Travel Mistakes to Avoid When Flying
We all make mistakes. Traveling through the airport is not the time when you want to perform your biggest blunder. Even for people who fly regularly, it’s good to run through a checklist of travel mistakes to avoid when flying...just in case. Some of these hints are more obvious than others, but all are good information to remember whether you’re traveling internationally or just on a domestic flight. These are some of the worst travel mistakes to avoid when flying.
Taking the First Offer
You can lose a lot of money when traveling by not price haggling or searching for a deal. Hopefully you are experienced enough to know how to find a good deal on your flight. There can be monumental differences between flights and their prices. Check for layovers, amenities provided by the airline, and anything else which may impact your journey. You’ll also want to work on your negotiating skills if heading overseas. Just enough haggling over price and you could save a lot of money when it comes to finding a taxi or buying a souvenir. (Just don’t overdo it and anger the merchant.)
Not Researching the Travel Company
You can really hurt your vacation by not researching the company you are traveling with, be it a cruise line, an all-inclusive resort, or anything in between. With airlines, you’ll want to check baggage fees, seat upgrades, and overhead storage capacities. You don’t want to be the guy furiously repacking his luggage outside of the gate during boarding time.
Wasting Time at the Airport
That brings us to wasting time at the airport. Unless you know how to navigate security and take advantage of shortcuts, the airport can feel like the DMV. Save yourself valuable time by planning ahead and being aware of your surroundings. Check into your flight online before getting to the airport and be prepared to remove belt, electronics, etc. before going through security. If you’re a frequent flyer (especially on an international level) look into traveler programs like TSA PreCheck and Global Entry.
Not Bringing Your Own Food - Travel Mistakes to Avoid When Flying
If you’re a snacker, one of the best travel mistakes to avoid when flying is not bringing your own food. The airport is full of overpriced food, beverages, and tech items. Although you can’t really bring liquids through security, you can pack a lunch or some granola bars to save you money. This is a great idea for people with certain dietary restrictions because you probably don’t know what’s available at each airport you’re passing through. As for those overpriced tech items, make sure you brought along your headphones and charging cables or you’ll be paying through the nose for replacements.
Waiting Until the Last Minute for Your Passport
One of the most common travel mistakes to avoid when flying is waiting until the last minute to check on your passport. If you’re anything like us, maybe you check the internet to find out you need a window of about two months to guarantee your passport will be ready in time. Then you get lazy and all of the sudden it’s three weeks out and you are scrambling. Go ahead and apply for your passport now so that it won’t bite you in the back later. And if you already have a passport, check the expiration date well in advance. If your passport expires in the next six months or so, you’re going to want to get a new one ASAP.
Improperly Packing Your Suitcase
An underappreciated art which many travelers have perfected is properly packing a suitcase. Whether you decide to roll your clothing individually or fold it all on top of each other in one stack, you can find several methods of saving space by simply going online. Wasting space isn’t the only mistake you can make when packing your bag, though. Another bad idea is not leaving an outfit or two in your carry-on bag. You don’t want to end up in Connecticut without a change of clothes while your luggage flew to Chicago. For this same reason, you may wish to include your toiletries in your carry-on. No matter where they go, don’t forget to secure the top to your shampoo and other liquids. Herbal Essences is for your hair, not your laptop.
Forgetting to Inform Your Bank
One of the biggest travel mistakes to avoid when flying, especially if you’re going overseas, is not alerting your bank beforehand. Imagine being on a different continent, making a purchase or two, and having your credit card declined due to seemingly suspicious activity. The idea of having no money in a foreign place is enough to make you start sweating. Let your bank know exactly where you are going so that there can be no confusion. You also will want to convert at least some of your money at the airport after an international flight. Better rates may be available in the city, but it’s good to have some cash on hand before you step out of the airport.
Overplanning Your Trip - Travel Mistakes to Avoid When Flying
This is more of a generalized suggestion when it comes to vacation planning. No matter where you are going, don’t feel the need to over plan your trip. Leave some gaps of time where you can enjoy a cup of coffee at a cafe, lounge by a famous landmark, or just take a nap in your room. Your vacation shouldn’t be so tiring that you require another one as soon as you get home.
Not Taking Precautions
We’d like to think that nothing bad could ever happen on vacation, but experience says otherwise. Take some precautions when traveling to places where you may be vulnerable. A single person running across Europe or a family with young kids going on vacation should at least put some systems in place for safety. If you have certain valuables with you, like electronics or jewelry, don’t leave them open to those who would like to make a quick payday. We don’t want to scare anyone, but it pays to adhere to minimal security protocols where you can.
Booking the Wrong Flight or Seat
Some of the most universal travel mistakes to avoid when flying involve the ticket buying process. Airlines have switched things up so much in the last ten years. Extra legroom, Wi-Fi, baggage allowances, and dining options are all on the table when it comes to picking your seat on the plane. If those things aren’t important to you, just pick the cheapest seat on the plane. You also need to understand who you’re flying with and what to expect. Some of the cheap flights come with a lot of headaches. Make sure you know what you’re signing up for.
Not Checking Your Phone Plan
Similar to the banking situation, not checking your phone plan can be one of the worst travel mistakes to avoid when flying. Special roaming and data charges can eat up your bank account without you realizing it until you get home. Check with your phone company to make sure you understand their policies when it comes to international travel. At the end of the day, you might want to just turn the thing off until you’re back on home soil.
Travel can be a nuisance, but you may also have the time of your life. At Premier Israel, we want to help you find the perfect vacation environment combining faith and adventure. Find out how you can join us on one of our Holy Land tours by clicking on the link below.