No matter how carefully you plan your trip, you are sure to make some travel mistakes before, during and after your adventure.
It happens to the best of us, but fortunately most of them can be avoided with some simple precautions.
Here are five of the most common holiday hurdles and how you can avoid them.
1. Not Buying Travel Insurance
Most trips go smoothly, so people often think of travel insurance as an unnecessary expense. In fact, 28% of people fail to protect themselves on holiday.
However, this is a mistake. Here's why...
If you do fall ill or get injured in an accident, the cost of medical treatment soon adds up. Sometimes to thousands or even hundreds of thousands of pounds.
And then there’s the cost of repatriation once you’re well enough to return home. Even relatively minor injuries can leave you in debt.
It’s just not worth the risk.
2. Packing Too Much
We’ve all been there — packing extra clothes, shoes etc, just in case.
Most (if not all) of the time these things are never worn or used, leaving you with bulky bags to carry around, or struggling to re-pack at the end of your trip.
Instead, make a list of everything you plan to do and what you’ll need for it.
Check the weather forecast, too, and decant your toiletries into travel-size bottles, especially if you’re only taking hand luggage. You could even buy some products at the airport once you reach your destination, or just use the free ones in your hotel.
Here's more on how to pack properly for travel!
3. Being Too Flashy
Flaunting any expensive clothes or accessories marks you out as a tourist in many parts of the world and is a surefire way to attract the attention of thieves, beggars and pickpockets.
No one wants their holiday ruined by being mugged. Dress simply, leave jewellery at home, and be discreet whenever you need to pay for food, drink, tickets etc.
Don’t get your phone out while you’re in a large crowd, either — it’s very easy for thieves to snatch it from your hands before you’ve even realised what’s happened.
Walking with an air of confidence helps, too.
You may not be able to convince anyone you’re a local, but it’s possible to look like an expat or a resident if you pretend you know where you’re going.
4. Ignoring The Guidebook
It's great to look beyond the classic tourist attractions and find alternative things to do.
Being spontaneous is one of the most enjoyable parts of travelling, so don't rule it out completely.However, it’s not advisable to ignore everything your guidebook says.
As well as ideas for sightseeing, most guides will also contain valuable information about the area, including local customs, where you should avoid going, and any common scams tourists need to keep an eye out for.
Basically, there’s a balance between sticking to traditional tourist paths and doing your own thing. Heed the warnings (if there are any) when you set off to explore.
5. Overstaying Your Visa (or Forgetting to Apply For One)
It’s very easy to leave out applying for a visa when you’re making holiday plans, especially when the excitement is building.
You might not realise you need one, or you may just forget about it altogether.
Always research entry requirements well in advance to prevent a last-minute panic, or worse, having to turn back at the airport and fly back home (this site has an A-Z list of visa requirements for British passport holders.)
Another common mistake is overstaying your visa, especially on longer trips.
This can be very expensive — don’t forget to check all the terms and conditions of entry and exit before your trip!
We all make travel mistakes; we’re human and it happens.
But keep these tips on avoiding them in mind and you’ll be ready for hurdle-free holiday in no time at all.
Enjoy your travels!
Heads up, this piece is a sponsored guest post written by Amy Stone!
Amy Stone is a 30-something sales rep who saves all her spare time and money for travel.