The Dalai Lama once said, once a year go some place you’ve never been before. This is something I have been doing since 2015 and it has been absolutely incredible journey. But not all is as it seems, travel mistakes exist which often make the trip interesting. Obviously when travel mistakes are made, it is not always fun and can lead to anxiety for some. In this article I aim to share 4 travel mistakes I have made since I started solo travelling and learned from.
Travel is the healthiest addiction
I am very fortunate that most of the travel mistakes I have made have been within Europe. Somewhere close enough to home and not in some godforsaken jungle where no one can help me. Have you ever made such mistakes when traveling?
4 Travel Mistakes I Made
I am a spontaneous person by nature and often making spontaneous decisions in my life. It has taken me a while to learn that I shouldn’t apply this attitude to all areas of my life. Some areas require forethought and other people’s wisdom and insight for moral support. But when it comes to traveling, somehow this kind of thinking is out the window.
Travel mistakes are always often bound to happen, sometimes its just a matter of time other times its just bad luck. On our recent adventure to Marseille, read our Travel Guide, we made 2 of the four mistakes I am sharing in this article. The worst part is it was two of us and these travel mistakes still occurred but we’ve learnt a lesson.
Not checking hotel location and proximity to city centre
Our recent adventure to Marseille was our first trip abroad together as a couple and we were excited. Unfortunately we were too excited that we’d booked a hotel and flights, we forgot to check the proximity to the city. This wouldn’t have been so bad if the Vitrolles part of Marseille had great public transportation.
Our flights and hotel room where non-refundable, the hotel never replied to our emails so we were stuck. Luckily this was days before our actual trip so we ended up booking another hotel in the center. Then called Expedia to inform the hotel we won’t check it as planned but will check it day before check-out. This had a happy ending but it cost us a pretty penny and taught us a lesson.
Tip: Always check your hotels proximity to the city centre and plan accordingly
Neglecting to check publish transportation
Not checking public transportation in advance is a travel mistake I have made countless times. Its like I never learn, I am so used to booking über I didn’t think some places might not have it. When I took my parents to Tuscany for a 4-day getaway, I didn’t think to plan travel. I knew we wouldn’t be hiring a car so I figured we would über everywhere, unfortunately über is not in some parts. Taxis were expensive but what was cheap was public transport BUT it was infrequent and drivers never spot English.
Tip: Research public transport extensively, plan your routes and have alternatives
Not budgeting – Being broke is NOT the best time to travel
Budgeting is something I saw my mother do countless times as a child but somehow I still missed the lesson. It took me going to university, find myself in about £11k debt to realise I needed to change. I started budgeting my spending until I paid all my debt off and could live life how I wanted to. But somehow when it comes to solo traveling I rarely budget and don’t know why not.
It took me coming back with a £500 unplanned bill on my credit card to realise, I needed to budget my trips. This happened when I went on a trip with a friend, everything was set until it wasn’t. The hotel doesn’t take her kind of card and then we had transport issues to get to the venue. Then unplanned taxis which took us to a place in the middle of nowhere which didn’t have public transport. This was goes back to not researching hotel proximity to venue or public transport.
Tip: Have an emergency fund outside the credit card
Not all those who wander are lost
Whenever I travel somewhere new I like to have an itinerary in place of few places I MUST see. Then the rest of the time I am happy to wander aimlessly and explore the city that way. But one mistake I seem to often make it not having any itinerary whatsoever.
One time I visited a new city and had no itinerary, I ended up wandering aimlessly and not founding any tourist attractions. The area I was in wasn’t one which was friendly to say the least and I paid a ridiculous amount to go somewhere else. Whilst I do not discourage traveling without an itinerary, its important to have reference points.
Tip: Research the city you’re visiting and plan your trip
These are some of the travel mistakes I have made on my travels, but fortunate all were sorted. One that I wouldn’t make is traveling without insurance, you never know what might happen. Always have adequate travel insurance for your trips and have a relaxing holiday.
What are some of the travel mistakes you’ve made?