29 June 2017 by Anna Staford
Travelling can be an enriching and life-altering experience. But even seasoned travellers still fall into the trap of bad habits that they can’t shake off.
Here are 5 risky travel habits that we hate but still do – and some suggestions on how to avoid them in future.
Too many travellers believe that taking out travel insurance is an unnecessary luxury. They couldn’t be more wrong. Travelling can be unpredictable and no matter how carefully you plan, there are still things that happen beyond our control. Travel insurance is a must not a luxury. It’s a small price to pay compared to the costs you may have to fork out if you need to cancel or curtail your trip, have a medical emergency, or get your luggage stolen while abroad. The best travel insurance policies protect you against such travel risks and mishaps and give you peace of mind while you’re away.
When you are in a new city, its always tempting to see as much as possible and tick off all the main sights in the guidebook or travel blog that you read. Remember that you only have a limited number of days, so embrace the fact that you won’t be able to experience everything. The key is to select your own must-see sights and not to cram in too much, or spend too much time travelling from one site to the next so that you forget to enjoy where you are. Relax, look around, and enjoy what you chose to see. Also, don’t be afraid to stray from the guidebook and experience the real essence of your chosen location. Download some travel apps before you go as they often have valuable info you may find helpful. For example, these 7 best travel apps for your next trip to Europe.
It’s a very common travel habit to arrive at your destination with no local currency. But it’s risky and can be costly too. Even leaving your currency exchange until you reach the airport is not a wise move because you won’t get the best exchange rates. Always have some local cash currency ready for when you arrive. This is essential because there may not be ATM’s available, or many places may not accept credit cards. Also you may need cash to pay for airport transfers. ATM withdrawals are still among the best way to get cash when you’re abroad, however, be wary of transaction fees that banks charge for each withdrawal. Be a savvy traveller and know these top tips to outsmart pickpockets abroad.
It is always a good idea to learn a few phrases of the local language. That way, you will be better able to quickly break down cultural barriers and connect with local people. Locals warm to tourists who attempt at least a few basic phrases in their own language. You might get a helpful tip or get a better bargain on souvenirs just by attempting to use the local language.
Be aware of local culture, customs, dress code, so that you avoid making any huge social blunders along the way. Being unaware of local customs could even get you arrested in some cases. This is especially true in some Middle East locations, where alcohol is prohibited except in hotels. In Singapore, dropping litter or chewing gum could get you a hefty fine, or a stint in jail.
Read also: 11 Common Risks to Avoid in Any Country
Seasoned travellers are better at packing light. However, some of us just can’t resist bringing an extra thing or three that might be handy. Packing for a trip is always tricky because you want to be ready for anything, but at the same time, you don’t want to lug around an oversized case. Especially as this could cost you if you go over your airlines luggage allowance or baggage size. Why not use one of the many Packing guides that are available which could save you time and money. Also consider what you should carry in your hand luggage and see – 10 essential travel hand-luggage items in case your baggage is delayed.
Wherever you are going, plan your trip well and visit the FCO website on health and safety abroad, and check out what it says about where you are planning to travel.