Five Common Mistakes First-Time Travelers Make
“We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” –T.S. Eliot
Traveling is an exciting feeling—particularly so if it is your first time. Seeing new sights, tasting foreign dishes, going on various excursions—these are just a fraction of what awaits you when you finally embark on that journey. However, with all things considered, traveling for the very first time can be a bit overwhelming as well as daunting. Questions such as: Will my budget be enough? What am I going to do? Well, considering as it would be your first time, being slightly intimidated would be understandable—expected even. As a consequence of your agitation and excitement, you are bound to make some mistakes. Do not let these deter you, however, let these travel errors serve as lessons to you so that on your next travel trip, you would not be committing the same ones again.
Here are some of the most common mistakes first-time travelers do:
1.) Not considering cheaper alternatives
If you want to make the most out of your travel budget, you should consider the more affordable alternatives. Instead of opting to stay in hotels (even the cheapest one can still take a huge chunk out of your budget), opt for more affordable accommodations instead. Airbnb is a great place to start and look for people offering their homes or condo units up for rent during the duration of your stay. You will be surprised at how much you can potentially save by opting for this more practical approach in booking for a place to stay. Furthermore, your options are endless—you can stay in a lush condo in Manila to a rental house elsewhere for a fraction of the price of what you would have paid in a hotel.
More often than not, we can get a little enthusiastic about our first trip that we plan everything meticulously to the detail. You want everything locked in from the accommodations, transfer down to the meals you have in the hopes of not having to worry about anything. Unfortunately, this does not leave you much legroom to do anything else. More often than not, you would need to be flexible and make slight changes to your itinerary so that you can take opportunities as they present themselves.
3.) Using a travel agent for everything
You want to save yourself the hassle of taking care of travel itineraries so you go with a travel agent instead. While a travel agent would certainly make your trip less of a hassle, it is best if you did not leave everything up to them. Book your flights and your accommodations through an agent but for everything else, book it yourself as you will generally save a lot more money this way.
4.) Packing too much
Most first-time travelers do not understand the concept of packing lite (if they could, they would likely take the whole house with them). However, there is no point in packing too many items if you are not even likely to use them. You do not need to pack a lot of clothes considering that you can easily use some of these for a couple of days (or even more) such is the case with a pair of jeans. Take note, you are likely to buy stuff when you travel—so it is best if you left some room for those as well lest you want to spend extra for baggage on your trip back home.
5.) Underestimating costs
When it comes to traveling (regardless of whether it is your first time or not), it is always better to have a little extra than just enough. A good rule of thumb is to remember that everything is going to cost potentially more than you think it will. You are likely to spend more than what you had originally planned so before embarking on this trip, save up a lot of money.