Making your own mistakes and learning from them is part of the process of becoming a daring world traveler. Some would even agree that they are part of what makes travel such a valuable life experience. However, it never hurts to learn from others who have made travel mistakes along the way so that you can avoid at least a few pitfalls as you venture out into the world!
Blowing The Bank on Your Travel Budget
It’s tempting to “go all out” financially when traveling, but there’s really no need. With all of the great travel sites out there, it’s not complicated to find great deals on flights, accommodations, and activities if you know where and when to search. Remember that more expensive doesn’t necessarily mean better. A truly memorable travel experience might even cost from little to no money. Spend your resources wisely, and then treat yourself splurging on a few things here and there that are really worth your money!
Cramming Too Much Into Your Schedule
It’s only natural to try to do and see everything when you are in a new place. But, while maximizing your time is great, overloading your schedule can lead to exhaustion and missing out on those wonderful travel experiences that happen when you just slow down and relax. Don’t let the FOMO ruin your getaway. Prioritize the things you really want to do and see, and build in plenty of time for wandering and soaking in your new environment.
Passing Up On Opportunities to Experience Something New
At times, you may want to stay within your comfort zones while traveling. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that, but constantly seeking out the familiar in an unfamiliar place can hinder your enjoyment of your overall travel experience. Seize the opportunity to try something new –eat a dish you’ve never tried (or perhaps even heard of), learn a new language, or participate in a cultural event unlike any you’ve ever seen before. You’ll be glad you did when you’re back home!
Taking your Trip for Granted
It’s all to easy to fall into the trap of taking travel for granted, or feeling negative about things that aren’t going exactly according to plan. However, if you feel grateful for the opportunity to travel, you will get more out of your trip and walk away from the experience feeling more fulfilled. Just consider how lucky you are for being able to travel, explore new places, and meet new people!
Packing Too Much Stuff
Figuring out what you actually need can be overwhelming if you constantly come up with scenarios to justify bringing something specific along. A well-proven trick to packing is to lay out everything you want to bring and pack half of that. If you plan on traveling through multiple climates, a good advice is to buy new stuff on the way and ditch your old stuff, donating it to charity if you want.
When packing outfits, stick to items that are simple and basic. If you really need to stand out, you can add style and variety to your look with accessories like scarves or sunglasses and whatever clothes you buy on your trip. Keeping your load light also means keeping it easy to carry!
It can be daunting or uncomfortable to go back and forth on a price if you come from a country where haggling is not a custom. Some cultures treat haggling as a regular thing and any vendor or taxi driver will begin with an insanely high value for whatever you want, expecting you to negotiate. Your job is to understand that true value of the item or service and counter with something far lower. You and the other party then go back and forth until a suitable middle value is agreed upon.
The trick to haggling is to ignore your emotions and accept that these people are just doing their job. Doing this can save you quite a bit of stress!
While handy, maps can cause people to misjudge traveling time. Yes, you might discern the distance between your current spot and the first locale on your plan, but that map will not help you understand how long that trip takes. This problem is especially common in large countries like Australia. One common planning error is to plan something amazing only to discover it takes two solid days of travel by bus.
Before casting your plans in stone, make sure to do research, both online and with other human beings. A single mistake or misfire here can throw off your whole trip or leave you too drained from the journey to enjoy the planned destination.
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Blindly Sticking to the Guidebook
Much like maps, guidebooks can be helpful…to a point. Guidebooks tend to be published by tourism bureaus and this predisposes them toward guiding travelers to all of the touristy spots with nary a mention of anything truly authentic to what things are like in the country. There are tons of amazing things to explore and dishes to consume if you make an effort to go where the locals flock.
Do yourself — and any of your travel companions — a huge favor and, please, engage with the locals. Ask them what you should really explore during your visit, places they recommend you go for a bite and what life is really like in the area.
Not Reading Up on Local Tipping Culture
Tipping is not practiced by every country. Most restaurant employees will not ask for tips because it’s expected. So keep that in mind while booking your cheap flights to that country you’ve never set foot on before. Fail to research this element and you can leave a bad impression.
Some countries add the tip to the bill; others list it as an option on the card reader when making the payment. Some countries expect leaving cash at your table while others expect it to be given to any sort of service worker. Some countries have wait staff paid well enough to not need tips. Lastly, there are some countries where tipping is just not a thing; just try to leave a tip at your table in Japan and you will earn odd looks at the least!