It is finally 2019 and new resolutions such as making 2019 a travel year have to be met. Before going on that trip you’ve been saving up for, there are a number of travel mistakes we make when traveling regardless if you are a beginner or not. Here are the 9 common travel mistakes to avoid.
Do not convert currency at the airport tellers.
Converting currency at the airport is really expensive. Instead, convert currency at the bank or foreign exchange bureau. This is because banks offer better exchange rates with lower fees. When traveling to Germany, I made the ghastly decision to convert currency at the airport. I was converting a large sum of money and lost a lot of money in the process. If you’re already abroad and need to convert, find a foreign exchange bureau.
Book flights that leave very early.
Flights that leave super early usually have the tendency to be cheap. I remember reading somewhere that booking flights that leave during normal hours are expensive in comparison with the ones that leave very early in the morning. It is better to get a cheaper flight and wake up super early for than getting an expensive flight.
Not buying travel insurance.
I insist and insist. Buy travel insurance. Literally, anything can happen. There are different types depending on your choice. Some cover emergency medical assistance, equipment, and gear for techs, flight cancellation, and rebooking. Generally, it is not a bad idea to get covered. You may never know when something happens and you need compensation.
Not reading the details.
It seems obvious, doesn’t it? Who wouldn’t read their flight booking, or even your visa in your passport? You’d be surprised. This is one mistake that travelers cant afford especially if you’re from an African country with long names like Chitundu Ifeanyi Wakajawaka (I hope that is not a real person). Ensure the name is in completion and all of them are present in all documents. Such mistakes make it very easy to be denied entry into a country or even be granted a visa on grounds that the names on the documents are different people.
Inform your bank of your travel plans.
Traveling without notifying your bank may get a little hectic for you when your card is locked. To protect you against identity theft, the bank will shut off your card if they spot it being used for unfamiliar transaction in a different country.
Not withdrawing large sums from the ATM at once.
Withdrawing money from the ATM in a foreign country costs more for the transaction and conversion charges. Withdrawing small amounts at frequent times will make you incur transactional charges that are more added up compared to if you withdraw a large sum at once. In order to avoid a large shock, it is good to find out the cost for withdrawing internationally from the ATM. In addition, be careful and aware of pickpockets and keep your money in a safe place.
Do not overpack
Sometimes, like me, you get carried away when packing and carry stuff that you do not need or may not use. Some airlines may charge you extra for baggage fees which will be an extra inconvenience because you’re that overeager over packer. Regardless of whether you have the money or not, nobody wants to pay for pesky fees that keep arising when you travel especially if it is a mistake you can avoid.
Do not forget to carry your Student ID
If you are a student an ID can go a long way to ease your expenses. You get discounts on most things such as entries to places like monuments and such. Traveling to Egypt, paying a student price to enter the pyramids was a huge save and way cheaper than paying the adult foreigner fee. There are some places though which do not recognize foreign student IDs but acquiring an international student ID beforehand will save you a buck.
Make sure to check the dorms in hostels if they’re for women or men or mixed.
This is one of those honest mistakes I did while traveling. I checked myself into a hostel and realized after arrival that I was the only lady in a room of five other people who were men. To make it worse I was not refunded because the needed to sell the room for me to get my money back. Well, I wasn’t. Avoid a nasty shock like that one.
Not doing your research.
I am guilty of this mistake too. Traveling to a country without researching could be really bad especially if that destination has a number of social cues to be respected. An example is visiting a Muslim country. There are a number of things to know such as dressing modestly. Not doing research also makes you stuck because you have no idea which activity to do.
Do not fall for tourist traps.
Admittedly there are countries you want to visit because of what they are famous for. You can do a few of those but instead, make friends with locals. The locals know where the best spots are. Many of them are even cheap and probably the best experience than following the obvious destinations.
We make mistakes and learn from them. Don’t beat yourself about it, instead use that as a learning experience. I have made a lot of travel mistakes that are on this list but that is how you grow.
Share with me the examples of mistakes you have made while traveling.