Gearing yourself up to go solo travelling for the first time? While the prospect of seeing the world all alone may sound both thrilling and daunting, educating yourself on what not to do on the road can result in a much smoother journey.
After all, it’s common knowledge that first-time travellers are the most susceptible to making travel mistakes that lead to time lost, wasted money and missed opportunities. Be it a first trip abroad, or first time backpacking across a foreign country, it’s easy to get swept up in a whirlwind of emotions and never-seen-before sights.
But don’t let yourself get carried away. Here are the 5 most common travel mistakes made by first-time travellers that will save you the frustration and headaches of a ruined trip.
It’s surprising how common of a travel mistake this is. As tempting as it is to bring outfits for every occasion you can think of for your travel OOTDs, you’re only making it harder for yourself to haul your luggage around. What’s more—if you baggage accidentally exceeds the weight limit, you’ll end up stuck with a hefty fee.
A great rule of thumb for those guilty of overpacking is to pack your luggage as usual before taking out half of what you originally planned. Travelling light will make you less of a target for thieves, and if there’s ever anything that you forgot to pack or run out of early into the trip, just shop for it there!
#2 Over or Under-Planning
A lot of travellers get all caught up in the excitement and try to over-plan, packing either too many countries or activities into a single trip. Making the mistake of doing so will see you burned out within a few days. Instead of spending so much time travelling from place to place, give yourself some time to take in the best of what each destination has on offer.
Just as important to avoid is under-planning. Sure, backpacking with no plans at all may sound fun, but at least research a little and have a few things in mind for each place. If you’re heading to major cities during popular events, it’s critical to plan ahead for reservations in hotels and restaurants. In fact, certain countries do ask you where you’re staying upon arrival, so make it easier for yourself by arranging for accommodation you can mention.
#3 Forgetting travel insurance
As much as it may seem like an unneeded expense, you never really know if something unexpected will happen on the road. You might break an arm or leg, lose your valuables, or have to escape from a natural disaster. Travel insurance shouldn’t be forgone; it protects a traveller from any medical or non-medical emergency.
Purchasing a medical evacuation plan can also be a worthwhile investment for those who travel regularly or are well into their years. In the event of a medical emergency, air ambulances will be dispatched to transport the patient back home for urgent medical attention, ensuring your safety regardless of what happens.
#4 Not make use of public transportation
As someone with a car, you might not be used to taking public transportation. Or maybe you’ve been Grabbing or taking taxis in order to get around. However, if you’re looking into travelling on a budget, it’s best to make use of public transport; oftentimes the cheapest and easiest way to go from place to place in any country.
Avoiding public transportation will cause you to miss out on local culture and people watching. So, skip the overpriced taxis and spend some time strolling around the streets—you never know where your feet might take you.
#5 Eating familiar foods
It’s easy to get homesick while overseas, and that might get you pining for some dishes that you often enjoy back home. While we all have those moments every so often, that shouldn’t stop you from trying out local specialties during your travels.
After all, the point of travel is for new experiences—and cuisine is one of them! Just balance out your familiar food cravings with new flavors unique to wherever you’re visiting.