You need to be careful when travelling. Sure, it’s an incredibly fun hobby to pursue, but there are a few things to be aware of before jetting away overseas.
Every day thousands of tourists around the world do something stupid which can potentially ruin their trip of a lifetime.
Here are 7 of the most common mistakes travellers make and how to avoid them.
1 – Flaunting your personal belongings
Pickpocketing and bag snatching are rife in many travelling hotspots. The locals are extremely knowledgeable in singling out vulnerable tourists and taking valuables such as cameras, phones and wallets. Make sure you keep these items concealed in busy spots to minimise the risk of being stolen from – it’s unfortunately more common than you may expect.
When staying in hostels and any similar accommodation, conceal your personal belongings in a safe spot. Making use of the lockers, using padlocks, and not showing off are all among the suggestions for keeping your stuff safe.
2 – Riding with no license
This is most likely to happen if you’re travelling Southeast Asia, but it’s applicable worldwide – don’t be tempted to hop on a motorbike if you don’t have a license. The roads will be much more dangerous than they are at home, and if you combine that with your lack of knowledge on how to drive a motorbike, it’s a catalyst for disaster.
Thailand’s roads are some of the most dangerous in the world, with 478 people losing their lives in one week last year, according to BBC News. And that isn’t to mention the medical costs that follow a road accident – expect to be paying around $5,500 in Bangkok if you’re injured whilst riding a bike.
3 – Not budgeting your money
It’s one of the most common mistakes made by tourists. And it’s no wonder, what with travelling being a very spontaneous and effectively expensive hobby. Combat the risk of being left out of pocket too early by creating a daily budget that allows for all the necessities as well as some room for you to treat yourself.
It’s also important to have some spare money in case of the eventuality of any unexpected costs, such as baggage fees, emergency accommodation and the aforementioned medical bills.
4 – Being ignorant of the culture
Don’t make any cultural faux pas whilst holidaying. Offending the locals with a disregard to their norms will likely not go down well, so have a brush up on the history and current practices of wherever you’re headed so as to avoid any unfortunate mishaps.
There may be some strange ones to look out for, such as Japan’s method of greeting others with a bow – which is actually a lot more complicated than you may think, as detailed by Tofugu – but as long as you’ve nailed the basics, things should go smoothly.
5 – Daring to try the local cuisine too quickly
Sure, you’re going to want to sample all the dishes that are on offer when travelling. Signature foods across the world are both exciting and diverse, and although it’s a good idea to experience cultures through the food, you’ll have to take it slow.
Don’t rush into scoffing down a wildly spicy meal, because it’s going to throw your body off and likely make you feel quite ill.
Stick to the simpler, less adventurous foods at first to let your body ease into the cuisine. You don’t want to write yourself off after your first course.
6 – Fitting too much into the schedule
Take your time One common mistake tourists make is trying to do too much in a short amount of time. Make sure you’re not condensing everything into such a short space that you’ll tire yourself out.
Give yourself room to breathe and explore at a leisurely pace – it’s guaranteed you’ll find plenty of things to do that you hadn’t anticipated at first, so a strict itinerary isn’t exactly a good idea. It’s wise to have a loose plan so that you’re not completely going off track and missing essential things you have lined up, but don’t trap yourself either.
7 – Lacking the right medication
Depending on where you’re heading, there’s going to be a range of things to look out for in terms of illness. Mosquitoes are a common source of airborne viruses and diseases such as malaria and dengue fever, and so you’ll need to be spraying yourself with repellent to keep them away (as well as sleeping behind a net at night).
Bring travel sickness tablets to combat any feeling of nausea when flying or in a moving vehicle. But, most importantly, check whether you need vaccinations before you leave. It’s the most effective way to prevent you from becoming seriously ill during your travels.
Do you have any other mistakes tourists make when they travel? Leave a comment.