Are you finally going on vacation? To make the most of it, here’s a list of things you shouldn’t do if you’re traveling.
We work so hard for a whole year, so, when it’s finally time to leave on our trip, we should make the most of it. Because we won’t get another one until next year if we’re lucky. Here are 25 common mistakes we’ve all made while we were traveling.
1. Answering work calls or emails.
I know that you don’t want to risk your job. I know that companies are understaffed, and there’s no one to replace you while you’re away. Maybe you are the only one who can fix things. I know. There are a thousand reasons to answer work calls. But I also have one why shouldn’t: it’s your time off. Enjoy it! I always say that a good vacation is the one that makes you forget what you do for a living.
2. Spending all the time on your phone.
We are so used to scrolling on social media all day long that we forget to put down our phones, even on a stunning beach with the ocean at our feet. Come on! Enjoy the surroundings, the company, and the view. You’ll have plenty of time to catch up with everything back home. I promise.
The calories we eat on vacation don’t count. Everyone knows that. Have that ice cream, drink that cocktail, and order that restaurant’s specialty. It’s just for a few days! And it’s such a pity to travel to a new country and not try their local cuisine and traditional desserts. Besides, you’ll walk, swim, dance, and burn those calories in no time.
4. Packing too many things.
Be very smart when you pack your bags. Only take clothes for the number of days you’re actually spending on vacation. Don’t pack stuff “just in case.” Don’t take things you’ll probably find at the hotel, like a hair dryer or towels. Just bring the essentials. It will be a lot easier to move around and pack everything again when it’s time to go home.
5. Taking pictures of EVERYTHING.
When we go to a beautiful destination, somewhere we’ve never been before, we want to capture everything. We want to remember all the details and share the experience with our friends. However, it’s a pity to spend a lot of time taking photos of those nice places, instead of actually enjoying them.
6. Eating the same things you eat at home.
When I travel, I always like to try the local cuisine. If I don’t like the traditional food, I choose safer options like burgers, fast food, or a pizza, but only after I’ve tried a thing or two. It’s such a pity to eat the same things you usually have at home. You’ve got an entire year to eat burgers, try something new just this once!
7. Breaking the law.
Before you travel to a new country, make sure you read a little about their laws. You don’t want to spend money on fines, or worse, end up in jail. For instance, there are countries where masks are mandatory, and if that’s the case where you’re going, follow the rules. Things might be different in your country, or you may not agree with their laws, but guess what? They don’t care.
8. Spending a lot of money on souvenirs.
I rarely buy souvenirs. I think they are a waste of money, and they just take a lot of space in that drawer with things we never use. If my friend comes back from a trip, I’d rather see photos and hear all the details about their vacation, instead of receiving a fridge magnet.
9. Complaining about everything that's not like back home.
I choose my traveling partners wisely because someone who constantly complains can ruin a vacation I’ve been dreaming about for an entire year. If you travel to somewhere new, things will probably be different than they are back home. And you may not like all the differences. But if you’re going to constantly complain, you will ruin the trip for yourself and everyone else. Focus on the things you do like, and try to make the most of this experience.
10. Oversharing on social media.
It’s exciting to travel and you want to share your joy with everyone so much, that it’s hard to know when to draw the line. You see interesting places, you eat some great-looking meals, and of course, you want your friends to see how nice it is. I understand it, but on social media, it’s not just our close friends who see what we post. You don’t want someone ill-intentioned to know that you’re away, so it’s best to just post a few photos, at the end of your trip.
11. Only staying in the resort.
To make the most of a vacation, especially if it’s a really nice destination, you can combine the time spent at the hotel with exploring the surroundings. On our last trip, we used the mornings to explore nearby beaches and the afternoons in the resort. And even though the food at the resort was everything we could ask for, we also wanted to try some nice restaurants and some local dishes.
12. Spending a lot of time talking on your phone.
I barely make any phone calls when I’m on vacation. I believe there’s plenty of time to catch up with family and friends after I arrive back home. A quick call to check up on my family is enough, and we can discuss more once I am back home.
