Usually, you must have heard people talking about how bad their vacation was and how much of the money they wasted while traveling. Such mistakes could turn a potentially memorable experience into a nightmare. Traveling abroad always requires some planning so you can avoid common travel mistakes.
Generally, travelers have vacationed with no expectations and they wish to keep an open mind while moving through a different culture. However, there will be always some surprising events that might happen unexpectedly. But there are some travel mistakes not to make. Such mistakes can ruin your well-planned holiday and waste a lot of your hard-earned money.
It is crucial to prepare yourself emotionally to travel abroad away from your home. Also, a good travel plan will help you reduce any error on your part. However, the following are the list of travel mistakes to avoid. Do remember that these mistakes are often made by a lot of people and learning from them will definitely help you from not wasting money or time.
- Forgetting to get local currency
Traveling to a different country requires you to get their local currency to buy anything. This is something that is very important to remember before you enter your destination country. You need the local currency, to pay for your transports, buy food, book hotels or buy souvenirs.
Once you arrive at the airport, it is very important to remember to change your native currency into the local currency. There have been many instances where the travelers forget to carry the local money and they ended up paying using their credit cards. This ended up being a very expensive affair due to the high-interest rates. Even using your Credit Card to withdraw money from the ATM of a different country would be very costly.
There would be many places where the Credit Card might not work. Such places are the local markets, cabs, small shops, etc. Countries such as India, Thailand, and Morocco require you to carry some cash while you are surfing the local streets for locally produced goods.
- Packing too much
It is good to sit down and plan exactly what you would need rather than packing a lot of unnecessary clothing, gadgets, etc. in your luggage. If you can know exactly what would you would really need on your vacation will help you to travel lighter.
Carrying extra weight will cost you more. It is always better to know the fact that there will always be something you might want to bring back from your destination country. It might be a piece of art, some souvenir, or some health product.
Also, remember that there will be many things that you are considering to pack but are easily available in the local shops in your destination country. So, if you can have some extra space in your luggage for the stuff you wish to bring back home, it might make your journey a little less expensive and hassle-free.
- Not budgeting your trip
Many travelers have experienced a scenario where they were completely out of money while traveling to a famous travel destinations. Such unplanned trips might create havoc on your finances and savings.
The best practice is to budget your per-day cost of living in a tourist destination. Getting the correct information about the cost of food, transportation, accommodation, and shopping can be very hard to obtain. However, there are enough resources on the internet to give you a very good idea of how much budget you would need when you travel to a particular city.
Another best practice is to hold on to any impulsive buying until the last few days of your vacation. If you have some local currency left in the last days of your vacation, you can decide to spend it as per your needs. Impulsive buying without knowing your budget can cause a great amount of stress on your finances.
4. Not checking the updated Visa rules and requirements
Before traveling, we check on the Visa requirements of the country where we wish to travel to. It is quite possible, that these requirements change from time to time. It is always good to know the most updated information about these regulations before your flight.
Some people after traveling to a certain country decide to travel again. In this case, most of the people forget to re-check the visa information. The Visa rules and regulations likely get updated frequently. The reasons for the change in these regulations could be due to the political situation in the country or due to a pandemic situation such as COVID-19.
So before you book your tickets, make sure you know the exact and full requirements to obtain the visa from your destination country. The updated information can be found on the country’s tourism website or related government website.
- Not carrying the important documents
You may have made some reservations or booked some tickets to some events in your destination country. It would be unfortunate to find yourself in a situation where you are unable to avail the services because you do not have a hard copy or a receipt of your reservations.
If you can keep a copy of all important documents with you along with a digital copy of passport, credit cards, etc. This can save a lot of time in case you lose any of the documents and you need to renew them.
You should always double-check all the documents that you would need when you arrive at your tourist destination. Along with the necessary Visa documents and Passport, there may be additional documents that you may need. Such documents are booking receipts, any special medical documents, insurance papers, or any other official business documents in case of a business trip.
- Forgetting to buy Travel Insurance
There are some travel destinations which might be dangerous to some degree to visit. The situations in your destination country might be unstable due to the health crisis or any political situation. It would be wise to check in advance for such a warning before you travel.
Even after all the warnings, you still wish to travel then you should consider buying travel insurance. The insurance package will give you some security against the potential dangers of theft, accidents, or any medical need you might have.
