Making mistakes while travelling is very common because you encounter experiences and situations that are completely new to you. Without knowing how to handle these situations, every traveller makes mistakes once in a while so don’t be too hard on yourself. We have outlined 20 of the biggest mistakes that travellers make so that you can learn how to avoid them and have the most stress free and incredible trip.
It is very common for travellers to show up in a foreign country and completely forget to check what the exchange rate is. Not knowing the local exchange rate from your local currency is the best way to ensure you get scammed. If you are heading out on a long trip and know that you will have to juggle multiple exchange rates along the way, write them down and frequently update them.
You’d be surprised how many travellers skip insurance because they think they won’t need it. While it can be fun to take a gamble once in a while, being stuck with a huge hospital bill or having to replace all of your luggage on your own dime is anything but fun. Be sure to get travel insurance no matter the length of your trip and make sure to check which type of insurance covers the types of activities you tend to do while abroad.
This is probably the most obvious mistake that people warn travellers about. You always hear tips like “don’t get out a map in the middle of a street” or “don’t look lost”. Instead, head into a nearby cafe or shop and try to make a bit of a game plan, even if you are only thinking one or two steps ahead
Whether you head out on a round the world trip, a week long vacation, or a weekend getaway, don’t make the mistake of planning out your entire day, week, or month. Nothing ever goes perfectly to plan and you will want the flexibility of free time and space once you arrive in your destination. You don’t want to feel stressed or obligated to do certain things, so give yourself plenty of freedom to choose along the way.
If you only have a few days in a specific location, you may think it’s a good idea to cram your days with activities and sights so that you will see and experience as much as possible. Instead, you will end up feeling tired and rushed. Leave spaces in between activities so that you can simply relax and enjoy your surroundings. Sometimes, less is more.
Packing can be one of the most complicated tasks when it comes to travel. You already know that you won’t wear everything that you pack, so pack smart and plan for the type of weather you will encounter and for the activities you plan to do. Much like cramming too much into one day, less is more when it comes to packing as well. Consider using packing cubes to organize your belonging more which will save you time while travelling.
When it comes to travel, only two things really matter and those are your passport and your money. Everything else that you need when travelling can be acquired in your destination country, however your passport and money are two essentials that you don’t want to misplace, lose, or forget somewhere. They are also objects that you want to hide on yourself while travelling. Never put them in your back pocket or in a purse that someone might steal. When you check into your accommodation, leave your passport in a locker or a safety deposit box. What’s more, a concern today with travelling is people taking your passport or card numbers using scanners. Purchase RFID wallets to protect your most important goods.
Many travellers head out on epic trips and enjoy every single moment. They come home and tell stories and over time they forget those stories. Take a journal with you and write down your most cherished memories, draw pictures, or glue in ticket stubs and bus transfers. Write your memories down so that you can re-read them and experience the trip all over again.
Phone and camera fraud is at an all time high so while it can be difficult to prevent fraud, you can cover your bases by backing up your photos everyday. This way, if the worst does happen, you still have all of your favourite memories and photos backed up. Consider purchasing a backpack that is anti-theft like these ones, which will ensure your belongings are safe while inside the bag
Many travellers are scared to head off the typical tourist trail incase there is danger or they fear the unknown. However, the unknown can provide you with some of the most spectacular views, sights, people, experiences, and cultures. As long as you feel safe, take a risk and head to the other path, you never know what surprises you will find.
The biggest complaint from foreign cultures is that visitors travel to their country and disrespect their culture, traditions, customs, laws, and people. Always behave the way that you would in your home country and exercise extra sensitivity towards foreign customs and traditions. Do your research and educate yourself before you go.
If you book two or more flights separately, airlines are not responsible if you miss a flight due to delays or other unforeseen conditions. Always give yourself plenty of time in between two flights that will take place in the same day and always consider how long it will take you to get through customs and to your next gate. If possible, book your flights all together so that the airline or the flight website are responsible if you do miss a flight.
Many foreign countries don’t use credit and debit cards all of the time the way we do in places like North America, Australia, and Europe. We have become so reliant on using plastic cards for payment that many of us don’t use cash anymore. When travelling, check the local payment forms that are most frequently used and always have at least some cash on you.
Before you travel, always contact your bank and confirm the types of charges that you will encounter when taking money out in a foreign country. This will ensure you are not surprised every time you take money out from an ATM. Furthermore, let your bank know where you are travelling to so your credit cards or bank cards don’t get frozen or cut off.
Much like packing too many activities into one day, many travellers travel countries way too quickly. Remember that travelling is supposed to be enjoyable, exciting, and educational, so take you time and enjoy every moment.
Many travellers pre-book accommodations and flights before they travel. If this is the case, be sure to track all of your bookings in an app or a journal. This will ensure you don’t misplace, lose, or simply forget where you’re supposed to be. Track other details too like directions, phone numbers, and contacts
Many travellers fail to speak to locals when in another country. This is often due to fear of not understanding one another. Try to chat to locals in shops, restaurants, and on the street to get a sense of what they typically do in their city or town. Taking advice from locals can be one of the greatest things you do while on the road. You never know what types of experiences you will have, where you will end up, or who you will meet.
While purchasing guidebooks can be a good idea, it is often better to follow the advice of travellers and locals that you meet along the way. Guidebooks can be out of date and furthermore they guide hundreds of thousands of other travellers on the exact same route. If you choose to follow a guidebook, use it as a rough guide only.
If you are heading out on a long trip, you may have set yourself a tight budget for each day. While it is a good idea to budget, leave yourself some room so that you don’t feel stressed over money each day. Don’t try too hard to stay on budget and remember you are there to enjoy yourself and have new experiences first and foremost.
Travel can open your eyes to a world of new possibilities. While it’s nice to enjoy the finer things in life like hotels, fancy restaurants, and shops, try to fully immerse yourself in the local culture by eating at family owned restaurants, dining on street food, exploring local towns and villages, and befriending locals.
What other big mistakes do you think travellers frequently make?
Comments will be approved before showing up.