1. Spending too Much on Food
Most people have it programmed in their heads they need to eat three full meals a day but this can getting very costly. The cost of eating three full meals a day adds up quickly.
When booking your accommodations look for a hotel that offers a free breakfast, even if it’s a continental breakfast. Some continental breakfasts are fairly large and have a good choice of food. Filling up as much as you can on breakfast will not only provide you with plenty of energy but will get you through to your next full meal which should be an early dinner.
If you get hungry between breakfast and dinner, have a snack. You just need a little something to get you through to dinner. Cutting out one full meal a day will save you a decent amount of money that you can use on something else.
2. Skipping the Insurance
Many people skip the travel insurance. They feel they are young and healthy, they don’t need any insurance. And it is true travel insurance isn’t always cheap but the fact is anything can happen when traveling. One wrong step and suddenly you are in need of medical care. If you are in a foreign country and you need to see a doctor how much will it cost you? How are you going to pay for it? What if you need to be medevacked or are in need of special transportation to get home? Your travel insurance company can help you with all of these issues. Not only the cost but making the arrangements.
Depending on your policy, if your trip is interrupted for some reason you may be able to get a refund. Some policies cover trip cancellation in the event you are unable to go on the trip.
3. Not Checking with Your Phone Company
While traveling abroad, it can be reassuring to be able to stay in touch with family and friends back home. Many people like to post and blog about their trip in real time. But just because your hotel or some other location has free WiFi, it doesn’t mean making a phone call or connecting to the internet won’t cost you anything.
You still have to pay roaming charges from your phone company unless you have an international calling plan. Some phone companies offer free texting from certain countries but don’t assume anything. You need to check with your phone provider, find out what your options are. Many companies offer special vacation packages that will allow you to call home or connect to the internet at a reasonable rate.
If you have an unlocked phone you can get a SIM card from the country you are traveling to, which will save you a good amount of money.
Do your research, ask your phone company what your options are. Do some research online and educate yourself. This could save you a lot of money in the end.
4. Not Budgeting Your Money
So many people come home from their vacation and are shocked when they get their credit card bill or don’t understand why they ran out of money on day 3. Set some rules when it comes to your spending. Set aside a certain amount for food, sightseeing and shopping. While you won’t be able to budget down to the penny, you can get close enough so you don’t over spend. Set limits for yourself and stick to the plan.
If you have $500 for shopping and you will be gone five days, divide your spending budget by the number of days you will be gone. That gives you $100 per day for shopping. When it comes to your food budget, you may not know exactly how much food will cost you, figure out how much it would cost you to eat out every meal at home. Then pad that amount a little just incase food at your destination cost more then you anticipated. This will give you an idea of what your total food budget should be. Divide your total budget by the number of days you will be traveling and that is your daily food budget.
Budgeting your money will help keep your spending under control and keep you from coming home with regrets.
5. Keeping All Your Money in One Place
It is amazing how easily someone can pick out a tourist in a crowd. While you may think you are blending right in with the locals, the reality is you are not. Tourist fall victim to pick pockets all the time. If you keep all your money in one place and you get pick pocketed all you money is gone.
When traveling you have to constantly be aware of your belongings and your surroundings. This also applies when you are at the airport, things can easily disappear amongst the crowds of hustling people.
Divide your money between you and your travel partner. Carry some of your money in your wallet, some in a money belt, some in a side pocket of your purse, and you can even stash some in your sock. Men should always carry their wallets in their front pocket. If possible, use a wallet that has a velour closure which will make a lot of noise if opened. Also consider using a wallet that has a chain on it. Keep your wallet in your front pocket, pull the chain across the front of your body and hook it to a belt loop above the pocket. Don’t be afraid to let people see the chain so they know your wallet is well secured.
Women should use a cross body style purse. There are also a number of travel wear with secret pockets and cut resistant fabric. Be very careful about wearing backpacks. Someone can easily come up behind you, cut through the fabric and grab whatever is inside.
6. Not Checking for Airline Fee’s.
Some of those cheap fare airlines can look great at first glance but people are often shocked at all the additional fee’s. You may have to pay for your checked luggage and some airlines even charge for carry on bags that don’t fit under your seat and have to be stored in the overhead bins.
Many airlines charge for food and some even charge for water. This is not to say you should not consider this discount airlines, just make sure you know what the additional fee’s are first.
7. Not Making Copies of Important Documents
You’re in a foreign country and you can’t find your passport, what do you do? You have no legal document to identify yourself. It can take a lot of time and money to get a new passport from your embassy. They will first have to confirm who you are. Having a copy of your passport will speed things along and save you money.
You should also keep copies of your travel insurance policy with the companies contact numbers. It could also be beneficial to keep copies of your birth certificate, drivers license, and health information. You can place all these documents conveniently on an USB drive.
8. Not Reading the Reviews
Reading other travelers reviews can provide incredibly valuable information. They can share first hand knowledge with you and an honest option. You can get tips you can’t find in any guide book, advise on what’s worth seeing and what’s not, what the neighborhood around a hotel is like and what’s close by.
Keep in mind some people will always find something to complain about so don’t let a few negative reviews discourage you. On the other hand, if there are numerous complaints and mostly about the same things you should take them into consideration.
9. Over Packing
Many first-time travelers fall victim to over packing but don’t feel too bad so do many seasoned travelers. You think you need a new outfit for every day. You aren’t sure of the weather, so you pack both warm cloths and light cloths. And of course, you need different shoes to go with each outfit.
Airlines have limits on how much your bag can weigh. If it goes over you will have to pay an additional fee which can get quite expensive. The rule of thumb is layout everything you think you will need and then get rid of half of it. Nobody is going to care if you wear the same shirt or pair of pants more than once. Bring cloths that you can mix and match, so you can create different outfits with just a few pieces. Bring cloths that can be layered so if it is cold you can add a layer and if it warms up you can remove a layer.
The lighter you pack the easier it will be to carry your luggage, especially if you will be traveling from place to place. Dragging heavy luggage around will get old really quick so keep it light and simplify.
10. Not Checking Your Passport Expiry Date
Even though you may have several months left on your passport, after returning home, before it expires you still may run into problems. May countries won’t accept passports if they will be expiring within the next six months. You need to make sure you will have over six months left on your passport by the time you return home. If you won’t you need to renew it before you leave on vacation.