At last, you’ve managed to accumulate the necessary ration of funds. At last, your drearily recumbent position at work can be briefly interrupted. You’ve doctored the plans. You’ve purchased the airfare. You’ve selected your accommodations. A glorious vacation awaits, days of quietude interspersed with ones of adrenaline and adventure. The sights you’ll see! The melodies you’ll hear. The memories you’ll make.
If you’re relatively new to engineering travel plans, do not be apprehensive. Yes, you’ll make some trifling mistakes along the way, there will unforeseen stressors you’d rather not ameliorate during what is supposed to be an idyllic time, in an idyllic setting. We’re here to allay any apprehensions you may be mulling over, in anticipation of your adventure, to soften your disposition into one of appropriate bonhomie. Here are 8 of the top mistakes novice travels tend to perpetrate, which can consequently diminish the enjoyment of their vacation.
It is consummate upon the conscientious to figuratively dot their every “i,” diligently cross their every “t.” To denigrate such an immaculate characteristic would be specious; yet, in the context of a vacation, it can be cumbersome. Many travelers embark on their journeys with their itinerary punctiliously clenched in the cleft of their hand, blithely misremembering that travel is a pointed antidote to vagary and routine, rather than its progenitor.
Certainly, delineate a framework for activities you’d like to pursue; some foresight is required, But do not so be fastidious as to forget the pleasures derived from the balmy summer breeze, the mellifluous roar of the ceaseless ocean, or the expansive views proffered at the culmination of a spontaneous hike. There are times to adhere to the rigid doctrines of your internal impulses, but traveling is not one of them.
2. Stigmatizing Locals
Especially in a foreign country, you will be quickly identified by the native populace as a tourist. It is not difficult to discern that a group of casually-clad, pamphlet-bearing folks with foreign interlocution are, in fact, tourists. It is natural to assume that, therefore, the local population would correspondingly view your cultural ignorance advantageously, desirous to make a profitable transaction while you’re still discovering your own moorings.
In my experience, natives are more motivated to advertise the pleasures and delights of their locale, in order to array a propitious experience for visitors. Do not be bashful about engaging with the native populace. You may discover unique aspects of the culture or city you’re visiting, that you otherwise would not have been privy to.
As someone not particularly attuned to the vicissitudes of travel, it is tempting to compose an extensive packing list, consisting of almost every item imaginable to counterbalance any inconvenience you may encounter. That’s natural. As with crafting your itinerary, you only desire proper preparation. It is seldom wise to be myopic in any endeavor.
The reality of traveling, however, does not necessitate you pack the equivalent of a U-Haul truck on your voyage. Ideally, you’d like to remain as thrifty as possible, acknowledging the bare necessities, while dispensing of the superfluities. A model packing list should feature, depending on the duration of your adventure, of no more than the following:
- Mobile phone
- Ipad or small laptop
- Chargers for laptops and phones
- Wallet or purse
- Water bottle
- Toiletries & medications
- 3-4 casual shirts
- 1-2 pairs of pants
- 1 jacket
- 3-4 units of underwear (including socks)
- 1-2 pairs of shoes
- 1 swimsuit
With the aforementioned accoutrements, you should be sufficiently oriented for your travel plans. Moreover, if you do discover the necessity for additional items during your journey, there will always be opportunities to purchase it at your destination.
The inclusion of a layover can quantify a precarious predicament for the unlearned traveler. You cannot, even if you are a scrupulous observer of the daily forecast, predict accurately the whims of the weather. Alas, you are also incapable of foreseeing technical difficulties with aircraft, or other inefficiencies that may manifest during your air travel.
That is why an abbreviated layover, while pleasant theoretically, can nevertheless benight your travel plans with undue complications. If you encounter a delay, for instance, on your initial flight, you may consequently miss your connection, inculcating disarray in your travel arrangements. When in doubt, therefore, always select layovers of longer duration, as it will minimize the adverse effects of any mishaps on the part of your airline carrier.
5. Foreign Transactions
If you are traveling to a foreign destination, it is of paramount importance that you notify your bank of impending foreign transactions. Even while you’re away, your bank will “flag” suspicious activity, including the sudden appearance of transactions completed in a foreign country. If these transactions persist, without any notifying correspondence from you, the bank could temporarily cancel your debit card.
Obviously, the bank inhibiting access to your financial resources, while you’re embroiled in a novel experience, could be extremely disorientating. Do not be opaque with the bank! It is an easy situation to anticipate and mollify before leaving the US, by simply being transparent with your financial carrier.
6. Tempting Pick-Pocketers
Certainly, we all want to appear grandiose on vacation, burnishing every jewel or piece of expensive clothing we possess. I understand, it’s fun to preen.
But, do not heedlessly betray your possessions for the sake of personal vanity. Especially if you plan on treading through international terrain, where will you be more conspicuous as a tourist, it is more judicious to dress as mundanely as possible. Do not expose your valuables, or tempt fate. Pick-pocketers are resourceful and you do not want your vacation marred by the dispossession of a lost personal treasure.
7. Research Deficiency
Wherever you’re visiting, it is important to develop a rudimentary significance of any attraction you’re inclined to see. What is seeing the Sistine Chapel worth, without understanding the Catholic Church, the Renaissance, or Michelangelo? What is the Parthenon, without understanding the cultural rhythms of Ancient Greece?
Whatever it is you do, wherever you go, place on emphasis on understanding the import of the sites you’re fortunate enough to set your eyes on. Enduring structures, natural wonders, that have wrought the contemporary landscape you exist in. Be grateful you can still appreciate it.
8. Excessive Drinking
Isn’t the point of traveling to fashion memories? No, there is nothing deficient in imbibing beverages in conjunction with your travels but refrain from excess. Why would you want to wake up in Australia, or Hawaii, hungover, traipsing through the day groggily with a severe hangover? Moderate, relish your journey a little more with the occasional; but possess the wherewithal to retain a clear head, especially if you’re in a foreign locale.