Common travelling mistakes and how to avoid them

Notify your bank that you are travelling.

One of the red flags that banks use to track frauds are withdrawals that are being made far away from your address. See it from their point of view. If you live in seattle and withdrawals are being made from turkey it is highly possible that you have been hacked. The banks protocol in these cases is to shut down the card and then inform you.

I found this out the hard way. I had a meal at an expensive restaurant and my card was declined.. So call your bank and tell them when you are travelling, where you are going and when you will be back.

Get advice from locals.

Today most people presume that all the information they need will be online. We all make this mistake because it is so convenient to check about restaurants by using an app like Zomato or getting information from guide books and articles online.

But most of these sources are not regularly updated. So the best place to ask is a local. I often go to a starbucks or a coffee shop and chat with the owners or locals.

They can tell you what events are currently going on the city. They know the cheapest places to drink and the most happening parties in town. They may even suggest alternative hotels to stay in that will be cheaper than the hotels you found online.

Avoid Shops and restaurants near tourist spots.

Tourist spots are filled with shops selling souvenirs, or clothes in the local fashion. These places are over priced and sell cheap goods.

If you want to find good places to shop ask the locals around. They will direct you to shopping districts. When I was in Mumbai a local told me to go to chor bazaar where I found some amazing antiques. I bought an ancient dagger from one of these shops.

Now restaurants near tourist spots charge more than others, this is because they are on rent and the rent is way higher in tourist locations. Instead search for restaurants in the city centre, or ask a local for advice.

Check the connection times between flights.

This is such a basic fact but so many people make this mistake. If you are switching flights, you must make sure that you have a couple of hours of time between each flight.

An hour might seem like a lot of time but some airports are so huge that just walking to your terminal and finding the way may take an hour.

You also have to factor the time it takes to go through customs and security. If there is a long line you may be stuck for an half hour. So always make sure that you have a couple of hours of time in between connections.

Checking the notifications of flights on the airport monitors.

 

Sometimes flights will either be delayed or the terminal will be switched because of technical problems. The latter is a big deal. I have made the mistake of assuming that everything was ok, I walked from one end of the airport to my terminal only to
discover that the terminal has been switched. I nearly missed my flight because
of this mistake.

Check the bus & train schedules.

Taxis are expensive and so you can save a lot of money by using the buses and trains, but most people assume that they will figure out this problem when it arises. That is a very short sighted move. Some places may have local transportation that stops at a certain time and you may end up stranded. Or there may be long waiting
periods for the next bus or train.

Fortunately today you can find all this information online and most cities now have apps giving the details of the buses and trains.

Get travel insurance.

One of the things that most travellers donot consider are the cost of medical care when you are abroad. In some countries the cost can be ridiculously high. For example in the united states you could spend all of your life earnings on a trip to a hospital.

Given that you are going to a new country there are so many risks. You won’t have the immunity to deal with local diseases. You could easily get indigestion or stomach problems from eating the food. Accidents also are very common. So save yourself the risk of a high costvisit to the doctor by spending some money on insurance.

Make sure your luggage has a tag with your hotel’s address.

While travelling and visiting the places it can be easy to forget or misplace your luggage. You think it may not happen to you but when you are juggling travelling problems, looking for food, visiting amazing sites, it is very easy to lose your bags.

Fortunately most people in countries are very helpful. I lost my bag in a taxi and the taxi driver was able to return the bag because the bags had the hotel address on it.

Do not use the hotel laundry.

Most hotels offer laundry services but they are very expensive. It would be smarter for you to ask the locals around where you can get your laundry done. Or most places have apps or websites that list laundry services.