Talking with my mom the other day about how she (once again) didn’t purchase cancellation insurance for her holiday flights, I realized that there are just some travel mistakes that we keep making, no matter how many times it’s come back to bite us. I am just as guilty! (How guilty? Check out #6…)
So, in hopes of making your next vacation a little less stressful…please, please don’t make these completely ridiculous yet embarrassingly common mistakes.
NOT HAVING CANCELLATION INSURANCE ON YOUR FLIGHTS
Like I said, I feel like my mother makes this mistake every time and no matter how many times she makes it, she just keeps making it! Fork over the extra 100 dollars or so and get the cancellation insurance when you’re booking your flights – even if you think it’s a sure thing and nothing can stop you from going on this trip!!! Because shit happens – you just never know, so why not be prepared, right!?
And getting the cancellation insurance isn’t a complete waste of money because it gives you peace of mind and also makes changing the date/time of your flight a lot cheaper if you don’t have to completely cancel it.
HITTING ONLY THE “TOURIST” SPOTS
While I do think the whole “traveler vs tourist” debate is absolute shite, I do think it’s a huge mistake to ONLY go where to the areas of your destination that are touristy. Exploring the off-the-beaten-path areas as well as areas the locals recommend or frequent is a great way to really experience your destination. (Within your limits of course, if the other parts of the region aren’t safe for tourists, obviously don’t venture there.)
When I say this, I don’t mean too much or too little – pack however you’d like to pack! But keep in mind the climate, temperature and most importantly, the overall culture and feel of your destination. If you’re headed to a destination where the culture is a bit more reserved, obviously leave that little black dress at home, because it’s not suited for where you’re going.
NOT TAKING ENOUGH PHOTOS (INCLUDING SELFIES)
Okay, I will be completely honest here: I am 100 percent for selfie-culture!! (Given that you don’t go completely overboard and ONLY take selfies.) Sure, it’s nice to have some photography/artistic shots of the landscape you’re admiring that day, but it’s even more important to capture YOURSELF in those environments.
I think that if you like the way you look, you should feel free to document it. Others can enjoy looking at you, why can’t you snap some photos to remember this time in your life? (If for no other reason than to look back on it when you’re old and think “damn, I had it going on!”)
If you’re traveling alone or want a photo WITH the person you’re traveling with, how else will you document yourself there? I’d rather take a selfie with my embarrassingly bright orange selfie stick than hand my very expensive camera or phone to a complete stranger, interrupt their day and ask them to take photos of us.
Ain’t no shame in the selfie game.
NOT CHARGING ALL OF YOUR DEVICES, EVERY NIGHT (EVEN IF THEY AREN’T CLOSE TO DEAD)
Every single night, you rotate your chargers and make sure everything is ready to go for the next morning – I don’t care how exhausted you are!! You will regret it if your camera dies halfway through your day and you can’t waste your phone battery because you need to use your GPS app to navigate back to your hotel later. (I know a strange amount about this, that is very detailed because this has happened to me so many times.)
OVER-PLANNING YOUR DAYS OR BEING UNREALISTIC WITH YOUR TIME
So, you know how (up there ^) I was talking about how my mom makes the same no cancellation insurance mistake every time? Well, this is the mistake I make every time and I am so embarrassed and upset by it, but I keep doing it. I swear, I have been to Paris 3 times in the last 5 years and have still not done two of the most iconic things I wanted to do when I went (tour INSIDE the Louvre and climb to the top of the Notre Dame). Both of these things are ALL DAY EVENTS, people. Don’t try to fit them in with the tour of the Catacombs and a day riding around on the hop on/hop off bus. Just take your time, plan your trip out and leave yourself some wiggle room.