Before we list any mistakes, here is a list of things you should definitely do ahead of any trip:
- Inform your credit card company of the dates and location of your vacation. Most card issuers have plans in place to protect you against fraud. It will also be easier for them to help you in case your card gets blocked accidentally.
- Change your phone plan to meet the requirements of your travel. With a proper plan, you won’t have to run around looking for a Wi-Fi connection.
- Get an updated travel guide, even if there is a small fee. It can go a long way to enriching your experience, as you do not want to waste time traveling to a closed museum.
- Buy travel insurance. It should not be optional when traveling abroad. No matter how hard you try, you cannot be in complete control of everything that could happen during an international trip, so have coverage in place.
Now, here is a list of common mistakes many travelers make, and how to avoid them:
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Not packing well enough
Make sure you pack your essentials. Toiletries or medical equipment, like a blood glucose monitor, are examples of the above essentials.`
Use the below pointers to become an efficient packer.
- Buy yourself a hardcase suitcase that can survive even if it’s tossed around in the plane.
- Prepare a detailed checklist of things that you’ll need every day. Be sure that you include medications, special toiletries, and other essentials that may be unavailable at your destination.
- Organize your luggage with packing cubes. These cubes help you classify your luggage. The cubes also keep clothes from coming into contact with things like makeup.
- Use the space inside your shoes to hold small electronics.
- Pack a fabric bag that you can use as a laundry basket during your stay to bring back dirty clothes.
- When packing your clothes, always roll and do not fold. Tightly rolling your clothes compresses them and helps save space and keep away wrinkles.
- When packing, always keep the heavier things on the lower end of the case, and lighter stuff on top. This will make the luggage case easier to handle when moving around.
- According to the Transportation Security Administration of the United States liquids rule, you may not carry over 3.4 ounces of liquids in your carryon bag. Make sure you put anything over 3.4 ounces in your checked bag, so that you can get through security without stress. Medications and child nourishment products are exemptions under this rule.
- Get in touch with your hotel and learn what amenities they offer, so you can save space by not packing these things. Most hotels provide quality toiletries and personal hygiene products like a hairdryer and nail file in every room.
- Always make sure you pack your first-aid kit.
Not enjoying your trip
The primary aim of any trip is to lay back and relax. Everyone wants to, but a lot of the times you cannot do so. Here are a few tips on how to relax and enjoy your trip:
- Get out of your comfort zone. Be open to new experiences. If you are alone at a pub, you should engage in a conversation with the locals. If you stick to sitting at a table alone, you cannot interact with the people of your destination.
- Get out of the tourist zone. Most people only check out tourist spots when on a trip. That is a huge mistake. To get the best experience out of your journey, do what the locals do. Tourist spots are expensive and crowded. You will only meet other tourists there. Move a few blocks away and you will get to meet locals, enjoy their cuisine, and participate in new activities. For instance, don’t just rush to the Eiffel tower when you go to Paris. Take time to get to know the city, find the best places to eat, and head to popular hangouts.
- Stop stuffing your itinerary. You are human, and you need time to relax. If you try to cover everything in one trip, you will regret it. Take your time to let the trip sink in. If you missed out on things, jot them down and go there again.
- Leave your work at home. It is no use taking a vacation if you are just going to be working the entire time. Set up an automated email, and program your answering machine to say that you are away on vacation. Leave your work phone back home.
- Have an open mind. Do not expect too much out of your trip. Social media and review sites may pump your expectations up, but keep in mind that every person has different views and tastes. Instead of trying to create picture-perfect moments and Instagram-worthy images, just live in the moment to enjoy your trip.
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Not staying vigilant
There are three essential things you need to do to stay vigilant and protect yourself.
- Protect yourself from diseases. Study your vacation destination and learn what the common diseases are. Get any vaccines and medication that you might need in order to protect yourself against diseases. Also, make sure you protect yourself against insects and pollutants. Get insect repellants and anti-pollution equipment if necessary. Mosquitoes cause almost 500 million diseases every year.
- Protect yourself from fraud. This is something you should be vigilant against at all times.
- Do not connect to public Wi-Fi. Even if you do so in case of emergency, do not log in to your bank or any other sensitive sites using public Wi-Fi.
- Use a well-known or reputed taxi service. Do not use an unfamiliar or unlicensed taxi service, so that you are not overcharged or taken on unnecessarily long routes. When you have no other choice, always make sure you monitor the route using Google Maps.
- If any deal sounds too good to be true, just walk the other way. Often, people ask you to try something on, and they ask you to pay for it later.
- Protect yourself from thieves and pickpockets. These people are abundant in tourist destinations. Learn how pickpockets operate and who they target so that you can avoid becoming a victim.
- Remember, closed bags are safer against thieves.
- Never leave your bags and mobile phones unattended.
- Be aware of your surroundings, especially when in a crowd.
- Do not store valuables in the outside pockets of your backpack or jacket.
- Rear pockets are easy targets for pickpockets.
- Make sure that your wallet blocks RFID so that you are not robbed by the modern thief. These thieves can simply clone your credit card using an RFID scanner held against your wallet.
Use this blog post as a guide to prepare a checklist that can help you prevent these mistakes, and have a great trip.
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