All your bags are packed, but are you ready to go? Before you stand outside your door, ask yourself these questions:
- Is my itinerary ready?
- Do I have printouts of my plane ticket and hotel reservation?
- Are my travel documents intact?
- What about the meds and my handy hygiene kit?
Boo-boos await every traveler during a flight, on land, and even on deck. But they can be avoided if you do a meticulous check of everything down to the tiniest detail. Travel mistakes, and learning the basics the hard way, comes with a hefty price tag.
The biggest trip of your life should be free from even the most minor slipups. We compiled a list of common travel mistakes to avoid for a worry-free vacation.
1. Not double-checking your travel documents for errors.
Your excitement might have caused you to hastily click away when booking hotel reservations and flights. Worst case, you could end up booking the wrong date.
Type and click cautiously when inputting your information. Check if every word is spelled correctly and all numbers are accurate. Ensure that your preferred time and location are properly ticked.
2. Arriving at the wrong airport.
Landing in major cities can be tricky. Huge airports have numerous terminals and some even require transfers. You might miss your flight if you get lost and confused.
Make sure you review your flight summary beforehand. And when on the ground, do not hesitate to ask airport personnel for help.
3. Failing to back up your photos.
Sync all your photos to Google Drive, DropBox, or iCloud after a long day of adventure.
Your photos are a pricey investment, and losing them is one of the most common travel mistakes that are hard to avoid. In case your phone or camera gets compromised and damaged from your adventure (or worse, gets stolen), your memories are still safe up in the cloud.
4. Short time between connecting flights.
Choosing a short-wait layover is an enticing option especially during a long-haul travel. However, flight conditions are unnervingly erratic.
With too short a layover, you might not make it to your next flight on time in case of flight delays or if you get stuck in a long queue passing through security.
Choose at least a three-hour layover to have a safe buffer.
5. Ignoring the weather forecast.
Imagine you already booked for a free-fall skydive. Unfortunately, you only realized after booking that you picked to go on hurricane season.
Weather condition is a determining factor in the success of your itinerary. Make sure your trip is set for a time when the weather conditions are favorable for the activities you have in mind.
6. Having outdated an passport and identification documents.
Although documents and identifications are a given, many still overlook the magic numbers and might not realize that their passports will no longer be valid during the time of their flight.
Check the validity prior to booking. It’s important that your passport is valid until the date of return to your country. Remember that it is expensive to pay for rush passport processing.
7. Failing to secure flight and booking details.
Save your booking information and other essential documents in accessible places.
There are smartphone applications like Kayak, Expedia, and Google Docs, which come in handy for document safekeeping. Provide a printed hard copy to present as well as a digital copy for backup.
8. Being culturally insensitive.
Dress code is a critical observance in many countries and cultures.
Temples, mosques, and even restaurants and lounges have dress standards to adhere. Also, do some research on customs and etiquette to show respect and appreciation.
9. Believing “near city center” descriptions.
Proximity is important if you want better access to transportation and establishments.
Before booking a hotel, check the address on Google Maps to get the actual numbers of distance from point of origin to destination. This will save you from disappointment and hefty price of taxi cabs.
10. Checking in your essentials and valuables.
Important items should always be with you on your carry on. This includes cash, gadgets, documents, a set of changing clothes, snacks, medicine, and jewelry. You can’t retrieve any of this stuff, even if you really need it, once you are checked in. Also, this measure will help protect you in instances of lost, damaged, or delayed luggage.
11. Using your gadgets nonstop.
Yes, you should capture memories of your trip and document your whereabouts. But you will miss a lot if you will only spend time snapping.
Common travel mistakes like this can easily be avoided if you want to. The trip shouldn’t only be for the ‘Gram but also for immersion to culture. You will have plenty of time to be on social media after your trip.
12. Wandering with the wrong companion.
Your chosen travel buddy can make or break your trip. It can turn into a horror story if your travel goals do not meet.
For example, you are really looking forward to museum hopping but your buddy is already bored with the idea. Or you’re okay with it and have the budget for hostels but they prefer 5-star hotels.
Before setting out together, communicate your expectations to determine if both parties are willing to compromise. You can always decide to split up first and then rejoin each other for the activities you both enjoy.
13. Leaving without complying with travel requirements.
A powerful passport does not guarantee entry. You should also check ahead of time if the country you are traveling to has visa requirements. Make sure you have a valid visa for the dates you want to enter and stay.
Some countries have a visa-on-arrival system, while others require advanced application. Some routes might also require a transit visa on connecting flights. Also, some countries require certain vaccinations to be granted entry. Make sure you know these before you apply.
The adventure starts from planning to you safely coming back. The anticipation is exhilarating, and the unpredictability is nerve-racking.
Make your trip a real story to tell. And don’t forget to compare travel insurance plans to save money and guarantee peace of mind as you go on your journey.
Sources: Viva Lifestyle And Travel, The Globe Trotting Teacher, Ordinary Traveler, Savored Journeys, Globo Treks, Go World Travel, CNN