So you’re heading off for your first trip overseas, you’re feeling pumped, excited and a little nervous all at the same time, right? It’s completely normal to feel that way. Travelling on your own can be a little daunting. What will you find in the unknown? What if you come across unexpected issues? How will you cope? The key thing is - not to worry about it too much! We know, it’s easy to say but hard to do. But in all honesty, overthinking things will get you nowhere! It’s inevitable you’ll make mistakes the first time you travel. But to stop you from making them yourself, here are some of the most common travel mistakes you should avoid.
It’s better to tell this to yourself now - things are going to go wrong. And that’s not because you’re a rookie - things are always going to go wrong! It’s all part of the beauty of travelling. The mistake travellers make, is freaking out and letting it get to them. So you missed your train, or $100 has gone missing from your wallet - don’t panic. You’ll sort it out. Getting upset and worked up about it is only going to make it worse.
We’ve all made this mistake. It’s tempting to bring outfits for every occasion possible, but all it does is make it harder for you to haul your luggage around, and you could end up paying baggage fees for exceeding the weight limit. You’ll probably be buying a few things while travelling aswell, so keep some extra space in mind for that. A tip a lot of our travellers have suggested is to pack your bag as usual - and then take out half the clothes you originally planned. You won’t wear them all anyway, and you can always do some laundry on the road! Figure out how to fit more in your suitcase with our packing tips. (link to our previous article)
3. Not sorting out a cell phone plan
Many travellers end up with crazy roaming fees after their trip because they didn’t sort out a plan beforehand. The easiest way to avoid a massive phone bill is to sort out a plan before you travel. Our prepaid travel sims are cheaper than using any roaming services and are preloaded with data, calls and texts so you can stay in contact with your friends and family during your trip.
4. Not buying travel insurance
Make sure you’re covered if anything unexpected comes up. Travel insurance covers cancellation fees so If you suddenly can’t make your trip, you won’t be out hundreds of dollars. If your own health insurance plan doesn’t cover you outside your country, look at some plans that will cover emergency medical expenses.
If you love the thrill of being organised, you’ll want to lock everything in beforehand. Every hostel, every activity, every breakfast, lunch and dinner. That way you don’t have to worry about anything, right? Well, it actually pays off to have some flexibility. Sure, book in the big things, but also leave yourself some space to change your itinerary and take opportunities as they present themselves.
6. Using a travel agent.. for everything
While nowadays, it’s easy as pie to book an entire trip over the internet, a lot of travellers still wish to book through travel agents for safe measure. That’s completely understandable, but it doesn’t mean you have to use them for everything. Perhaps book your flights, and accommodation through your travel agent, but try booking other things elsewhere. You’ll end up saving more money.
7. Underestimating costs
When you’re travelling, everything is going to cost more than you think it will. There will be additional expenses you won’t be able to foresee. Expect to spend twice as much as you’d planned, so before you set off for your travels, make sure to save up more money.
8. Packing too many activities or countries in one trip
You may think that tour that takes you to seven countries in 12 days sounds like a great idea, but if you really want to sink in your surroundings, trying to see as much as possible in one trip won’t help. Make sure to give yourself some time to relax and soak up the best of what each destination has to offer.
9. Not informing your Credit Card Company of your travel plans
An easy mistake to avoid! If your credit card company suddenly notices foreign transactions from your account, they may freeze it in case of credit card fraud. It can be a pain trying to sort it out while overseas, so make sure you inform them of your travel plans ahead of time.
10. Not grabbing some local currency at the airport
Taking out money from the airport’s ATMs gives you better exchange rates, so get what you need there, and perhaps a little extra just for emergencies. You may want to use your credit card for most purchases, but it’s important to always have some local cash on hand. Especially for public transport, cab rides and other places that don’t accept credit cards.
11. Not sorting out a cell phone plan
Many travellers end up with crazy roaming fees after their trip because they didn’t sort out a plan beforehand. The easiest way to avoid a massive phone bill is to sort out a plan before you travel. Our prepaid travel sims are cheaper than using any roaming services and are preloaded with data, calls and texts so you can stay in contact with your friends and family during your trip. Have you made any other mistakes during your travels? Share them with us!