New year, new you, as the saying goes. So, if you’ve been dreaming of discovering the world, make this year the year of your first big travels. From seeing a new country to walking on a new continent, there is a lot to be excited about when you start your travel journey: New cultures, new landscapes, new flavors, new languages and, more importantly, new people. But ultimately, there can also be downsides to traveling, particularly if you are not used to it.
For a start, you might need to take long-distance flights, which seem like they last forever if you’re not a regular flyer. Additionally, it can be stressful and expensive to plan for holidays abroad if you’ve never done it before. And finally, It’s always a nightmare to choose which place to visit. It’s such a big world, so most newby travelers don’t know where to start! Unfortunately, we can’t help you with these problems. But there’s one thing we can do for you, and it’s helping you to avoid the most common sins of the inexperienced travelers.
10 Worst Mistakes Of Newby Travelers
Cheap hostels are not always a good idea
Staying in hostels in an affordable alternative, especially if you are planning to backpack your way around a country. You will find a lot of friendly and safe hostel facilities if you know where to look. However, if you’re new to traveling, you may want to stay away from hostels until you understand the subtleties of youth accommodations. Indeed, youth hostels, as they tend to be called, can often give you the feeling that you’re stuck in a noisy school bus: They are loud and filled with young people who are excited about traveling without their parents. It can become rapidly irritating.
Most hostels offer shared room facilities, which can be difficult, especially if you are stuck with snorers or if you have to share a rather hairy shower. Besides, as a lot of dorms are single-sex only, it’s not a couple-friendly option either. Finally, theft is not uncommon in the lesser safe accommodations. Imagine arriving with your backpack in the evening and waking up to an empty bag in the morning?
Holiday rentals for the wise
If you choose long-term travel plans, you will need to be looking for the best accommodation option for your needs. Unless you’re from the Rothschild family, you should be avoiding staying in a hotel room for longer than a week. More often than not, the best option is to look for property rentals, either all equipped holiday rentals or standard properties if you’re planning to stay for a month or more.
However, don’t be fooled by the low costs! This handy guide: www.propertyguru.com.my/resources/to-rent-guide/renting-a-property-deposits-recurring-costs-tenancy-agreements-and-responsibilities, explains the things you’ll need to pay for in a tenancy agreement, from your deposit to the cost of furniture if the house comes unfurnished. Remember to take recurring costs such as energy bills into account too.
Brutal change of landscape? Plan for it
There’s nothing like a change of horizon. However, the change in altitude or climate is too brutal; you may need to plan some time and items for your recovery. Indeed, if you’ve decided to spend your holiday on top of a Peruvian mountain, you may be suffering from altitude sickness, especially if you come from a flat area. What is altitude sickness? It’s a health condition that affects your body when you submit it to dramatic altitude pressures.
It can manifest itself as vomiting, headaches, nose bleeding, etc. The key rule is to take it easy and give your body the time to adapt. Always plan to rest for a day or two before taking part in any activity. Similarly, if you’re heading to a beach holiday in the middle of winter, you need to plan for sunburn. You should be using sun protection, but if it’s not enough, you need to cool down the area with a compress or a soothing bath.
Click and book … oops I should’ve checked
According to easyBus, booking mistakes can cost holidaymakers more than $500 – over $675 – to correct. This article, www.easybus.com/en/blog/509-uk-travel-industry/1652-holidaymakers-pay-heavily-for-errors, highlights the most common errors that people make when they don’t check the information available. The majority of newby travelers book their flights on a wrong day or misspell their names when filling in the booking details online.
Similarly, choosing the wrong departure airport can also ruin your holiday budget dramatically! Similar mistakes can occur when it comes to booking the hotel, whether in terms of picking the wrong dates or even booking a hotel in the wrong location. There’s no secret here; you need to check the booking details before validating it. What are 5 minutes checking compared to having to pay for a new flight or hotel room for the duration of your holiday?
You can’t cheat the system
If you haven’t followed the news regarding international holidaymakers, and especially British tourists trying to claim compensation from tour operators for holiday chaos, you missed an important warning. Some British holidaymakers have claimed food poisoning issues in order to get the cost of their holiday abroad back. While this might seem like a good idea, as it basically means traveling for free, you need to have a valid reason for demanding compensation.
When a particular case opened in court last year, tour operators were able to prove using social media posts that a special family of holidaymakers fakes their claims of food poisoning. As a result, no compensation was granted. More importantly, the fakers are facing jail for trying to cheat the system. In other words, stick to the rules and don’t try to outsmart travel specialists.
You need a packing list
If you’re not used to pack your bag, it’s likely that you’ll forget something. More often than not, you can get by or buy an alternative once you’ve arrived, but it’s best to avoid troubles and make a packing list! The most common item that travelers forget is their phone charger, whether you forgot it at home or in your hotel. Camera chargers come just behind, followed by a more common toiletry item, the toothpaste.
People who take their bag in cabin voluntary leave the toothpaste to avoid the liquid and cream cabin regulations. The next item on the list can surprise many: A lot of holidaymakers forget their swimsuit. Would you imagine booking your beach holiday and forgetting your bikini? That’s what happened to 3 million or travelers in 2016.
It’s a holiday, not a fashion show
Talking about packing, it’s important to understand what you need to pack and what you shouldn’t bring with you when you’re traveling abroad. Here’s a handy reminder from www.smartertravel.com on what to consider when you’re on holiday in a foreign country. If you’re traveling to a Middle East country, you’d better remember that showing too much skin is frown upon.
This means that revealing dresses and sleeveless tops are a no-no. Similarly, all countries will refuse you entry to sacred monuments if you’re wearing religiously immodest clothing. Additionally, you might love your diamond ring, but taking it on holiday with you is the best way to attract robbers. Did we mention that you need to pack practical clothing?
Someone will speak English
Too often, native English speakers assume that everybody will understand them. While it is true that touristic structures will have a decent level of English, such as airports and international hotels and attractions, you might come across a language barrier in local and rural areas.
While you may not be able to learn a foreign language before your holiday, you can certainly grab a phrasebook and learn a few basic words to get by. Otherwise you might have to rely on hand gesture, pen and paper and even a translator app if you’ve got a good wifi access.
Can I pay by card?
If you think that you can go anywhere with just a credit card, you need to think again. Most rural areas and independent shops and hotels don’t have a card payment facility, which means that you should always carry some cash with you. Additionally, you need to be careful when using your card abroad.
Some banks will block the card in an attempt to limit fraudulent operations, especially if the card is used in an unusual location. Besides, some credit cards such as MasterCard are not accepted everywhere.
You need to know the law
Last, but not least, you need to read about the legal requirements in your destination. For instance, public display of affection, such as holding hands and kissing, is illegal in Dubai. You can face a prison sentence for kissing in public.
Sex outside marriage is not permitted either, and this law can be applied to visitors too with dramatic consequences. You might have heard about the case of a British tourist being prosecuted in Egypt for carrying painkillers in her luggage. She was sentenced to three years in jail under a drug smuggling charge as this specific painkiller is illegal in Egypt.
Don’t let these warnings scare you. Traveling is fun, but you need to plan carefully to make the most of your holiday.