Being an adventurous soul at heart, I often take risks and avoid to plan everything prior to traveling. As exciting as this might be, there are some mistakes that you should avoid, whether you are a beginner in the travel world or you’ve done it a thousand times. Traveling can quickly become the worst experience if you realize after a 13 hour flight that you can’t enter the country or if you let yourself be used by taxi drivers who realize that you don’t know anything about the city.
Here are 5 mistakes to avoid. This can save you a lot of trouble:
1- Forget to double-check if you need a visa
‘I didn’t know I needed a visa!’ you sure don’t want to be the person saying that to a travel agent at the airport. Most of the time, a quick google search can tell you if you need a visa to enter a certain country or not but it is important to make sure you check directly with the embassy. Insist on every single detail: your nationality, the length of your stay, the number of entries permitted. I know we all wish that we could freely enter everywhere but the visa process is way less painful than it seems. Avoid filling an application form too early if you find out that you need a visa. Most of them are valid for the 6 months following the application so no need to apply in january if you are leaving for the summer. 1 month 1/2 prior to departure seems like a reasonable gap to me.
2- Forget to get information on the local cuisine
Yes it is exciting to try new things and blend in with the culture BUT if you have any allergies or don’t tolerate certain ingredients, get information on the local cuisine before you choose your destination. Of course you can ask for less spice at restaurants or other adjustments but keep in mind that in some countries, like India for example, not spicy means medium spicy. Keep that in mind.
3- Forget to write down your hotel/hostel address before taking off
This happened to me once. When I arrived in Barcelona i realized that I hadn’t screenshot the address of the hostel. I had no internet (I couldn’t pay since my credit card had been stolen in Italy a month before). I found a way to get there but write everything down just in case.
4- Trust the taxi drivers and tourist desk at the airport
When you just step out of the airport, you automatically become a target for locals trying to get some extra cash. Pretend that you came here many times before and that you’ve never heard of such prices. Always start by asking half of what they propose. Don’t trust travel desk! They are on a mission to make you pay as much money as possible. Wait till you know the city a little better before booking tours with them or letting them get you a taxi.
5- Learn 0 word of their language
Always try to learn ‘Hello’ or ‘Where is…’ in their language. You might realize that some people actually don’t speak english 😉
A travel lover