Rarely does anything in life go exactly according to plan, but it’s important to get things right while you’re on vacation. After all, a lot of effort, time and money gets poured into a big trip. Might as well get the most out of it, right? However, a few simple mistakes can really throw a wrench in your dream vacation. Read on to learn how to avoid some of the most common travel mistakes.
Over-packing can lead to extra stress and even a back strain from picking up that heavy suitcase too many times. Our suggestion is to pack only what you need, and pack smart—pack items that can be reused in different ways. For example, shoes that can be dressed up and down, but that are also comfortable for walking. For women, a nice scarf can go a long way, from keeping warm on a frigid flight to adding that finishing touch to an evening outfit. When packing, lay out what you think are the bare necessities, and then try to remove at least 5 more items. Also, avoid bringing toiletries—they’re heavy and they spill. You can always buy shampoo, conditioner, soap and toothpaste in your destination for a low cost, so there’s no reason to waste your suitcase space on them.
It’s great to stay busy and see beautiful sites while traveling, but don’t run yourself ragged—you’ll end up tired and burnt out, and you won’t truly enjoy any of the destinations you’re visiting. Plan to do a few things each day (or if you’re cruising, one excursion each day), rather than booking a crazed itinerary, from dawn until dusk. Sometimes, less is more.
Losing your pictures (and not backing them up)
Is there a worse feeling than losing all of those painstakingly taken photos on your phone or camera? Maybe you accidentally deleted them, or maybe you had your electronics stolen—either way, it’s a horrible experience. Do yourself a favor, and back up your pictures, whether it be through the Cloud, Google Images, a pin drive, emailing yourself photos each night, etc. You’ll thank yourself later!
Not buying travel insurance
Many people think travel insurance is unnecessary, but thing about this—most health insurances don’t cover illnesses or accidents abroad. That means that setting a broken ankle on a different continent after you stepped off a curb could be thousands of dollars. Beyond that, you can’t predict the weather, from hurricanes to floods or drought, weather conditions can have a huge impact on traveling all over the globe. Travel insurance offers you and your loved ones back at home peace of mind while traveling, or even if you need to cancel your trip a few days before you were supposed to depart because of an emergency.
Tempting pick pockets with flashy items and unzipped bags
Travel smart! Keep your bags zipped while walking around a new place, and be conscious of your valuables while walking around. If you don’t need to have your tablet on you while taking a tour out and about, leave it behind. Use luggage locks and the safe in your hotel or cruise cabin for your important documents and IDs. Make pictures of your passport and credit cards, and leave it with someone back at home who you can call in case of an emergency.
Having unrealistic expectations
Do some research, and temper your expectations before you arrive in any destination. It’s always good to learn a little something about the history and culture of a new place before arriving and to remember that every place is imperfect, in some way. If something doesn’t go to plan (a museum is closed, a famous restaurant doesn’t have any open tables, Wi-Fi is spotty), do your best to just go with the flow, and always keep an open mind. Remember that no place is going to be exactly like your hometown, and every place will offer up a fair array of frustrations and inconveniences.
Don’t make these travel mistakes and get disappointed—enjoy your vacation, and take each moment as the learning experience it truly is.