Whether you’re new to overseas travel or you consider yourself a seasoned pro, chances are you’re doing a few things that could lead to problems on your next trip. Here are some common travel mistakes that you may not realise you’re making – and how to avoid them.
Not giving yourself enough time between flights
Forty-five minutes can seem like enough time to leave between connecting flights, but what if the first plane is delayed, the line at customs is too long or the distance between gates is further than you anticipated? Leaving at least an hour and a half between connecting flights is a good way to reduce your chances of missing a flight or having your luggage lost. Also, allowing enough time to go to the bathroom, get something to eat and stretch your legs before your next flight cannot be underestimated.
Not applying for your passport early enough
When applying for or renewing a passport, you will need to complete a New Passport Application form, prove your citizenship and pay the application fee. Processing a new passport can sometimes take four to six weeks, so be sure to get your passport in order as soon as you begin planning your trip. Also check to see when your passport is expiring, as having at least six months’ worth of validity remaining is a condition of entry in some countries.
Not choosing a well-located hotel
When you’re visiting a city there are a couple of reasons for spending a little extra on a hotel that’s right in the city centre: for one, you’ll be in the middle of the action, with better access to tourist sites, eateries and entertainment, and secondly, it’s also more convenient for those afternoons when sightseeing has gotten the better of you and you’re ready for a nap.
Financially, a closer hotel will work out to be a better option because you’ll save on transportation costs, too.
Not allowing time to wander around
It’s tempting to want to visit as many countries as you can while overseas by only allowing one or two nights in each city you visit. However, if you try to see too much too quickly, it can all become a bit of a blur and end up feeling as if you haven’t seen anything at all!
If you can allocate a minimum of three days when visiting major cities such as Paris, London and Rome, you’ll have a richer experience that includes visiting the important sites as well as leaving some time to spend relaxing by fountains and people-watching at cafés.
Not being open about your expectations
With whomever you choose to travel, be sure that what you’re looking for in a holiday matches up with what they want too. Be honest and straightforward – discuss what each of you wants out of the trip, and make sure to schedule time apart if needed. A little conversation now will go a long way in managing any road bumps while you’re away.
Not venturing off the beaten path
It can be tempting to follow the masses, whether it’s jumping on a sightseeing bus with a horde of other foreigners or settling for the first restaurant you see when lunchtime rolls around. But do a little research to experience a new city like a local. To work out exactly where to eat and what to see, browse the internet for insider tips and ask around to see if anyone you know has advice on which museum you could bypass and which is more worthwhile.
What are your best tips for travelling overseas?