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Pro or Newbie, Be a Smart Traveler: Don't Make These Mistakes

Updated on March 12, 2017
JM Salgado profile image

JM has a passion for inspirational objects of the past and the present. Using words to create a new form of storytelling.

Traveling offers a number of interesting experiences, lifetime's worth of memories, and even some unforgettable mishaps. However, you don't necessarily have to be a full-time traveler/backpacker to be more careful with your travel details and activities. Yet there are still instances when you hear a friend, a colleague, or even a stranger rant about some of their misfortunes. Learn from them and try to stay away from repeating their mistakes or better take precautions before your next trip. To help you with this, here are some tips to remember.

Promo Rush: Booking with Wrong Information

There are a lot of promos offered online every now and then. Different airline companies attract customers by giving limited discounted flight promos.

Getting that piso (Php 1.00) fare is definitely a must-catch opportunity, so you do your best to click as fast as you can and save a slot. Got it!

But, be careful. Clicking too quickly because of the excitement might bring you more tears than fun. There could be a possibility for missed schedule, dates, unnecessary payments, or even a misspelled name. The two last possibilities are the ones that could really give you a headache or high blood pressure.

Remember to double check everything (even if you think you are running out of time). Before you finalize your booking, check the information you've provided, the flight schedule, and the payment and additional fees.

Also, even with the cheap rate, you must be aware of the different fees or taxes. This is important especially if you are traveling abroad. So, check, plan, and still get your money's worth for a wonderful journey.

When do you prefer to travel?

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Be clear with your schedule
Be clear with your schedule | Source

Time Differences: Mixed Up Itinerary

Connecting flights, layovers, and a lot of waiting time in the airport. Do you truly understand your travel schedule or itinerary?

Mixed up itineraries or missed flights can happen when some are too confident with their flight that they just stick with what's in their mind. Then viola! 0200 flight schedule they overlooked as a 2:00 PM flight. Missed plane. Trouble booking and extra expense ahead.

Remember the flight schedule is always in military time (i.e.0200 is 2 AM and 1400 is 2 PM).

Aside from this, don't mix up your departure and arrival time. This includes preparing for the time differences as well. You don't want to come a day later than expected.

There are helpful applications that you can download on your smartphones or even websites that let you check on your trip's schedule. Take that extra precaution and don't let excitement or even your lazy personality bring you unbearable headache on your next vacation.

Expired (Almost Expired Passport)

Here, you must do your research. Be a vigilant traveler and keep your important documents updated and valid.

Even if you argue that your passport would expire later this year, remember that some countries do not allow you to travel three to six months before your passport's expiration date.

Always keep in mind that you must carry a valid passport and other important documents. Check your destination's rules to save yourself from some drama.

Traveler's Must Haves

Essentials
Gadget
Clothing
Passport/ IDs
phone for communication
shoes: sandals, rubber shoes
Plane Ticket
camera
lightweight: pants/blouse/shirt
Simple First-Aid Kit
charger and extra batteries
hat and sunglasses

Missing or Damaged Valuables: Putting Them in Check In

Put your valuables in your carry on. Always.

This means money, medicine, passport, ID, gadgets, and other personal essentials should be kept close. If you follow this reminder, you will face less hassle in finding your things and lower the chances of having stolen, damaged, or even offloaded valuables. In the last one, you might only learn about your luggage being offloaded once you reach your destination. So, better be ready.

Also, do not leave your valuables unattended. Even if you are just in the airport, be cautious enough to keep your things with you at all times. If you are traveling with a friend, ask him/her to look after your things if you have to go somewhere else.


Tropical weather essentials aside from the sunscreen
Tropical weather essentials aside from the sunscreen | Source

Off-Season? Not Packing Proper Clothes

Seasons around the world vary, so be prepared to face those weather changes when you travel. Know about the country or city you are visiting. Pack necessary clothing. You don't have to be a fashion trendsetter who smells like a barbecue in a tropical country nor be a frozen banana with shorts in July when you visit Australia.

If you think that it's easier to just buy clothes when you arrive, think again. That will be time-consuming and possibly stressful. Keep your shopping spree later in your trip. And who wants to see a freezing stick in the airport when it's 20 degrees below zero.

Dress appropriately.

Short Trips Do Not Need Credit Cards

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Philippines tricycle rideFinding a tricycle
Philippines tricycle ride
Philippines tricycle ride | Source
Finding a tricycle
Finding a tricycle | Source

Traveling with No Cash

It is convenient to use credit cards and simply swipe through your purchases. However, having cash on hand is still the best, especially when you need to purchase small items or for transportation. It is not easy to get off a local habal-habal, pedicab, or even tricycle with only your credit card.

Cash can also save you in case of emergency.

Credit Card Frozen

Speaking of spending during your trip, if you must use a debit or credit card inform your bank in advance.

Some banks can cancel your card due to an unusual activity. Yes, it is also possible to fix this concern once you call to your bank. But it will still take a while, and just save yourself from this trouble and do that before you head to another country. Be smart and courteous enough to inform them about your international trip and how you plan to use your card.

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    • JM Salgado profile imageAUTHOR

      JM Salgado 

      3 years ago from Philippines

      Thanks for the comment, Stephanie. That experience must have been very stressful! Good thing you had an extra card.

      For me, I really try my best to be prepared whenever I travel and double check everything. I had a bad experience of missing my 10-hour bus ride because of getting the wrong schedule. I had to wait for the next trip for 3 hours!

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 

      3 years ago from USA

      Definitely excellent tips! We have had our credit card cancelled because of unusual activity during a trip and could not get it reactivated -- had to have a new one sent to us at our HOME address! Not convenient when you are traveling for an extended period of time. Luckily, we had another card we could use and access to cash to carry us through.

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