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So, you’ve finally booked that holiday you’ve been dreaming about. You’ve done your research, chosen your destination and maybe even paid a deposit. You think you’re well prepared and can’t wait to embark on your adventure and you want everything to run perfectly. But the reality is there might be a few mishaps- here is my list of mistakes to avoid…
One of my key points! As soon as you have your heart set on a destination, you should be doing plenty of research to make sure it’s exactly what you want, but also so you know that country’s specific rules and customs so you’re respectful and well-prepared. For countries in the UAE, you need to be aware of their customs; women should dress modestly in public and offensive behaviour is also taken seriously. Things like vaccinations can easily be forgotten as well, some need to be administered well in advance!
Although most people do take out a travel insurance policy when they travel, many are oblivious to the fine print and what their policy actually covers (and what it doesn’t!). It’s not nice to think about things going wrong on your travels, but it's so much better to be well prepared in case things do. Along with the essential medical and cancellation cover, make sure your policy also has good coverage for your baggage and personal possessions. You might think your clothes and toiletries don’t cost much but added all together they most definitely do. You wouldn’t want to be paying to replace them all if your baggage is lost, stolen or damaged.
Unfortunately, many thieves and pickpockets do target and take advantage of tourists. You shouldn’t let this take away from your adventures, but you should always remember to take extra care of your possessions and belongings when you are away from home. Little things like wearing a cross-body bag that you can keep in sight at all times rather than a backpack can really help you not to fall victim to these schemes.
It's great to totally immerse yourself in a new country and culture, however it can be daunting and more difficult when you’re unable to speak the local lingo. No one expects you to learn Spanish overnight but knowing a few key words and phrases will really boost your experience. Being able to communicate with the locals for directions and recommendations will really ensure that you are making the most of your visit.
You’ve booked your flights, your hotels and your activities, everything is all packed well ahead of time and you think you have everything covered. However, make sure you’ve triple checked every detail, things like flight times and transfers are so important, you don’t want to end up missing your flight! Remember that names on boarding passes and travel documents should be full names matching your passports to avoid any issues and costly errors on the day.
Making sure you’ve packed everything you need can be a daunting experience. You want those perfect holiday pictures and a wardrobe that suits the country and your style. However, packing too much can lead to its own problems. Yes you’ll have lots of options, but you need to remember the airport baggage weight limits, along with how overwhelming it could be. You’ve just had a relaxing day at the pool and are now getting ready for an exquisite evening meal- do you really have the extra 30 minutes to be sorting through your case for outfits? Plan them in advance!
It’s all well and good being excited and enthusiastic about your holiday, although being too ambitious can sometimes be detrimental to your experience. It’s great to have things planned out and have a list of activities you want to do but having too much you want to do and having a strict schedule can lead to you missing out. You won’t be able to fully experience the activities, you’ll find yourself rushing and being exhausted. Take a step back and prioritise to make the most of your travels.
Holiday budgets are so important, especially when you’ve saved up and want your holiday to go smoothly. There’s no point in spending your budget in the first few days when you’ll have to spend the rest of the week with barely enough money to cover food. Plan well and make sure you’re being sensible with your money- if there’s spare money in the last few days by all means splash the cash, but don’t end up sabotaging yourself from day 1.
Now you know what not to do, check out our destinations pages for inspiration of what you can and should do.
Author: Millie Yeoman - 16th October 2020