Guest Post by Emily Williams
Whether it’s forgetting that all-important passport, missing a flight or choosing a dodgy hotel, most of us have made a travel boo-boo at one time or another. With so many decisions to make and various things to organise, it’s easy for any inexperienced or well-travelled person to slip up before or during an adventure outside the country.
Having said all of that, it is actually possible for every traveller to enjoy a vacation without any headaches. Here are the 5 most common travel mistakes made by us humans, and how we can all avoid making them.
Mistake #1: Leaving it too late to renew your passport
It may seem like an obvious one, but it’s amazing how many people forget to check the dates on their passport when booking a holiday. Even if you’re confident that your passport is valid for the next few months or a year, you should still get into the habit of checking it every time you plan an escape. If you suddenly realise that you do need to renew your passport, and you’ve left it too late, you will not be allowed to travel out of the airport you’re hoping to fly from.
Okay, so you might be able to renew or replace a passport urgently, but it will cost you more time, hassle and money. Also, you need to ensure your passport is valid until the date you re-enter the country. As a general rule, it’s always best to renew your passport if it is due to expire 6 months after your return. It’s also important to remember to check the passport regulations for your destination country before setting off.
Mistake #2: Forgetting to research your chosen destination
When you arrive at a new destination, it’s best to already know what the place has to offer you. It doesn’t take very long to do some research, especially as you can now access lots of useful information online. The last thing you want is to end up on an island or in a country that you can’t enjoy because it doesn’t provide you with lots of interesting things to do and see.
Take the SunChateaux website for example. The ‘What to do’ guides are informative and highlight things such as, Malta’s historical sights, local nightlife, shopping, hiking trails and all the things that may interest you. Just spend some time doing your research to find plenty of fun ways to experience the places you’re thinking of visiting. The more research you do in advance, the more you can get out of your solo or group travel experiences.
Mistake #3: Not buying travel insurance
Some people skip buying travel insurance because they haven’t encountered any mishaps on their previous adventures and believe it’s a waste of money. Just because you haven’t experienced any problems when travelling in the past, it doesn’t mean you’ll be as lucky in the future. Besides, travel insurance will leave you feeling more secure when travelling outside your country.
Rather than assume the worst won’t happen to you, always purchase travel insurance to cover you for any unexpected hurdles that may arise before and during your trip. It’s also extremely important to read the fine print to ensure your travel insurance suits your needs and activities, as well as covers you for things like cancellation fees, lost baggage, flight delays and medical emergencies, etc.
Mistake #4: Packing too many unnecessary things
We’ve all tried to cram as much as we can into our backpack or suitcase, but the truth is, you’re never going to use or wear all the things you pack. While it might be tempting to take an outfit for every occasion and everything minus the kitchen sink, you still need to be able to haul your travel items around. Plus, you need to be careful that your luggage doesn’t exceed the weight limit to avoid paying high baggage fees.
Instead of overloading your bag, pack half the clothes, gadgets and toiletries you originally planned to take with you. It’s all about learning to pack smart, which means you should only take essential items and clothing that you can mix and match. You can also check what the weather will be like at your destination to ensure you pack only appropriate clothing.
Mistake #5: Running out of money
Before setting off on your travels, you should always consider how much money you’re willing to spend and create a realistic budget that you can stick to. Also, make sure you allow some breathing room for unexpected expenses. Otherwise, you’re likely to spend way more money than you actually need to and run out of it fast. If you’re planning on travelling for a while, you could transfer money into your spending account on a weekly basis so you always know precisely how much you have to play with.
It’s also worth mentioning that it’s always best to contact your bank before leaving the country so they don’t freeze your account and cancel your card due to suspicious spending activity. Once your card is cancelled, it will be a nightmare to get a new one in another country. You may be lucky if there is a foreign branch in the area you’re staying in, but even then, it won’t be a straightforward process.
Hopefully, now that you’re all clued up, you can avoid making these blunders when traveling or planning a stay at one of our all-inclusive villas in Malta. Got any traveling mistakes you want to share?