Let’s face it, travel mistakes happen.
Unfortunately, some of these can be very frustrating and/or expensive. Here are 5 common travel mistakes you don’t want to make.
- Not Leaving Enough Time Between Connecting Flights
If you have to take a connecting flight to reach your destination, remember to allow a 1-2 hour window between the flights. You never know what might happen to cause a flight delay: a maintenance issue, weather, the airline forgetting to schedule a crew (this has happened to me!), etc. Waiting at the airport might seem like a drag, but missing your connecting flight is far worse. If you must catch a connection with a shorter window, use the same airline all the way through.
Only bring what you need. You’re the one who has to haul it around with you. Having to carry too much can make you tired and sore. If you forget something, you should be able to buy it when you get to your destination, especially if you’re traveling domestically. Over packing can lead to an over-the-weight-limit fee, usually $50. (Do you really want to give the airlines more money?) And remember to leave some extra space for shopping and souvenirs!
- Over Scheduling your Itinerary
Tying to do or see too much while traveling can be exhausting and make your trip less enjoyable. Be sure to include some down time so you can relax and recharge. This is especially important if you’re getting to sleep late and getting up early. The idea of a vacation is to relax and enjoy. By craming your itinerary, you are simply defeating the purpose.
- Not Budgeting Appropriately
Being in a foreign country without money is a scary thought. One of the biggest drawbacks of under budgeting is that you will spend way too much time in maintaining your budget and less time actually enjoy your trip. Plan an extra 20% into your budget for unforeseen expenses. Remember, just because you have the extra money doesn’t mean you have to spend it!
- Carry-on Your Valuables
Unfortunately we’ve recently seen some baggage handlers being less than honest. Remember to keep your valuables with you and not in your suitcase. Keep in mind, some airlines have limited overhead space and the suitcase you thought you could carry on may have to be checked. Be sure you remove any valuables and medications you have with you and put them in the “personal item” you’re allowed to carry on (purse, tote bag, computer case, etc.)
I’m guilty of over packing. Sometimes it’s just hard to know what you’ll feel like wearing. I also pack too many gadgets. Not only do they take up room, you have to pack the cords. Are you guilty of any of these? Share in the comments below.
Here’s to a smooth trip the next time you travel!
Oh yeah! I’m guilty of overpacking too. Even when all I need is a couple pairs of black pants and a few tops. One thing, since I don’t pack heavy, is that I have a couple of suitcases that have zippers for expansion. I don’t use that extra room when leaving home. So I can use it on the way home for things I acquire on the trip.
I’m the same way when it comes to the expansion area. I also carry a small luggage scale so I don’t go over the weight limit.
Great tips! sometimes we forget little details with the excitement of traveling! 🙂
That’s so true.
You make great points! I would only take issue with the first – time between flights is not our decision. Maybe it’s because my travel is 99% international and the connections seemed to be set in stone! I usually have to “run” to the next connection…. or wait a half a day! sheesh! great job!! P
Yes, international travel can be a bit trickier when it comes to connection times and it will greatly vary depending on the final destination.
I’m often guilty of over-scheduling trips. I always want to see and do EVERYTHING! lol
I totally can relate, especially if I’m not sure I’ll get back to see more. That’s also when you come home saying you need a vacation after your vacation.
I either over-pack or under-pack. Seems like there’s no happy medium! I always carry my valuables (including my prescription meds) with me. And one of my biggest nightmares is not having enough time to get to connecting flights. Makes me shudder to think about it!
A good rule of thumb for connections is at least 1 hour for domestic and 2 for international. Keep in mind that many times your connections for international flights may be longer.
I used to be so guilty of trying to cram too much into a trip and come home exhausted. Now I really try to make sure we factor in some relaxation time especially toward the end of the vacation.
That’s so important, especially since most people have trouble getting comfortable on an airplane. Not to mention the stress some may feel just getting to the airport on time and through security.
I think my biggest problem is budgeting appropriately. I don’t travel much, but when I do, seems like I’m always a few bucks behind.
That can happen. The key is to over-budget. And remember, just because you have the money doesn’t mean you have to spend it. 🙂
Definitely common mistakes. The connecting flight thing can be crazy!
It really can be, especially if your first flight is late and you have a tight connection window.
You brought back a lot of my memories. I often fly stand by because of my daughter who works for an airline and this stuff that you shared is great!
Thanks! My uncle use to work for an airline, so I am well familiar with having to “wait” for flights.
I am guilty of all of them and I will add one more. not checking the date of the ticket: 3 of us were supposed to fly to Costa Rica at 12 midnight and we showed up at the airport one day too late at midnight, because I mixed up the date. It was an almost full flight, but we were lucky and still got on. Overscheduling is a bad one too, because it’s hard to enjoy when stressed out. Over-packing is very annoying, to have to haul lots of stuff around.
Checking the date (and time) is important, too! Glad you were able to still go on your trip.
OMG.. I was flying to LA from VA and decided that first in the am was best… well, it is.. but not when the alarm clock isn’t sooooo loud that you can hear it. I missed that flight… did somehow get on one to be stand by all day… and it took at day.. but man, that could have been easier. Note to self… don’t do first thing in am if you are staying up late to pack. a no no! lol
You’re lucky you were able to get on a flight. Airlines have cut back on the number of flights, therefore severely reducing the chance for stand-by. Glad you were able to make it to your destination!
Travel mistakes do indeed happen. In any case, some great tips in place to set up contingencies.
That they do. At least you have some information to help you avoid a few of the most common.
Such great tips! I tend to do #2 a lot. I think part of it is just the mom in me that thinks I need to take EVERYTHING JUST IN CASE! HAHA.
It’s so, so easy to over pack!
Great tips! Over-packing is something I need to work on. Thanks for sharing.
I’m guilty of this as well.