How to Avoid Common Travel Mistakes

Bypass some seriously annoying travel mishaps and enjoy your trip to the fullest

Leave time in between your connecting flights to reduce the chance of your luggage being lost

Avoid these common travel mistakes and ensure a worry-free holiday by planning ahead

Even the most carefully planned trip can have problems, but with a little insider know-how, you can prevent them as much as possible. Here are some of the most common travel mistakes you don’t want to make:

Not Applying Early for Your Passport

Routine passport processing takes about four to six weeks, so as soon as you start planning for your trip, apply for a passport if you need one. You can pay for a rush pick-up in 24 hours if you left it too long, but it will cost you about $110. Also, don’t forget that to enter certain countries, you need three to six months’ worth of validity remaining on your passport.

Booking Risky Connection Flights

Speaking of not allowing enough time, another mistake I see is not booking enough connection time between flights. Leaving a window of at least an hour-and-a-half between connecting flights will significantly drop your chances of missing your flight or having your luggage lost.

Skipping the Research

One thing that I consistently remind travellers about is to do their research. I can’t emphasize this enough, especially when it comes to booking a hotel. One of the worst mistakes people make is underestimating the location of their hotel from the city centre or wherever they want to spend the most time. This can cost you in unnecessary transfer costs or even a car rental if you discover that attractions are just too far away. Even if the hotel is cheaper, you need to weigh in the hassle and added costs of travelling back and forth to get where you want to go.

Overloading Your Schedule

Another big mistake is trying to do too much in one trip. This can cause a lot of stress and ends up defeating the purpose of a holiday. Make a list of “musts” and “maybes” and go from there. And when making that list, I highly recommend venturing off the beaten path. Sticking to tourist traps is not the way to get an authentic experience of your destination. Again, do a little research online or ask for recommendations from your travel agent.

Claire Newell is the travel media expert for Global BC, host of the travel series Operation: Vacation, best-selling author, spokesperson, wife and mother of two.

Originally published in TVW. For daily programming updates and on-screen Entertainment news, subscribe to the free TVW e-newsletters, or purchase a subscription to the weekly magazine.