In my 20-something years of travelling, I’m happy to say I’ve made some mistakes along the way. I’ll continue to make them, but it’s important to reflect and learn how you can become a better traveller. I’ve compiled some stupid mistakes and some lessons learnt along the way.
1. Free time costs money
Mistake: Having lots of free time… Getting on a coach 6 hours up North to Preston to meet my friend at her flat, only to go back down to Manchester Airport for a 2 hour flight to Barcelona makes perfect sense right? I could have just met my friend in Barcelona and it would have been much easier. I still don’t understand why I did a long-haul journey in my own country!?
Lesson Learnt: Don’t waste time. Plan your route beforehand. If you and your friend live a considerable distance from each other, meet in the country your visiting.
2. Money costs money
Mistake: Not changing up money beforehand and being stung at the airport.
Lesson Learnt: Check rates weeks beforehand. Try changing up a lump sum if you’re going to be there more than once e.g Europe and the Euro, USA and the Caribbean for the dollar. This will help you budget too, rather than frantically doing a few days before you leave. Always check rates for comparison too, I swear by Travel Money Max from Money Saving Expert.
3. Being overweight costs money
Mistake: Paying £40 for overweight luggage at the airport which was probably more than the flight… pack smart, pack light (if you can) and check all luggage requirements on the airline’s website. My blunder was on the way to Rome in 2015…
Lesson Learnt: A digital scales is a LIFESAVER! It small enough to throw in my hand luggage and it stops me having an anxiety attack when my luggage is being weighed. See here for cheap options.
4. Nights out can end badly
Mistake: Not watching my drinks. I don’t know if I ever wrote the full story on my blog because privacy and all that, but don’t accept drinks from strangers OR leave your drinks unattended.
Lesson Learnt: Don’t leave drinks unattended as American healthcare is EXPENSIVE… and always get travel insurance.
5. Don’t be a #VisaBae
Mistake: Not checking if I need a new ESTA when I got a new passport before I went to LA.
Lesson Learnt: CHECK, RESEARCH AND CHECK AGAIN. You can read about my blunder on the way to LA in 2016 here.
Mistakes must be made in order to succeed. This applies to everything from travel, to relationships to your career. Just remember to admit where you’ve been wrong, reflect and move on.
What mistakes have you made whilst on your travels?
All images taken by me over the years – terrible aren’t they?