While we all love to travel to new destinations, preferably the warm and sunny ones, to experience the world, it’s way too easy to be a naive tourist. Or just a very unlucky one – they also exist, you know. When you’ve done your share of traveling, you start to realize that there actually are ways to safeguard yourself and the rest of your travel team against those unfortunate situations.
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You know which ones I’m talking about; having all of your belongings stolen before you’ve even reached the hotel, losing your passport while you’re busy with something else, or spending most of your much-needed holiday on the toilet.
It doesn’t have to be like this and, by preparing yourself both before and while traveling, you’ll be able to return just as tanned and happy as you wanted to. Here is a quick guide to the four most common pitfalls for tourists so that you can pride yourself on having avoided all of them.
#1 Wanting to do too much
I think most of us would be able to admit to having done this at least one time on holiday. We get over-excited and overestimate our own abilities and energy levels while traveling.
It may mean that you’ve planned a strict schedule for the whole family that everyone needs to follow; there will be trips to the islands the first day, scuba-diving the second day, mountain climbing on the third, etc. You know by the looks on their faces that nobody really wanted to do anything else but stay on the beach.
Another version of this one, which is particularly relevant for all those backpackers out there, is to try to visit too many cities or countries. You’ll spend so much time on the trains, hardly finding enough time to do everything you wanted in the individual cities before you’re off to the next one – you know, to stay there for a few hours before you rush off again.
Do yourself and your family a favor and make it a rule that you try to plan things ad-hoc. Sure, everyone has something they’d like to do, and everyone should be allowed to pick one thing that they can do as well – but that’s it. If you’d like to stay for a day or two longer in a specific city, or if you’d just like to stay at the beach the whole week, that should be fine.
You’ll feel much more energized and content by the time you’re back home, and you’ll be able to enjoy each others’ company as well.
#2 Not buying insurance
When you want to safeguard yourself against problems while traveling, the first thing you should do is undoubtedly to buy insurance. It’s such a quick-fix against all of the sorrows you’d experience if someone stole your stuff – or if something were to happen at home, and you need to get back in a hurry.
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Plus, you never know if there is a medical emergency while you’re abroad. While we never really think that this will happen to us, it definitely might – and if you don’t have that insurance in place, you don’t have any protection against that medical bill either. Just saying.
While you could always take up a personal loan, and there are many great ones such as the ones Marcus loans offer, a travel insurance will give you some peace of mind. Many of them are not even that expensive anymore, so make sure that you have a proper look around the web before you yet off without any insurance at all.
Remember to read through each offer first, though, to ensure that it suits your needs. If you’re bringing multiple laptops, cameras, and smartphones, it might be a good idea to find one that covers this extensively.
Another one that most of us can and should admit to having done at least once. When we’re used to relying on our stuff the whole time, it can be difficult to just leave it behind. Plus, what if the weather changes – can you really survive with just a couple of sweaters?
A good rule of thumb is to only pack what you know you’re going to need and use. Leave all of your what-ifs at home, pack the essentials, and tell yourself that as long as you have your phone, wallet, and passport you’ll be fine.
It really is that easy, and you’ll find that you still won’t use all of the stuff you brought even if you pack just the essentials. The next time you pack for a trip, you’ll pack even less – and the next time a bit less than that again, and so on. Before you know it, you’re heading off with nothing but your passport and a toothbrush.
#4 Not backing up pictures
Losing your beloved photos is such a sad thing to experience. You really don’t want all of those holiday photos to disappear because someone snatched your phone or camera – or even if a virus decided to target your computer, so remember to back them up.
This is really simple these days; you can simply register an account with a cloud, and make sure that you sync it when you’re connected to WiFi at the hotel, for example. That way, you know that your photos and precious memories are safe no matter what happens.
There you have it; the four most common mistakes and pitfalls for tourists. If you’re planning on making a quick trip somewhere before the summer is over for good, you’ll at least know that you’re a bit more street smart than the rest of those tourists.
And, even if you’re not, you’ll still have those photos safely stored in a cloud somewhere in case someone should steal everything.