10 Mistakes Travellers Should Avoid
Planning an overseas trip, especially if it is your first one, is a thrilling experience. It is more important to always prepare for your trip to avoid common mistakes people always do when travelling. Between voltage differences in different countries, visa requirements, and language barriers, preparing for an international trip requires more time and effort than the local getaways. Whether you are planning for your first abroad adventure or you just need a refresher, here are the top 10 mistakes that travellers should strive to avoid when going on a trip.
1. Overpaying for flight tickets
This is the most common mistake most people make when it is their first time to travel abroad. Everyone knows that buying a plane ticket at the last minute can be an expensive affair. Therefore, you should always do a price scan in advance to identify the most affordable plane tickets available on the route you are planning to take. On average anywhere between 3-6 months gives you the best deals. Of course, keep an eye out on your favourite travel agent or airline promotions!
2. Failing to obtain an entry visa
Depending on where you are a citizen, you might be spoiled for choice due to the favourable travel terms and agreements. This might blind you in that you may not think about looking into the visa requirements until the last minute and this may end up ruining your entire trip before it even starts. Make sure you have all the information from your travel partners well in advance. Organising visas often take around 2 weeks to get!
3. Forgetting to carry your passport
Even the seasoned globetrotters tend to forget their passports once in a while. Therefore, this is a common mistake which might make you miss that important flight. Always check if you have carried your passport before leaving the house. If you are travelling with multiple passports, make sure one is on you and the other is kept in a safe location at your accommodation.
4. Foreign exchange at the airport
Currency exchange booths at the airports vary depending on the country. However, these booths might seem convenient but you may end up being exploited due to lousy exchange rates. It is advisable to change enough currency to cover your transportation costs from the airport before you depart. Hot tip: load up on the foreign currencies before you leave. This can be as easy as pre-loading currency on your bank app or travel card!
5. Forgetting to pack a travel adaptor
There are more than 10 types of plugs used in different countries. If you are travelling to a country that uses a different plug type, you most definitely need an adaptor that allows you to power your home country devices. Never forget to do your research and pack the appropriate one. Like most of us, you are bound to forget once in awhile, and thankfully speciality stores at the airport are there to save you.
6. Destroying your electronic devices
This is one of the most dangerous travel mistakes. Destroying your laptop and setting your hotel room on fire are serious travel fails. Every region in the world has a different voltage supply outlets. Always take note of the voltage differences before plugging in your devices.
7. Running out of phone battery
When in a new country and you are roaming around, having a dead phone can be a tricky affair, especially at night. Always have a backup phone or a power bank to avoid this mistake. Power packs are a must have when you travel, and can be picked up at any airport or electronics store.
8. Card issues
Getting the ‘transaction declined’ screen can be frightening. If you rely solely on your card to make payments in foreign currency, the situation can be dire. Always notify your banks and credit card providers of your planned travel to avoid this. When we travel, we have multiple travel cards (in case we lose one!), and have our phone as a backup. We have been known to use our credit cards so we top up and add to our frequent flyer points! More on how to maximise your points and credit cards in a later blog.
9. Not getting insurance
This is something that saves travellers in more ways than one. So often we hear different horror stories from friends about how someone thought they were clever and skipped travel insurance, only to hear how something was lost in transit, they were injured or there was an issue with one of their flights. Either way most times this ruins a trip, and often costs an arm and a leg to fix. Make sure you are covered when you travel! There are plenty of choices out there, so do your research and have some peace of mind.
10. Over packing
Many, many, many of us are guilty of this one. We always tell ourselves we will be better next time, and sometimes we are. How long are you travelling for? What type of things will you be doing? Do you have access to cleaning facilities? Start with your essentials and go from there. Quite often you will be able to pick up great deals on clothing when you travel, regardless if you are on a luxurious holiday or backpacking through South America. Make a simple hit list of what you need before you start packing and see if you can remove any unnecessary items along the way. With airlines reducing the amount of bags (and weight) allowed to bring on your travels, making sure you don’t over pack is essential to starting your journey on the right foot. Plus, you need to make sure you have some spare room to bring a few gifts back!