We all know that feeling – when packing your bags, getting your passport ready, and counting the days until your big trip.
But no matter how excited you are, it’s important to remember that traveling can be a tricky business. Many things can go wrong, and if you’re not careful, you could make some big mistakes.
To help you avoid potential disasters, we’ve compiled a list of travel mistakes you should avoid.
1. Not Checking Your Passport Expiry Date
This is one of the most notable travel mistakes, yet it can easily be avoided. Whenever you’re planning a trip, always make sure to check the expiration date on your passport.
Most countries require that your passport be valid for at least six months after your planned return date. So, if your passport expires in the next few months, you’ll need to renew it before you go.
2. Not Checking for Visa Requirements
Another common mistake is not checking to see if you need a visa for your destination country. Depending on where you’re going, you may need to apply for a visa in advance. If you don’t, you could be turned away at the border. To avoid any problems, make sure to do your research and find out if you need a visa before you leave.
3. Not Packing Light
One of the worst things you can do when traveling is try to pack everything. Not only will this make your bags incredibly heavy and difficult to carry, but it will also cost you a lot of money in excess baggage fees. So, before you start packing, please list everything you’ll need and try to cut it down as much as possible. Only pack the essentials, and you’ll save yourself a lot of hassle (and money).
4. Not Staying Connected
In today’s day and age, it’s easier than ever to stay connected while you’re traveling. But even though it’s easy, a lot of people still need to stay connected. Whether it’s not buying a local SIM card or not keeping your phone charged, not staying connected can be a big mistake.
After all, you never know when you might need to make a phone call or look up directions. So, make sure you’re prepared and stay connected while you’re on the go.
5. Not Being Careful with Money
Travelling can be expensive, so it’s important to be careful with your money. One mistake a lot of people make is exchanging money at the airport. This is almost always a bad idea as the exchange rates usually could be better.
Instead, try to get your money exchanged in advance or withdraw cash from an ATM once you arrive at your destination.
6. Not Taking Out Travel Insurance
Many people think they don’t need travel insurance because they’re healthy and don’t plan on getting sick. But the truth is, anything can happen while you’re traveling. You never know when you might need insurance, from lost luggage to medical emergencies.
So, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Make sure you take out travel insurance before you go on your trip.
7. Not Researching Your Destination
One of the biggest travel mistakes you can make is not doing your research before you go. It’s important to know at least a bit about your destination before you arrive.
This way, you can avoid potential pitfalls and make the most of your trip. Do some research on the internet or pick up a guidebook and learn as much as possible about your destination.
8. Not Being Prepared for Emergencies
No matter how carefully you plan your trip, there’s always a chance that something could go wrong. That’s why it’s crucial to be prepared for emergencies.
Make sure you have a list of significant phone numbers and know where the nearest hospital is. Packing a small first-aid kit in case of minor injuries is also a good idea.
9. Not Giving Yourself Enough Time
Another basic travel mistake is not giving yourself enough time at your destination. If you’re only staying for a few days, you’ll need help to see and do everything.
So, plan your trip, so you have at least a week to explore. This way, you can see all the sights and do all the activities without feeling rushed.
10. Not Being Flexible
Another mistake many travelers need to be more flexible with their plans. If you’re set on doing everything in a particular order, you’re likely to miss out on some great experiences.
Instead, try to be flexible and go with the flow. This way, you can take advantage of any spontaneous opportunities that come your way.
The author is currently living on the Mariana Islands. A great tourist destination and a recommended place for retirees.