Traveling abroad is a great opportunity to get out of a rut and try something new. However, it can become quite stressful if you aren’t careful and don’t plan ahead. That being said, it pays to know some common mistakes travelers make. Here’s what you should watch out for when planning a vacation.
More often than not, we get so excited about our vacation that we decide to fit half of our wardrobes into our travel bags. It’s so easy to overpack, and it doesn’t happen only to newbies – well-seasoned globetrotters are also guilty of bringing too many things with them.
Not only are you forced to lug around a heavy, overly-packed suitcase, but you’re also adding stress to your holiday. Bringing too much clothing leads to decision fatigue, so it’s best to keep your packing list minimal and think twice before you pack anything. If all else fails, pack only the essentials – and then halve it!
Forgetting to pack a bathing suit
Swimsuits are one of those items that come as an afterthought and it’s easy for them to slip our mind, especially if we’re not planning to go swimming. Even if you’re traveling during the winter season, chances are there will be indoor pools you can swim in, so make sure you add swimwear to your packing list.
Visiting only the well-known tourist attractions
We’re not saying you shouldn’t visit them at all, but there are times of the year when certain attractions get too crowded. What’s more, they’re often filled with numerous tourist-traps that encourage unnecessary spending.
You’re better off exploring some other, lesser-known places and sightseeing spots. Chances are, they’re filled with hidden gems waiting to be discovered by curious tourists. Don’t feel obligated to go where everyone else is going – let go of what you should do, and focus more on what you want to do.
Not paying attention to time schedules
When creating itineraries, we usually plan on visiting places near our travel destination. However, we often forget that local buses and trains have set schedules of departures for each day. Of course, no one wants to miss their flight or get stuck in a city away from their hotel – that’s why it’s always good to wear a watch.
Although smartphones are useful, a watch is a better alternative when you’re tugging heavy luggage. When purchasing one, make sure you select the one that is comfortable to wear and that it suits your style such as an elegant Japanese automatic watch, and choose one accordingly.
Not being cautious about thieves
Tourists aren’t the only ones eager about new experiences and opportunities – local thieves and pickpockets thrive on first-time visitors who aren’t familiar with their city. Often disguised as tourists and equipped with an arsenal of sneaky tricks and tactics, thieves target unaware tourists, especially in bigger cities and crowded transit lines.
To protect yourself from pickpockets, stash your documents and cash in a travel money belt, and remember to be alert and aware when in public. As for the expensive gadgets, electronics, engagement rings, and other valuable items, they’re better left at home where they’re safe.
Planning too much in advance
The truth is, plans don’t always work out, especially when you’re abroad visiting a new country. Instead of worrying about the activities that are delayed or canceled, allow yourself to go around and explore, and don’t get too attached to your plans.
Even if they fail, so what? Let your curiosity wander, and don’t put any constraints when it comes to your trip. Realize the importance of being spontaneous and try to make the most of every moment you spend abroad. After all, that’s the whole point of traveling, right?
Traveling without knowing basic local phrases
While English can be used practically anywhere in the world, speaking a language of the country you’re visiting can make your vacation even more enjoyable. Most of us shy away from using a foreign language to communicate with the locals, and it’s a shame because we’re missing out on so many things.
Walking up to a stranger and using their language to communicate makes them appreciate you more, and therefore, you are able to get more help or a better treatment overall. That being said, it wouldn’t hurt to learn just a couple of basic travel phrases.
Not stepping out of your comfort zone
When traveling abroad, our first instinct is to find something that’s familiar and stick with it. However, crossing the borders often requires stepping out of our comfort zone and doing things that are somewhat different from our normal, day-to-day routine.
Traveling is all about discovering new places, people, and cultures, so why not try something exciting while you’re at it? Don’t be afraid of making mistakes, either – that’s the only way to broaden your horizons and enrich your life with fun-filled adventures and memorable experiences.
As enjoyable as vacations can be, sometimes things just don’t turn out the way we imagined. However, by employing the tips mentioned above, you can successfully avoid some of the most common traveling pitfalls and ensure an adventurous, exciting holiday vacation.