12 Costly Mistakes You Need to Stop Making When Traveling
If you love traveling as much as we do, you probably have your own set of rules about saving money during a trip. But if the first place you look for in the airport is the currency exchange or taxi stand, then you should check our list of the worst mistakes people make when traveling. It will help you to save more money that you can then spend on your next mind-blowing adventure.
12. Traveling during the day
Nighttime is sleep time. But what if you can sleep and save money on a night of accommodation? Taking a night train or bus can get you where you need to go and save your budget.
11. Forgetting the 6-block rule
Food is generally double the price and half as good within 6 blocks of a major tourist spot. Walk away from crowded tourist attractions to enjoy something more authentic at a cheaper price. Local outdoor street food markets are always a better option.
10. Ignoring ride-sharing
You’ve probably heard about house-sharing services like Couchsurfing, but there are also ride-sharing apps like BlaBlaCar, which will help you find locals and other travelers that are going to the same destination as you.
9. Booking in advance
Early booking will probably work if you have a strict schedule you need to stick to. Otherwise, it makes sense to avoid booking in advance as much as possible. It will let you stay in a place you like for longer and will probably get you a discount from the hotel. And if you really want to leave the place earlier, you won’t have to pay a fee to change tickets.
8. Exchanging money
Yes, that’s right. Your bank card will carry the best currency exchange rates, so avoid bringing a lot of cash with you. Now you won’t have to pay anything extra while exchanging money. Just don’t forget to get a bank card that reimburses all ATM fees before you travel, and withdraw cash whenever you need it.
7. Getting pickpocketed
There is nothing worse than being in a foreign country, thousands of miles away from home, with no documents, credit cards, or phones. Try not to wear expensive designer clothes and bags if you don’t want to attract pickpockets. Split your valuable things into different bags, leave something in the hotel safe, consider buying a money belt, and always keep an eye on your possessions.
6. Not knowing the tipping policy
In some countries, including the US, tipping for service is expected to be 15 to 20 percent. In many European countries, it is already included in the bill. Do some research before you go — it will probably save you money and help you avoid awkward situations.
5. Skipping travel insurance
A simple accident that would not be a problem in your country may require heaps of money when you are traveling abroad. We always think that nothing will happen to us, but sometimes it does. Just add a few extra bucks to your travel expenses to avoid spending thousands in case of an emergency. Even if you always bought it but never needed it, buy it again. It’s worth it.
4. Not dealing with your bank in advance
You first have to decide if you will use your current card and if it has international transaction fees. If so, you can consider a travel rewards card that offers zero transaction fees. If you want to stick with your card, make sure you alert your bank about your travel plans. Otherwise, they can freeze your card for suspected fraudulent charges.
3. Trusting tourist booklets
From the moment you fasten your seat belt in the airplane, you’ll be surrounded by “best destination“ magazines and ”must-visit" brochures that are supposed to give you info about the most interesting places. But they are actually just tons of advertising, and the restaurant or hotel that pays more gets the best review. The truly authentic and cheap places are never mentioned. Check the tourist forums before you travel to get the best deals and most vivid experiences. Also, apps like CamFind help you get all the info in one click. Just take a photo of a café you noticed to get the website, opening hours, and probably even the menu.
2. Not checking all the transportation options
Renting a car is expensive. If you are not going on a road trip, you should check out public transport or Uber. Hotels sometimes suggest free or cheap transfers to the airport, and many European cities have comfortable express trains that will take you straight to the city center more quickly than a car will.
1. Keeping all your money in one place
It is always good to have some cash with you, but be sure to keep some extra money in several secure places. Your hidden pocket is probably not that secure. You can drill a hole in a soap bar and hide it there or under the insole of your shoe or inside your hairbrush.
Traveling can be very stressful, but if you follow several simple steps to carefully plan and secure your trip, you can avoid the stress and enjoy your trip. We are always happy to hear from you about your traveling experience — if you have another piece of advice to share, just tell us in the comments.