Regardless of whether you’re preparing to make your very first international trip or if you’ve already made multiple trips abroad already, we can all make mistakes that cause us to feel stress and perhaps sometimes even headaches that we don’t want.
For those of you who are making your very first overseas trip especially, it’s absolutely critical for you to know that when you are traveling to another country, it’s very rare that things will ever go according to plan.
Does this mean that your vacation is going to be ruined and stressful no matter what? Hardly, but it does mean that a little extra planning and preparation beforehand can spare you a lot of stress later on.
Here are the top four biggest international travel mistakes to avoid like the plague:
Mistake #1 – You Overpack
It’s rare for experienced travelers to make this mistake, but first-time travelers make it all the time.
It’s easy to see why: there are a lot of things that you think you need and you don’t want to leave anything behind.
The best strategy to ensure that you do not overpack anything is to make it a rule that you’ll only bring one moderately sized bag with you. You can bring anything you want, but it all has to fit in the bag.
Yes, this means you’ll have to make sacrifices with what you don’t bring, but chances are extremely high you won’t need everything that you think you do. Overpacking and bringing too much luggage will make it more difficult to move around once you land, which will definitely cause a lot of unnecessary stress.
Mistake #2: You Don’t Have A Way To Pay For Things Internationally
Assuming you live in America, the cash in your wallet won’t do you any good in an overseas country. Therefore, you have to turn to other methods to ensure that you can pay for goods, food, and services.
The good news is that there are a number of ways for you to do so. For one thing, your credit card may allow foreign transactions. It’s important for you to confirm with your credit card company ahead of time so they won’t freeze your account in the case of a foreign transaction. Alternatively, you can also apply for a new foreign credit card that not only allows foreign transactions, but that won’t charge you a fee per transaction as well.
Another alternative will be to use a third party money transfer service such as Remitly that will enable you to exchange your money for the currency of the nation you’re traveling to, and then send the money to yourself to ensure you have a means to pay for things.
Mistake #3 – You Don’t Buy Travel Insurance
Many travelers avoid buying travel insurance because they view it as an unnecessary extra business expense.
But in reality, travel insurance can end up being a major investment. In the event that you have a medical emergency and need treatment at a foreign hospital, lose your luggage, cancel your flights, or have to return home early, travel insurance can help to cover most if not all of the costs.
It’s just important for you to carefully read the fine print of your particular travel insurance plan, because they can vary greatly.
Mistake #4 – You Try To Visit Too Many Places
Since traveling is expensive, you may adopt the mindset that you need to visit as many places as possible in order to make the trip feel worth it.
However, the truth is that cramming too many places in one trip can cause a lot of stress and cause you to rush your vacation rather than truly enjoying each place you visit.
For this reason, limit the number of places that you choose to visit. Even if you don’t get to see everything that you wanted to on your trip, it’s not like that you won’t be able to travel again in the future, right?
Travel Mistakes To Avoid
These may not be the only travel mistakes that you need to avoid, but they are also among the biggest mistakes out there that one can make. But by applying what you have learned to ensure that you don’t make these kinds of mistakes or ones similar to them, you will spare yourself a lot of hassle and stress during your trip, which will translate to a more fun and memorable vacation.