definitely shouldn’t skip them all. It’s all about balance and seeing a little bit of both!
22 Wake Up Early
Ok, we all see social media models and bloggers brag about their morning jogs on the beach or their sunrise hike and we all aspire to be as motivated and disciplined as them. Most of us don’t get all that many weeks of vacation a year and for that reason, we don’t want to waste it sleeping, but we also don’t want to come home exhausted. A tricky situation to be in, isn't it? That’s why while we all know waking up early is key to fully taking advantage of our trip, we’re also too tired to do it.
21 Don't pack A Blanket For the Plane
Planes suck, we all know that. They’re cold, stuffy and jam-packed with people. Travelling tips often offer advice as to how to make these plane rides the comfiest, including packing a blanket in your carry-on. While getting cozy during your flight sounds great, it’s a complete waste of space in your carry-on that you could be using for essentials. Wear a sweater instead so that you can maximize your carry on place! Blankets are just too bulky for the limited space planes offer you.
20 Don't forget to Alert the Bank
We always make a smart list of things we should do before leaving for our trip, and then there’s the realistic list of things we will actually get done. Alerting your bank is one of those precautionary steps that most people always fail to get done before leaving for their vacation. Alerting your bank is a great way to make sure your purchases don’t get flagged and your account doesn’t get frozen, but that’s a risk we’re all going to take. There’s always next year.
19 Always Wear Sunscreen
When leaving to a warmer, more tropical destination, we always have this inner desire to leave super bronzed and glowy. While we all know how much sunburns hurt and are dangerous, we also want to get a nice colour. Many of the locals will not be caught applying sunscreen, because they’re obviously used to the climate, but as tourists, we know that we should always slather some on. However, for some reason, we always see tourists with the most awful and splotchy sunburns ever! This advice clearly goes unnoticed.
18 Make Your Luggage Stand Out
When shopping for luggage, we always see some ridiculously coloured bright orange ones and wonder, who is buying these things? When spending hundreds on a luggage set, we want to opt for one that we’ll like for a long time. Yet, that bright orange luggage would make your life a million times easier when you're at the baggage claim, sifting through hundreds of similar black bags. Just based on the sheer number of people with neutral coloured luggage, it’s safe to say literally no one listens to this advice.
17 Plan Your Outfits
We all want to be the kind of people who have instagrammable outfits every single day of the trip and can pull out of our luggage the perfect thing to wear for every and any occasion, yet this is harder than it seems. Most of us just hate packing so much that we try to speed up the process as much as we possibly can. We throw everything we own into the bag, loosely fold it and close it as soon as possible so we can catch our flight. We may be a little mismatched on our trip, but it’s worth it if it means that our packing process will be effortless.
16 Do Talk to Strangers
We have heard this piece of advice since we were young: “Don’t talk to strangers.” While this is very sensible advice while travelling it’s also very hard to follow. When touring a foreign country, you have two options, to either risk following your map and getting completely lost, or asking friendly locals for advice on where to go. The safest bet is always to inquire at the reception of a hotel or restaurant, but regardless of who you speak to it’s impossible to travel without meeting new people.
15 Beware of Free Public WIFI
We’ve all heard the horror stories of someone getting their passwords or bank info hacked after connecting to a sketchy public wifi. While we always think that we won’t fall into these types and traps and try to convince ourselves that we don’t need wifi to have fun on our trip, but things never go according to plan. We end up needing the internet for GPS or a quick Google search and find ourselves connecting to whatever wifi we can find. Great advice, but it will logistically never happen.
14 Photocopy Important Documents
This is the kind of thing we all intend to do. We all make a list and organize how we will prepare for our trip and this one always seems to get left off the list and forgotten. It’s easy to recognize how useful this could be in case of a lost passport or wallet, but of course, it’s also easy to be so focused on packing your actual passport you forget to make a copy. Maybe this year will be the time this finally gets done.
13 Book Flights Early
Planning a trip is always chaotic, no matter how hard we try to avoid the stress that comes along with it. While it’s always recommended to plan earlier, we always feel like we might get some crazy good last-minute deal or maybe a change of plans will occur. No matter, what happens it’s nearly always impossible to book our flight at a reasonably early time. While we may start dreaming of our vacation months before, it’s inevitable that we will wait for absolutely no reason and book the week before… whoops!!
12 Pack A First Aid Kit
Packing a First Aid kit, a real First Aid kit, not just a box of Band-Aids is a necessity for any trip that involves even the slightest bit of adventuring. It has all the necessary tools inside to handle any emergency and tackle some minor wounds. While we all most likely have an emergency kit ready to pack in our luggage or carry-on, it just seems to never make the cut. It always gets put to the side in place of an extra pair of shoes or a sweater and we end up travelling just crossing our fingers that we don’t get hurt. Not the best way to go about it, but this is just the way things go.
11 Divide Your Personal Items Into Two bags
Anyone who’s ever had their luggage get lost knows how easily this can ruin your trip. While airlines compensate you, you end up spending your vacation trying to repurchase your essentials. Not to mention most tourist shops overseas cost way more than they would back at home. Diving your clothing into different luggage with your travel buddies prevents you from losing all your belongings if your bag does get lost. However, it’s so tricky to pack everything and then separate it again once you’re back home that it just doesn’t feel worth the hassle. Cross your fingers and hope you're lucky! And always pack a bathing suit in your carry-on, just in case!
10 Pack Light
In a dream world, we would all like to be able to pack only the necessities and feel confident that that will be enough to last us our trip. However, overpacking is an extremely common issue. See a top you have owned for years, but have yet to wear? You somehow convince yourself you will find the perfect occasion to wear it on your trip and absolutely need to pack it. Repeat this pattern for pretty much everything you own and you have one bag that exceeds the weight capacity and is filled with things you don’t need.
9 Take An Extra Bank Card With You
This is a tricky one because the fear of losing our card or getting it defrauded beats our desire to be precautionary. We want to bring back-up cards, yet you know you will barely be using any cards on your trip at all, only cash. You hesitate to bring all the cards you own in case something does happen, or maybe you just forget to bring an extra one with you out of habit. Maybe you even don’t have an extra and can’t find the time to get one made. Whatever the reason, anything bank-related is time-consuming and we all dread it so much it rarely happens.
8 Don’t Buy Souvenirs
Yup, we all admit that the t-shirt, mug or stuffed animal we’re purchasing for a ridiculously high price is simply not worth it. However, our trips never feel complete without this part of it. It’s always nice to have a little knick knack to remind you of a place you visited or an experience you had. Sometimes you can also find some really authentic pieces of art that you can use to decorate your home. Sure, souvenirs aren’t a necessity and aren't totally worth it, but they're nice to have and we all know you’re headed for that gift shop anyways.
7 Give Family A Copy Of the Itinerary
It’s smart to share with your loved ones where you will be and when just in case something goes wrong and they need to locate you. While there’s no reason why you shouldn’t follow this piece of advice, it often goes unnoticed because we rarely have a set itinerary. Things always change depending on the travel time, unexpected delays, some minor inconveniences and, of course, how fatigued we are. So while you can attempt to give your family an itinerary, the chances of it being accurate are very low.
6 Don’t Change Currency At The Airport
Another last minute thing we all try to avoid, but end up doing. We live in a world where pretty much everyone uses credit or debit cards to pay for everything. Paying without cash has become second nature to most of us, and that’s why changing your currency is one thing that is often forgotten. The exchange rate at the airport is ridiculous, yet when we’re stuck realizing we have no way to trip the maids and bartenders on our trip, there’s no other option other than going to these booths.