12 Common Tourist Mistakes To Steer Clear Of

From not working with a travel agent to paying out of pocket for trips, travelers on a popular internet thread discuss everyday travel mistakes to avoid. Here are twelve ways to guarantee you have a happier, healthier, and more budget-friendly vacation.

1. Not Booking an Open Jaw Ticket 

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Planning a trip takes time, effort, and brainpower. Still, you can eliminate worry by booking open-jaw or multi-city tickets. You can fly into London Gatwick and out of Charles De Gaulle in Paris without booking multiple trips. This way, you don’t have to participate in mental gymnastics to manage your time and return to the same airport you flew into.  

2. Rent Cars Through Agencies

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Suppose you rent cars through traditional service agencies. In that case, you will incur fees, extra money toward insurance, and high credit card payments. These travelers share their satisfaction with renting through Costco. “We’ve booked through Costco nearly every time we’ve been to Europe, and not only are the deals way better, you mostly get a free additional driver, and for whatever reason, we’ve gotten a better car than booked probably four out of five times. Once, we were upgraded from a Renault convertible to a Mercedes C class convertible, and another time got upgraded from a Fiat to a Volvo V6. Not sure if that’s due to Costco, but one time, we booked through Kemwel because the deal was so good, but we ended up with a seriously terrible car and were treated with great disdain.”

3. Avoiding the Pillow Menu 

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Have a stiff neck and a bad back? You’re in luck! A well-kept secret of high-end hotels is their pillow menu, a pamphlet describing all the styles and qualities of their pillows they keep locked away for occasions like this. Each resort offers different options, but some examples include premium waterproof pillows, classic firm polyester head cushions, and luxury cotton clouds.

4. Canceling Instead of Rescheduling

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Hotels maintain strict cancellation fees within so many hours, but life happens, and people must alter their vacation arrangements. To avoid hawking over a hefty cancellation fee, call the hotel and reschedule your booking a few weeks or months out, and call back a few days later. You shouldn’t face any trouble since you will be within the free cancellation period. 

5. Eating on Your Local Schedule

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Adjusting to different time zones is one of the most challenging aspects of traveling. Still, a great way to curb jetlag and discomfort is to change your meal times to what the locals practice. Spain, for example, eats a main meal midday around one or three p.m., while in America, they eat their main course around five to eight p.m. If you follow the same eating schedule as locals, you’ll have more options to choose from and indulge in better quality food. Plus, you’ll feel more comfortable on a day-to-day basis.

6. Packing New Clothes

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A great way to open up storage in luggage for souvenirs and new clothes is to pack older, ratty clothes for the trip and discard or donate them at the end. An avid jet setter adds that they refuse to get rid of their old, holey socks until they embark on a trip where they can repudiate them. 

7. Paying For Walking Tours 

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“There are usually a couple of local firms in each major city advertising ‘free walking tours,’ and they have many local guides. The tours are 1-3 hours, extremely informative, and very entertaining. If you start on the tour and it isn’t very good, you can just walk away. If it is good and you stick it out to the end, a tip is customary (they are usually not pushy but will ask the group), and I’d definitely recommend it. Something like $10-20 for a two-hour walking tour is dirt cheap, especially if you can just walk away if it turns out to be low quality. The guides aren’t paid, so they must be good (informative, entertaining, well spoken) to earn enough tips to keep in the business,” a globetrotter states.

8. Not Speaking With a Travel Agent 

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Travel agents specialize in finding the best deal for your family, so utilize them. Instead of fumbling for last-minute passports and documents, travel agents sort your information for you and ensure you don’t run into any double booking or issues on the trip. Travel agents adore traveling themselves, so they’re aware of all the hidden spots tourists don’t frequent and the best dining establishments to check out. 

9. Paying Out of Pocket

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Perks of travel credit cards include free flights, free checked baggage, airport lounge access, free meals, and luggage insurance, to name a few. Each company runs different deals and different plans to sign up with. However, using a travel credit card while exploring the world racks up your points and rewards, permitting you to travel even more at a lower cost.

10. Booking Online

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Third-party websites don’t always have access to the best deals or the most accurate information regarding lodging. I once booked a hotel in Orlando through a third-party website, and when I arrived, the concierge informed me that the hotel was at 100% capacity. Luckily, they gave me an unoccupied guest room, but I learned my lesson. Always book through the direct hotel or airline lines.

11. Booking Yourself 

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You know the tempting wooden shelf containing a multitude of touristy pamphlets to browse while checking in to your temporary home? If one attraction catches your eye, you may call and find it booked. However, try asking the concierge to help you out. “The concierge can often get you bookings, including last-minute or hard-to-get bookings. It helps to be nice and courteous and, if possible, to do it well in advance, but they often have connections, speak the language, and have more clout, given they aren’t just a single person trying to make a reservation.

“Also, beyond coming to them with specific requests, they often have great suggestions if you’re looking for things to do. I’ve had luck asking/e-mailing in advance on how to make a trip special, and some have gone above and beyond (e.g., flower delivery, special notice, special reservations, events),” a frequent flyer beams.

12. Ignoring a Free Stopover 

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Several airlines allow guests to explore their host country for free via a stopover route included in their travel plan. For example, IcelandAir lets guests depart the plane in Iceland and see the green, frigid country before boarding back on a plane and departing to the original destination. Singapore Airlines wants flyers to visit Singapore, and Emirates hopes guests make the stopover in Dubai. Not all airlines do this, though.

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