Making mistakes whilst travelling happens to everyone and sometimes it’s something we can’t avoid (hello delayed flights). However, if you’re new to globetrotting, travelling can be daunting and errors can often occur. Here are my top travel mistakes you DO NOT want to make.
1. Not packing clothes in your carry on
We’ve all seen it happen. That one person at the luggage carousel who never receives their bags. I was always under the assumption that “it will never happen to me”. Until I arrived in Florence with no luggage, a carry-on bag full of books and just the clothes on my back. Huge. Mistake.
My advice? Packing spare clothes in your carry-on bag is ESSENTIAL. You never know when you might be the one without a suitcase at the baggage carousel.
We often have the urge to pack extra clothing “just in case”. But do you really need 9 pairs of shoes for a month long trip? No. Overpacking not only makes your luggage difficult to carry around but can lead to accidentally exceeding weight limits. If you have under packed, do some laundry during your trip or use it as an excuse to buy new clothes whilst abroad.
3. Using data roaming
Unless you’re in the mood to spend $3000 on your next phone bill, turn you data roaming OFF! Whilst switching your data on “just for a second” is hugely convenient, it is also ridiculously expensive. Alternatively, use a travel sim or local sim from the country you are visiting. If you don’t require data often, rely on wifi. Most hotels and restaurants offer free wifi meaning you won’t have to spend money on a new sim card and can still surf the net.
4. Keeping all of your cash in the one place
Storing all of your cash in the one place is a big mistake. Whilst it is very rare that your money could get stolen, keeping it all in the one place means you lose EVERYTHING if theft does happen. Make sure you split your cash up and store small amounts in different places. Need some inspiration for hiding your coin? Check out these tips from The Travel Insurance Review.
Remember, never carry large amounts of cash on your person. Never take out more cash than you need for the day and make sure you store it in a discreet place (yes, putting your wallet in your back pocket is a big no-no).
5. Not leaving enough time between flights
Booking your connecting flights within hours of one another seems like a good idea in theory. Until one flight gets delayed and ruins your plan entirely. On a recent trip to Italy, I had the grand idea of booking my flights back to back to minimise waiting time in the airport. The next thing I know I was sprinting across the tarmac at Rome Airport and knocking people over with my bag, desperately trying to make it onto my next flight that was leaving in 15 minutes.
I did make it onto the plane (just), but I also learnt a valuable lesson. Leave PLENTY of time between your flights. You WILL need it.
6. Not sticking to a budget
I totally get it. You’re overseas, exploring a new country and the urge to splurge is strong. But continuing to overspend can mean running out of money towards the end of your trip. This is a mistake you (literally) cannot afford to make. You don’t necessarily need to abide by a strict budget, but keeping track of your spending is a good idea. Mobile apps such as Trip Wallet and Trabee Pocket allow you keep up to date with your overseas spending, and tell you exactly how much money you have for the rest of your trip.
7. Forgetting to notify your bank of your travel plans
ALWAYS notify your bank of your overseas trip before leaving the country. Payments made on your card whilst overseas can seem suspicious to the bank if they do not know you’re abroad. The last thing you need is your card being declined, cutting off your access to spending money.
Notify your bank of your plans prior to departing. Make sure to ask about any foreign transactions fees so they don’t catch you by surprise.
If you have any travel mistakes you’d like to share, let me know in the comments below!
Until next time,