Planning your first overseas trip can be a stressful experience, as you get closer to your departure the fear of the unknown start to set in and your head is bombarded with questions like: How much cash will I be needing, did I bring enough clothes, Did I overbook? I’ve certainly been there and made some foolish first-time mistakes, from which you can learn today and make your first big trip memorable for the right reasons. Here are some of the most common rookie mistakes whiles traveling or preparing to travel, for you to avoid in the future.
The most common mistakes of them all which we continuously repeat over and over again is overpacking. When it comes to traveling, even on a 7 day trip most of us will bring along stuff that we’ll not get the change to use or wear, besides in most cases you’ll probably do some shopping abroad, so why bother bringing 10 pair of outfits on your holiday trip. So instead, bring just essentials from the first aid kit, don’t pack more than 2 pair of jeans, you can pack however more than 3 pairs of shoes as you’ll be on your feet for most of the time, and trust me you don’t want to deal with any blisters. As for the remainder of the clothes you’ll be packing I use a simple trick, which is pack ½ of the clothes you’ll think will be needed, which brings me to my next point.
Underestimating Travel Costs
I’m sure this one is not a newsflash for you and you’re well aware that everything is going to cost more than you initially thought. Underestimating traveling expenses is quite common for rookie travelers, as they do not know what to expect when they arrive, but starting from the flight tickets, to those few extra drinks and those really good locking shoes you had to cop, you’ll end up spending almost double the amount you initially planned.
Another common mistake first time travelers make, especially one’s going on a solo trip is overbook. Sticking to an arranged schedule whiles traveling is a recipe for disaster, not only does it take away a hefty amount of your traveling expenses, it also takes away your freedom and flexibility. When organizing your trip, you want to make yourself as flexible as possible and in order to do this, you shouldn’t book every hostel, tours, breakfast, lunch, dinner or transfer no matter how daunting it seems.
Trying to see everything
When you visit a country for the first time, you’ll want to see as much as possible, because you’re thinking to yourself that maybe you won’t comeback to this place ever again. This is another common mistake among first time travelers, as they’ll end up exhausting themselves from walking all day trying to cover everything instead of taking it slowly and enjoying the trip. Booking group tours is popular and you get to see more stuff along the way, but it also takes away the pleasure and flexibility of traveling, so instead of seeing 5-6 countries in 12 days, try to see 2 to 3 and make sure you soak up every bit of detail of it.
Eating the food that you are used to
People tend to stay at their comfort zone when it comes to food and they rarely make exceptions when traveling, ordering pizzas, burgers and an omelet for breakfast. People tend to think this is the cheaper and safer option, as they are afraid from getting food poisoning. But in reality traveling to countries with exotic cuisines, food like burgers and pizzas are not a part of their food culture, meaning they are not a top seller on the menu and furthermore the ingredients from which they are made might not be so fresh due to the lack of usage.
And last but not least always make sure your passport is valid for at least the next 6 months ahead, as some countries like China and Russia have regulations which require your passport to be valid at least 6 months prior to your return.