The Biggest Travel Mistakes in 2023 and How to Avoid It
Sometimes you just can’t find out everything about the destination you are traveling to, or sometimes you might overlook things or forget items to carry with you. At first glance, it might be a small mistake but turn into a huge mess later. Recently I noticed that traveling is different than it used to be, so I’ve prepared a list of the most common travel mistakes in 2023.
1.Traveling On Off-Season Because There Are No Crowds
After Covid-Pandemic years, travel experts used to say that travel patterns are expected to return to normalcy, as more travelers are anticipated to plan their vacations during the traditional seasons aligned with spring break, summer, and winter holidays. However, it doesn't look like it.
After covid-restriction, many people understood that traveling allows experiencing different cultures and lifestyles. People buy tickets and try to travel as much as possible, trying to visit the most famous places first because there is no guarantee that it will be possible later. It means the most famous countries are flooded with tourists—especially those in Europe. Many TikTok videos showed huge crowds in Positano in May or queues to get into the Vatican in March. There is no huge difference between season or shoulder season for famous countries, cities, or places, as it was earlier.
The best way to avoid crowds is to look for off-beat paths. Forget all the preconceptions and try new destinations that haven't crossed your mind—for example, Slovenia, Albania, Cumberland Island, Outer Banks of North Carolina, Anna Maria Island, Nicaragua, Uruguay, or Bolivia.
2.Thinking Affordable Destinations are Cheap
The war between Ukraine and Russia, rising inflation, and economic instabilities influenced people to travel on a budget and choose off-season or shoulder season. As a result, finding an affordable place to stay, a free monument to visit, or cheap food is getting harder and harder. Budget-friendly countries have already noticed the tourists' interest in raising accommodation, food, and attractions prices.
3.Booking Tickets at Last Minute
Travel industry experts advise travelers to act quickly as rooms and flights are being snapped up rapidly. I recommend planning and booking ahead for all aspects of your journey to ensure a smooth and hassle-free trip. Gone are the days of simply booking your flight and hotel and improvising the rest upon arrival.
If you are unsure about the hotel pricing (wondering if the deal is good or if the price might drop), make a booking with the RatePunk browser extension since it has a rebooking feature (it notifies users if the price drops on all free-cancellation reservations so that you can rebook the same hotel at a cheaper rate). Also, let's talk briefly about attractions. It is not enough to mark on the map places you wish to visit; you should also look into opening times, available entering options, prices, etc. It will ensure you see the attraction at the most convenient time and help you optimize your time instead of standing in tiring queues. Do you want to go to the most famous restaurant and enjoy the dinner? Again, reserve the table in advance.
4. Thinking That With Tickets You Will Skip Lines
Sadly, I’d like to inform you that not everywhere and every time a ticket for an exact time means you will enter the place at that time. As I mentioned before, people want to travel and visit places, and there are many of them next to the most popular attractions. So you should always ALWAYS add more time than it usually takes, come earlier next to a museum or the gallery you want to visit and expect to be waiting.
Personally, every time I see ladies dragging around a bulky, heavyweight suitcase, I pity her. Not only does it contribute to extremely inconvenient start of travel, a cluttered hotel room, and aching back, but it also means dealing with excessive dirty laundry. The key to avoiding overpacking is to start with a travel bag or suitcase that is just the right size. Opt for a carry-on bag as your starting point, and only consider upsizing if absolutely necessary.
How to avoid this travel mistake? Begin by gathering all the items you think you'll need, and then challenge yourself to remove at least half of them. This exercise helps you prioritize and focus on the essentials. Also, lean towards neutral colors that can easily be mixed and matched. This allows for greater versatility with fewer items. Additionally, opt for clothing that can serve multiple purposes or activities, further minimizing the need for excessive packing. By adopting these strategies, you'll travel lighter, pack smarter, and enjoy a more streamlined and hassle-free journey.
6. Taking Connecting Flights Without Long Breaks
We all want to have a seamless journey without any delays or cancellations. No one wants to eat up much time in airports waiting for their flight, but there is a huge drawback. Any slight delay may impact the rest of your travel. Some European Airlines already have a bad reputation for constantly canceling some of their flights because of strikes.
If you can, choose at least a two-hour layover to travel without stress, do all security checks, find a time for snacking, or stroll before boarding your next flight. Additionally, longer layover safeguards in case of minor flight delays, ensuring you don't miss your onward journey.
7. Forgetting To Check Your Cell Phone Plan Or Turn On the Roaming
Sometimes we need to remember simple things, such as turning on the roaming before departure. And this mistake can cause you a headache. So before traveling anywhere, check if your cell phone plan works in your vacation country or buy an international plan or a local SIM card once you arrive.
8. Relaxed too Much
It doesn't matter where you plan to go; you risk being scammed, pickpocketed, or robbed. Especially if you are staying on the beaten path, you can be scammed by a taxi driver, get a spiked drink, be pickpocketed in public transport, pay for the "friendship" bracelet even though you didn't want it, or be scammed by one of the artist in Florence who keeps his artwork on the ground for someone to step on it and then pay for the damage. Each popular destination has its scamming schemes. (You can read about it here ). Never relax to your fullest, don't drink to much alcohol and always be vigilant because not all people are friendly and have good intentions.
9. Blindly Believing in Recommendations
I used to visit all places and restaurants with high Google ratings, but I stopped doing it after some time. Not all good-rated places are worth visiting since most of the time, not locals but foreigners give ratings. Instead of blindly trusting ratings, ask a local guide or barista for recommendations. If you are a friendly customer, he will tell you honestly where you should go and where you can have delicious local food. Moreover, always pay attention to who's eating in the restaurant: locals or tourists. It also indicates if it's a good place or not.
10.Having All Your Money in A Single Place
You should never keep your money in one place. It's like putting all "eggs" in the same basket; if something goes wrong, you might be penniless. That's why I always recommend keeping cash in a few places, for instance, in a purse and some pockets of your jacket. Also, having cash and a credit card may not be enough. I recommend having a virtual card too.
If you happen to make any of these mistakes, don't let them discourage you. Instead, embrace them as valuable lessons that contribute to your growth as a traveler.