Saturday, October 5, 2013

Common Travel Mistakes to Avoid

Whether you're a seasoned traveler or taking off for your first vacation, there are several rookie mistakes which can be avoided by planning ahead.

Don't forget local currency!
1. Not having any local currency - Either get some local cash before departing or at an ATM after arrival.  Avoid airport exchanges due to their horrible exchange rates.

2. Not printing out documents and etickets - Good idea to always have a copy of your documents, because you never know if your phone might not work, get stolen, or if you won't have internet or printer access, etc.

3. Not bringing chargers, adapters, converters - In foreign countries, hotels will sometimes offer adapters, but it is always a good idea to have your own.  You'll be very thankful when your camera battery dies and you're able to recharge it!
If there's a souvenir you want, such as
matryoshka dolls from Russia, buy it!

4. Not buying an item now, and thinking you can get it later (on ebay) - If there's something you really want, buy it. If you're on a tight budget, research what items you want ahead of time and set a spending limit. How often are you in Turkey to buy an authentic turkish rug or in Russia for a matryoshka doll?

5. Overpacking - This one speaks for itself.  There's nothing tying you down on a vacation more than too much luggage.  Less stuff = more freedom, which is what a good vacation should be!

6. Credit card foreign transaction fees - Check with your credit cards before leaving home and choose the one with the lowest foreign transaction fee.  Often bank debit cards, which can also be used as credit cards, offer lower rates than the credit cards themselves.

7. Being rude/not appreciating different cultures for just that, being different. - This one speaks for itself.  When traveling, you are representing everyone from your country, and we do not want you to give us a bad name!

8. Don't sweat the small stuff - You work too long and hard to get a vacation.  Try to enjoy both the good as well as unexpected things that come along the journey!


  1. Good column, Ms. Travel! Forgetting chargers/adaptors even on a short trip inside the country is my "Uggh" moment.

  2. Excellent advice for everyone! For example, you might find a cheaper item on e-bay but it won't have the memories!

  3. Another tip is to let your credit card company know you're traveling out of the country. Otherwise they may try to reach you out of caution.

  4. A gentleman on the radio just made a suggestion for families wanting to fly into southern Cali. for Disneyland. He said that children also love the sights in San Diego, so he recommended flying in there and then driving up to the southern L.A. area.

    1. Good suggestion. Always check nearby airports. Often they are less expensive, less crowded and additional flight options!