Mistakes happen. You wouldn’t be human if you didn’t make mistakes, but having less of them is definitely nice. Below are five quick mistakes I made while traveling that I will never make again (and I hope you won’t either).
Mistake #1: Not slowing down
You’re there for a reason, right? Regardless of whether you’re seeing sights, meeting people, or just trying to get a taste of their cuisine, slow….. down….
Breathe it all in. Order a coffee/tea/mate. Put down your camera and/or phone for a little. If you’re there, be there. I mean, really be there. If you try to do everything in a short amount of time, you may see all the sights, but you won’t enjoy them deeply. Try taking the time you think you’ll need and multiply it by 1.5 or 2. Sit back and take it all in. You’ll love it.
Mistake #2: Not buying tickets ahead of time
Now we’re getting practical. In my past journey, I made the mistake of buying transportation the night before at around 11:00PM. The next morning, I went to the bus station and found that I bought the ticket for the next day. I lost seventy fat ones because of that, and I gained a lot of stress. If you have a definite travel date, and you’re sure of it, just buy tickets right away. Seats fill up, prices change, and mistakes happen. Save yourself some trouble and do it ahead of time.
Mistake #3: Not getting a credit card with no foreign transaction fees
This one is mainly for the long-term travelers. Foreign transaction fees add up if you’re traveling for a long time (or your bank is a grubber of money). If it won’t kill your credit (which it shouldn’t for the most of you), try getting a credit card that doesn’t charge for foreign transaction fees. You can also earn points that can be redeemed for plane tickets/hotel stays/etc.
Mistake #4: Not making a photo copy of your passport
I was too caught up in preparing for everything else that I forgot to do this. If I happened to lose my passport, I would have been stranded overseas. Make at least two copies, and leave one with your family and one to keep on you during traveling.
Mistake #5: Pack days and days ahead of time
On my last journey, I was gone for about a month. Unfortunately, I put off packing. I spent my last day trying to pack, buying things I didn’t have, and running around like a chicken with its head cut off. What I really wanted to do was spend some quality, undisturbed time with the ones I love. I missed out on a great, memorable time.
I know a lot of people who pack the day before. It kind of makes sense. You are leaving the next day, so it won’t be too hard to foresee what you’ll need. Plus, if you pack the day before, you can still wear all your clothes and use all your chargers.
As mentioned before, you may want to spend your last days doing something substantial, maybe kissing the squeeze or huggin’ Momz. Don’t leave in a stress-induced frenzy. Pack days and days ahead of time as if you are leaving the next day. Then, enjoy your last days.