5 travel mistakes travellers needs to stop making

To err is human. But sometimes oversights can cause a huge financial blow to more than just your travel budget. Steer clear of these costly travel blunders with these economical alternatives and insightful tips that won’t leave you high and dry before the big trip.

1. Booking flights too early

Last minute tickets purchases will no doubt cost you. But getting them two years in advance doesn’t equate to cheaper flights either. In fact, you’re more likely to miss your flight than make it if you booked too early.

Not only is that a huge inconvenience, more money is wasted on cancellation fees and having to purchase another set of tickets.

What you can do: 

The best time to book your tickets is six to eight weeks before booking your ticket (three to four months if you’re thinking of travelling during peak season) where prices are at their lowest.

Airlines sometimes throw out flight promotions and special deals every now and then. Be sure to keep updated on these timely offers and act on them the moment they arise.

2. Ruling out hostels

The impression most people have of hostels as being a crummy dwelling filled with dingy bunk beds and bedbugs couldn’t be further from the truth.

Hostels nowadays come with all sorts of amenities—free breakfast, satellite television, bike rentals, pool table—that are just as impressive as those of a boutique hotel, if not better!

Only difference? It’s a fraction of the price.

What you can do: 

Why not give them a shot? They’re clean, affordable, and a great way to meet new people.

3. Dining exclusively at restaurants

There’s nothing wrong with splurging out on a meal every now and then. But you’ll be missing out a great deal of food and cultural experience by only dining at restaurants. Not to mention, you’ll also burn a huge hole in your budget.

What you can do: 

Why not try out the local flavours? Good food comes in all forms. Some of the best meals can be found in pop-up noodle shacks and roadside stalls. You don’t have to take my word for it. Try them out and see for yourself!

4. Packing too much stuff

Airlines can get very particular about their baggage regulations. Most only let you check one carry-on onto international flights, but you can be charged up to $100 for each overweight luggage (ouch!) if you’re not aware of your belongings.

What you can do: 

Purchase extra baggage space if you know you’ll be bringing home more than you brought. Or nip it at the source and simply pack lighter! Leaving your non-essentials behind instantly opens up storage space.

That means more room for souvenirs and overseas goodies!

5. Not getting insurance

We rarely think of the worst-cast scenario. But when something does go awry, ending up in a foreign hospital with no medical coverage is not where you want to picture yourself to be.

What you can do: 

Sign up for some travel insurance before you take off; you’ll be glad you did. Even if you don’t end up using it, it pays to be prepared than to deal with unexpected expenses.

Michael Yip

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