It’s easy to get carried away planning a vacation. With so much to research and moments to plan, you may forget a few things along the way or mess up on some of the details. To help your next trip go as smoothly as possible, we’ve compiled a list of common travel mistakes and how to avoid them.
Over-scheduling your time
We get it. You want to see everything a destination has to offer in the short time you’re there. But, you have to realize that isn’t always possible. You’ll drive yourself crazy and lose joy in the moment if you pack your schedule too full of activities. Instead of rushing from one thing to the next, be flexible. Stick with planning only one activity and one meal per day. This way, you have some downtime and some wiggle room in case something comes up or doesn’t pan out.
Your back and wallet will thank you if you pack minimally. You probably won’t use half of what you were planning on packing anyway, so leave at least a few outfits and pairs of shoes at home. Depending on how long your trip is, you might not even have to buy that check-in luggage.
Skipping travel insurance
No one wants added expenses on vacation unless the money is spent on drinks or fun activities. But travel insurance should be factored into everyone’s vacation budget. It covers you in the event that you get ill or even laid off. Travel insurance will also protect you from being gouged if your trip doesn’t go quite as planned. A couple who missed their cruise ship in the U.S. Virgin Islands last year had to shell out $5,000 just to get home because they decided to forgo the $120 travel insurance offered by their travel agent. You don’t have to be that couple.
Not spending enough time researching
It’s fun to take an impromptu vacation, but it pays to do at least a little bit of research beforehand. You’ll need to know a few things beforehand like your cell phone roaming plan, your destination’s visa requirements, currency exchange rates, any cultural differences, etc. And please take time to research the safety of the areas you’re planning on visiting as well. You may want to invest in anti-theft backpacks or secure luggage to keep your valuables safe if your destination is known for theft.
Not sticking to a budget
There’s nothing worse than running out of money halfway through your trip. Make a budget beforehand and stick to it. Don’t forget to factor in the non-sexy items, too, like airport parking fees, restaurant tips, and travel insurance.
Planning ahead can save you time, money, and definitely your sanity. Take some time before your trip to organize everything you might need. Double-check all of your reservations for accuracy and then print all of your confirmations and important phone numbers and keep them safely stored with your passport. Make sure you have a map or printed directions to your destinations in case GPS is unreliable. Call your bank to inform them you’re traveling. Have backups for your cameras so you don’t run out of storage space. Are you protected against cybersecurity threats? Try to think of everything ahead of time so you can rest easy when you’re on vacation.
You don’t have to learn the hard way when it comes to travel mistakes. Learn from the mistakes of others, and you’ll be that much more ahead!