So you're about to embark on a travel adventure, exploring the world and fully immersing yourself in a completely different culture. However, if you haven't done a lot of travelling the whole process can be daunting and you're bound to make some planning errors. If you want your trip to go off without a hitch, here's a list of the five worst mistakes people make when planning a trip – and most importantly, how they can be avoided.
1. Forgetting about travel insurance
It doesn't matter if you're only flying an hour away, or to the other side of the world, travel insurance is essential for any holiday. Accidents can occur at any time and if you get injured abroad, it could end up costing thousands – it’s always worth finding coverage that includes 24/7 emergency medical assistance, too. Insurance doesn't only cover injury, it also protects you against any flight cancellations or loss of luggage. Best of all, you and your family can explore the holiday destination, safe in the knowledge that they're fully covered. If you forget to get insurance before you set off, it's not too late; you can always purchase some insurance if you're already overseas.
2. Not shopping around for the best deal
When you're shopping online for the best holiday deals, it can be tempting to go with the first deal you see and get the adventure started, but this is an error if you're looking to save some money. Every company will claim to have the best deal on the market, but when you break it down it's actually misleading and overpriced. According to the 2017 ABTA survey, 75% of holiday goers choose a package holiday because everything is taken care of, but it’s always worth considering if the hotel and flights included are actually worth what you're paying for. A lot of money can even be saved with staggered travelling, and you could end up saving hundreds if you took multiple flights or trains to get to a destination instead of just one.
3. Planning too many excursions
Planning a holiday is an exciting time; there are so many iconic monuments to see and unique activities to try when you land. It's easy to get carried away planning the trips and excursions for your trip, but this is something you should try to avoid if you want a stress-free experience. Travelling isn't always something you can plan for, and unexpected disasters or cancelled flight connections can cause you to alter your holiday plays. You don't want to be stressed and out of pocket if this causes you to miss an excursion. Also, if you make an itinerary when you're out there, you'll avoid the tourist traps and explore hidden gems of the country.
4. Not setting a realistic budget
If you haven't been to a destination before, it can be difficult to set a realistic budget but it's important to set some time aside to do your research and set an appropriate budget. According to a travel survey, 52% of people say they're left with credit card debt when they come back from their holiday because they've failed to budget efficiently.
5. Failing to pack appropriately
It can be tempting to pack all of your favourite items and clothes when you're packing for holiday, but it's far better to adopt a more minimalist mindset and only pack the things you really need. Lost luggage and bag theft are common abroad and you'll be devastated if this costs you your expensive clothes or jewellery. If you're travelling to a sunny destination, you might want to just pack swimwear and short clothing but this could be a mistake; storms and rain showers can come from nowhere, so pack a waterproof jacket just in case!