Of course, everyone has little slips every now and then, that’s just part of life. But there are some mistakes that you really don’t want to make when you’re travelling! Some travel mistakes are minor, like forgetting your shampoo. No worries at all, you can just buy some when you arrive. Sure, it might not be your favourite brand, but it’s really not the end of the world and is very likely not to have a significant impact on your trip. Other mistakes and oversights, however, can really spoil an adventure. Some can even be dangerous. Here are some mistakes to avoid when travelling:
Packing the Wrong Clothes
Of course, you can generally buy clothes in your destination, indeed, shopping is sometimes a highlight of a trip for some travelers. But what if you need to replace your entire travel wardrobe pronto? Things could get a bit tricky, not to mention pricey. Plus, what are you going to ear to actually walk around the shops?!
There are several reasons why your choice of clothes may be wholly inappropriate.
Check the season, expected temperature, and weather conditions for the time of year when you will be visiting a destination. A summer wardrobe really won’t cut it in winter and you are sure to feel downright miserable and maybe even get sick. It is always recommended, no matter where you’re going, to have at least one set of warm clothes and one set of cooler clothes. Even if you’re backpacking around SE Asia at the peak of the hot season, for example, you may still find pants and a sweater invaluable on an overly air-conditioned night bus!
Ensure that you read up about local standards of dress and cultural norms before filling your bags. Spaghetti straps and tank tops won’t go down too well, for example, in devout Buddhist areas, and basking on the beaches in a tiny bikini in a strict Muslim area could land you in a lot of trouble.
Packing all Your Clothes in Your Checked Luggage
Luggage delays and losses can, and do, occur. Sometimes, more than we would like to think! Make sure that you plan for the worst and have at least one change of clothes and a couple of sets of fresh underwear in your carry-on bag. Hopefully you won’t need them, but … just in case! Do you really want to be that person who gets off a long-haul flight feeling sweaty and gross, and then have to spend the next few days in the same clothes whilst waiting for yours to arrive, make a mad dash to the local shops to buy new, or frantically try to wash things through and hope they dry in time?
Being Unaware of Current Affairs
Whilst pretty much everywhere in the world can be dangerous or safe, some places carry greater risks than others. There may be one-off events that cause tensions to flare, or ongoing troubles that may boil over at any second. Make sure you keep abreast of what’s happening in the world and tailor your plans accordingly. If something crops up whilst you’re on the road, you may also want to re-evaluate your travel plans and route. For example, visiting a large city around election time, especially in country’s that aren’t so politically stable, is generally not a great idea.
Relying on One Means of Getting Money
A back-up credit or debit card is invaluable. Imagine you only have one means of obtaining money and your card is lost or stolen. This is even worse if you’re far from banks and Western Union outlets. Try and avoid keeping all your money in your primary card account too – using an online account or a service like Paypal means that you can easily transfer money if necessary and it reduces the risk of your card being stolen and your bank account emptied. Check the ATM situation in advance too, and make sure you carry plenty of cash (in an appropriate currency!) if ATMs are scarce or unreliable. It’s awful having a nice, fat bank account but empty pockets and no way to get at your cash!
Other mistakes that you might make are arriving in a new destination in the middle of the night with no accommodation already booked, not checking road traffic conditions and making allowances for traffic jams when heading to the airport by bus / taxi / car, overpacking and having to strain your back lugging all your stuff around, or underpacking and having to fork out for new clothes. Using your mobile overseas can be a major error, especially when you get home to huge bills! Check your roaming conditions and packages beforehand! Another major error is not checking your passport expiry date – remember, that many countries require a minimum of six months’ validity left to let you enter.
And, with that, avoid these travelling mistakes and have a great trip!