I have done this many times and ended up rushing through my vacation. I returned home exhausted and frustrated that even though I’ve run from one place to another, I didn’t see everything on my checklist.
The key is to make a more realistic plan and add relaxation breaks to your schedule. Wherever you travel in this world, you probably won’t be able to see everything, so it’s important to prioritize what you want to visit the most. And if you don’t manage to see all the attractions, don’t be disappointed. You’ve got a good reason to go back again.
14. Leaving your kids unsupervised.
You can’t take a vacation from your job as a parent, no matter how much you pay the resort. The staff at the hotel or restaurant isn’t responsible for kids running around unsupervised, and you’d think people know this. Yet, there are still adults who are so busy taking selfies by the pool, that they forget to look after their children and expect others to take care of them. Keep them safe, people. You don’t want them to get hurt, especially in a foreign country.
15. Disregarding the local culture.
Always, wherever you go in this world, take a few minutes to read a little bit about the local culture. We are different, we have different beliefs and customs, and just because yours seem normal to you, that might not be the case where you’re going.
If you decide that you can respect the local culture, beliefs, and customs, when you get there, make sure you do without complaining or offending the locals for being different than you.
16. Under planning your trip.
Especially when you travel abroad, you need to prepare. Learn about the local currency, the documents you need, travel restrictions, transportation, internet access, and prices. Read all the traveling tips and tricks regarding your destination. Book your accommodation in advance, make a daily schedule, check the weather, and read online reviews to see what’s worth really seeing.
17. Sleeping until noon.
I am not an early bird, and especially on vacation, I refuse to set an alarm. After all, I’m there to rest. However, I make sure I don’t stay up very late at night, so I can enjoy the next day. Otherwise, if I wake up at noon, by the time I have some coffee, it’s the afternoon, and half the day is gone.
Before planning a vacation, make sure you’re traveling with people who are on the same page as you. Discuss the budget and each of your expectations, so you don’t end up arguing. It’s ok to want different things, and that doesn’t mean you can’t be friends. But if you’re not on the same page, a trip together could mean a lot of fighting.
19. Carrying a large amount of cash.
Keep your money on your card. In most countries, you can pay by card, and even if you don’t, you’ll surely find an ATM to get cash. Carrying your spending money in cash is dangerous. Wherever you go, search the Internet and find out if card payment is accepted, and if not, where you can find ATMs.
It’s easy to lose track of expenses when you’re on vacation. It’s important to stick to your budget, and not spend more than you can afford. Sure, you want to make the most of your trip, but you definitely don’t want to get into debt.
21. Doing things you don't want to.
Even if you’re on vacation with a group of friends, it’s perfectly fine to do separate things. It’s your vacation, too, and you’ve paid for it. So, if you feel like hanging by the pool while everyone else is kayaking, that’s perfectly fine. Don’t feel pressured to do what everyone else does, because you won’t be able to enjoy your trip. Remember: it’s your vacation, too.
22. Only staying on the beaten track.
Anywhere you travel, if you get off the beaten track a little bit, you can find amazing attractions: Quiet places only known by the locals, restaurants with affordable prices and really good food, or secluded beaches that are a lot less crowded. There are many websites with such recommendations, and if you can’t find any, just ask the locals.
23. Eating in empty restaurants.
If a restaurant is empty, something’s not right with it. Sometimes there are exceptions, but in my experience, if no person is eating there, the food might not be the best in town. I don’t take risks when it comes to food, especially when I’m far away from home. And to be sure, I always check the restaurants’ ratings on Google before I make my choice.
24. Traveling without insurance.
What are we, young? I never leave the country without traveling insurance, even though I’ve never had to use it. But you never know what could happen, even though you’re extra careful.
25. Leaving your documents unsupervised.
If you’re traveling abroad, be very careful with your passports. If you carry them in your purse, make sure you don’t lose them. If you leave them at the hotel, keep them locked in the safe.