14 Silly Mistakes (We All Do) To Avoid on Your Next Trip
When planning a trip, there are many details to remember. Even the most experienced travelers can fall victim to mistakes. Read on for 14 avoidable errors, as outlined by an online community of travel fans.
This list will keep you confident ahead of your next journey. Travel smarter, not harder, to enjoy your time away.
1. Do Carry Cash
Having cash to hand can save you from so many situations, whether it’s needing to buy food, a local SIM card, or ordering a taxi. Try to exchange money before your departure. If this isn’t possible, get it sorted the first day you’re there.
FYI: Airports tend to mark up exchange rates for profit. Instead, consider your local post office or bank.
2. Check Visa Rules
It’s always worth checking the visa requirements for your destination. Some places require travelers to apply for entry ahead of time. Can you think of a worse situation than arriving in a new country and not being allowed in? There’s no point risking it. Check visa rules.
3. Don’t Show Up Without Accommodations
When visiting a new city for the first time, planning a place to sleep is best. You might be unable to find a place to sleep, making things challenging, especially when exhausted from the journey.
4. Google Maps Isn’t Always Accurate
Some people share that Google Maps has led travelers astray oversees when it comes to walking and driving distances. Be sure to double check where you are going so you don’t get lost.
We still love Google Maps for the record.
5. Rent Smaller Cars
American roads and highways accommodate wider vehicles, but the narrow streets of Europe are better suited for smaller and compact cars. A new traveler to Europe explains how the midsize car they rented was the exact width of the roads, making driving more than a bit stressful. They recommend renting the smallest vehicle possible for driving through any European country.
6. Bring Bottled Water
When traveling to places where you don’t know the source of the drinking water, it’s best to be safe and bring a supply of bottled water. A tourist online volunteers how they forgot to pack a reserve of water while flying from Cambodia to Bangkok and became violently ill after drinking from a public water source at the airport.
7. Know Your Date Formats
Americans are used to numerical dates formatted as month, day, and year. However, many places use a day, month, year numerical date formatting scheme worldwide. One globetrotter laments being unaware of this distinction, as it caused them to show up on the wrong date for a beer spa they scheduled in the Czech Republic.
8. Awareness of Local Events
Several users online admit to planning their trips without checking to see if the dates of their stay coincided with local events and holidays. One person describes their August vacation in Paris, when most Parisians are on holiday, meaning many of the attractions they planned to visit were closed for at least two weeks. Another admits to failing to confirm if specific sites they wanted to see were open or closed.
9. A Packed Itinerary
It’s exciting to visit a new place and see all of the sights, but having a full itinerary can backfire, as a few explorers in the community attest to. Instead of thoroughly enjoying each day of their trip, they had to rush through them to stay on schedule. One of them writes, “I’ve had to learn to leave half days empty here and there simply to recharge a bit.”
A sightseer confesses forgetting to remove their pepper spray keychain from their keyring before embarking on multiple international flights. The first three airports didn’t catch it, but Hong Kong airport security did. They were fortunately allowed to leave with a warning that a future infraction would result in their arrest.
11. Time Zone Differences
International travel often means crossing one or more time zones. Not keeping track of local time can derail any trip. A frequent flyer recalls going to an airport in Oman, Jordan, for a flight at two o’clock in the morning only to be told their flight was for the following night. They forgot to account for the time zone difference from their previous stop in a different time zone.
12. Check the Landscape First
One of the amenities of international travel is visiting places that are pedestrian friendly. A solo traveler recalls two occasions of using an online app to plan their walking journey but failing to check for potential obstacles like hills, tunnels, and no sidewalks each time.
13. Don’t Overpack
Leaving room in your suitcase gives you space to pack smaller souvenirs and other purchases, advises one digital nomad on the forum. It’ll save on the costs of bringing those items home with you.
14. Local Dining Customs
One veteran traveler says that awareness of local dining customs helps avoid hunger pains. Some countries have different lunch and dinner times than what’s practiced in the U.S. Skipping lunch may mean your next meal isn’t until late at night.
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Where indicated, some images courtesy of Depositphotos.com.