Traveling is one of the great modern conveniences that we’ve come to enjoy over the years. Now, more than ever, people can make journeys across wide expanses to see entire countries and cultures that their ancestors never would have laid eyes on in a lifetime. However, the red tape and complicated nature of stepping out of one nation and laying foot in another can be a stressful and deterring thing, and a lack of planning might turn what could have been an experience into a nightmare. Here are five tips that will help you avoid the most common mistakes people make, and keep the boring and taxing aspects of international travel to a minimum.
Five mistakes people make when traveling are:
- Not having a SIM card/checking your phone plan
- Not notifying your credit card company
- Not having travel insurance
- Not having the right visa requirements
- Having too much planned and booked
Get A SIM Card or Check Your Phone Plan!
If you’ve ever gone somewhere and your phone service suddenly goes out as you’re trying to look up something critical, it’s usually pretty annoying. Imagine if you went to an entirely different country, not having any impression of the local layout or even language, and this happened? It’s more than an annoyance, it’s downright scary. Make sure if you travel, you find out what countries and areas your phone plan covers, and if they don’t, know exactly where to get a SIM card for your phone that will let it function where you are.
Let Your Credit Card Company Know You’re Heading Out
Most countries will accept a lot of American issued credit cards these days, but if you use it while your credit card company believes you’re still only going as far as buying a soda from the break room vending machine, they might just lock it up for fear of theft. It’s a good thing they do this because you don’t want just anyone getting a hold of your card or information and using it as they please, but it can ruin your entire vacation if it happens abroad. While having your credit card locked can be reversed, the process can take several business days, and this is especially painful if it happens on or right before the weekend, so just take a few minutes to call the number on your card, talk to a rep, and notify them.
Get Travel Insurance!
Pinching every penny is something some travelers take too literally, and it can get you into some tight situations when it comes to something as important as traveler’s insurance. Cases recently of Americans getting sick and requiring medical attention overseas haven’t been usual, and in almost every situation it can land the people with a bill that’s difficult to pay off or might even create a complication or two in getting discharged from the medical facility. Just buy traveler’s insurance – it’s not very expensive and it ensures that if anything should happen to you, you’ll be able to rest assured that you’ll be looked after.
Make Sure Your Visa and Travel Permissions are Correct
What could be worse than paying hundreds or even thousands for your ticket abroad, spending thirteen hours on flights, and wait upwards of an hour and a half to get through customs, only to be denied at the gate because of an oversight on your visa! While many countries have pretty lax requirements when it comes to US or UK travel visas, and many only require a passport, you better check and double-check before you even leave that you have all the proper documents needed to travel to the country you intend to!
Having TOO Much Planned!
It’s great to have a plan! In fact, planning your activities is the best way to get the most out of your trip! But one mistake people tend to make more often than not is to put a hectic schedule crammed with far TOO MUCH to do. You lose sight of other things that you can stumble upon with a more relaxed schedule, and in trying to keep yourself on time with everything, you’ll only wind up wearing yourself out and putting too much stress on your mind. It’s best to just fill each day with a single ‘must-do’ activity, with a list of things nearby the big must-do activity that you can easily get to when you feel up to it, and enjoy the moment.
You can turn any trip into an ordeal if you don’t prepare for it, or over-prepare. Just make sure that you always have the stuff that can only be achieved at home out of the way, and that you have a nice, easygoing itinerary moving forward.
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