Common Travel Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

A little bit of advance prep can save a whole lot of time and money

Credit: Flickr /jaypeg21

Flickr /jaypeg21

Have fun while you’re travelling by prepping for possible headaches in advance

Travel time should be focused on enjoying your time away from everyday obligations, not dealing with unnecessary difficulties. Undue stress can be alleviated by heeding these precautions

You can save yourself a lot of stress and, in most cases, money – if you are aware of some of the common mistakes made by travellers today.

In many cases, just a few extra minutes of close attention can ward off some of the worst travel headaches.

Review Your Travel Reservation

It’s important to review every reservation you make online or offline, as you provide the information and once you’ve received a confirmation document. If you find a problem, address it immediately. Correct inaccuracies like a typo in a name or an error in a birth date by calling your travel agent or the airline, which will help you avoid major hassles down the line.

Review Your Packing List

Before you leave the house, consider what you are putting in your suitcase. Go over every item and ask yourself if you really need it. Most airlines have a luggage weight limit, and if you exceed it, you’re going to pay a fee. In some cases, airlines may charge more than $100 for the extra weight, so be prepared to pay if you want to bring along extraneous items.

Inspect the Rental Car

When renting a car, always take the time to thoroughly inspect your vehicle and ask for a sign-off. Be sure to note any damage, even the smallest ding or dent. This will save you from the headache of ultimately being blamed for someone else’s damage when you return the car and an inspector notices a scratch.

Compare Insurance Policies

Insurance is a worthwhile investment for any trip, and cruising is no exception. Don’t make the mistake of skipping insurance for your next cruise vacation. If you have to fly to your departure city, there’s no guarantee your flight will arrive there on time. If you’re forced to cancel your trip and you’re not insured, you’ll be out the cost of the cruise.

That being said, don’t go with the first insurance policy you’re offered by your cruise line. Shop around before buying cancellation insurance and get a few quotes before settling on a policy.

Understand Your Credit Card

Another common mistake travellers make is not understanding how their credit card works. Do you know if your credit card company charges foreign transaction fees? Check the fine print in your card membership agreement and you could definitely save yourself some money by making other arrangements.

Read the Fine Print

Many people don’t realize that you can get dinged for booking tickets with an airline based outside North America. By booking this way, you could get slapped with a transaction fee of upwards of $50. Check ahead of time to avoid the surprise.

Other Things to Keep in Mind When Travelling

  • Make a pre-travel checklist
  • Place contact information inside and outside your luggage
  • Weigh your luggage at home to avoid a shock at the check-in counter