Most travel guides talk about what you should do before traveling. All the must-see attractions and things to see. Go here, do this, see it, act this way. But what about all the things you shouldn’t be doing?

Travelers make many travel mistakes that result in wasted money, wasted time, and missed opportunities. It’s easy to tell what to do, but sometimes we forget to mention the dos and don’ts.

So today we want to share some of the common travel mistakes you should avoid. We made a lot of these mistakes in the past.

Here are 13 of the most common travel mistakes. Hope these tips will help you avoid repeating these mistakes:

1. Do not scan your identity documents

This is for us the number one mistake not to make.

Identity card, passport, driving license… What if you lose your luggage or your wallet? 

It is essential to scan all of your identity documents and have them on your phone in order to prove your identity. It’s really important to have them in your emails as well. Because if you lose or have your phone stolen, you’ll still be able to log in from a computer in the country in which you are to have access to your identity papers.

It’s the same for prescriptions. If you need specific medication, be sure to scan your prescription. You never know, it can always be useful if you made a mistake in your calculation when you left but also for a plane cancellation that you had not planned or even when you forgot your first aid kit in your previous accommodation .

We recommend you use Google Drive, which will allow you to access all your documents via your phone, computer, and tablet.

2. Having an overly ambitious itinerary

Be flexible; don’t be afraid to change your plans because of time or lack of money. Be aware of the time it takes to get from “A” to “B” (not by distance, but by means of travel: car, bus, train, etc.).

Take into account the extra time for possible delays as well as the extra time to rest. Remember, you don’t have to see the whole country in one visit.

3. Do not consider the different time zones when booking

Pay attention to the different time zones between places “A” and “B”, how long does it take to get there and how many time zones do you cross. Take this into account when planning your reservations.

Also, think about the possible effects of jet lag in your first few days, or better yet, learn how to avoid jet lag.

4. Do not look at flight/car/hotel comparisons

Many sites offer to compare prices between different airlines, car rental companies, and even hotels. But if you had to remember just one, it would be Skyscanner. This website has many functions to prepare for your trip. You can at the same time ask him to find you all the cheapest plane tickets on a given date. Or conversely, tell him a destination and he will find you the best dates to leave while spending as little as possible.

5. Booking flights with a short stopover

Allow yourself at least a few hours between flights to take into account any possible delay scenarios (flight delay, long customs wait, long distance between terminals, etc.).

6. Not checking your documents and reservations

Check your documents and reservations for everything related to hotels, flights, trains, buses, etc. Always synchronize the time and place and make sure they are correctly scheduled. Also, check that your name is spelled correctly on your flight booking.

7. Take too much business

Take only what you need, not what you think you are going to use. Buy the rest at your destination (possibly cheaper). When fully packed, take a look at everything you have and try to reduce the load a bit more.

8. Do not take travel insurance

It might seem like a ridiculous extra expense, but travel is all about an adventure into the unknown. And you never know what can happen along the way. You can break a leg, lose a camera, have to leave a country because of a natural disaster.

Travel insurance protects you when you’re abroad and shouldn’t be avoided — it’s the smartest thing to do. It’s there to protect you from medical and non-medical emergencies.

If something happens to you and you don’t have insurance, it could cost thousands of dollars.

9. Eat near a tourist site

Food near any tourist attraction will cost double the price and half the flavor of what you find elsewhere. When restaurants know people aren’t coming back, they don’t have to worry about consistent quality. 

However, local and non-touristy restaurants must be of high quality, otherwise, locals will stop going. Instead of eating in a tourist trap, feel free to walk a few hundred yards more. The further away you are, the more local, cheaper, and tastier the food will be. Avoid restaurants with brilliant menus in multiple languages. Also, avoid restaurants where a waiter approaches you to invite you to eat at their place. These are sometimes signs of a tourist trap.

If you are not comfortable walking into a random restaurant, you can also use the TripAdvisor travel app. People have posted reviews and ratings so you can determine what’s good on the menu or if the restaurant is worth a visit.

Another great way to find local restaurants is to walk into hostels and ask them what is good. Even if you don’t stay there, they are a wealth of information and will usually be happy to point you in the right direction!

10. Blindly trust the first directions you get from a local

Ask more than one person for directions to the same location.

If the person hesitates or looks up for an answer, please accept their help and seek further help on the next street.

11. Fully rely on the guides

The guides are made to inform your travels, not to define them. Pose the guide and interact with other travelers and people at the destination. Allow yourself to explore and follow your own intuition. There is much more to one place than what is in any guidebook.

12. Forget the budget and run out of money

You should consider your budget as a way to experience the place in a more creative and authentic way, not as a restriction. Create a realistic budget that you can stick to and leave some wiggle room for unforeseen expenses.

13. Not reserving a car service before you arrive

It’s common to postpone your transportation arrangement from the airport to your hotel or Airbnb or other destination in the place you’re traveling to until you arrive. This can create a lot of problems for you. From struggling to find a taxi to exorbitant prices from car service companies you find at the airport.

You should reserve a car service that will wait at the airport for your arrival to pick you up and drop you off at your destination. It’s the stress-free and affordable luxury treatment you deserve for your travels.