Travel mistakes to avoid!!!

Traveling is such a fun thing to do but just like everything in life mistakes can be made some worst than others; so here are 15 mistakes to avoid and how to avoid them:

1. Not Making Copies of Important Documents

Always carry a copy of your passport, License, etc... because you never know when something might go astray and when abroad it's hard to get such things renewed. Keep it in your wallet or purse, you might want to keep two of them just be extra safe.

2. Not Having Enough Cash

Not every foreign country is as card friendly as the US or Europe which is something people take for granted. In places such as Bali or Jamaica and others, CASH is KING.

3. Eat at Major Tourist Spots

Don't do it, or at least don't do it during your whole trip. I've found that the best places are where the locals eat and they are always cheaper. By all means, visit a famous restaurant, go to the tourist traps but don't make it your entire trips.

4. Booking Everything in Advance

This one depends on the kind of trip you are having. If you are solo traveling I recommended booking certain things in advance but there are other activities that can be booked in person because it allows you to haggle and get a better price. Waiting also gives you the chance to attend activities with new friends.

5. Exchange your money at the airport

DON'T DO IT or at least don't exchange all of your money at the airport; exchange just enough to take a taxi and maybe a bite and make it to your accommodation. Airport exchange rates tend to be extremely high. You have a better chance at the local locations (of course be vigilant).

6. Not unlocking your phone

Most people assume their phones can be used anywhere which is not always true. If you plan to use a local sim card, you will NEED an unlocked phone. Make sure to call your phone carrier to verify if it can be used. Certain carriers such as T-Mobile allows for temporary unlock when the phone is not fully paid off.

7. Ruling out Hostels

Hostels have a bad reputation but I can promise you they are not all bad. Some hostels are quite luxurious, it all depends on the one you choose. Of course, not all hostels are the same therefore do your research. Hostels are great places for solo travelers to meet other travelers and take advantage of tours at a discounted rate.

8. Not visiting the local tourist office

The internet has a lot of information about a destination you may want to visit but checking out the local tourism office can bring you insights and tell you about hidden gems you didn't think about. They will certain knowledge that you might not find online.

9. Sticking to the tourist trail

I am all for checking out the "tourist traps" but don't stick to them only, do not be afraid to go towards the path less traveled. Do your own research and do something that isn't on the "normal" tourist path; you can't imagine the gems you will find.

10. Overpacking

I understand that you may need outfit options which can in turn make you pack way more than you need. I can promise you half the clothes you think you will need you won't even unpack. I recommend packing outfits that go well with one another like that you have a multitude of options. Worst come to worst you can purchase the extra things you might need at your destination.

11. Not Buying Travel Insurance

Spend the extra dollars it takes to be covered. It will allow you to enjoy your vacation without worries in case something happened (lost baggage, trip delay or cancellation, medical emergency, evacuation, etc.) Make sure to read the fine prints so you know what is included and what is not.

12. Having a Short Layover

That is a big no-no for multiple reasons. 1) What if the airport is so big such as Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and you can't make it to the next gate on time? 2) What if your first flight is a little delayed and the other flight leaves without you? 3) Let's not forget long customs lines etc... If you have a layover make it a minimum of 1.5 hours or more.

13. Not Notifying your Bank

Imagine you are in Tokyo enjoying a meal and you go to pay and can't because your bank has blocked your card. I can assure you, it is quite inconvenient.

This is an amateur mistake that can happen to everyone and has happened to me multiple times. Please make sure to call your bank and let them know you are traveling. Some banks allow you to add your travel dates directly from their apps like that you do not need to call.

14. Not Backing-Up your Pictures/Videos

I hope you never lose or have your phone or camera stolen and lose all of your pictures and videos which is why at the end of each amazing adventurous day, you should back up your pictures and videos and never lose those memories. Try to back up more than once in case something else happens.

15. Ignoring Local’s Advice

Locals know best (of course not always, be vigilant) about certain situations. Obviously evaluate and decide which advice to listen to but do listen when your gut tells you to. You never know when a piece of advice can save you from robbery, or an attack.

There are many more mistakes we can make; what are some errors you've made and how did you rectify the situation?

Estelle <3

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