I am back with five more tourist mistakes you should try to avoid. If you missed the first five, you can read about it here. The first one started out with a not so great story that happened to me while traveling in Italy. This time I decided to start with a more recent story that happened while in Ireland. It actually starts a little before Ireland in the planning stage. I booked the flights, the hotels, pulled up maps and walking directions. I showed Drew all the little things we could do in the different places we were staying and the sights we shouldn’t miss. Sounds like I researched everything right? I was so proud of myself. Read on to find my mistake, it was a pretty big one too.
#1 Not arranging hotel/airport transfer
If you guessed this was my mistake you are right! We landed in Dublin and Drew looked at me and asked “now what” and I couldn’t answer. I had researched everything except how to get from the airport to our hotel. This is often not researched because most airports have taxis waiting outside (after spending the last 36 out of 48 hours in various airports I know this to be a fact, but more on that debacle later), but there are a variety of ways to get to your hotel and a variety of costs to go along with them. Do your research to figure out what is the best price, it could be something you might not think of fresh off the plane like an Uber, hotel shuttle or bus.
#2 Assuming service staff is there to SERVE you
Let’s be real here, different countries have different customs and mannerisms between countries can vary a lot. So if you ask a question and get a “rude” answer, it might just be their way of speaking. If you are from North America where service staff is exceptionally polite, getting blunt and direct answers might seem “rude” but it could just be the way people are there. Again look into the customs where you are going to find out if the more blunt service is to be expected so you are not caught off guard.
#3 Buying the cheapest possible flight
Now don’t get me wrong I LOVE a good deal. You can read my very positive review about Norwegian here. What this mistake is trying to stress is to weigh in all the factors before going for that cheapest flight. Let me explain. Most airlines are moving towards the “budget airline” model. This means that the initial booking cost is pretty low, but then they stack on a charge for EVERY little thing. Baggage, food, even seat assignments cost extra. If you are going to require ANY of these on your flight, make sure you add up those costs and compare it to the more “expensive” flights. It might turn out that the “cheapest possible flight” is actually the most expensive for YOU because of what you need from your flight.
#4 Planning activities during meal times
Drew swears I try to starve him every time we travel abroad. This is not necessary the truth, but there is so much to see and do that planning something during meal times is unavoidable. For the most part I now try to avoid this, but if you are planning something during a meal time, know where to get food on that activity or pack food to take with you. There is nothing worse than being on a tour and seeing amazing sights and all you can think of is how hungry you are. No one likes a hangry traveler.
#5 Flaunting your possessions in your hostel/car
This is a safety thing and what this means is don’t actively pack away your valuables in public spaces. You really don’t want people to know you are now going to leave your car with luggage or valuables in it. So don’t pack them away when you are in the place you are parking, do this somewhere else then drive to the place. Same for in hostels if you are sharing a dorm. You don’t always have a locker to store your stuff in (if you do that’s a different story) and you don’t know the people you are sharing a dorm with so be vigilant not to “flaunt” what you’ve got.
There you have it, five more tourist mistakes you should try to avoid. If you know of any I missed please add them in the comments.