Mark’s 7 Biggest Blunders Travelers Should Try to Avoid
1. Cramming everything into one trip:
Hey, Rome wasn’t built in day and it takes more than a week to visit the whole of Europe, Asia, or North/South America. Take more time to stop and smell the roses in one or two places and plan to come back to enjoy the rest. Just like cramming for a test rarely leads to improved learning, cramming too many sites into a single vacation leads to travel exhaustion and stress due to all the planes, trains, buses and scheduling snafus.
2. Booking flights on the cheapest airlines without considering the potential added expenses:
Sometimes the cheapest flight deal is in fact the best deal. But this really is a blunder that hits budget travelers right in the wallet quite often. If you’re going to Bologna, France it doesn’t really make any sense to take the cheaper flight that’s landing in Raveena, since you’re going to be looking at up to $50 dollars in transportation costs once you land in order to get where you’re going. Calculate all your transportation costs and time lost before booking your cheap flight.
3. Staying at out-of-town hotels/hostels to save a few bucks:
This also leads to increased transportation costs and time lost on your vacation. Book your hotel early to get a good deal.
4. Not knowing your destination before you take off from your country
Like Mark said, you need to know the laws, culture, crime rate and overall layout of the countries you visit before you go. Failing to do so is a recipe for nothing but problems.
5. Not knowing the price before sitting down in restaurant, bar, taxi, etc.:
I’ll be honest, I pretty much avoid any restaurant without prices clearly displayed on their menu. Same goes for any establishment — kind of sketchy way to do business if you ask me.
6. Not planning for connection times on flights and trains:
This screws a lot of newbie travelers over and it usually takes a few missed flights (and the fines levied by most airlines) before the message sinks in. Airlines and most major rail companies tell you exactly how much time you need to allocated for check ins, layovers, security, etc., on their websites. Don’t be a typical tourist running around the airport/train station like a chicken with your head cut off!
7. Packing too much:
You don’t need all the comforts of home. This costs you more in baggage fees, the hassle of carrying it all around, and having a bigger target on your head for a potential robbery. Not fun.
Main image by Pedro Ribeiro Simões