As an avid traveler I can honestly say during my early days of traveling I used to make travel mistakes all the time. The good thing is I learned from each mistake, and as time went on and I was exposed to a lot more people I discovered some of these “travel mistakes” were universal. Pretty much everyone has made the same or similar blunders during their travels. I’ve listed down the most common travel mistakes and how to avoid them.
Over packing is an epidemic that has ruled the hearts and minds of travelers for decades, and it has to stop. I know, it’s very tempting to fit in outfits for every possible occasion, especially if you want to take multiple pictures for Instagram. If your luggage is overweight you might get charged during departure or on your way back, depending when you hit the limit. My tip is to pack your bag like you usually do, over pack the heck out of it, and then take out half of the clothes. Just pack a few key pieces that can be rotated in multiple outfits.
It’s extremely important to know exactly what your data plan covers in order to avoid data roaming fees. If the plan doesn’t cover data roaming, then I suggest you turn it off before landing at your destination. if you just want to use the internet during the vacation, keep your phone on airplane mode and you’ll be still able to connect to a WIFI. However, if you can’t live without data, then look into purchasing an international plan or buy a local sim card once you arrive at your destination.
Flight conditions can be awfully unpredictable. Earlier this year we had a stopover in Dubai for two hours before our next flight. Our flight was delayed, and once we reached Dubai our plane was forced to circle the airport for half an hour because of early morning fog. By the time we boarded off the plane we literally had twenty minutes to make it to the gate and catch our next flight. We were the last ones on board our second flight. Your minimum layover should be of two hours if not more. Considering what happened to us, I recommend that you keep it to at least three hours.
Once you leave the airport you’ll need local currency, especially if you’re taking a taxi or using public transportation. You get a better exchange rate if you take out money from the airports ATM. Take out the money you need whilst you are at the airport, and take out some extra for emergencies as well. Even though most of us use credit cards, it’s still important to have some cash in your hands.
Most credit card companies instantly flag foreign transactions in case of credit card fraud, so make sure you inform your credit card company before you leave.