Most Common Travel Mistakes
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15 Most Common Travel Mistakes

Many of us make mistakes on our travels that no one warns us about. The good news is that avoiding them is easy if you learn from the experiences of other travelers. Keep reading to find out the most common travel mistakes (#8 is so important but forgotten the most).

Having traveled for more than 18 years, I have identified what the biggest travel mistakes are. My goal is to help you avoid these pitfalls so that your trip goes smoothly and you avoid any difficulties.

2 people planning their trip with a map, a notebook, a bed and a globe map

1. A lack of clear directions to the hotel 

Once you get to your destination, the first thing you need to know is how to get to the hotel. Most of the time, we trust that there will be free wifi at the airport, or we can easily find the easy route, but sometimes things can go wrong. Before your journey starts, make sure you know how to get from the airport to your hotel.

Whether you use public transportation or taxis, it can be beneficial to note down the route on google maps or another mapping app. Therefore, you will avoid getting lost or missing information because of a lack of internet.

The sign of a hotel outside a hotel

2. Not keeping your cell phone in airplane mode 

While roaming abroad, you may incur very high roaming charges. To avoid this, you should always place your cell phone in airplane mode while traveling.  After that, you just need to enable the wifi option when it is needed. 

A sim card can be purchased when you arrive at your destination city if having data is very important to you. This is an increasingly cheaper option in most cases.

3. Stopovers and airports not checked very well 

Despite hearing it time and again, we often forget. I know this from my own experience. I got confused at the wrong airport in Belgium and missed my flight. As a result, I had to stay an extra night in Brussels.

The same airline may use terminals at different airports in the same city. So always check where the terminal is located. These are unnecessary expenses that you can avoid.

Keep an eye out for which airports your flights depart from, how much layover time you have in each place, and try to reach the airport several hours beforehand. You can sometimes lose a document at home, but with enough time you won’t miss a flight. 

Additionally, it is strongly advised to get to the airport in plenty of time during times of Covid-19. There are times when you will need to fill out some documents, so having extra time will make your trip much more enjoyable and convenient. 

An airplane in the clouds with a sunset

4. Times zones 

Airline tickets usually indicate the time zone of the place of departure and the final destination. Make sure there is no confusion, and check if the time zone has changed.

5. Copies of documents 

Keep copies of all your most important documents with you at all times. You can leave your passport in your hotel room in many instances and take only a copy with you. Copies can also be lifesavers in case documents are lost.

6. The wrong place for exchanging money 

Most airport exchange offices offer the least convenient rates for tourists. In case you need to change money, you should ask your hotel about the best places to do so. Find somewhere with low exchange rates and you can trust. 

You can also use ATMs to withdraw money.  The exchange rate is very competitive in many cases. The key is to check if there are commissions in the process. 

If the local bank will charge an exchange rate, try to find out whether your bank already has a partnership there. Withdrawals from ATMs are usually great if there are no exchange rates on average. 

It’s certainly easy and safe to use a credit card, but don’t forget that some establishments do not always accept this method of payment.

7. Excessive packing 

Another common travel mistake is to overpacked. It is often the case that people don’t even wear all the clothes they pack. Please keep in mind the weather in your destination city and pack various outfits that can be combined. 

You will also be able to find areas where your clothes can be picked up for washing in case it is needed. Another excellent option is to go shopping! With enough savings on your hotel reservations, you can use the extra cash to treat yourself.

For more packing tips, check out these articles:

A suitcase with organized clothes, a hat and a bathing suit

8. Traveling without notifying the bank 

It is crucial to let your bank know when you intend to travel so they don’t block your card thinking it’s a fraud. Make sure you don’t make this common travel mistake, as it is one of the most important but most overlooked.

Likewise, you should ensure that you enable the option to always get an e-mail when purchasing to avoid scams. Keeping track of your purchases is a great way to keep track of your spending and avoid fraud abroad with your credit card.

9. The absence of a travel insurance 

If an emergency occurs, you can have peace of mind that your travel insurance coverage will protect you. Many insurance plans also cover lost luggage or cancellations, which is extremely advantageous when traveling. 

10. Uncertainty about the requirements for each country 

It is now more important than ever to understand what the requirements are for entering each country. There may also be other requirements besides visas, such as covid-related requirements.

The circumstances of entering the countries are becoming more flexible, but it is never a bad idea to double-check. At TripsGuard you can check the entry requirements for each country, based on your country of origin.

11. Meager organization of the reservations 

Keep screenshots of every reservation: hotels, flights, activities, etc. 

Remember then to check your itinerary one day beforehand, even if you have all your travel days planned. In this way, you can ensure your tickets have the correct dates and times. Additionally, your day will be much more organized and relaxed.

The hand of a man with two tickets in his hand

12. Not saved valuable items 

Many hotels offer the option of a safe deposit box. Leave valuables you don’t need every day in the hotel. Keep the other necessary objects always in a visible place, such as in a fanny pack. You want it to be a visible place so that your possessions are always within your sight.

13. Rely on the wifi to reach a destination

It’s always good to have a contingency plan since we can’t always rely on a good internet connection. Therefore, you should consider downloading an offline map of your destination and tag the places you wish to visit. 

Locals are another great source of information; don’t be afraid to ask them about places. There are times when locals are the best people to consult for directions to a place and can even suggest the best places to visit. These are usually not touristy places.

A cell phone looking for wifi

14. Having no backup for photos

Photos are permanent records of our time abroad, and we can always remember a blissful holiday when we see them. Of course, none of us wishes to lose or fail to locate a good photo. Every day, once you get back to your hotel, activate the option to upload the pictures to the cloud. Then, even if you run out of memory, even if something goes wrong with your phone, you can always view your pics from any device.

15. The biggest travel mistake: Not using the most effective travel hack to save on your travels

In all my travels, I have observed that all the public travel websites display the same hotel rates. Therefore, comparing sites is a waste of time.

Because they don’t rely on the rate parity rule, TheTravelSecret is the only website that lets you find hotels up to 70% cheaper than other websites. This is the most effective travel hack you can find and you could even earn points for all your bookings. 

Flights, hotels, car rentals, and activities can all be booked on one single site.

Most Common Travel Mistakes

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