Through my years of travel, I have learned some very important things to avoid when traveling! By sharing my biggest travel mistakes, I hope I can help you become a more educated traveler and have an overall more positive experience.
Travel Mistake #1: OVER-PACKING
If your suitcase barely shuts when you're leaving home, you're definitely packing wrong. It's important to always leave extra space in your suitcase just in case you buy souvenirs (which you probably will).
However, there is a difference between over packing and packing way too light. Don't forget the necessities that will make your travel experience more enjoyable.
Shop Amazon: My Suitcase Organization Necessities
Travel Mistake #2: WAITING UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE
Being spontaneous is fun, but it's not always cheap! Waiting until the last minute to buy tickets to events can end up costing you more money! Even worse... they could be sold out! I find that buying tickets online about 2 months before the trip is the best option to guarantee availability and best prices. This goes for train tickets, excursions, attractions, and more.
Related Post: Top 10 Ways To Save Money on Travel
Travel Mistake #3: NOT CHARGING YOUR PHONE
Nowadays, people use their phone for everything: pictures, navigation, texts/calls, uber/lyft and more! When you're traveling, you're bound to have your phone out all the time either taking pictures or googling how to get to the next spot. This quickly drains your phone battery. Be sure to charge your phone each and every night and always bring a portable charger with you. There is nothing worse than having a dead phone and being lost in a city you're unfamiliar with.
Travel Mistake #4: PACKING THE WRONG SHOES
When you're traveling, chances are you will be on your feet more than your average day. Walking around cities is the best way to explore but it can easily become an awful experience if you have the wrong footware. Be sure to pack comfortable shoes that you've worn before.
Also, don't limit yourself to just one pair of shoes... always pack 2-3 options (without over packing). You don't want to be stuck with a shoe that gives you blisters for your entire trip. Sometimes I even get stuck in a random afternoon rain storm and my shoes get drenched - they're definitely not dry by the next day so having a back up pair of shoes is necessary.
Travel Mistake #5: EATING NEAR TOURIST ATTRACTIONS
It's a classic rookie mistake to eat at a restaurant near a tourist attraction. They will price gauge you like crazy and the food is almost always "meh". Instead, google local favorites or ask your hotel concierge for dinner recommendations so you can try authentic cuisine.
Travel Mistake #6: TRAVELING WITHOUT CASH
Yes, in your day to day life you probably only use credit cards to pay for things. However, when you're traveling, you will come across items that require cash payments only. Be sure to travel with cash.
Travel Mistake #7: FORGETTING YOUR EMERGENCY KIT
It's important to always travel with a small emergency kit. I like to create my own so it's customized to my needs. This way, if I get a headache or a blister, I have resources readily available and don't have to spend an arm and a leg at a tourist trap.
Travel Mistake #8: NOT CHECKING THE WEATHER
Always check the weather daily starting a week before your trip. This way, you can pack the essentials based on the weather, and plan alternatives if needed! Don't be the tourist that assumes it's sunny and doesn't pack an umbrella only to arrive and find out the forecast has called for rain during your entire trip.
Travel Mistake #9: PACKING A LOUSY CARRY-ON
Flying is typically the first part of your trip so you want to start out on a good foot. Being comfortable on a plane can sometimes be a challenge, especially when the flight is overseas. Be prepared and pack comfort items, snacks, and entertainment to keep you occupied on the plane.
Read More: The Ultimate Carry on Packing List
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Travel Mistake #10: NOT CHECKING HOURS OF OPERATIONS & HOLIDAY SCHEDULES
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^^ That is the worst thing to see when you walk up to your next activity. Be sure to check the hours of operation and be mindful of any holidays or special events. I've only made this rookie mistake once at the Coors Brewery in Denver, Colorado and vowed to never let that happen again. To this day, I still want to go back to Denver just to see the Coors Brewery since I missed out the first time!
Travel Mistake #11: SKIPPING VACCINATIONS
When travelling abroad, you'll sometimes need to get additional vaccinations. Some of these can be expensive and won't be covered by insurance. If you're spending all that money to travel abroad, pay the extra $100+ bucks to get the vaccinations and be safe.
I was shocked when I researched vaccinations for Thailand to find out that it would cost me over $200 total. This wasn't something I budgeted for but I knew the cost of potentially getting infected without the vaccine was far higher.
Travel Mistake #12: JAM PACKED ITINERARIES
I get it - when you travel you want to see it all! But don't stretch yourself too thin and plan a packed schedule. It's crucial to stay flexible when traveling as plans won't always work out accordingly. You may find that you want to spend a few extra hours at a museum or visit a locals recommendation but if you plan every minute of your trip you won't have that flexibility.
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