You must read the terms and conditions of your insurance package. This is to make sure that you are correctly protected against the potential risks while traveling in an unstable location. Spending some extra money to insure yourself against the obvious risks will help you relax during your vacation.
- Not talking to your Bank before travelling
One of the main problems faced by foreign tourists is getting their Debit Card canceled. The bank usually considers the use of the Debit card beyond the borders of the customer’s residence country a security risk. To avoid this they block all the transactions done from the Debit card.
Before traveling, it would be wise for you to notify your bank about your travel destination. You can call your bank and let them know about your plans to use your Debit card for transactions in a foreign country.
You may find a foreign exchange branch of your bank in your country. However, letting your bank know in advance will save you a lot of headaches during your shopping spree. In some cases, you may also avoid the ATM transaction fee while withdrawing money from the ATM of your travel destination.
- Not carrying essential medication
If you wish to travel to a country you know very little about. It is best to expect that there will be situations where you may contract some infection or disease. It is always best to do a lot of research on your tourist destination and what are the potential risks of getting allergies, infections, or diseases.
An example of a popular case of ‘Delhi Belly’ is when foreign tourists visit India and eat the foods with spices they are not used to. This may cause many tourists to experience digestion and stomach related issues.
Someone who has done proper research on this common issue will most likely carry all the necessary medication to help them combat the infection. Some other common risks such as Typhoid can also be avoided if you are properly prepared before your journey.
- Not knowing about the Culture
It is no surprise that the world is full of different cultures based on various ideologies. This cultural diversity is what adds attraction to a foreign land. This is one of the reasons people travel so they can experience something different than their own culture.
However, before traveling to a foreign country, you should consider learning more about the local laws and cultural practices that are practiced by the people. You should keep an open mind while traveling to a new place.
There might be events or situations which you might not agree to. There might be local traditions and customs which go against your belief system. However, being offensive to the local culture intentionally will not be appreciated. You should know a little bit about the local laws of the country you are planning to visit.
- Sticking to the popular tourist destinations
One of the most common travel mistakes is to stick to the popular itinerary. You must have seen some travel guides or even some videos on popular destinations people are visiting. This might avoid you from experiencing a lot that is left out from the mainstream information.
For example, tourists traveling to India only know a few destinations to visit. The most commonly known destination is the Taj Mahal, the beaches of Goa, or the backwaters of Kerala Tour Package. However, there is so much that can be explored during your journey.
The best thing to do is to do thorough research about all the different places that are available to you and what activities and experiences they offer. Making an itinerary that is full of different activities will add much flavor to your overall experience of the country you visit.
- Not buying a cellphone plan
Another common mistake to avoid during a long vacation to a foreign country is not to get a local SiM card and not buying an international roaming plan for your cellphone.
The decision rests with you about what you need to do about your cellphone. You should consider purchasing an international roaming facility on your existing plan which would enable you to make calls to your home country. This is very important in case of any emergency that might require you to call your local bank or your family.
It is also wise to consider buying a local SIM card from your destination country. This can help you in calling local cabs, use local apps to make reservations, or to call any acquaintances you may have in your destination country. Being prepared will help keep your travel experience smooth.
12. Not keeping your valuables safe
One of the most important things to keep in mind before traveling is that keeping your money and valuables safe is critical to the overall quality of your journey.
The best practice is to keep your money in different places rather than in one place. In case of any unexpected situation, you being prepared will save you a lot of headaches.
The best thing to do is to keep your valuables safe and not attract too much attention to your valuables while traveling. Small thefts can happen unexpectedly in a new country. It is mostly avoidable if you take adequate care about how you carry your valuables and money.
So, before you travel keep the above-mentioned tips in mind and do adequate research. It is better to be prepared in advance to face the uncertainty of traveling to a foreign country than to be wasting time and money in resolving obvious problems.
Also, know that there will be uncertainty and many situations will occur which are unpredictable. Your journey will be a unique experience for you along with its challenges. It is wise not to expect the journey to be perfect at all times. Before you pack your bags, understand that the above mentioned common travel mistakes are avoidable.
Rahul Arora has one year of experience in Digital Marketing. He’s currently working as a Digital Marketing Executive at Indian Travel Store. He loves to explore new terrains in a different corner of the world, or out in the city freezing urban scenarios in his camera.