Ten mistakes to avoid this holiday season

Wednesday, December 16th, 2020 00:00 |

We all make careless missteps while travelling. However, some may turn a trip into a real nightmare, especially during festive periods. Mwangi Alberto compiles the most common ones and how to dodge them this season.

Failure to immerse self to the local culture

This is probably the biggest travel mistake you might be making. The local tourist spots might fail to offer you the most interesting moments of your journey.

However, this should not prevent your from meeting new people, trying new foods, and sometimes do the things that locals do. This way you will get an authentic sense of the local culture and country.

Not checking the mobile phone plan

It is important to know exactly what is covered by your plan, so as not to pay pricey roaming fees.

So, it’s wise to turn your data off before getting on the aircraft and set up airplane mode on your cell phone. If you still want to have access to your data, buy a local SIM card or international plan when you arrive.

Over packing

While it’s nice to take a lot of outfits and have appropriate suits for different occasions, it could be difficult to haul and carry heavy luggage bags around.

Besides, if you exceed the weight limit, you’ll face a high baggage fee. Here’s one simple tip that can help you avoid over packing: Pack your bags up as usual and then throw out half the apparels you’ve planned.

Wrong time to book airfare

Most people think that they will pay less for airfare if they book the ticket earlier. Well, that doesn’t mean always. Your best bet is to buy airfare between three weeks prior to take-off.

Too ambitious itinerary

Instead of visiting a lot of different places in a relatively short period of time, be flexible and change your original plans if needed.

It is not possible to see all the tourist sites one country offers in a single visit. Consider the time it takes on average to get from one place to another as well as your travel method (by train, car, or bus). Try to have an additional time in case of possible delays.

Relying on guidebooks

Keep in mind that guidebooks are written to provide basic information to travels rather than defining them.

There are far more tourist attractions and places to see than what’s included in the guidebooks. That said, put down the travel guidebook and start interacting with other tourists and locals at your destination.

Not taking local currency at airport

In many countries, you will need to take local currency when leaving the airport in order to grab either cab rides or public transportation.

Take advantage of affordable exchange rates at the ATMs at the airport. Most local markets accept credit cards, so, use them whenever possible while keeping cash on hand all the while.

Not getting travel insurance

As you may already know, cancellation fees are covered by travel insurance.

That keeps you from being out hundreds of dollars if you suddenly cannot make your business or vacation trip for some reason.

Some insurance coverage’s also include emergency medical costs when travelling outside your home country.

Travelling too close to passport expiry date

It does not mean you are in the clear if your passport will expire a week or so after return flight. Note that many European countries require that your passport is valid for three months after your departure date, whereas some countries (such as China and Russia) extend this period to six months. So, make sure to renew your passport if it is about to expire.

Failure to keep your stuff safe

Stealing is one of the last things you want to experience when travelling. So, consider buying anti-theft backpacks or bags to keep your valuables safe.

That will protect your money, electronics, and other valuable things from theft, especially in airports. - Source:

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