Every traveler needs to know these 10 travel mistakes to avoid when panning their dream vacations. Even seasoned travelers can sometimes use a little advice now and then. Everyone knows that when you go on a trip you should always take half the luggage and twice the money, but what are the 10 worst travel mistakes to avoid on your vacation?
This is probably one of the biggest travel mistakes that you can make. When you overpack not only will you be charged more at the airport if you go over their weight limit but you’ll have less room for souvenirs. If in doubt, don’t pack it at all. When you get there, if you find that you truly need it then you can always purchase it later. You will be responsible for your luggage while you travel and the lighter and fewer pieces you have, the happier you will be.
Trying to do too much at once
Of course you want to see everything that you can, but leave some time in your trip for just hanging out, too. If you’re constantly moving from one place to another then you’re going to be exhausted and you probably won’t get the most out of your travel experience.
Not comparing prices
Whether you are booking a plane ticket, rail pass, or hotel room it’s always a good idea to compare prices when traveling. Try using three different websites for the best results. It will take a little extra time on your part but you could save as much as 50% off the price and that’s money that you can use for something else!
Not getting off the beaten path
A trip jam-packed full of popular sites will definitely give you something to talk about when you get home and will also give you lots of jealous glares from your friends. You don’t want to forget to get off the beaten path, though. Taking an afternoon to go for a stroll off the major streets and away from the major sites can give you a better feel for the place that you’re visiting, as well as expose you to some eateries and shops that might even be less expensive than what you’ll find in the main thoroughfares.
Avoiding a site because it’s “touristy”
While it is always good to get off the beaten path, don’t completely ignore those “touristy” sites, either. After all, what’s a trip to Paris without a viewing of the Eiffel Tower or a trip to New York City without seeing the Statue of Liberty? Sometimes, a place is just cheesy and not worth visiting. However, most of the time a place is popular for a reason: because it’s really a worthwhile travel experience! Try to mix up the popular sites with a bit of your own exploring.
Not carrying important phone numbers with you
It doesn’t matter if you’re going abroad or two states over, it’s always important to carry important telephone numbers with you when you travel. In fact, you might want to make two copies of them and keep one set in your wallet and one in your suitcase. Important numbers include your bank, credit cards, health insurance company, doctors, and emergency contact information. If your wallet gets lost or stolen then you will need to call all of your credit cards and bank cards and inform them. At that point, simply having the numbers on the back of your cards is not going to be very helpful…
Carrying all of your money on you
Whether you have traveler’s checks, credit cards, or cash it’s never a good idea to carry all of your money on you at once. If you get robbed or you lose your wallet then you’re going to be in a lot of trouble! Instead, divide up your credit cards and store them (along with some traveler’s checks) in the hotel’s safe if they offer one. It’s also wise to carry a limited amount of cash on you as well, although it’s always a good idea to have at least a little bit of change on you for those places that don’t take credit cards for small purchases.
Not buying something when you see it
You’ve probably seen at least one thing on your travels that you really liked and not bought it, figuring that you would just go back and buy it later. Well, chances are you didn’t make it back there. If you see something that really calls to you then buy it when you have the chance. Later on you might get caught up in sightseeing, traveling, or just simply run out of time. Or, you might go back to the store and find it closed. It’s better to just make the purchase when you have the chance, especially if it’s something that you don’t think you’re going to be able to find anywhere else.
Choosing chains over local eateries
Sometimes, those old familiar chains will just call to you and you won’t be able to resist them. One of the biggest mistakes, however, is to ONLY eat at international chains. It’s hard to get a good feel for a place without trying out some of the local fare. No, you’re not going to like all of it, but there’s a very good chance that you’ll like a lot of it. Plus, you can tell a lot from the town or country that you’re in by sitting back in a local restaurant and taking in the crowd. In fact, this can be entertainment within itself when you travel.
Not giving yourself enough travel time
Even pros sometimes make the mistake of not giving themselves enough travel time when it comes to making planes, trains, and automobiles. If it is absolutely imperative that you make a specific train or flight then you need to give yourself plenty of time to get there. When in doubt, just assume that you’re going to be traveling during rush hour or delayed by some unforeseen calamity. It’s always better to arrive early than late. If you’re taking a train then it doesn’t hurt to time your distance from your hotel to the train station the day before. Don’t just take travel time into account, either. You also want to allow plenty of time for getting dressed, last minute packing, checking out of your hotel room, and getting to the transportation that will take you to your place of transit.