No one is perfect and we all make mistakes and errors in judgement in all areas of life, and travel is no exception. We’re sharing 10 bad travel habits to break now.
No matter where you’re going or for how long, it’s always tempting to cram more than you need into your suitcase. But let’s face it, you likely won’t wear at least half of what you bring. Rather than buying a bigger suitcase, streamline what goes with you on your next trip. Stick with basics in neutral hues that you can easily create multiple outfits with, and then use accessories (scarves, simple jewellery) to brighten things up.
Guidebooks, blogs and top 10 lists for what to see and do in any given place are helpful when it comes to deciding how to spend your time when you travel. But relying too heavily on a fixed plan can prevent you from having some truly memorable experiences. Make a point of exploring on your own, with no plan, just to see where you end up. You’ll likely make some interesting discoveries: a great neighbourhood, a cool café or a local eatery that you might never have found otherwise.
Not learning any words in the language of the country you’re visiting
While you might not have time to become fluent in Spanish before your upcoming trip to Guatemala, knowing how to communicate the basics is important. Being able to greet people, apologize, say thank you, ask how much an item costs and ask for a hotel or hostel room in the local language will make your trip easier and will be appreciated by the people you meet.
Giving in to taxis
There will always be times when a taxi just makes sense (e.g., you’re rushing to the airport), but otherwise, give local transportation a try. Trading taxis for local transportation saves you money, gets you around faster and helps you experience your destination like a local.
Sticking to comfort foods
McDonald’s and Starbucks have their place, but sticking to what you know eliminates one of the best parts of travel: eating local. On your next trip, whether you’re going to Barcelona or Bali, step outside of your culinary comfort zone and try some of what that city or country is known for. You might not like everything you try, but you will eat a few things you fall in love with (and maybe even come back for).
Not researching the customs of where you’re going
Every country has its own set of customs, and reading up on them before you go is a must. Depending on where you’re going, knowing things like what you should and shouldn’t wear, how you greet people, or which hand you eat with can make a huge difference in how you’re perceived and treated. More importantly, not following local customs is disrespectful – don’t be that guy.
Not exercising patience
We all lose our tempers, and since travel can be stressful at times (lost luggage, lost reservations), it can be easy to let stress dictate how you react. But getting angry gets you nowhere. If you have a tendency to go from zero to raging lunatic in 30 seconds or less, make it your goal to stay calm when things go wrong. Rarely does losing your cool mean things get done faster.
Going back to the same place multiple times
When you fall in love with a place the pull to return can be intense. Even though there’s no rule that says you can’t go back to a favourite destination, why limit yourself with so many amazing spots around the world to visit? The more you explore, the more likely you’ll be to find even more treasured spots you end up getting smitten with.
Being closed minded
Travel is an eye-opening experience. Seeing the way other culture do things can significantly shift your perspective and give you a new outlook on life—if you have an open mind. Push past any misgivings about trying certain foods or activities and you’ll have a much more fulfilling travel experience.
Booking a trip can often be expensive and you might only have a week to enjoy your chosen destination, which means you want to make the most of your vacation. As tempting as it is to cross every must-see attraction off your list, rushing won’t create an enjoyable experience. Slow down and take the time to enjoy where you are, rather than pressuring yourself to see, do and eat everything without stopping to enjoy it.