“The world is a book, and those who do not travel, read only a page” – Saint Augustine.
No truer words have been spoken because very few activities offer world exposure like traveling does. We all make mistakes, especially while traveling. Some people would even argue that mistakes are an inherent part of the travel process since they teach us so much. Although true, some mistakes can also ruin your itinerary or create unnecessary trouble, especially while you’re traveling internationally.
Little mistakes or things not going according to the plan may induce spontaneity and teach you how to think on your feet, but brief pre-outing research can save you from major inconvenience.
That is why we are here with the six most common mistakes people make while traveling so you can avoid them on your next adventure.
1. Inconsistent Itinerary
Many people make the mistake of picking the destinations first and planning their activities later. Ideally, it should be the other way around.
In such a case, you may find yourself in an expensive tourist spot with nothing interesting to do except walk around idly. For example, if you want to visit Pigeon Forge, try to search for things to do in Pigeon Forge and plan your itinerary accordingly.
This exercise saves you from being bored in a tourist spot and offers satisfaction giving you exactly what you are looking for.
2. Over Ambitious Itinerary
Vacations are exciting but usually short-lived. So naturally, people try to fit in as many destinations as possible over a few days. That’s a rookie mistake.
Ten cities in eight days may sound great on paper, but such a packed itinerary will not offer any room to take in your surroundings or truly appreciate the ambiance of a destination. It’s best to select a few top destinations according to your travel requirements and immerse yourself in the holiday spirit by interacting with the locals or participating in the native culture.
Very few people possess the self-discipline to avoid this mistake, and almost every traveler has regretted packing heavily for a vacation.
Heavy luggage is not only hard to carry and move around but can also cost you extra money at customs or when hiring a bell boy.
That’s not all – too many unnecessary items are hard to manage on a trip. They lead to a messy room, a higher probability of forgetting something, and an aching back. Keep the following things in mind while packing for a trip:
- Start with a carry-on bag – only size up when you truly need to
- Make a list of necessary items, then try to reduce the list in half
- Avoid packing full outfits – try to stick with clothing items that you can mix and match
- Pack according to your planned activities
4. Poor Knowledge About Local Culture
Educating yourself about the local culture is of paramount importance, especially during international travels. Learning common customs, phrases, and greetings can take you a long way and make your travels much more pleasant.
Neglecting to learn about the local culture of an area may backfire too, since many countries around the world have highly contrasting social customs and values.
You may end up offending the locals through any gesture or action of yours. Make an effort to research the socio-economic culture of an area before you visit it. Also, keep a keen eye on the political scene of the country you are visiting to avoid any unpleasant situations during your travels.
5. Spending Too Much Time on Social Media
When you are exploring scenic locations and taking beautiful pictures, it’s only natural that you’d want to share them with others through social media, but you must avoid that.
Social media is ever-present and it will be there when you get back home; the scenic location, though? Not so much.
Try to live in the moment, take in the ambiance, interact with the locals, take pictures, try new food, and save the sharing for later. Try to limit your screen time to a minimum while traveling.
6. Not Checking the Weather Forecast
One of the most common mistakes when traveling is failing to check the weather forecast in the days leading to the getaway.
Keep yourself informed about the peak and off-seasons and the general climate of your travel spot. Also, educate yourself about the general weather situation of an area on the days you plan to visit. This exercise will help you pack suitable clothing items and plan the itinerary accordingly.
Just like many other things, don’t expect your travels to be perfect and completely error-free. You will forget a few things, you may take a wrong turn here and there, you may arrive at a wrong station, but remember, it’s all part of the process. These unexpected things make traveling so exciting and spontaneous. With time you may even learn to enjoy these minor hiccups. But don’t forget to research and plan thoroughly to add tons of comfort and convenience to your travel experience.