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7 Big Travel Mistakes — and How to Avoid Them

The more you travel, the more you learn from your previous missteps. But it’s always worth considering the many possible ways we hinder our travel experiences. To help improve your upcoming adventures, here are 7 common travel mistakes you should avoid…

1. Overpacking

Everything in your suitcase should serve a purpose — no matter how tempted you are to pack swimming shorts on a winter Euro trip “just in case.” Instead, lay out everything you think you might absolutely 100% need… and then remove half. It takes discipline and decisiveness but you won’t regret the lighter load.

2. Wasting time in long queues

In today’s digital age, there’s no reason why you’re not booking tickets to attractions in advance! A visit up the Eiffel Tower might be on your Europe bucket list, but save yourself the hassle of waiting hours in endless queues and book a reserved entry time before you arrive.

3. Keeping all your cash/cards in one place

Losing a wallet/bag or being pickpocketed sucks when you’re in an unfamiliar place, but sometimes things happen that you can’t control or predict. What you can do to safeguard your cash and cards is not keep everything in the same place. It’s simple but valuable advice you won’t want to learn the hard way.

4. Not booking enough time between flights

You may be tempted to book individual fights (often with different airlines) to save a bit of money, but don’t make the amateur mistake of not leaving enough time for your layovers. Delays are commonplace and missing a flight on your itinerary will cause an unpleasant domino effect.

5. Spending all your time in the tourist areas

You’re never going to experience the real character of a place if you stick to areas designed to cater to tourists. Avoid crowds, underwhelming attractions and overpriced restaurants to discover infinitely better local vibes outside the city center.

6. Taking too many photos

Put down your phone and soak up the atmosphere! While there’s nothing wrong with capturing special moments from your trip, taking thousands of photos (that you’ll probably never glance at again) is a waste of time and risks tainting your experience.

7. Choosing the wrong travel buddy

A travel buddy can make or break your experience, so choose wisely. It’s important to communicate your expectations before setting off together, so if you’re not aligned on important factors like budget, you might be setting yourself up for problems on the road.

SEE MORE: The Big Europe Bucket List

Feature image via Instagram | @zubattt