We all make mistakes. Whether it’s your first trip abroad or you are an experienced traveller with many trips under your belt, we all make mistakes. Often these are really stupid ones, which could have been easily avoided with just a slightly better travel planning. But of course there are also travel mistakes, that can get you in serious trouble.
Let’s talk about the most common travel mistakes.
Here are some of the things you definitely want to avoid when travelling.
Overpacking probably is a number one travel mistake.
Most travellers pack too much stuff and don’t use all of it. So, what’s the point in taking the things, if you won’t use them? What’s the point in carrying all of that with you or paying luggage fees?
If you are worried about ending up only with a bunch of dirty clothes, don’t. Use self-service laundromats to wash your clothes. They are usually cheap and you can find them in many cities around the world. Laundry services are available in hotels and guesthouses, too. So, you don’t have to pack an outfit for each day.
Plan ahead, and take only clothes you’ll definitely need. No “just in case” clothes.
As the saying goes: “Take half the clothes and twice the money”!
When packing a backpack or suitcase, roll your clothes and put them tightly together in packing cubes. This will not only help you to save space, but you’ll be also able to organise your belongings better.
And then running from one place to another. Don’t do it!
Packing too many many activities, countries or cities in one trip is a very common mistake, especially for inexperienced travellers. You’ll end up exhausted and stressed out from too much travelling and keeping up with your crazy schedule.
Leave some time for rest and relaxation.
Don’t be afraid to change your plans due to weather, delays or money shortage.
It’s a tricky thing, even if you’re an experienced traveller.
You may already know that, if you have booked a connecting flight with one airline and have one reservation number, you don’t have to worry about delays. The airline will take care of you in case of disruptions.
But that’s not the same, if you book separate flights…
If you have booked separate (self-connecting) flights, and you’ve missed your next flight due to the cancellation or delay of the first flight, unfortunately, but you’ll have to deal with that yourself. The only thing you can do is to buy a new ticket.
To avoid that, make sure you have enough time for your transit.
Find out what is the minimum connection time at the airport before booking a self-transfer flight.
If the disruption is the airline’s fault, you may be entitled to a compensation.
But it will take at least a couple of months for you to get the money.
This might seem obvious to some, but still plenty of people make this mistake.
This may lead to serious problems upon arrival at the destination airport (or the border). You may be denied entry and deported back to where you came from. Or you may even not be allowed to board a plane. And, no, you can’t get denied boarding compensation in these situations.
Check visa and entry requirements before you book a flight.
Are you entitled to visa exemption or you need to arrange your visa in advance?
What is the visa application process?
Some countries are very strict when it comes to issuing visas, and travellers may get denied visa if there’s a problem with travel documents or itinerary.
If you are entitled to visa exemption, check what are the entry requirements.
Do you have to have a proof of onward travel or show your itinerary at the immigration?
Create a realistic budget you can stick to.
And stick to it.
Don't forget to allow some extra money for unexpected expenses.
Unfortunately, not sticking to your budget and running out of money, is a very common mistake for both experienced and unexperienced travellers.
Make hard and digital photos of your documents.
Having digital and hard copies of your important documents will help facilitate your identity verification in case of losing the original documents. Store digital copies not only on your phone but also upload them on the cloud, so you can access them if your gadgets are stolen.
For the same reason, don’t keep the hard copies together with the originals.
Many travellers don’t know their rights in case of flight delays and cancellation.
Many don’t know what to do if their flight is cancelled last minute.
If you have to wait more than 3 hours extra, you should be receiving a free meal. At least a sandwich or some snack and drink.
If you have to wait overnight - free hotel accommodation.
You should be receiving this type of care no matter what is the reason of this delay. If you are flying with a European airline it applies to all its flights to or from Europe. If you’re travelling with a non-European airline, it applies to its flights from Europe. In this case with Europe we understand all EU Member States and Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique, Reunion, Mayotte, Saint Martin (French Antilles), the Azores, Madeira, the Canary Islands, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland.
If it’s your airlines fault, in some cases you will be entitled to compensation.
How much could you be entitled to?
€250 - if the distance of your flight is up to 1500 kilometres (usually 1-2 hour long flights).
€400 - if the distance of your flight is between 1500 - 3500 kilometres.
€600 - if the distance of your flight is more than 3500 kilometeres.
The amounts are per passenger.
If you are 2, that’s up to €1200, a family of 4 travelling together - up to €2400.
Hand this case over to us, and we’ll claim the compensation on your behalf.
Travel insurance is a must.
Travel insurance covers medical expenses, trip cancellation, lost luggage and other losses incurred while traveling. Mostly it is not expensive, and we strongly recommend to spend those few extra euros on that.
Before purchasing a travel insurance, check what it covers.
Some insurance policies are very basic, while others cover “everything”.
Many of the best debit and credit cards come with travel insurance benefits.
Remember that when you’ll be thinking of getting yourself a new bank card.
Do not keep all your money and your documents in one place!
Hide some of the money in your room and some in your bags.
The same goes for your credit cards, travel documents and document copies.
So, in case of robbery, you have some money to fall back on.
If you withdraw money with your credit / debit card abroad, it may get blocked.
It is because your bank may see it as an “unusual and suspicious activity”.
You don’t want to end up with a blocked card and no money?
And due to different time zones, it may be a while until your card is unblocked.
To avoid it notify your bank.
Have a safe trip!