There are million blogs about what to do on when you travel, what to see, what to wear, where to eat and so on and on. It’s all must-see attractions and things to do. Go here, do this, see that, act this way. But what about all the things you shouldn’t do on the road? There are plenty of mistakes travellers make that lead to wasted money, lost time, and missed opportunities. It’s easy to say what to do, but we sometimes to forget to mention the don’ts.
A lot of the old conventional travel wisdom (using traveller’s checks or booking early) is out of date in an increasingly digital and connected world. I believe that by not telling travellers “Hey, don’t do this any more” we keep a lot of myths going strong. We insiders know the tricks, but unless we tell the general public, they won’t!
So today, I want to share some of the common travel mistakes you should avoid
If you avoid these common mistakes, you’ll be travelling cheaper, smarter, and longer.
DON’T eat near a major tourist site
The food near any major attraction is going to be double the price and half the flavour of what you’ll find elsewhere. When restaurants know people aren’t coming back, they don’t have to worry about consistent quality. And any-ways, what do tourists know about quality local food, right? They just arrived. It’s all amazing to them, and many are happy to return home talking about how they ate “amazing” pizza in front of the Colosseum. Restaurants lack the incentive to be top-notch.
Use websites like Zomato,Yelp, Foursquare, or OpenRice to find out what the locals are rating highly if you aren’t comfortable walking into a random restaurant. Avoid restaurants with glossy menus in multiple languages. That’s a sure sign of a tourist trap.
Another great way to find local eateries is to walk into hostels and ask them what is good. Even if you aren’t staying there, they are a wealth of information and usually will happily point you in the right direction!
DON’T exchange money at the airport
You’ll get the worst exchange rates if you do. You’re better off lighting your money on fire.To get the best rates, use an ATM or credit card. This is will be as close to the interbank rate as you can get and ensures that you are not getting ripped off.Never exchange cash unless you absolutely have to (and there are times when you have to). If you do need to exchange money, try to do so at a bank downtown where you’ll get better rates and fewer fees. But stick to plastic as much as possible.
DON’T bring traveller’s checks
Traveller’s checks are checks issued by banks for a predetermined value that allow the bearer to exchange the check for cash anywhere in the world. In the time before widespread ATM and credit card acceptance, it was the best way for travellers to have access to money without carrying a lot of cash. They are absolutely useless these days, with few banks willing to accept them and offering little protection if they are lost or stolen. There’s no need to use them any-more.
DON’T rule out hostels
Most people think hostels have smelly, unclean, bedbug-ridden facilities that are aimed at poor college students. It’s a common stereotype perpetuated on TV and in movies over the years. While hostels used to be that way, nowadays, most hostels are cleaner than most hotels! They offer a variety of amenities, from pool tables to movie rooms, X boxes, free computers, and laundry facilities, as well as organized tours, day trips, free Wi-Fi, and small private dorm rooms perfect for families, couples, or seniors who want affordable accommodation and a travel community without the hotel cost. The modern hostel is not just for cheap backpackers but also for those looking to be involved in a community. They are hubs for like-minded, travel-loving individuals.