Terrible Travel Decisions
You can spend hours polishing your travel itinerary, researching your destination, and putting together a detailed packing list, but your trip can still go very wrong. Do not let any bad travel decisions ruin your next getaway!
Forgoing travel insurance on international trips – On longer international trips, travel insurance is ALWAYS a wise idea. Have you spent a substantial sum on nonrefundable airfare or trip deposits? Will you be journeying to a place where high quality medical care isn’t quickly available? Are you traveling under circumstances in which weather could negatively alter your plans? If the answer to any of these questions is “yes”, then you need travel insurance! With multiple plans available from MissionSafe, the cost is extremely affordable and could save you thousands if your trip goes awry.
Not checking passport or visa requirements – Its every traveler’s worst nightmare: extensively planning a trip, flying many hours across the ocean, and discovering upon arrival that you don’t have proper documentation to enter the country. Months before your trip (not days or weeks), check the document requirements for your destination. Do you need a visa? If so, can you obtain one upon arrival or do you need it in advance? Does the destination require that passports be valid for at least six months after your trip? Asking these questions in advance will give you time to renew your passport or apply for a visa.
Arriving for a cruise or tour the same day it departs – In an effort to save money on an extra hotel night or conserve vacation days, travelers are sometimes tempted to schedule their flight to arrive the same day their cruise or bus tour departs. If your flight is delayed and you don’t arrive in time to meet your group, this decision will certainly be a regret. No one wants the extra stress of having to buy an expensive last-minute flight to meet up with a vessel in its next port or taking public transportation to catch up with the group. Schedule your flight to arrive at least one day early and you can explore your departure city if the flight does arrive as planned.
Not getting vaccinated – The last souvenir you want to bring home from a trip is a potentially fatal disease such as malaria or typhoid, but there are vaccines and medications available to prevent many common diseases. Research your destination on the CDC website for a list of recommended vaccines and general health information.
Overscheduling – Don’t schedule your vacation to feel like a rushed march from one museum to the next: its called a vacation for a reason! Surely you want to see as much as possible, but that can often result in feeling hurried and not having enough time to appreciate and reflect on what you are seeing. Identify a small number of attractions and take time to enjoy them instead of racing to and from each one.
Booking a tight connection – Flight search sites sometimes show connections as close as 30 minutes and it’s NOT a good idea to book one of these itineraries. You don’t want to be sprinting between terminals in an attempt to make it to your gate and even a minor delay on your first flight could result in missing a connection. Allow 60 to 90 minutes for a domestic connection and at least two hours for an international one.
Sacrificing safety to save money – Packing lighter to avoid paying for a checked bag or booking a room with a kitchen so you can make your own meals instead of eating out are perfect examples of situations where it makes sense to cut costs on your trip. However, scrimping is not smart if it puts your personal safety in jeopardy. Walking back to a hotel late at night to avoid paying for a cab, hitchhiking to save on the cost of a rental car, or staying in a sketchy neighborhood because its cheaper are activities that pose dangerous risks. Safety should always come first so reserve the saving for other parts of the trip.