“Once a year, go someplace you have never been before”, said the revered Dalai Lama. People around the world are taking this quote seriously and travelling to more and more places than ever before. And, naturally we want our trip to be blissful in every way possible, but often something goes wrong, which ends up ruining the fun. While some things are unavoidable, there are others that are in our control. Humans are prone to erring, and it can happen to anyone. Having a big brain, we also have the ability to not do certain things. So, read further about some common mistakes that people make while traveling and how we can prevent those from wrecking our trip:
1. Not Taking Enough Time to Plan
This is one of the most common errors on our part: planning suddenly. When we do that, we end up planning too much or too little. Don’t try to plan the entire trip in 2-3 hours, however less the duration; rather, give yourself 2-3 DAYS. This is important as this is what determines how your trip turns out to be.
2. Over or Under-Packing
This is also a part of planning, wherein we tend to overestimate or underestimate how much clothes we are going to need. Often, we book our tickets a month before and then forget about until the day before. This is where the root of the problem lies: packing at the last moment. It is better to pack at least a day before with a calm mind so you can gauge your requirement.
3. Not Having a Budget
When we execute our plans in haste, it is possible that we don’t keep aside enough budget. This happens when we don’t consider miscellaneous charges like eating out, commuting and shopping. So while planning or even as your departure date comes near, start thinking of such things that are likely to exceed your budget and try to assimilate those too.
4. Booking Connecting Flights with Short Layover
We all want to get to our destination as soon as possible, and for that we often make the mistake of booking connecting flights with short layovers. We ignore the possibility that the first flight might get delayed or something might go wrong at the airport, which causes us to miss the onward flight. So, always book connecting flights with a 4-5-hour layover. Even if nothing goes wrong at the airport and your first flight arrives on time, you will have several things to do at the airport itself, especially if that airport is in a city like Delhi or Mumbai.
5. Not Checking our Passport and Visa
When travelling internationally, we can take our passport and visa for granted and not check for their validity. Many countries require your visa to be valid for at least 6 months from the date of landing. Suppose you don’t confirm this fact, you might not be allowed to board the flight. If you get to board, you might never clear your destination country’s customs and get a chance to leave the airport. It is mandatory that we always check our visa and get it renewed if needed.
6. Going Exactly by the Travel Guide
You can find travel guides for almost any destination you want, be it in a book or digital form. No doubt these highlight the best tourist spots, shopping areas and restaurants at a particular destination. While it’s imperative to visit the famous attractions, it is also necessary to have some ‘exotic’ experiences. So, when at your destination, talk to the locals on their recommendations on attractions, restaurants and markets because often the best places are under rated with almost no mention in travel guides.
7. Being Oblivious to Ever-changing Foreign Exchange Rates
Very important thing to keep in mind when heading abroad…the foreign exchange rates. We have a vague idea of the rates on a given day, and tend to think they won’t vary much over the coming days, weeks or months. You are wrong because rates can change every hour. If you don’t consult the rates before departing or even during your trip, you will end up paying a lot more. If you talk about Dollars, Euros, Pounds or currencies from the Middle East, their rates respective to the Indian Rupee are bound to increase. There are some applications you can use for this purpose, such as FXCM, NetDania Forex & Stocks and XE Currentcy. Keep looking at the latest rates so you know how much you spend, and it will also help keep a tab on your splurging.
8. Ignoring Hotel Reviews
This is another common but grave mistake we make, which ends up costing us a lot of fun. Somebody tells us about a hotel, and we take their word for it and book it without bothering to look up reviews. Nothing screws up a vacation or work trip like a bad hotel. Take into consideration that you arrive at your destination at night, don’t find the hotel you booked satisfactory enough, you might have to shift in the late hours. So, always go online, read what genuine customers have to say and then book the best reviewed hotels for a pleasant trip.
9. Using your Camera Non Stop
This is again something that many of us do, especially when we go to a place for the first time. We can’t seem to part with our camera, and in our obsession with clicking pictures, we often lose out on actually enjoying that place. Some people take a picture of one particular thing from 10 different angles, which, at times can be unnecessary. We can click a couple of pictures when we first get there and enjoy the moment thereon.
10. Relying on Locals for Directions
We do this almost every day, even when travelling through where we live. Pulling over and asking some random person for directions is perhaps our biggest flaw as a traveller. The problem with asking people on the road is that many have a faint idea of where your destination is, and you often end up going around in circles before you finally reach. Instead, we should always try to use Google maps or save it in offline mode for times when we don’t have access to the internet like when we are out on the road. Believe me, by not making these errors, you are in for a happy and satisfactory trip. So, off you go!