Travel writers frequently discuss what to do when traveling. They discuss the must-see, must-do, stay here, dine here, spend here types of things. But what about all the DO NOT things? Much of the outdated conventional travel advice is no longer relevant in a world becoming more digital and connected. Additionally, as a society and the Internet both undergo rapid change, there are always new tips and tactics to learn. Many travel errors result in lost time, money, and missed opportunities.
Here, we’ll list some of the things you should avoid doing while traveling. You’ll travel more cheaply, wisely, and for longer if you stay clear of these typical blunders.
- DON’T eat near a major tourist site.
Any prominent attraction’s cuisine will cost twice as much and have half the flavor of food elsewhere. Restaurants don’t have to worry about maintaining a high standard of service when they know customers won’t be returning.
Eat at least five blocks away from a tourist trap instead of doing so. The cost (and quality) of the food decreases with distance.
- DON’T exchange money at the airport.
If you do, you’ll receive the poorest exchange rates. Once you are in the city/away from the airport, utilize an ATM or credit card to receive the best rates. This will ensure that you are not being taken advantage of and will be as near the interbank rate as possible.
Avoid exchanging money unless necessary (and sometimes you have to). Instead, try to convert money at a bank downtown if you need to, as you’ll obtain higher rates and lower costs. But try to use plastic as much as possible.
- DON’T use traveler’s checks/pre-paid cards.
Banks can issue checks with a predefined value called “traveler’s checks” that can be cashed anywhere globally. It was the easiest way for travelers to access money without carrying a lot of cash back when ATMs and credit cards weren’t widely accepted. However, if you are considering them, don’t use them now. They are no longer useful.
Additionally, avoid purchasing those ATM cards with pre-paid cash. Your bank loads these cards with a predetermined amount of money. Because you’re constantly paying in local currency, there won’t be any costs. The issue, though, is that the exchange rate you paid could change. So, use a standard credit card only.
- DON’T skip travel insurance.
Although it may seem like a high extra cost, travel is all about the unknowable. On the road, anything might happen at any time. So, travel insurance is a wise purchase because it protects you while you are away from home. In addition, you can use it to safeguard yourself against medical and non-medical emergencies.
- DON’T take taxis.
Budgets die in cabs because they are virtually always pricey. So, ignore them. These are only useful if you split the trip’s cost with several people or need to go somewhere late at night. Use public transportation as often as you can instead.