Traveling is a learning experience like any other; however, mistakes while traveling can end up being more inconvenient and expensive than you might first imagine. I know from personal experience and from the experiences of many others!
So let’s start your trip on the right foot. Read these tips, and don’t make the same mistakes I’ve made!
MISTAKE #1: EATING WHEN CONVENIENT
You might’ve planned your itinerary to a T, but if lunchtime falls around a famous landmark or some other tourist attraction and you stop for a bite to eat at the nearest establishment, then there goes your budget!
You will be spending two to three times as much in touristy locations than you would anywhere else in the city. Keep that in mind when planning your trip, giving yourself enough time to walk a couple of blocks away or pushing back lunch until you are in a cheaper area.
MISTAKE #2: NOT USING HOSTELS
In America, hostels are only now starting to pop up in certain locations, but in Europe they are everywhere! Don’t make the mistake of writing them off as motels. Hostels are friendly, vibrant, cheap places for travelers to stay and socialize.
You can have a single room or save even more money and sleep in a dorm room with multiple people (on their website they will specific which dorms are female, male, or mixed).
MISTAKE #3: NOT TAKING ADVANTAGE OF FREE STUFF
Hostels often offer a variety of free activities and walking tours (tip-based) that you would be a fool not to look into. Why spend a lot of money on a tour you aren’t even sure you will like, when you could learn about the town from a local and then tip them based on how you liked the tour? Sweet deal, amiright?
Also, take a look when you are booking your hostel. Many hostels offer free breakfast. That’s right: free. Even if you aren’t that hungry, make sure you eat that breakfast and take a roll or two for the road because that will keep you up and going during the day and keep you from falling for a touristy lunch trap like mentioned above.
MISTAKE #4: NOT KNOWING ABOUT FOREIGN TRANSACTION FEES
A small fee here or there might not sound like a lot right now, but boy does it add up! Especially if you didn’t see those little fees coming. Before you leave for your big trip, make sure to research your credit card and see what kind of foreign transaction fees you might be forced to pay.
Remember there are tons of choices when it comes to credit cards that are traveler-friendly. Many of them advertise no foreign transaction fees and more, so it might be worth your while to check into those!
MISTAKE #5: TREATING YOUR TRIP LIKE IT’S YOUR LAST
Oh, the joy of traveling! Instead of checking stuff off of our dwindling wish list we only succeed in adding more and more on it.
Which means we need to make the tough decision of how many things we want to check off of on this trip. As lovely as it would be to travel nonstop and do all the things on our wish lists, we are not, alas, made of money.
If you overbook yourself on activities, you will find yourself quite burned out when you get back.
If you say “yes” to everything, you might find yourself mighty broke when you get back too.
For some people, that is worth the risk. However, having a small amount of money to fall back on when you go back home will help you bounce back much quicker and you will be that much closer to your next trip.
BONUS MISTAKE #6: DO NOT BE LIKE HIGH-SCHOOL ME
You might be asking, what does that mean? Haha it means put down the camera and enjoy yourself. Jeez! (I took over 1800 pictures in a 10 day trip to Europe. Yikes! Very, very bad pictures, btw.)
Have you committed any of these common mistakes? What easy mistakes have you made while traveling? Let me know in the comments!