It was supposed to be the trip of a lifetime. This was your opportunity to explore new places, meet new people, immerse yourself in unfamiliar cultures, and to find out more about yourself in the process. Your travels could have given you scope for a million happy memories. And then it all went wrong. What was supposed to be a travel adventure turned into a travel disaster, and the only memories you made were ones of stress, sorrow, and red-faced embarrassment.
Well…you committed one of the blunderous errors we are going to mention in this article! Or rather you haven’t, not yet, but if you don’t follow our suggestions, you might very well do so.
#1: You took the wrong bag at the airport
Anxious that your luggage wouldn’t show up on the carousel at all (we have all heard those nightmare stories of magically disappearing bags), you were relieved to see your familiar blue backpack scroll past you. Grabbing it with glee, you then headed away from the terminal to begin your travel adventure. Unfortunately, your blue backpack was the next one in line, which you quickly discover when you later open the bag you picked up, only to find somebody else’s fashion choices and toothbrush hidden inside.
Hint: Label your bag clearly, so that you and everybody else knows that the bag is clearly yours. Tie a brightly colored ribbon around the handle, for example, or slap a sticker on it, and then casually check the bag’s contents before you leave the airport to be doubly sure.
#2: You run out of money on the trip
You had saved up enough money to get to your destination, and with money to spare for knick-knacks, meals, and the occasional fun activity, you assumed your bank account was fine. But despite saving your hard-earned cash, you failed to account for the cost of living, and you didn’t check currency exchange rates. So everything, from housing to meal prices, was way more expensive than you expected, and your once healthy bank account dwindled quicker than you could ask “can somebody lend me some money?”
Hint: Before leaving, do your research into the place you are visiting, and make sure that your budget matches both the cost of living and the currency exchange rate. If not, you might want to save up more money if you are traveling somewhere that could prove expensive. And consider how you might earn money while you’re away, perhaps using one of these ideas to ensure your bank account remains on the healthy side. You might then be able to extend your travels, or, at the very least, keep traveling without having to return home early.
#3: You made a cultural faux pas
It began when you smiled at somebody at the airport, and they didn’t smile back. You received dirty looks from the locals when you wore your new travel outfit. You kissed somebody on the cheek as a friendly greeting. And quicker than you could say “what did I do wrong?”, you were thrown into a foreign prison, with only a slice of bread to eat and an unfriendly looking cellmate to keep you company! Let’s just hope you remembered to memorize the number for your local embassy!
Hint: If you are traveling to a country with customs different to your own, you need to prepare in advance. Find out more about local customs, read up on local laws, and make a mental note to remember them, so you don’t get into trouble while abroad. You might also consider paying for a guide while you’re away, as this way, you will have somebody to stop you making a cultural faux pas that could land you in hot water.
#4: You didn’t learn the language
You only wanted an egg roll, but you ended up with something looking suspiciously like sheep’s eyeballs. You were desperate for the loo, but despite your skills with a game of charades, the locals were confused by your loony-tune actions when you were trying to show them what you wanted. And when hitching a ride, you ended up in the middle of nowhere because you had failed to translate the name of the town you were trying to get to! You didn’t bother to learn the language, so in each instance, you only had yourself to blame.
Hint: In many cases, you might be lucky. English is an internationally recognized language, so while you might have neglected to learn the lingo, other people might understand yours. But don’t take the risk, especially if you want to avoid soiling yourself after eating a plate of sheep’s eyeballs! Download a language learning app on your phone, and consider taking a foreign language course before you begin your travels. Your journey will be easier if you do, and you might actually get to find out what it is you are about to spend your money on at the diner.
#5: You packed too much stuff
Passport? Check. Toothbrush? Check. Spare outfits? Check. Teddy bear? Check. Hot water bottle? Check. Kitchen sink? Check. Armed and ready, you pack your bags, give yourself severe back strain on the journey to the airport, and then on arrival, exhaust yourself as you are moving from A to B. Still, you manage, until you realize that you have no room for the many touristy items you have bought for your friends and family back home. And that’s not forgetting the duty-free wine you hoped to procure!
Hint: For starters, you don’t need to pack everything into your bags before leaving, so you can safely leave the proverbial kitchen sink at home! Even when it comes to clothes, you can probably find places to do laundry while away, so don’t assume you need an outfit for every day of your travels! Then use these tips for packing light. By reducing your weight, you won’t physically suffer while away. And by minimizing what you pack, you will have room for any extra items that you pick up on your travels.
Don’t let your travel adventure turn into a travel disaster! Follow the tips above, and you will hopefully make the most of your time away, without having to suffer any terrible consequences.
Take care, and thanks for reading!