Travel Tips: 11 Worst Mistakes Of Newbie Travelers

Nothing beats the excitement of traveling to a city or town, tourist attraction, and country for the first time. First travel trips are often always the most memorable ones. However, first travels also tend to have the most blunders, which may lead to wasted money, inconvenience, and probably a ruined trip. 

Travel tip: The next time you travel, make sure to avoid these 11 common mistakes so you could make the most out of your vacation. 

1. Traveling in Peak Season:

Planning a beach getaway during the upcoming holiday or summer season? Don’t expect the popular landmark to look the same way as pictured on travel brochures. Crowds, who thought of timing their vacation the same way, can spoil any view and travel experience. 

Travel off-peak. Research your destination and find out the best and worst times to visit, with regards to the season, weather, and volume of people. The rule of thumb is to avoid times that are most convenient to everyone: weekends, holidays, and summer vacations. Next, to avoiding long lines and crowded sites, you’ll also score cheaper deals on hotel accommodation, airfares, and tickets when you travel off-season.

2. Overpacking:

Wouldn’t it be nice to travel with a light suitcase and load up on beautiful travel experiences? Unfortunately, most tourists are guilty of doing the other way around. Overpacking won’t just make you pay unnecessary baggage fees – it will also limit your freedom of movement.  

Talk to any seasoned traveler and you’ll hear one thing: Pack light. Stick to things you know you’ll use, and not to what you think you might use. Bring multi-purpose, lightweight clothes. Leave what you can either buy at your destination or get from your hotel room for free.

3. Exchanging Money at the Airport:

Airport may be the most accessible place to trade but it definitely won’t give a bang for your buck. 

Make sure to exchange local currency beforehand. You’ll get better value and fewer fees when you trade currency via legitimate money changers or banks. Exchanging currency at the airport should be your last resort for emergency situations. 

4. Not Informing Your Creditor or Bank of Your Travel Plans:

Good news: You’re an American. If your bank sees your debit or credit card is being used to pay a Parramatta hotel in Australia, your card may be frozen or canceled due to “suspicious activity.”

Good news: You’re an American. If your bank sees your debit or credit card is being used to pay a Parramatta hotel in Australia, your card may be frozen or canceled due to “suspicious activity.”

Bad news: That unusual activity is actually coming from you, and you just forgot to let your bank know you’re flying to Australia. 

Prior to your trip, make sure to notify your bank and/or creditor of your travel plans. This way, they know it’s you who’s using the card. Plus, you may be informed of your bank’s foreign branches and joint ventures where you can get money without transaction fees. 

5. Not Reserving Online:

It’s 2019 – we’re not in the era of walk-ins, where the earliest bird catches the bug or whatsoever. Today, smarter, more tech-savvy travelers get the slot. 

Almost everything, from hotel accommodation to amusement park access to restaurants, can be reserved online to save a lot of time and money. There’s a special lane or door for people who already have a ticket.

6. Staying on the Outskirts of Town:

Let’s be honest – Tips for traveling abroad for the first time then, hotels and restaurants outside the busy downtown are usually cheaper. However, there’s no dramatic difference and all that saved money is likely to go to transportation every day. 

When you’re on vacation, it’s suggested to stay in the middle of the action, where you can walk on romantic paved streets, check out booming commercial areas, and be near primary attractions. You won’t miss anything interesting. Lastly, if you’re staying nearby, it’ll be easier to go back to the hotel during the day to rest. 

7. Eating Near a Major Tourist Site:

If you’re looking for authentic local dishes, better avoid dining places near any major tourist attraction. Chances are, they’re double the price for half the flavor of what you may get elsewhere. 

When restaurants know people, like tourists, aren’t coming back, they don’t worry about consistent quality. Besides, what do foreigners know about exquisite local food anyway? 

Go for non-touristy restaurants patronized by locals. Ask the locals and your hotel concierge for suggestions. You may also do your own research using review sites. 

8. Paying For Things You Can Get For Free:

Aside from parks, museums, and other free attractions take note that free walking tours exist – you just need to find sites and apps that offer them. Website, for instance, connects you with locals who can show you around for free or cheap. Bonus: you may be taken to places off the beaten path, which only insiders know about.

9. Burying Your Head in Guidebooks & Strict Itineraries:

Guidebooks are designed to inform, not to define your travels. Interact with travelers. Enjoy the views around you. Let yourself explore and discover places off the beaten path using your own initiative.

10. Booking Connecting Flights With a Short Transit Time:

This is one of the common reasons why travelers miss their flight, thus ruining their already short trip. Flight conditions can be unpredictable. Should there be any delays, you’ll be forced to rush to an unfamiliar airport for your connecting flight. 
Book them with a safe buffer in between. Give yourself at least a couple hours layover to have extra time for any possible delays, like long customs line, the distance between terminals, and flight delays.

11. Fitting Too Many Places & Activities in One Short Trip:

“I need to see as much as possible.” – this is the mindset I think all of us are guilty of having. The problem is having an unrealistic, overly ambitious itinerary can limit your opportunities. 

You may get too busy finding hidden gems, spend too little time on each place to catch another, rush to tick off your list before the sundown. While it’s possible to fit as much destination in one day, you’ll sacrifice the quality of your travel experiences. 

Remember Quality over quantity. Limit your itinerary and give yourself some time to relax and savor the best of what each destination has to offer. 

Author Bio: Carmina Natividad is one of the seasoned writers for Holiday Inn Parramatta Hotel, a modern hotel located in the heart of Western Sydney, delivering top-class Parramatta accommodation. She has always been passionate about traveling, taking photos, and writing travel tips and tricks. 


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