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I made my fair share of travel mistakes in the past. I feel like travelling is a learning curve and we keep on learning every time we travel. As a traveller to another traveller, I want to help you avoid these travel mistakes before you actually experience them. These are 9 travel mistakes to avoid making on your next trip!
Travel mistakes can be quite funny though. Those ones where you just have to laugh at yourself because it is so silly. I have had those before and I sometimes couldn’t believe how I even got into the situation. Those mistakes are so innocent and totally fine to make. I will be focussing on the mistakes that I honestly regret making and would never make again!
9 Common Travel Mistakes To Avoid Making
Get your notebook ready ór save this post to read later on. You really want to avoid these travel mistakes on your next trip.
Not making enough pictures or videos
Maybe it’s because I’m a travel blogger and wish I had tons of pictures from my past trips to show you in a blogpost. I truly, truly regret not taking enough pictures in Singapore and even Bali. I just started my blog and kinda got into photography at the énd of my Bali trip. I seriously only have 15 pictures from Singapore and a few dozens from Bali.
Looking back, even if you don’t have a blog or something else, pictures are so valuable. Just to have on your laptop or external hard drive. I have, as I mentioned in my 2 ways to create a travel photo album, a traditional photo album where I glued my pictures in. These are awesome to keep for yourself, your family and friends, and to show your grandkids later in life!
Completely plan the trip
I love planning my trip because it helps me to create content and makes me feel like I have seen it all. However, I used to absolutely plan my entire trip, leaving me with no space for spontaneous actions. That’s just a shame because looking back, I wish I had left some free time to re-visit a place or to go somewhere I local recommended me. Yes to planning trips, no to completely planning trips because you have no way of going with the flow.
Not interaction enough with locals and the culture
I do this now since my Singapore and Bali trip, but I wish I had started earlier with engaging and connecting with the locals and the culture. As a tourist, it is so easy to just stay within your own little bubble and live as a tourist. However, locals hold the secrets to the destinations let’s be honest here. They can talk about the history of the place for hours and share the ultimate hidden gems on the destination.
I highly suggest that you, on your future trip, connect with them a little more and show your appreciation. They are a big part of our travels and they welcome us as tourists. I have shared tips to give back to the local community before and those tips are so easy to start using!
Eating near a major tourist site
As a new traveller, you may not realize how much more expensive dining near a major tourist site is. Even drinking coffee or having lunch could be double or even triple the price because of the view or the area. I always avoid eating or drinking near a big tourist site because it is just crazy expensive. Walk 3-5 streets away from the tourist side and it will save you lots of money!
Getting your cash in our own currency
Some countries have ATMs or exchange offices that provide an option of using your own currency when getting your cash. I am not completely sure how this works though. When I went to an ATM in Bali, it asked if I wanted to use the Bali currency or the Euro and you always, always have to choose the local currency. Obviously, you will get the cash in the local currency anyways. This is just about how you card should recognize the cash withdraw. Doing this in your own currency will cost you more.
They sometimes ask this when you pay at a cashier too. Some have the option of already converting the local currency to your own, so in my case, I would be able to pay for my coffee in Euros instead of another currency. In the end, this is more expensive than just using the local currency. Once again, I don’t know the ins and outs but I do know that paying in the local currency is always cheaper.
Not notifying your bank account that you’re travelling
Oh gosh. I have had this happen to me on Bali. Even I thought I did it right. Whenever you travel abroad, you have to either activate an option that provides you using your debit or credit card on the other side of the world. I have to do this manually and I decided to only activate it for the time I was abroad. However, it somehow changed during my trip and I wasn’t able to withdraw money. Luckily I have an online app but I needed to drive to a café with wi-fi to activate it again.
If you don’t do this – you may not be able to withdraw cash or your bank will block your card due to suspicious activity. Always make sure that your bank knows you’re abroad and avoid this mistake. It was very stressful and I almost cried because I wasn’t able to pay my taxi and accommodation. It turned out fine in the end luckily!
To have unrealistic expectations
Expectations can honestly ruin your trip. A big part of us getting unrealistic expectations is social media. Scrolling through Instagram gives you lots of inspiration and excitement about a destination. Not everyone tells the entire story and romanticises a destination without telling how crowded it is (for example). I just published a blogpost telling you if Nusa Penida is worth the hype where I talk about this exact topic.
I now go with less and almost no expectations. I want to be surprised when I’m there and not be disappointed because it doesn’t look like a photo with a filter on Instagram. Less expectations will avoid this!
To forget the transaction fees
Call your bank to know the transaction fees for foreign purchases before going on your trip. You want to keep this in mind because it can get a little expensive if you keep on buying and withdrawing cash. Instead, withdraw more cash in one go and save it in different places for safety reasons (not saying you should cash out A LOT of money though, just to get through a few days). It will save money too!
And some ATMs have additional fees too so you’d have these additional fees ánd your transactions fees. My pro trip – just don’t use the ATMs that have these fees. In all honesty, they are not allowed to do this so you need to find one that doesn’t have those additional fees. They always ask if you agree on the additional fees before you withdraw your money so you can cancel the transaction and find another one.
Failing to check your travel documents
Just all in one – make sure your passport is valid. Some countries require your passport to be valid for another 6 months upon arriving or even longer. You NEED to check this or else you may not even get into the country. Always get a travel insurance because you just never know what’s going to happen. Your stuff could get stolen or you could get sick or injured and need to go to the hospital. Yes, travel insurances is an extra expense but you will be so happy if you actually need it.
These are the biggest travel mistakes to avoid. And yes, obviously, I might still make new travel mistakes in the future because I said it is a learning curve. Especially if you travel to a new country or even a new continent. However, the mistakes I mentioned can happen in every single continent and country so save this post and make sure to never ever make them.
What’s a travel mistake you made that I need to avoid? Let me know!