Guest post by Geraldine Mills, a self-confessed wanderlust and travel writer.What an exciting adventure it is to go out of your home country and experience the culture of foreign places! If it’s going to be your first time to fly out, you tend to get overly excited and forget some of the most important things to consider when traveling. It’s okay, that’s totally normal. We completely understand what you’re feeling.
But just because it’s fine to fail once doesn’t mean you would make the same mistakes over and over. That’s why we’re here. Our primary purpose is to remind you, again and again, to learn from your mistakes.
Don’t you want a hassle-free trip? I mean, we’re all for some misadventures during the trip, and we’re not invalidating the fact that these failures make the best stories in the future, but who are we kidding?
We’re traveling to get some time away from all the accumulated stress that our work puts upon us. So the least we can do is to avoid these travel mistakes and enjoy the rest of your holiday.
8 Things You Should Not Do When You Travel Internationally
1. Skipping Travel Insurance
A lot of us skip this part and say, “Oh, nothing unfortunate can happen on this trip.”
And then here comes the trip, and your bag gets shipped to Kazakhstan instead of having it with you in London. And that’s just a minimal problem to think about.
Accidents can happen anytime, so skipping the travel insurance might cost you even more than getting the actual insurance. It’s relatively cheap if you ask me, but paying for hospital bills because of an accident? That’s going to cost you more.
Don’t scrimp on the insurance. You need to get yourself covered.
2. Exchanging Cash at the Airport
Carrying the mindset that you can always exchange your money to the country’s local currency at the airport is not a wise move.
Currency exchange companies may try to dupe you into believing that they offer the best rates. And since you have no other choice but to have your money exchanged, you’ll fall right into their trap.
Although we’re not generalizing the companies, it will still be best to have your bills exchanged in your home country. You can always ask different agencies or companies if they have the currency that you are looking for.
3. Not Bringing a Travel Adapter
This is one major cause of travel stress, especially now that we’re very dependent on our electronic devices.
In case you don’t know, every country has different plug types. Some share the same with the ones you’re used to, but some are entirely different that you will have to buy a charger to be able to use it. That’s one option. The wiser option, however, is to purchase a travel adapter. It has all the types of plugs that you need, no matter where you are in the world.
After all, you can bring the best carry-on luggage with you and still feel something is amiss if you don’t have a travel adapter with you.
4. Not Learning the Local Language
Since English is the universal language, we sometimes assume that everyone can comprehend the language. And to our surprise, once we arrive at our destination, communication gets a bit weird and hard.
The same goes for reading local road or establishment signs. We can’t expect all the countries to adjust according to the needs of tourists.
Keep in mind that tourists are merely visitors. So instead of having the locals adapt to them, the tourists should be the ones to learn the language.
Isn’t that the best way to break language barriers?
5. Taking Taxis to Get Around
I get it. Taxis are tempting to spend on, especially after a long day of walking around. You would want to sit and wait for the driver to drop you off at your hotel.
But this choice is not very cost-efficient. Some drivers tend to cheat on their taximeter, knowing that you are a tourist.
Besides, getting around the city via public transportation is also one way of immersing in another country’s culture. It’s fun to watch locals go about their day-to-day living, and you’re just there being fascinated by a new culture unfolding before your eyes.
6. Dressing inappropriately
Respecting the culture of the country you are visiting is a travel principle that we should be carrying all the time. This includes knowing how to dress appropriately.
If the country you’re visiting has a strict dress code for everyone to follow, you have to comply. It’s not your home country, so you don’t have enough reason not to follow the rules.
Some countries don’t want girls to be showing too much skin, and that’s fine. We should respect them. Proper research can save you future trouble, trust me.
7. Carrying Large Amounts of Cash
What do you need a lot of cash for? Bringing a large amount of money just because you haven’t planned anything yet is a recipe for unfortunate events. You can either lose some of your cash or, worse, become the target of pickpockets.
One tip that you can follow is to divide your cash according to your daily expenses. Don’t bring your entire fund every time you go out. Keep it on separate pockets or envelopes to prevent unwanted loss.
You’ll never know when you will encounter one, so to be safe, bring enough cash to last you until the end of your holiday. If you’ve set a specific budget for this trip, then you’re good.
8. Doing Too Many Activities
Trying to squeeze in every tourist spot you can think of all in one trip is exhausting. It’s like you don’t have time to savor each moment and appreciate all that’s happening in front of you. That’s because you’re rushing to get to the next destination.
It’s tempting, that’s understandable. But if you wish to see all those places, you might want to consider extending your vacation for a few more days to maximize the trip. That is if you really can’t control yourself into packing it all in one go.
Nothing is holding you back, and you can always come back. You have to plan your trip carefully and efficiently.
Have you been guilty about any of the ones listed above? If yes, you already know what to do.
Author: Kaspars Misins
Kaspars is a long term traveler and a travel blogger from Latvia. He loves going on long walks, reading non fiction books and spending time outdoors. Together with his girlfriend Una they have been traveling – volunteering – working abroad since 2013. On We Are From Latvia they share their experience and things learned along the way.