Traveling is all about exploring and discovering. When you are pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and take a trip to unknown destination, it’s only natural to make some common travel mistakes. Especially if it’s your first time. But don’t worry. No one was born with natural talents in trip planning. Everything comes with the experience and you will learn new things and techniques along the way. This was the case for me too when I decided to go exploring some years ago. After traveling for 10 years and visiting more than 60 countries within this time period, I came up with some solutions for the mistakes that I made. This is why in this article we will overview some of the most common travel mistakes and provide you the tips to avoid them.
Why Do We Travel?
Well, this is the question that I’ve asked myself many times. Is this the urge to explore and see new countries or cultures? Or is it because I want to know more how the world is today and how it has been before? Whatever travel might mean for you it’s a great teacher. It teaches you how to be more organized, how to get through challenging situations and how to cope with sometimes stressful overloads of the itinerary. No matter whether you are a first-time traveler or experienced nomadic explorer, travel is always there to give us some new experiences that we can apply to our everyday life.
Another advantage of travel is that it improves our health. Not only we become more open-minded towards different things that we considered as weird before, but it drains all the stress from our bodies and positively affects our mental health.
And I have to admit. I love taking pictures on my trips. Sometimes I take way too many photos but there is no shame in it. We all have our ways of capturing the positive memories. For some it’s getting the souvenirs, for some it’s writing blogs and for me it’s taking pictures. So, don’t feel ashamed if you are taking too long to capture that impressive Mediterranean beach and cliffs. It’s not every day that you end up seeing such beautiful things.
All in all, travel is what makes us more connected to ourselves, as well as the nature and other people. There has been plenty of cases when I’ve met some great people along the way who I can call friends now. So, traveling is fun, it brings joy to us, but sometimes we make mistakes that turn this beautiful experience into quite challenging activity.
Common Travel Mistakes and Best Ways to Avoid Them
Travel Bloopers make entertaining stories once we are back from the trip. Little misunderstandings with the taxi drivers, Google Translate and its shenanigans, boarding the wrong bus and going to a completely different direction instead of the intended one etc. They are all great story materials. However, there are some cases when travel bloopers spoil all the fun and brings a lot of stress to us.
While it’s impossible to anticipate every possible setback on a trip there are some steps you can take that will help to avoid common mistakes. These are the classic travel pitfalls that can ruin your vacation.
Mistake #1: Overpacking
Yeah, we have all been there. Standing in front of airline check in desk, trying to choose which items come with us on trip and which items go to trash bin. It’s quite awkward and stressful moment that ruins all the fun of the vacation. Overpacking starts with choosing the unnaturally big suitcase, when only backpack is fairly enough for your weekend getaway. Put all this airport shenanigans aside, you will find it super hard and tricky to carry the huge backpack around the city once you are out to find your hotel. So, while packing for the trip, make sure that you are taking only the essentials.
Mistake #2: Super Ambitious Itineraries
Well, if you have dreamed of going to a certain destination for quite some time, it’s natural that you want to see it all. However, you need to be very flexible in your itinerary. There is no chance that you will have the energy and the will to see three big museums and two historic landmarks in one day. It will take so much energy from you that you won’t be able to walk the next day. Instead, try to be more chilled about your itinerary. Include only the must-see places that you want to visit the most. Once you are done with them, you can go and explore other destinations if you still have time, money and energy.
Mistake #3: Not Having the Right Visa
You might think how this can happen to someone, but when traveling everything’s possible. Visa policies of the countries changes constantly. And there are some cases when the embassy websites provide outdated information regarding them. You might be sure that you don’t need visa to enter that specific country, but once you are at the airport you find out that you actually do. To avoid these developments, it is always better to call the ministry of foreign affairs and double check it with them. Alternatively, you can just visit ETIAS Website to see EU Entry requirements and regulations.
Mistake #4: Booking Transit Flights too Close to Each Other
If you don’t want to miss your next flight, just because your first flight was somewhat 20 minutes late on arrival, make sure that you give yourself enough time for transit. Sometimes things can go wrong completely wrong at the airports that can cause delays and cancellations. To avoid sitting on your nerves and also save your nails from biting, make sure that you have at least 3 hours in between the flights.
Mistake #5: Following the First Direction the Local Gave You
Well, I can’t say that this situation always ends up in a negative way, but there have been cases when I wanted to go to Point A, and the local sent me to Point B, instead. When you are asking a question to a local you should know that some might be nervous while talking to you, whereas others might not entirely understand what you are looking for. If you are out of data and your only hope is asking locals about directions, make sure to double check it with several people.
Traveling is fun and it’s a great teacher. While some bloopers make very fun traveling stories, some can completely ruin your mood. Make sure that you read these tips carefully and plan every step of your trip in advance. However, don’t be afraid to make some spontaneous decisions too. Sometimes, they make up the best part of the trips.