With all things in life, there is a learning curve. Unfortunately some learning curves come at a cost to you. When it comes to traveling, many learning curves come at a financial cost. Keep reading to learn some of the common travel mistakes I have learned from that can be of help to you.
All travel adapters are not made equal!
During my first trip out of the country I was certain I had read all the blogs and truly educated myself on the various things I would need during my trip. Not. Here are some of my most costly travel mistakes.
When traveling to the United Kingdom, I had an adapter for ‘Europe’… unaware that their outlets are not the same as the UK.
While in Paris, I blew a fuse because my American hair dryers have a different voltage. I bought another adapter which included a voltage converter. I thought I was onto something with this one. This new converter included outputs for 190 countries. The ‘all in one converter’, not the brightest idea. The converter was so heavy that many items would not stay plugged in. It was also a hassle to pack in my carry-on. I was on to nothing, but we live and learn right?
When traveling to South Africa, for a semester abroad, I could only plug in one item at a time being as though I only had one input. That is not all, my laptop required a three prong output, resulting in me purchasing another adapter.
When it comes to Travel Adapters, they truly are a life saver, but do not be fooled. All travel adapters re not made equal. Many travel adapters can be a hassle on your trip. Do not let a travel adapter be one of your travel mistakes. Consider these questions when buying an adapter: How many inputs do you need? Will the voltage be an issue? Is it easily portable? How much space does it occupy in your luggage? Most importantly, will it work in your destination country?
Most of my frequent readers are aware that while in London, during my first year of college I was pickpocketed and went two weeks without access to my bank accounts. Although this was devastating at the time, I am glad I photocopied the fronts and back of my debit and credit cards as well as my ID. It took me two weeks to receive my replacement cards and having these copies were useful. With a little explaining I was able to take out a small loan from the bank based on my photocopies and had proof of who I was for whoever else needed to verify my age or that I was a student.
Technology is great but nothing beats a paper map!
Once upon a time, during my first trip to Barcelona, Spain, a day earlier than expected, at midnight, fresh off the transport from the airport, with a dead cellphone, and of course, no clue where to go. Believe me when I say a paper map can make a difference.
Being lost with a dead cellphone battery is most people’s night mare. Now pair that with a new city, and a different language. The things that can go wrong are endless. Paper maps will not fail you, even when technology does. Every trip I have taken, I am sure to print out paper maps to the places which are most important to me. I often include several locations on one map or directions between the locations. These places often include the airport, my residence during my trip, the closest police station/embassy to my residence. Other places that could be of use are the locations to the residence of the people you are traveling or meeting with, food stores and ATMs. It should not take up too much space, and is mostly useful for the first few days of your trip.
Pack a bag in your bag. Hind sight is always better than foresight!
While in Paris I spent Forty ($40) US dollars on an extra suit case because I went shopping one too many times and had no space in my carry on and checked luggage. This is an easily avoidable mistake.
Weekend trips and extra luggage are things we are not always prepared for. Trust me, it sucks when a friend says, “let’s head to morocco for the weekend,” and the only luggage options you have are your laptop bag and the monstrous checked bag you originally arrived with. In these situations, your bestfriend is a sheer foldable bag. Do not miss out on fun overnight or weekend trips due to luggage constraints. Pack a bag in your checked luggage that is expandable and light weight. Here are a few of my favorites.
All in all consider your needs. Are you an avid shopper? Or even a trinket master? Are you hopping form country to country? Spontaneous trips your thing? Plan ahead and do not make my silly travel mistakes. Remember that foresight is your friend. Hope this was helpful.
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