Even the most seasoned traveler can
slip up from time to time. Here are some tips to help you save money, save face
and most importantly, have an enjoyable trip with extra peace of mind.
Sure, you can still get great deals
on things like hotels if you wait until the very last minute, but it’s becoming
increasingly rare these days. Instead, airlines and hotels reward those who
book in advance. Gone are the days when you can just walk up to an airline’s
desk in an airport and find a great deal. Instead, sales usually happen well in
advance, so don’t bemoan the cost of air travel - simply plan ahead and you’re
likely to find some irresistible bargains that you’ll want to snap up immediately.
The best way to nab the lowest prices is by signing up to the mailing list or
newsletter of airlines that serve your home airport or hotel chains in your
chosen destination - deals are usually released via an email first, with
companies rewarding the customers who are on their mailing lists before the
If you can’t afford travel
insurance, then you can’t afford to travel. Sure you might be fit and healthy,
but that won’t protect you against a bout of food poisoning or from unforeseen
events. Traveling without insurance can seriously backfire, and if you’re
thinking of going to a destination where medical care isn’t quite up to the
same standards as back home, you may even want to consider emergency evacuation
insurance, so that you can be transported to the nearest place with a good
standard of medical facilities. Err on the side of caution - you’ll be glad you
did if you’re facing things like missed flight connections or a mystery
illness. RoamRight offers travel insurance plans for U.S. citizens traveling domestically or internationally.
Guidebooks are a useful source of
information, but remember that a minimum of a few months (and in many cases
years) will have lapsed between when an author was in the destination you’re
exploring, when the book was published, and when you purchased the book. That
‘quiet local restaurant’ you read about may have seen increases in the amount
of customers and decreases in quality due to all the publicity it received from
a well-known guidebook. The local subway system may have seen alterations, with
the map in the book looking a whole lot different from the one at the station.
Prices will be different, some business will be closed or will have relocated,
and schedules will have changed. So put down the guidebook every now and again
and allow yourself to simply get lost one afternoon. You’ll be amazed at what
you might find.
Sure you might be in a country
where a lot of people speak English very well, but you should never assume that
citizens of another country know your mother tongue - nor should you expect it.
Learn a few key words of the local language, and don’t be that person who
repeats everything slowly and loudly in English when the recipient clearly
didn’t get it the first two times. Words and phrases like ‘thanks’, ‘hello’,
‘how much?’ and ‘it’s delicious!’ will go down well, and locals will be glad to
see that you’ve made an effort - even if they reply to your question in
What are some other things many
travelers do wrong?
Tom has always had the travel bug and, after quitting his call centre job in the UK, he packed up and moved to South Korea to teach English for almost four years. Since moving on from South Korea, he's been travelling the world and loves exploring city streets, trying delicious new food, meeting great people and taking way too many selfies with his phone, although he'll disagree with you on that last point. Read about Tom's adventures on his blog, Waegook Tom, and follow him on Instagram and Twitter.
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