Last Updated on by Lohanna Reis
Are you planning your next trip and want to make sure you are not missing anything? Want to avoid silly travel mistakes? Then keep reading…
Whether you are a travel rookie, or you have been doing it your whole life, there are a few key ingredients to making sure that your trip goes as smoothly as possible. Even though travel can be a wonderful experience, it can easily become stressful if the small but crucial things are not in place.
We will be looking at a few of these crucial points and how to ensure that small planning glitches will not be the downfall of your next adventure.
1. Passing on Travel Insurance
Even though it may seem strange to ‘spend money’ to save money, travel insurance can be a lifesaver. It is naïve and silly to pretend that you can be in control of everything that happens while you are travelling abroad! If you are renting a car, you need some sort of car insurance, even if it’s only from your credit card.
If you are travelling abroad, you need travel insurance! As much as we can try to be safe, the possibility of getting into an accident is always there. As much as we try to stay healthy, food poisoning & flu season unfortunately do not care if you are on holiday!
Travel insurance costs will vary depending on where you go and for how long, but at the end of the day, it is much better to pay money for something you might not use then to end up stacked with overseas fees and medical bills for when you arrive home after your trip.
If you are unsure of the best type of travel insurance for you, a quick Google search never hurts anyone; and asking people who travel often is a sure-fire helping hand. At the end of the day, it is better to be safe than sorry.
Or, you can just check this article here with some of the 7 best and cheapest international travel insurance companies.
2. Forgetting to Inform Credit Card Company of your Travels
As soon as you know the dates and location of your travel, it is prudent to inform your credit or debit card company of your plans. Most banks and credit card companies have safety and fraud measures in place to protect their customers.
Often within the first few purchases abroad, the credit card company will immediately suspend both the account and card on suspicion of fraud. This will mean that you will not have any access to your card or ability to get cash out.
Even though you will be able to call your credit card company to try and get it straightened out, it will definitely put a pin in your plans for at least a day; and sometimes it may even mess with reservations you have for the future, or where you have put your card down to hold something.
“Before you leave, ensure that your credit card company is aware of where you are travelling to, when you will leave, and when you will be back. If these dates are not exact, it allows the opportunity for actual fraud to occur without your or your bank’s knowing” says Haven Hartmann, a travel blogger at Brit Student and Origin Writings.
When calling your credit card company, do not forget to ask about any options they have available for travellers. You may find out that they have benefits or discounts available when you are travelling, or even that they offer the previously mentioned necessary travel insurance at a discounted rate.
3. Not Changing or Editing your Phone Plan
Hidden fees are the biggest possible handicap during an overseas trip. Outside of booking your trip before you leave, the biggest black hole for these hidden fees is your phone bill. A £30 phone bill can easily turn into a £400 phone bill in the space of two weeks.
Prior to the United Kingdom leaving the European Union, British nationals could travel with their British phone plans all around the European Union, with most phone companies providing included or a least cheaper and more affordable plans. With Brexit now having occurred, this is no longer the case!
When travelling, I would one hundred percent recommend giving your phone company a call! It is easier than traversing the internet trying to find the correct information and sidesteps the possibility of that information being outdated or incorrect. Trust me, a few minutes waiting on hold for a call centre will be worth the money saved over your trip abroad!
One of the most irritating things about travelling abroad with no phone plan is wifi-hopping. If they do not have a cheap or correct phone plan in place, many people simply choose to wifi-hop between hotels, restaurants, and bars. This is never the answer!
You will spend your first ten minutes in a new place trying to figure out how to connect to the wifi, and waste precious time abroad. On the other hand, if you give up and use your data plan overseas, you will come back to a phone bill half the size of the money that you spent actually travelling! The extra effort and potentially a little bit more money will save you a lot in the long run.
4. Not Checking Visa Requirements
Visa requirements. The Achilles heel of the world of travelling. Border control can either be the most hassle you have ever experienced, or an absolute breeze. It is all down to the prep you do. Before you even decide on where you want to travel to, check the visa requirements!
There is no point booking a trip abroad for next month when the Visa might take up to 2 months to be approved, is there? Check both your home country’s government website, and the government website of the country that you are travelling to.
Make sure you have all the correct documents with you when you travel. It is so easy to leave something behind! Double check when you are packing, when you leave the house, when you leave the car, and when you leave the airport. The easiest thing to do when travelling is become forgetful…do not let it happen to you! It will literally turn your trip right around (and back home).
“My personal rule of thumb is to bring every possible thing with me. It is never a problem to give border control too much information, but it is always one to give them too little; or not the correct information or documents. Research and preparation is key to a hassle free entry to any country, and to a relaxing return home” says Casandra Lubowitz, a lifestyle blogger at 1 Day 2 write and Writemyx.
5. Overcrowding your Trip
Do not overbook. Overcrowding your trip is the worst thing you can do when travelling abroad, especially if it is your first time there. On your first visit to a country that you have not been to before, it may seem like you have to do and see everything humanly possible. This is not the case! It is not possible and even if it is, it certainly will not be enjoyable.
Personally, I would suggest doing things that are not massively advertised on the internet. I love finding small spots, local restaurants, and quiet areas. However, even if you enjoy the crowded tourist spots and landmark destinations; pick your favourite few!
My rule of thumb is to not schedule more than one big ‘thing’ in one day. This will give you the opportunity to enjoy the moment, to look up and around, and to truly take it all in. If you overbook your travels, you will return home exhausted and with little more than memories of rushed train journeys and stressful taxi rides.
It is much more rewarding to return home having enjoyed three incredible destinations, than to have rushed through fifteen.
6. Lack of Organisation
This one is a killer. Organisation fits into every aspect of travel. From simply packing a suitcase to researching travel insurance, and from booking hotels to making sure everyone has the correct documents with them at the airport. Organisation is absolutely crucial when travelling abroad!
Organisation before you travel will mean that organisation while you travel is streamlined and made so much easier for the whole trip.
Veteran travellers are probably reading through these and laughing about the six different journeys where they made these specific travel faux paus. Trust me, I only know because I have made these mistakes myself! Lack of organisation with my baggage meant I lost a passport in Italy once; and that is not a mistake you make twice.
I forgot to call my credit card companies, and had my account suspended in a Michelin star restaurant, right as they brought me the bill. And my favourite was coming home to a £500 phone bill after two weeks in South Africa. Funny to look back at now, but incredibly stressful at the time!
Take my advice or do not, but either way…enjoy your travels!
About the Author:
Regina Wheeler is an accomplished e-learning consultant at Thesis writing service and Coursework writer. She is constantly moving from project to project, as she is around the world. She loves speaking and writing on management, marketing and finances. If you would like to read more of her work, you can find it on Write my case study.
Planning your next trip?