Four Travel Mistakes that Make You Look Dumb!

Travel_MistakesYou’ve done it before – planned the perfect vacation on a budget. Crossed all your T’s and dotted the I’s with high hopes that everything would cost as much as you planned. You chose the most cost effective accommodations and packed enough to reduce expenses during the trip; Only to return home to devastation when reviewing your account statements.

You’re not sure how it could have happened when you did so much planning! Where could you have gone wrong? Keep reading to find out if you make these common travel mistakes that make you look dumb – and cost you money.

Four Travel Mistakes to Avoid

Staying Far from the Action – The most inexpensive accommodations are a steal for a reason – they’re usually less desirable or less convenient. A few train, bus, or taxi rides can easily surpass the money saved by staying away from the action. Make sure you’re aware of all the implications before making a budget hotel booking. Do your own calculation of the distance between where you’re staying and the center of town and factor in transit expenses round trip for each of your excursions.

If you calculate travel expenses to be a budget buster consider spending a little bit more to be closer to town. Is it possible to find an affordable place in town? Sure, if you’re open-minded. Try browsing hostel options at Hostelworld.com or vacation rentals at Airbnb.com.

Over-packing - Bringing everything except the kitchen sink sounds like a good idea if you’re trying to avoid shopping during travel. However, baggage fees are expense. Overweight bag fees are usually charged at just 40lbs and over. Push it over 70 lbs and you could easily pay over $100 to get your things on board. Wowzers. Instead go the free route by carrying your bag.

Not sure how to fit all of your stuff in one carry on bag? Pack smart! Layer clothes under your flight attire that you can wear again during the trip. Write down an outfit for each day and leave the extra options at home. Find a laundry mat in town. Try compression bags to reduce the size of your belongings.

Sticking Around Tourist Traps  - Don’t get stuck in a web of tourist traps! Avoid buying food, drink, or souvenirs from somewhere right near a popular attraction. Their bread and butter is to using the popularity of the location to mark up prices for profit – almost like a movie theater.

Don’t fall for it.

Go off the beating path and get a taste of the local culture. You’ll likely have a more authentic experience and enjoy prices closer to what locals pay. And with our ability to access instant information finding local spots and checking their reviews has never been easier. You’re just a quick Google, Yelp, or Trip Adviser search away from finding more affordable alternatives to tourist traps.

Travelling Without Insurance - There’s few guarantees in life. And here’s one – something will happen out of your control during travel and probably the time you opt out of insurance. Although purchasing insurance is greatly debated, why take a chance and go uncovered? What’s a few hundred dollars compared to thousands in the event of a trip cancellation or illness? Not a lot.

There are two main forms of insurance, travel and medical, usually they come as a package deal. Travel insurance typically covers trip cancellation, lost baggage, travel delay, miss connection, or rental damage. Medical insurance covers emergency transportation, medical, and dental expenses. Without insurance just one of these mishaps can bust your budget, can you imagine a few?

Like with all insurance plans ensure that you read the terms carefully and fully understand the coverage. And contact your primary medical coverage provider to find out if your plan covers travel abroad.

Now it’s your turn to weigh in. Do you have any travel mistakes to add to the list? Have you made one of these mistakes?

Posted in: Travel

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5 Comments

  1. Not only are there excess baggage fees to worry about when you pack too much, but it is such a pain to cart around lots and lots of stuff! Some of my best experiences were living out of a TINY backpack so I didn’t have to take up space while traveling. You can hop on a ferry or a train and only have the equivalent of a day pack.

    • Taylor says:

      That’s such a good point. How you pack has such a large affect on your overall experience. On one Europe trip I took a duffel bag when my dad recommended a wheeled case. Of course the whole trip I was lugging around the heavy bag while everyone skipped along with their wheelies. Never again!

  2. Michelle says:

    I always try to find accommodations that are close to where all the action is, or where I want to be. I have made the mistake of trying to save money, only to find out that it’s an hour long train ride. So much wasted time!

    • Taylor says:

      Yup, I’ve made this mistake and thought I was sooooo resourceful because of the savings. A common place my friends have done this too is in Miami. If you stay in downtown Miami when you plan to go to the beach each day prepare to spend a boatload of money.

  3. This is why I love going to conferences like FinCon and other blogging conferences!

    Not only is the hotel rate discounted, you are in the action, and there are tons of perks – meals, drinks, and great people to meet and hang out with. :)

    For Canadians traveling to the U.S. medical insurance is the most important investment. Is the $30 premium really worth risking tens-of-thousands of dollars in medial care?

    Cheers
    Avrom

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