Traveling is an extremely rewarding experience that can fill your life with adventures and memories. If you find it difficult to navigate foreign countries, there are a few things that can make it easier, especially if you are traveling for an extended period of time. Long-term travel is quite different than a 1 week vacation. There is much more to think about and often more variety in the places you visit. Read this article to find out how to save money while traveling. Avoiding these common travel mistakes can make traveling a breeze.
Travel Mistakes – Paying Too Much for Accommodation
The costs of hotels, airbnbs, bed and breakfasts, and even hostels can add up quickly. Pay attention to the location as city centers tend to cost more. Hostelworld.com has many filters that can narrow down prices, timeframes, and locations that work for you. The time of year can also affect availability and prices for accommodation. If it is peak season in a popular destination, you may want to book things sooner. However, planning accommodations extremely far out can limit the flexibility of when and where you travel. Sometimes exciting events and opportunities come up when you least expect them, and you might want the chance to be able to pursue those things.
Travel Mistakes – Taking Too Many Flights
Flights can be convenient and save time, but they generally cost more than other modes of transportation. They are also no friend to the environment. If you are traveling in Europe, consider using their network of trains that can get you almost anywhere. They have a variety of Eurail passes to choose from to save you money. Busses, trains, trams, ferries, and rental cars are all good alternatives to flying. On longer trips, stuffing everything into your little carry on bags and getting rid of excess food and all liquids over 3oz can get old very quickly. You might get confused about the size and weight allowances for each airline and the requirements for security for each country. Luckily, you don’t have to worry about any of those things when you take a different form of transportation.
Travel Mistakes – Making Too Many Plans
Most people are eager to make a bunch of plans for vacations and trips. For the most part, I want to know how I’m getting there and where I’m staying when I get there. However, there is such a thing as too much planning. When you plan out every moment of your trip no matter how long or short it is, you sacrifice the flexibility to change plans later. You have to account for travel time, time for eating and/or cooking, time to shop for food, souvenirs, or things you need, and time for all of the fun adventures you plan to have.
Of course, you will need some down time and sleep time allocated as well. I have been on many vacations, adventures, and road trips. I can tell you from experience that some of the most memorable, enjoyable parts of traveling come from surprises. Maybe you will find out about a hidden waterfall that you can hike to if you have two spare hours. Maybe someone will tell you where to borrow the keys to explore a castle all by yourself. Perhaps you will even meet some new people who want to show you something tourists never get to see. None of these unique things will be possible if you have every moment planned out.
Planning Too Far Ahead of Time
This one is similar to the previous, but it has more to do with timing. In general, flights need to be booked the farthest in advance. If you are planning to visit someplace during its peak busy season, you will definitely want to look into accommodation sooner as well. The main things to plan include transportation, accommodation, tours, and other activities. I found that it was nice to have some extra time during the day or week in a location that was not accounted for in case I wanted to go somewhere else or try a different activity I didn’t know about before. Sometimes those last minute flights and tours are more affordable than ones planned far in advance.
Not Budgeting for Food and Extra Expenses
Everyone needs food, and in many countries, you will have to pay for drinking water as well. You might be surprised by how quickly the cost of meals can add up. I recommend researching online to find out average prices for food and beverages wherever you plan to go. While you may spend some meals cooking or eating very cheaply, others you might want to splurge on. It all depends on how tight your budget is and what your preferences are. You might also want some extra money for fun activities like tours, museums, or spontaneous adventures. Maybe you will stumble upon a sporting event, ballet or concert that you want to attend.
If you keep these common travel mistakes in mind and research while you’re planning your next trip, it should ease your worries and stress at least somewhat while you travel. It’s all about making the most out of your trip depending on what you love to do. If you want to allocate more money for food and accommodation, do that. Some people would rather save on those things and spend more on adventures and shows. Don’t let anyone (even me) tell you what the most important things are! That is totally up to you. Hopefully this list has given you some ideas about things to pay attention to on your next journey!