BECOMING AN EXPERT TRAVELLER IMPROVES YOUR HOME AWAY FROM HOME EXPERIENCE
One thing is certain: Canadians love to travel! However, most people aren’t born expert travellers.
It’s just something you gain with actual on-the-road experience.
When travelling, there are many things to be considered, such as what to pack, how much cash to take, what to choose between Aeroplan vs Air Miles, and what happens in case of a missed flight or lost luggage.
All these uncertainties can be stressful and prevent you from fully enjoying your travel experience.
Nevertheless, in the beginning, it’s normal to make a lot of mistakes.
Travel savviness is an entire process of numerous tiny errors, missed buses, cultural unawareness, and foolish behaviour.
But it is all worth it, I promise! Studies have shown that the secret of happiness is to spend money on experiences, not things.
In the end, mistakes are nothing but experiences. You learn from them and they become an opportunity for growth and improvement.
Common Mistakes A Traveller Will Make
Photo by Josh Sorenson
In order to speed up the process a bit and help you avoid some of the common mistakes people do when travelling, we have put together this list of tips and tricks:
Travel alone at least once
Travelling alone is the best way to learn the art of travel hacking, as you will be forced to think outside the box and have no one next to you to rely on for making decisions.
Travelling solo can teach you how to fend for yourself, handle unfamiliar situations, talk to people, and discover what you’re capable of.
Moreover, you can be super selfish and do whatever you want!
Cut traveller expenses with a rewards program
If you are a frequent traveller, you must consider the big picture.
Planning ahead for the future and investing in a rewards program can pay off in the long run.
Collecting points and miles through everyday purchases can get you free flights, train tickets, accommodation and lots of other perks!
In general, most Canadians prefer the Aeroplan rewards program because it belongs to Air Canada, the most popular airline in the country.
If you’re looking to use miles for travel, Aeroplan would be the more suitable choice.
Air Miles is a better choice for those who want to travel regularly within their province.
Take an extra credit card with you
Travelling is unpredictable and sometimes disasters do happen, trust me I’ve been there.
It’s always good to be prepared and have a backup bank or credit card in case you lose yours.
Sometimes, a certain type of credit card might not work in a particular country or region.
It’s not pleasant being stuck on an island in Indonesia with no cash and without the possibility to withdraw money from the ATM!
Use no-fee bank cards
No-fee bank cards are a great idea when travelling to a foreign country.
Nobody wants to give their hard-earned cash to a bank when there are so many other opportunities to spend them!
Try getting a bank card that doesn’t charge fees for foreign transactions or ATMs.
If you are travelling for a long time, you will definitely feel those lost dollars!
Don’t neglect the local traveller tourism office
Many people rely solely on online sources to get info about the places they travel to.
However, online information can be biased or misleading so don’t always trust what you read.
Tourism offices are well informed about everything that goes on and a wealth of information.
They can tell you face to face about special events, free activities, discounts, and transportation.
As an experienced traveller, you must be aware of this underrated travel habit that can actually save you time and money!
Always carry a lock
Locks can come in handy especially to those staying in hostels and sharing a room.
I’ve stayed in many hostels during my travels mainly because it saved me money but I always protected my belongings.
A small combination lock doesn’t take up lots of space and it can make a huge difference.
However, avoid the ones with keys because you can lose the key, or even lock it in your luggage.
Trust me, we’ve all been there!
Another useful tip is to take pictures of your luggage, so airport personnel will have an easier time identifying it in case it gets lost.
Make extra copies of important documents
This is a MUST, I repeat, a must.
When the unexpected happens, being a novice traveller will feel awful! Expert travellers don’t understand the notion of unexpected events.
They are always prepared, and that’s why they keep extra copies of their passport and important documents.
They also have a copy sent to their e-mail.
Additional copies come in handy when you lose your passport and have to make a statement at the police, but also if you don’t want to carry the original with you all around towns, beaches, and jungles.
Get travel insurance
Travel insurance is one of the most important things an expert traveller never neglects.
Chances are you are never going to use it, but in case something happens, you don’t want to lose thousands of dollars.
Travel insurance can offer protection in case you get sick, but also if your flights get cancelled, if you get robbed or if you need to get back home early.
Some of the most common stories travellers tell are about their camera or bag being stolen, falling and breaking an arm or a leg, or just a small cut in a rock that needs a few stitches at the emergency room and a tetanus vaccine, so travel insurance should be a priority.
Discussion: Share your expert travellers tips below for our readers.