The excitement of knowing that you will be on holiday soon is one like no other. There’s nothing better than a week or two relaxing and exploring somewhere new!
However, in our excitement, many of us make silly mistakes when going on holiday. Some things are overlooked, we make poor decisions, leave packing to the last minute and everything in between. Let’s talk about some of the very common mistakes we make when going on holiday and how you can avoid them.
Number 1 – Overpacking
This seems to be a running trend ever since the dawn of holidays. People are seemingly willing to even pay extra for overweight luggage at the airport just to take that extra pair of shoes which take up a big portion of the suitcase. Chances are you won’t ever need more than one spare pair of shoes, especially on warm holidays. You don’t want to incur any extra charges so if you’re unsure and you want to speak to an actual person at your chosen airline, take a look at Customer Service Guru, who provide hard-to-find telephone numbers (airlines can be notoriously hard to contact!).
Number 2 – Not exploring
Too many people stick to the purely touristic locations when abroad. While those places are touristic for a reason, due to either historical importance or just on merits of their grandeur alone and clearly worth seeing, they are usually a rather poor representation of the country. Seeing the commercial districts is great but it will not give you a sense of what it’s like to actually be in said country. Straying off the touristic trail can not only be a much more culturally enriching experience, but ca also provide some downtime for your wallet. Some of the best food I’ve ever had has been when I’ve gone ‘off-the-beaten-track’.
Number 3 – Not preemptively booking accommodation
Often due to leaving everything for the last moment people tend to look for a hotel or any form of place to stay when they get there. Once you’re there, you’re unlikely to be thinking clearly; when you’re tired and loaded with suitcases you’ll be willing to pay any price to finally lie down in bed – not good! It is a lot cheaper (and safer) to book in advance rather than quickly looking for something on the spot.
Number 4 – Not being aware of mobile phone charges abroad
It might seem strange that in the 21st-century companies still charge you extra just for using your mobile abroad. It seems like such a basic part of everyday life, but most providers will charge you for both receiving and making calls or even sending texts when abroad. Sometimes you can pay a small fee so that you do not get charged insane amounts abroad for the next month or something along those lines, definitely worth looking into. Note: I’m on o2 and my UK plan is transferred whenever I go abroad now, so hopefully this will roll out to all providers.
Number 5 – Forgetting to tell your bank about your holiday plans
The sudden realisation that your card is not working is a terrible one that no one should have to go through, especially in a foreign country far away from home. Before you leave the country, make sure to go to your local branch of whichever bank you are with and tell them the exact dates of when you will be using your card abroad. Some banks allow you to even notify them of this either online, making the whole process a lot less time-consuming.
Number 6 – Not leaving any free time on your holiday schedule
Planning what you want to see in advance is not a bad idea, it is actually pretty good to do so. One thing that isn’t good to do however is filling your schedule so tightly that in the end, you don’t even really feel like you are on holiday. This is a common problem, running from location to location, blindly feeling your way around the local public transportation just trying to see the next thing on the list (I recently exhausted my sisters in Paris doing this).
To be honest, it’s a rather tiring process, both physically and mentally. When planning, make sure to leave some days with no activities or at least leave some leeway in your schedule which would allow you to sit down for a coffee or whatever else – you are on holiday, after all!
Have you made any of these mistakes? What are your top tips for travelling abroad?