Now that travel plans are coming in thick and fast after a pandemic-induced hiatus, you may be feeling a little rusty on the dos and don’ts before, during and after your holiday. Here’s a list of eleven mistakes made when travelling that you can avoid making everything hassle-free. 

1. Overpacking 

Photo by Anete Lusina on Unsplash

A classic first mistake made before you head off! We recommend preparing early by making a checklist, followed by laying out clothes for a ‘first round’ before culling by at least a third. You really don’t need five dresses for your two-week trip! Try book accommodation that has a washing machine so you can put a quick load through. If this isn’t possible, laundromats are a (usually) affordable option, or hand washing in a bathroom sink is even easier. 

2. Not doing any research into the local culture of your destination(s) 

Bali temple
Photo by @thebalinesepeople on Instagram

It always pays to do a quick Google of the dos and don’ts of wherever you’re travelling to. You may not know that Singapore will fine you up to $1,000 if you chew gum in public, or that some sacred places require you to cover both your shoulders and knees (not just one or the other). If a destination requires service tipping, the rough calculation of how much to tip is always handy to know, too!  

3. Creating an unrealistic itinerary 

Photo by Jared Rice on Unsplash

There’s nothing quite like the excitement of planning a trip. So much so, that you might jam pack too much into each day. While you may think you can do it all…in reality, it’s not that easy. Factors like getting lost, fatigue, and weather should be taken into consideration. Pace yourself and aim for 2 – 3 activities per day, ensuring you can tick items off the bucket list but also have a little down time and/or spontaneity.  

4. Dining close to major tourist attractions 

Trastavere neighbourhood
Photo by @cglalarne on Instagram

This is a big no-no. The cafés and restaurants that are found within an arm’s reach of the Sagrada Familia know that travellers are easy pickings. It is well worth walking a few streets further out to find a more authentic experience. We would also recommend avoiding places that have pictures on their menus – it might seem handy, but these are certainly tourist traps. 

5. Booking flights with a short layover  

Airport departures board
Photo by Anete Lusina on Unsplash

When travelling long haul, it’s easy to want to choose the route with the least amount of travel time. You can’t control flight delays or the length of the security lines, so for the sake of avoiding a stressful situation and potentially incurring extra costs, make sure your trip doesn’t have any short layovers.  

6. Not learning basic local phrases 

This is a key mistake to avoid, and one that can help you deepen your knowledge of the destination. Learn the basic phrases for ‘hello’, ‘please’, ‘thank you’, ‘a table for XX’ and even ‘where can I find the XX?’ and you will likely find that locals are friendlier and appreciate your efforts. 

7. Ensuring you’ve triple checked your travel details 

Travel planning
Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Ensure you’ve not just double, but triple checked all your travel details before you go – the dates, times and anything you’ve pre-booked.  

8. Just buy it 

Photo by Anton Ivanchenko on Unsplash

We’ve all been there before – you spot a charming souvenir but pass it up as you think that you’ll find another one later down the track. But then it’s never to be seen again! Just buy it there and then, no matter if it’s a souvenir or a higher-priced item! This will save you much regret while travelling. 

9. Not checking a taxi fare before you go 

Taxi drivers are skilled at spotting tourists. Don’t make the mistake of not checking a taxi fare before you hop in, otherwise you may have a large cost at the end. 

10. Drinking the water 

A mistake made while travelling that we often take for granted. In countries where tap water isn’t drinkable, local supermarkets will sell large bottles for an affordable price. You can also purchase water purification tablets before you travel, handy to keep on hand if you’re unsure about the water quality. 

11. Letting your budget take over 

Photo by Reynier Carl on Unsplash

While you have probably been saving extra for this holiday, the joy of being overseas can be diminished if you’re constantly counting every penny. This is your well-deserved holiday so build in a couple of ‘treat yourself’ moments, whether it be a nice meal out or a piece of artwork to take home. 

Hopefully the list of mistakes made while travelling will help your future trips a breeze. Discover the world with us on an Avalon Waterways river cruise, or a Globus or Cosmos tour. 

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