Whether it’s your first trip abroad or you are a regular traveler, we all make mistakes that can cause serious problems and can ruin our trip. We’ve all done it! Yet, from experience you learn to not make those same mistakes. Ask any seasoned traveler if they would plan some things differently if they had it to do all over again and most would say yes! With the little planning and by following some tips, you can avoid these pitfalls so that your trip goes smooth and pleasant. Here are some common mistakes that travelers do, but you can avoid to make your journey more enjoyable.
Do Find Out Foreign Country Entry Requirements
Most of the time rookie travelers consider that because they have a valid passport that is good enough for traveling internationally. However, many countries including Russia and China have strict entry regulations that your passport must be valid at least 6 months after the date of your scheduled return. Almost 20 European countries have the same rule for 3 months. In order to avoid complications, check your passport expiry. If the passport is expired in the time window while you are on vacation, you will not be allowed into the foreign country.
You may need an entry visa for travel to some countries. This requirement is based upon your citizenship (the passport you travel with) and the country you are visiting. It is best to secure your entry visa with the foreign country’s consulate in your home country before departing on your trip.
Do Travel Light – Don’t Bring Too Much Stuff
It’s good to bring different outfits for your holidays but it can also make it really difficult for you to haul your luggage around. You will also get stuck with high baggage fees for exceeding the number of bags or the baggage weight limit at the airport.
Tip: Pack your bag as usual then take half the of the clothes originally planned. Obviously, you won’t wear all of your clothes! You will also want to leave room to bring back some items you purchased overseas.
Do Allow Enough Flight Connecting Time
Make sure you have enough connecting time to make your next flight. Weather and flight conditions are inconsistent. If you missed your flight or it gets delayed, you might be forced to fly to an another airport. Always book connecting flights by keeping the schedule in mind. Book in advance can help you save time and hustle.
Don’t Try to Book Everything In Advance
First-time travelers become excited about their trip and want to book everything in advance, the hostel, every meal, transfer, etc… It sounds great that everything is planned and booked already but when you start the trip it won’t be the same or planned as you did. The travel is unpredictable by nature and you should leave enough buffer time. Try to be realistic and only book major things like flights, hotels and certain excursions. But leave some time slots to just fill on your own.
Don’t Be Afraid To Get To Know the Local People
Ok, we exaggerated a bit. This is a tourist show in the Philippines! But, it’s really important to explore the local culture and get to know the people so that you get a deeper understanding about the place you are visiting. First-time travelers sometimes don’t interact with the locals. Why? Because it can be hard to distinguish the friendly locals from the scammers out there. If you use common sense, don’t put yourself in a bad situation where you are suddenly in a seedy bar or by yourself with a group of people you don’t know. Be smart. But if you meet some of the locals in a nice place, always be with a travel companion and have a positive approach, you can make a lot of local friends who are actually happy to have you in their country.
Don’t Exchange Money at the Airport
Perhaps you have already seen people at the airport, exchanging a lot of money, that’s a terrible idea. Everything including money exchange is more expensive at the airport. If you have no cash available, try to exchange a little amount of currency that can cover your transportation cost to your hotel or hostel. Try to use an ATM and withdraw the amount you need. This will be the least expensive option while saving money for the rest of your trip.
Do Book Your Trip through a Professional Travel Agent
It’s not an easy thing to plan an international trip on your own. It’s understandable that you need a reliable travel agent who can make arrangements according to your vacation or trip plan. Many rookie travelers don’t check the reliability and authenticity of the travel arrangements they make online. They just assume. However, flights and hotels are major things to consider and travel agents have the experience and feedback from past clients about certain travel experiences. So always book through a valid travel agent if you can. They may charge a small planning fee, but it will be well worth it to have an amazing travel experience.
Don’t Buy Too Many Souvenirs
It’s your first time and you want to buy something for your family, relatives, and friends. But this will increase the weight of your luggage and decreased your mobility. It can also cause you unwanted trouble as it is mentioned in the 2 about over packing. If you want to add too many things which are delicate like watches or cellphones, they might be broken before you reach your home. So, try to reduce the souvenirs as low as possible.
Don’t Underestimate the Travel Costs
Everything is going to cost you more than you have already planned or set a budget. Keep this in your mind. Starting from the flight bookings to their added costs, first-time travelers really misunderstand the trip costs and spend double of the amount as formerly planed.
Do Be Flexible
No doubt, the guidebooks can be helpful at the times but the fact is that the guidebooks are filled with the tourist’s spots, it doesn’t mean that you will have the complete travel experience. There are so many beautiful places that are filled with the locals instead of tourists, amazing local restaurants, dishes and monuments that aren’t listed sometimes in the guidebooks even due to their less popular but they might be turned on you. Go out and communicate with the locals, eat local food and explore the culture because that’s why you are on a trip. You will learn a lot by doing such amazing things.
Don’t Cram Trying to See Everything
This is your first time in the country and you might not get the chance to visit this country again in your lifetime. It’s normal but you want to explore or discover each and everything about the destination you are visiting. Even if you think that you can walk all day and can explore all the things, this will make you exhausted and tired. When you are tired or staying at a place fora long time, you won’t enjoy the trip anymore. Try to visit the places that seem to be most interesting you or you wished to explore them or planed in your trip.
Do Relax & Chill
You are about to go on a trip and you are excited by seeing pictures on the internet. There are thousands of amazing pictures online which are modified to look more amazing than in in real life. After visiting a destination place, you won’t be happy as the place isn’t charming or interesting because you have already seen the fake pictures of the place on the internet. A number of inexperienced explorers are hyped up when visiting a place for the first time, only to get disappointed after they visit.
What do you think about these type of mistakes? Have you ever made these rookie mistakes unintentionally and you didn’t notice them share your experience with us in the comment section below? I hope you will find these points helpful and will consider before making a plan for your trip.