Travel can be exciting, or it can be a frustrating juggling act of your time, money, and patience. The key is planning and not being penny-wise and pound-foolish.
Even the best-laid travel plans can go awry.
Whether it’s lost luggage, a screaming baby in the seat next to you or a flight delay that strands you in an airport overnight, sometimes things happen that are out of our control.
But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to control the things you can.
NBC News rounded up some classic travel blunders and how to avoid them. A recurring theme? People tend to make penny-wise, pound-foolish decisions.
For our take on the best ways to save on travel, check out the video below. Then read on for some of NBC’s travel tips.
Here’s what NBC says are some of the top travel mistakes:
- Waiting to apply for or renew a passport. It can take six weeks to process an application for a passport, and already having one doesn’t mean you’re in the clear. Some countries require it to be valid for at least six months past the entry date, and some require a blank visa page.
- Underestimating travel distance from the hotel. Suburban hotels are often cheaper than the ones near tourist hotspots, but don’t forget to factor in travel time and cost. The extra hassle and opportunity cost may not be worth the savings when you’re on vacation.
- Sticking to the recommended activities. Every destination comes with a list of things people say you have to do and see. But you don’t have to visit any monument, museum or restaurant you don’t care about. Spend your limited time on the things you know you’ll enjoy and remember. Get off the beaten path, especially if you’ve done the tourist route before.
- Getting suckered on a timeshare. Timeshares aren’t always a bad deal, though we strongly recommend not buying them from the developer. And be careful about agreeing to sit through a hard sell (and follow-up calls throughout your trip) just for a spa or restaurant voucher. If you’re really interested in buying, it’s a bonus. But if you’re not, you’ll be hating life and wasting precious time.
What’s the worst travel mistake you’ve made? Share your advice on our Facebook page.