My Top Travel Mistakes
I’ve written about travel regrets before, but not travel mistakes. To me, the difference between the two is that the former is personal, the latter practical. And boy, when I went on my first big backpack trip to Europe, I made a TON of practical mistakes. Mistakes that others shouldn’t have to make.
So, if you’re about to embark on your first international journey, and you’re scared out of your mind, and you have no idea what you’re doing, don’t worry. Here is the first installment of the series to help get you situated.
Mistake Number One: Not doing enough personalized research beforehand.
Nobody knows you better than you, right? So why do we let Lonely Planet and Fodor’s tell us what to do when we plan? Granted, this can be a great way to start, and as you’ll see in a future installment, they are hugely useful to have on the road.
But when it comes to planning your whole trip, there’s no reason to let the guides convince you to do something that you don’t want to do, just because it’s a popular site to see.
For me, it was travel blogs that I allowed to tell me where to go. 80% of the reason that London ended up on my Shit List was because of the fact that I was homesick, I was tired, and I was over the Tourist Trail.
The British Museum bored me, as I had already been to a dozen other museums. Oxford Street was too expensive for a budget traveller. Piccadilly Circus was too crowded for a small-town girl. I felt lonely and isolated and depressed.
If only I had been mature enough to realize this, and to go do other things that might have been more enjoyable to me. Instead, I blamed the city and continued to let travel blogs guide me. I ended up hating my time in London and hating the city in general.
And that’s a shame. Because London probably doesn’t suck half as bad as I thought it did. It was me, and my inability to know when I needed a break from the big city and the tourist trail.
So, here’s my advice: Don’t like museums? Don’t go to them. Don’t like shopping? Don’t go to those outlets. Don’t like nature? Stay in the city. Or maybe you love all these things, but you’re kind of burnt out on them. It’s okay to try something new! Even if it’s scary, and even if it’s not on the list.
That’s my first bit of advice for the first-time traveller. If anyone else has any words of wisdom, comment below and I’ll be sure to give you a shout-out in the next post.
Until next time, Happy Travels