Are you wasting your travel time?

Whether you’re looking to spend hours by the beach with a good book and a margarita, or trying to see LA in a day, time is of the essence when you’re on holiday. So, don’t waste it with these seven travel time wasters.

Waiting in airport boarding/security lines
Don’t just rock up to the airport and wait in the check-in line: take advantage of online flight and baggage check-in.

Booking connecting flights
Booking a flight with a connection may save you money but will almost definitely waste time. If you have a limited amount of time away, spending a day in an airport awaiting a connecting flight is just draining seconds from your holiday. And the more connections you have, the more likely you’ll experience delays. Book a non-stop flight – not a direct flight – for the most efficient use of your flying time.

Sometimes a long commute is necessary. And while booking a flight that lands at an airport far from where you’re staying, or staying at a hotel far from the city may initially look like cost-efficient options, the time and money you waste getting around town will quickly put an end to that theory. Also, trying to see too many landmarks in one day will mean you end up spending a lot of time on a train, bus or cab just trying to get from A to B. So, plan your travels wisely and, if you don’t want to spend all your time commuting, choose your ‘must-see’ spots carefully.

Souvenir hunting
You’d be amazed at how fast finding that perfect snow globe for Phoebe can turn into an obsession, and how quickly that obsession can waste a day. Souvenir shopping is a sure-fire way to sap the seconds from your sojourn and, nine times out of 10, they’ll end up in your junk drawer anyway.

So, you get up early, shower, get dressed and head on down to the breakfast buffet. It’s 8am and yet, by the time you’ve stuffed your face, two hours have passed. Sure, the breakfast was included in the fee, and no-one’s telling you not to eat. So, instead of picking up a plate, grab a napkin and stuff it with goodies instead. You’ll be on the road and sightseeing by 8.15am.

Watching movies and TV
It’s difficult to believe, but many travellers get stuck in their hotel room watching television or movies that they can’t see at home. It’s television, darn it! It will grace your screen someday soon. You’re in New York – go see a Broadway show! You can’t do that back home (and you’ll never be able to, either).

Social media
Taking photos of your escargot and posting it to Facebook may seem like fun, but then add up all the time you take doing the same for every meal and you’ll quickly see how much time you waste. Social media is a fun way to keep your friends and family connected and up to date with your travels, but at what expense? Why waste time uploading, posting and commenting when you could be doing some serious ‘experiencing’ instead?

Do you know of any other travel time wasters? Are there better ways to spend a day?

Related articles:
Are you ruining your holiday?
Costly travel mistakes to avoid
11 travel tips you need to know

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Publisher of YourLifeChoices – Australia's most-trusted and longest-running retirement website. A trusted voice on Australia's retirement landscape, including retirement income and planning, government entitlements, lifestyle and news and information relevant to Australians over 50. Leon has worked in publishing for more than 25 years and is also a travel writer and editor, graphic designer and photographer.

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