Even the most experienced travelers may face unforeseen situations without knowing the basic travel tips. From flight delays and bad weather to lost passports. But as long as you, as a beginner, cannot foresee all the failures, there are certain basic principles that you should know.
BlogBerries experts want to present to you 5 top mistakes and tips for beginner to avoid these mistakes. These tips will help you save time, money, and prevent additional headaches and hassles. After all, you worked hard, prepared, planned and spent your hard-earned money on your well-deserved vacation and should enjoy every minute.
#1 Assuming that you only need a passport
This is great if you have a valid passport (if you don’t have one, then it’s time to do it, especially procedures have already been greatly simplified). However, having a valid passport does not give you a 100% guarantee that you can easily visit the desired country. In some countries, such as China, they require a passport to be valid for six months after the date of your return flight.
In addition, 26 European countries require a passport with a validity period of at least three months after the date of return. It is also necessary to make sure what type of visa is required to visit a particular country.
This is an automatic visa at arrival airports in resort countries, provisions like Cyprus, or a Schengen visa to the European Union, visas to the United States or Britain. Accordingly, depending on the type of visa , you must first calculate your time, which you need for its execution.
You will need to collect a set of documents, arrange insurance and so on. In other words, thoroughly approach this issue and do not risk finding out at the airport that you cannot take your flight due to the lack of necessary documents and visas. It is even more costly to find out it upon arrival in the country of destination.
#2 Do not pay attention to your tariff plan when roaming
Mobile communication is available in almost all corners of our planet. But there is one thing that can strike a tangible blow to your finances and good mood – this is the high cost of using the phone abroad.
Before you switch on airplane mode, do not forget to check in advance with your mobile operator whether it is possible to use its communications in the country of destination and at what tariffs. Try to determine how much data you need on your trip.
To whom and how many will need to call, send SMS, use the Internet. And then estimate the cost of international roaming tariffs of your operator, depending on the length of your trip. Probably it will be more profitable for you to temporarily use the services of another operator. Or buy a map of specialized travel operators, such as TravelSIM.
In some countries, it is much more profitable to change your SIM card and purchase a local operator card to avoid expensive tariffs for international roaming. If you do not plan to use mobile Internet abroad, do not forget to switch off the mobile Internet mode in advance at the airport.
Otherwise, a couple of program updates in your roaming phone will deal a serious blow to your family budget.
#3 Exchange currency at the airport
How many times did you leave the plane, looked for the currency exchange window, and got your nest egg in 50 or 100 dollars / euro and exchanged it right there at the airport? In this case, not even sure how much you need the local currency in the near future.
For example, upon arrival in Hungary, you are unlikely to have forints. Well, this is a huge mistake. Exchange rates at airports are predatory and only beginners use them. Instead, issue a currency card at your bank in the currency used in the country (usually dollars or euros).
Specify the ATM network where you can withdraw foreign currency without or with a minimum commission. Also call before going to your bank and inform the operator that you plan to visit selected countries in the specified period. Otherwise, you may encounter a situation where your bank considers operations abroad on your card as fraudulent, and blocks it at the most inappropriate moment.
If you also have a credit card, always take it in reserve with you. In case the main card is lost, or in other unforeseen situations, you can use a credit card. The only advice is that it is necessary to store cards not in the same wallet, but in different places.
If the visiting country uses a more exotic currency than the dollar and the euro (the same forint in Hungary), you can compare the rates in your native country and the destination country. Then buy the minimum required amount of currency at home to get to your hotel / apartment. And there already in place to exchange currency at a more human rate.
Pay a fine for making changes to tickets already purchased. Some airlines allow you to make changes to a ticket within 24 hours after booking, while some will charge a small penalty if you make changes within 60 days of booking. Our airlines usually charge serious fines for making changes (the maiden name is given by mistake, or there are mistakes in the name and surname) and for the return of tickets.
Before you book a ticket, you must be sure to familiarize yourself with the policies of the airline on the official website. In this case, you will know how much you will lose in case of unforeseen circumstances. Forewarned is forearmed!
#4 Do not make copies of important documents
Regardless of how carefully you chose a place to store documents on a trip or how alert you are, an unforeseen situation can always arise. Loss, theft, or any other situation can turn your perfect vacation into a real nightmare.
Do not forget to bring copies of your passport, visas, credit cards, and other important documents. Also leave copies at home with trusted friends or members of your family, just in case. It does not hurt to make a few extra copies to secure the trip.
We hope that you will have no need for them, but if all of a sudden – you will be very glad that you listened to our advice.
Make scan copies of all documents and store them in your email (make a separate folder for convenience), or in any available cloud storage (the same DropBox, for example). In this case, you can use them in any place where there is access to the Internet.
#5 Plan to fit everything in one trip at the same time
We always want to enjoy our journey as much as possible, and plan to visit the most places and get the most out of it. For example, we are going to visit Italy with friends next year (a group of 8 people). And everyone wants to get to the greatest number of places in 4 full days – Venice, Florence, Pisa, Verona, Rome and another to go to the lake.
But when it comes to travel, based on our experience, it is important to exercise restraint in one’s own desires and to adequately evaluate one’s physical and psychological abilities.
With daily transfers (such as, for example, bus tours around Europe “all of Europe in 2 weeks), you will not have time to feel the rest, appreciate the local flavor, visit local sights and museums, where you should definitely go. In general, enjoy the moment. With the 12 o’clock on your feet, the very next day you will realize that you have planned a lot. And in the end, you will feel the effect of the “driven horse” when you don’t want anything, but just sit down and sit in silence.
It’s rare to “do it all at once” in one trip. Setting unrealistic expectations will only bring you fatigue and frustration. You have probably often heard from friends: “But what is there to do in Rome / Paris, the same thing everywhere, I didn’t like it there”. Most likely they had these trips in the “all and at once” mode.
You do not have to try to do everything in one sitting in order to “recapture the money invested on vacation to the maximum”. You can always return to this city / country in the future.
We were, for example, several times in Rome and Barcelona, and each time the cities are opened to us from a new unknown side. Most likely, you will enjoy your trip if you don’t rush, but try to feel incredibly new feelings and enjoy every moment of your stay, rather than trying to “check in” in as many places as possible. Believe me, then you will get a real spiritual thrill 🙂