Here is Lillian’s latest blog contribution, touching on some important aspects how best to prepare for travel and avoid costly mistakes.
10 COMMON TRAVEL MISTAKES AND HOW TO AVOID THEM
Travelling to a new destination can be so exciting that in the rush of adrenaline, a few of us forget just the most important basics, or generally overlook important details. Here is a list of some aspects you need to note as gathered from travelers on Jovago.com
Going Bonkers on Deals and Discounts
Deals are great, but we all confess to getting too carried away in the hot-sale pitch. It’s important that you take time and scrutinize the offer lest you end up spending half your budget on places and services or passes which you actually could do without.
Remedy: Before you hit the PAY button for that irresistible deal, compare your travel expenses: flight, accommodation, trips and shopping, note down just how much you are saving without straying off the original plan of your trip.
Uncompromising on Dates, Inflexible Planning
Travel experts advise on Tuesday and Wednesday as the best days for travel, flight-wise. The variation in price can change from just a few dollars to hundreds of dollars that could mean one more day on your vacation.
Remedy: Instead of working on fixated dates, choose a suitable travel period and compare the flight prices, only settle for the best seat on the best price possible!
Ignoring Reviews and Not Doing Enough Research
While there are people who are plain malicious on travel review platforms, one should be wiser than to ignore three or more negative comments on a common facility, guide, attendant etc. Beware too of hotel managers who seem to lose their temper online or on phone, or those who do not tend to client comments, complains and compliments.
Remedy: If a certain review in your hotel of choice causes curiosity or anxiety on your side, always make a step to have it verified by someone with authority.
Limiting your Flight Connection Time
Missing your flight has the potential to spoil your whole itinerary on top of causing you unnecessary budget constraints. Imagine a situation where the airport only runs a single flight to your destination in days; this will leave you no choice than to embrace and settle for that particular destination till the next scheduled flight.
Remedy: Be safe. At least leave an hour between your flight times to cover for any minutes lost on the previous flight, or any chances of unseen mishaps such as misplaced luggage, new security practices, baby feeding and rest times etc.
Being Irresponsible and Culturally Insensitive
Part of the basics of responsible tourism is creating better places for the residents, as well as actuating positive interaction between tourists and the local community. Respecting the local culture dictates that you will listen and learn for that short time you’ll be staying. This goes beyond simple rules such as ‘do not litter the beach’ to complex niceties such as salutations, meal time rituals, dressing and religious observations.
Remedy: Always research on your destination, talk to your hotel, travel consultant or even join or make friends with related social media groups where you can freely interact and learn the basic expectations.
Overstretching and Over-estimating Your Itinerary
The whole point of a vacation is to enjoy, unwind, revitalize and make memories! For instance, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro will take anything between 4-6 days depending on the route, weather, and mostly-the climber’s state of health. It would be unwise to cram your trek into 4 days and spend the rest of your holiday time indoor nursing yourself from exhaustion and fatigue.
Remedy: Always seek advice and consult from those who have been there. Apart from bursting your travel plan and always missing on the nightlife or the sun rise activities, travelers also confess to at times underestimating a location and therefore not enjoying it to the maximum.
Fear of the Unknown
No travel quote explains it better than JRR Tolkien’s: “Remember what Bilbo used to say: It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.” It’s the ultimate reason why you need to veer off the touristic path and open your mind to exploration! There is the remedy; travel with an open mind!
Choosing the Wrong Travel Partner
Whether couch surfing or joining a luxurious safari caravan to Masai Mara, your travel partner can make or break your trip. This normally stems from people who imagine their partner should take responsibility over them, when ideas and expectations diverge and generally travelers with emotional baggage. You realize that you could actually be ending your trip earlier than planned when the fella you are cost-sharing with decides they cannot put up with one of the service staff anymore or that they just don’t feel like staying longer!
Remedy: run it like business. Make prior agreements on shared costs, length of vacation, use of shared resources and T&Cs within which decisions can change.
Entirely Trusting the State with your Security
No travel advisory will give you a map of the perilous downtown rail station or the rate of petty robbery in the vegetable markets. As much as most governments strive to ensure security is at its best in respective countries, it’s upon both tourists and residents to watch where they step.
Remedy: do not tempt conmen and pickpockets with wads of new bank notes or gadgets loosely strapped on your neck. Walk like a native, negotiate like a local and ask for directions from different people before you take on the trail.
Failure to back up your Travel Records
From memory ticks, disks and internal memory –always make sure you have a back-up system for all your videos, photos or any other recorded memories of your trip.