Wanna know my biggest travel paranoia? Being stranded in my car in a snowstorm….and I…
There’s nothing worse than making mindless travel mistakes.
If you spend much time traveling, you’ve inevitably made bonehead travel mistakes that put a huge damper on your trip. Here are a few things to keep in mind in the days (and weeks!) before heading out on your next adventure.
Mistake: Your ATM card or Credit Card Gets Frozen.
Solution: If you’ve traveled out of the country, chances are you’ve bumped into issues with your credit card or ATM card. A frozen account puts a huge damper on your trip. The best way to ensure that doesn’t happen is to alert your bank and credit card to any upcoming travel. It’s only takes a few minutes (and in some cases can be done online or on a phone without having to talk to an actual human). Some credit card companies say they don’t need this information anymore because of their sophisticated software. I don’t care. I call them anyway.
Mistake: You Rack Up Crazy Phone Charges.
Texting and calls can cost a small fortune when you’re traveling internationally.
Solution: It’s best call the phone company to make sure they turn on your international data. Also ask about purchasing a SIM card at your destination– it’s a great way to stay in touch without getting a surprise $1000 bill.
Mistake: You Rack Up Crazy Phone Charges, Part 2.
Did I mention phone charges can add up quickly?
Solution: Luckily, if there’s wi-fi available, you can lean on apps like WhatsApp and Skype for communicating with loved ones at home. Be sure to not only download on your phone, but on your friends and family’s phones as well. Otherwise what’s the point?! Please note that Skype users can make real calls to non-Skype users actual phone lines, but they are slightly more expensive.
Mistake: You Lose Your Travel Docs.
It happens to the best of us.
Solution: It’s always good to make a copy and stash separately from the originals. If you’ll have wi-fi access (and really, most places do), it’s easy to email those documents in an attachment to yourself so if you do lose the physical copies, you could still access them electronically. Relying on friends (or family) to send you a copy is tricky because of the time change. Plus, who wants to talk their mom through sending travel docs via email? Not I! (sorry mom!).
As extra insurance, you can always snap pics of travel docs with your phone.
Mistake: Your Phone Dies.
Or breaks. Or is stolen. Or falls into the Seine. Now think of all the information on that phone (that you didn’t sync to your other device) that you still desperately need, like phone numbers of key family members, the dog’s kennel, credit card contact numbers, your travel itinerary with confirmation numbers and addresses.
Solution: Make a document, print and bring it along, just like in the olden days.
Mistake: You Get Bombarded with Work Emails.
The last thing you want to do on vacation is work.
Solution: Set a reminder to turn on your out of office reply. It feels SOOOO GOOD to write one of these “So long suckers!” automatic emails. Make it short, but make it good. Last year I wrote. “I’m on a beach in Maine.” ‘Nuff said.
Mistake: Your Ride No-Shows.
You may have a cab or friend say they’re able to take you to the airport, but have a back-up plan just in case.
Solution: Download the Uber app, or find another cab company. Just in case. Or check to see if there’s good public transportation. Things happen.
Mistake: You Sleep Through Your Alarm.
Well… not much you can do about this one after the fact.
Solution: Next time, set two. And don’t be shy about setting up a wake-up call, either from your hotel or a friend.
We all make travel mistakes. What’s the biggest you’ve made? Share in the comments!