When I decided to head to Japan for the winter (to work as a ski instructor), reality kicked in, as I realised I needed to book flights, get accommodation sorted, go through the process of getting a visa and sorting out travel insurance, not to mention all of the gear I needed to get for working as a ski instructor.
Travelling is a process. It takes a lot of planning and preparation, and sometimes mistakes are made.
Some of these mistakes are out of our control. Airlines can go bankrupt, hotel bookings can get cancelled, family stuff can come up, or a host of other issues.
However, there are some mistakes that are totally avoidable. Those are the ones I want to talk about today. These common travel mistakes are made all too often and sometimes prevent people from travelling altogether.
For so long, I thought that travel was only for rich people or those who had worked and saved up enough money for years to finally set off. Stupid me!
The reason I feel these mistakes are so common is because not enough people talk about them. I wish I’d had a resource to tell me what not to do. This is that resource and here’s hoping you guys don’t make the same mistakes I made when I started travelling.
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Mistake 1: Giving Up Too Early
This is the most disheartening mistake to witness people make. They’re right on the cusp of doing something incredible and they just piss it away before they’re able to get started!
- Travel is too expensive.
- I have to many responsibilities here at home.
- I’ve never been far away from home before.
- I’m scared of that place.
- What if I don’t meet anyone or don’t make new friend?
These are reasons that people come up with all too often in an attempt to justify their giving up. While some of these may be legitimate concerns, there is always a way around them! If you’re driving somewhere and you hit some road blocks, do you stop and turn around? No, you find the next best route to take.
With the right preparation, you can create a travel plan that suits you. It’s all about your state of mind. You’ve just got to be willing to put the necessary work in.
Mistake 2: Not Doing Enough Research
With the amount of information that is now out there, you can find out about almost anything, as long as you look hard enough. Whether that’s finding the cheapest flights possible, discovering the best deals on accommodation, or thinking of other ways you can save money along the way, there is always a way to get to where you want to go! Everything is usually just a click away from you. You literally have the whole world at your fingertips!
So, all you need to do is research! Start reading travel blogs (like this one), watch informative travel videos, read books on the subject, or just talk to people who you know who have been travelling before – not only will they have the knowledge, but they’ll have first hand experience of what it’s like to travel and the mistakes that can be made along the way.
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Check out this post for access to some of the best travel YouTube channels.
Also, check out this post for a list of some of the best travel movies to ignite that wanderlust within you.
Mistake 3: Skipping Out on Travel Insurance (or not getting the right one)
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This one is probably the most important of all the common travel mistakes that are made.
As annoying as travel insurance can be, I view it as a travel essential – and you should too.
Seriously, never set off without it!
Nine times out of 10, you won’t need it, but you don’t want to find out the hard way, what can happen if you’re not covered and get into a situation where you need it, while you’re away.
Honestly, there are some horror stories out there.
Again, with the sheer number of insurance providers out there, it can seem like an impossible task when it comes to choosing a policy. At this stage, it’s important for you not to rush it. Take your time to research the different companies and the different forms of cover that they provide. Make sure you know what to look out for in a good policy – what should be there as well as what shouldn’t.
Going about it this way will mean you can make an informed decision, as oppose to what many do, which is just go with the first policy they find (assuming they get insurance at all).
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At the end of the day, we travel because it’s awesome! It’s a truly fulfilling and enlightening experience and it sucks when people get too bogged down and overwhelmed during the preparation stage, that they never get to experience the reason we all go through this process.
By avoiding these common travel mistakes, you will make the whole process a lot more straightforward and you’ll be able to focus more on the important stuff; the travelling itself!
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