Travelling is beautiful. It’s absolutely incredible, actually, yet sometimes it can get difficult as well. How to avoid getting yourself in trouble? How to plan your trip in the best possible way? We talk a lot about what to do to have a fantastic time, but it’s also important to avoid some common mistakes. That’s why here’s a list of 11 things not to do when you travel.
1. Not taking care of yourself
We all need to eat and sleep. Travelling doesn’t make a robot out of anyone. Even if you consider yourself a hardcore backpacker, you still should take care of yourself. Eating too little or unhealthy, partying night after night with no sleep whatsoever, walking too much if you’re not used to it, ignoring the signals given by your body when it’s tired – these things can destroy your journey. And is one of the things not to do when you travel. Have fun, dance, explore, go out, but remember about the basic needs you have. Don’t push your limits too much, because it’ll only make you tired or ill. Take a nap from time to time, rest a bit, have some fruit and stay strong!
Eating in tourist restaurants
They’re the easiest to find. They basically call you while you walk the streets. Unfortunately, restaurants located in the most touristy areas tend to be just bad. That’s not where you should look for authentic local flavors. Before you go to eat out, ask a local for recommendations, they’ll tell you how to find the real delights.
Forgetting about travel insurance
When we plan our trips, the last thing we want to think of is that something will go seriously wrong. You don’t want to imagine yourself losing all important documents, being a victim of a nasty scam or getting ill. Bad things happen, though. You don’t have to think of them too much, but it’s good to acknowledge sometimes not everything goes the way we’d like it too. That’s why having a travel insurance is smart. Most likely you won’t need it. Let’s hope that’ll be the case and the insurance will turn out useless in a practical way, but having it, you’ll feel safer and more confident.
Skipping recommended pre-travel vaccinations
They’re recommended for a reason. When you travel to exotic destinations, you immediately become more vulnerable. If you don’t want to spend the vacation in a remote local hospital, you’d better not belittle the importance of vaccines. It costs money, yes, it takes a bit of time, yes, but it can save your holidays, health or even life.
Planning too many activities
Planning too many acivities is defenitely one of the things not to do when you travel. It’s a very common mistake, especially among travelers who, for a variety of reasons, can only afford a short vacation. If you work hard all year and finally get a week off, obviously you want to take the best out of this week, but don’t go too far with this intention. You’re supposed to enjoy, not stress even more than at work. Don’t rush. Do as much as you can, discover places, but be realistic about the pace.
Remember moving from one point to another takes time, even getting from a train station to your hotel will take a while. Take into consideration that you might want to have a rest sometimes, just lay down on the beach and sunbathe or take a pleasant nap in a hammock. When you plan the trip, leave a bit of space for spontaneous ideas. Who knows, perhaps you’ll be invited to a local event to find a magical spot you’d like to spend more time at.
Dressing inappropriately or uncomfortably
Pack the clothes you feel most comfortable in. It applies to shoes first of all – having a comfy pair is super important. Whether you’re going to a tropical paradise or mountainous areas, shoes are essential. Check the weather forecast and adjust your packing list to what it says. Don’t take flashy things, unless you really want to attract pickpockets. Looking like a typical tourist isn’t a good idea either, that’s also something thieves like very much, they immediately know who’s a potential target. Besides, if you’re traveling to places that differ culturally from your own, read a bit about the customs. There are countries where your normal clothing will be inappropriate. Respect the culture and adjust a bit.
Packing lots of unnecessary stuff
No matter how and where you travel, packing light is always the best option. It’s not fun to go sightseeing with a heavy backpack or carry a huge suitcase around the airport. Get a nice, good quality luggage that won’t disappoint you during your travels and then fill it with necessities.
Being religious about saving money
Even if you’re traveling on a budget, don’t underestimate the value of your time and safety. Sometimes it just doesn’t make sense to get a ticket that is $20 USD cheaper if it means you’re going to spend a whole night at the airport and reach the destination absolutely exhausted. When you go back from a party at night and aren’t sure how to find your hostel, it’s better to take a cap than wander around questionable neighborhoods. One day you’ll spend more, the next day you’ll keep the budget very low, and it’ll all be okay in the end. It’s good to be thrifty, but only as long as it’s safe and reasonable.
Using banks with high fees for foreign transactions
Instead of paying high fees for each transaction you make, open an account in a bank that doesn’t charge extra for international transactions. Banks have a very wide range of offers now, and there’s a lot to choose from. No need to waste your money on ATM fees and other charges.
Ignoring local customs
Ignoring local customs is most defenitely one of the things not to do when you travel. Do some research about the places you’re going to visit, in particular, if these places are culturally exotic for you. Do your best to be a good guest, you’ll surely be rewarded with warm welcoming. It doesn’t mean you have to limit your freedom or pretend someone you’re not, it only means you should be respectful.
Visiting only the most tourist places
Go exploring! Try to get off the beaten track and see some places that aren’t full of tourists. Of course, it’s great to see the Eiffel Tower when you’re in France, take a ride on the London Eye or visit Taj Mahal. Their highlights are not without reason. Yet, if you have more time to spend, let yourself get a bit lost. Wander around, talk with locals, and learn about their everyday life and culture. Travelling is a great way to broaden one’s horizons, but that’s not going to happen if you’ll only move from point A to B.
Do you have some other tips? Let us know! And share this list of things not to do when you travel with your friends, especially those who just begin their adventures!