Traveling is open to everyone, and it’s something no person should miss. The experience of visiting far-flung countries and meeting new people and seeing the signs is special. As clichéd as it sounds, there is nothing else like it in the world. Traveling isn’t the be all and end all of life, yet not taking the plunge is something lots of people regret later on in life. Do you want to be that person?
Of course not, but there is the small issue of being a novice. Boarding a plane and booking into a hostel seems like a straightforward task, and it is to a degree. However, life on the road isn’t a walk in the park. It can be scary, it can be lonely, and it can be dangerous. The reason is that rookies make mistakes. They do things seasoned don’t and pay the price. Sure, you lack experience, which is one excuse, but it isn’t the only one.
There are plenty of scenarios where beginners take the wrong path. To learn more about error-free travel, it’s essential to understand the reasons why. Below are the factors that cause first-timers to do things they shouldn’t. Rookies – remember the following on your next trip.
As soon as the realization that you are alone hits home, the panic will set in like concrete. There is so much to do in a short space of time – how are you going to fit in everything? It seems like an impossible task in the beginning. That’s why people panic and do silly things, such as overbooking. This is where you try and cover all the bases by booking everything in advance. From hostel rooms to flights and sights, you’ll have a confirmation code for the lot.
To a regular person, this seems like a wise move. After all, it’s best to have a backup plan in case things go wrong. There are two things to mention here. The first one is that unforeseen circumstances are part and parcel of the experience. When you come back home, the things which stick in the head are the disasters. Somehow, there is humor and comedy in those moments. When risk isn’t a factor, this isn’t possible.
Secondly, flexibility is why you travel. Meeting new people and using recommendations and changing the itinerary will happen regularly. There is the freedom to follow others or go off on your own when the opportunity appears. Panicking and blanket booking the trip takes this away and ruins the experience.
A lack of experience is obvious. As soon as you start researching the holiday, it will become apparent that you’re in the deep end. Those that don’t panic make another schoolboy error – they get self-conscious about their abilities. Suddenly, the idea of organizing a trip of a lifetime seems like an impossibility. When this feeling sets in, there is only one way to go, and that is to a travel agency. They are experts that will take the responsibility off of your shoulders.
There is no doubt agencies have their pros, but they also have cons. Think about the price for a start. An experience which is going to cost a couple of thousand bucks will end up being pricier. Some of these companies charge as much as 10% to 20% extra. Doing it alone then will save you a small fortune in the long run. And, you can use the money to stay away longer and extend the trip.
Don’t forget about the lack of freedom either. Package vacations have strict itineraries which you have to follow to the letter. If you don’t, it’s a waste of money. Seeing sights and taking part in activities are great, yet you want to do it on your terms. Don’t let self-consciousness fool you into thinking a specialist required.
Traveling can be scary at times. Suddenly, you’re in a South American favela and stand out like a sore thumb. The heart is bound to race, and so it should because it’s a hairy situation. Fear comes in many shapes and sizes, and it isn’t the apparent alarm which gets in the way for first-timers. It’s the fear of being inadequate and not being able to get by.
There is bound to be a language barrier unless you’re in the UK or Australia. Even then, the Brits can be hard to understand in the North! One thing seasoned travelers get is the need to dive in at the deep end. Yes, there is going to be mistakes and awkward interactions, but that is how you learn. Anyone who wants to brush up on their Spanish or French or Italian needs to communicate with the locals. Otherwise, it’s a wasted opportunity.
Should learning the language not be on the agenda, it shouldn’t stop you from asking questions. It’s amazing how many times travelers stand by the side of the road consulting a map, hopelessly lost. The answer is in front of you, behind you, to your left and your right. Locals have the knowledge and are happy to help as long as you start the conversation. Looking like a fool is scary, but walking into a dangerous part of town is worse.
Not Trying New Things
How can this be the case? You’ve never traveled before so everything is brand new. Okay, it’s a good point which is well made. However, it’s a little facetious because there is a tendency for people to stick to the tried and tested. You may not have tried or tested it before, but others have and they wrote it down. Yes, this is a reference to the mighty guidebook. The Lonely Planet is called the bible for a reason.
But, it isn’t an integral part of the journey because it’s infallible. Ask anyone that has used one and you’ll soon find there are misprints and wrong information. Some of the restaurants and hostels don’t exist anymore. Still, there are nuggets of info which can make or break a trip, such as a place to party or an excellent accommodation. Used sparingly and with a pinch of salt, a guidebook is very helpful.
What you don’t want to do is follow it like a holy person follows the word of God. Instead, keep the advice in the back of your mind for when there is an emergency. In the meantime, try a restaurant which is full of locals and order a local delicacy. Go to the sights which other travelers tell you about and see if they are worth the effort. Experience new things because that is the whole point of the journey.
Your new surroundings take over your senses and it’s easy to forget about home. In fact, you may remember it and think “why on earth did I like it in the first place?!” It’s common when something new and exciting is on offer. But, you have a life there too and it needs cultivating. Otherwise, it may not be around when you land on the tarmac and turn the key in the door if there is one in the first place.
Home security is a major factor for property owners because there is no one to watch the house 24/7. Family and friends can stop by, but they have a life and won’t put it on hold for your peace of mind. However, remembering to secure your home can lead to good decision making such as checking out www.suddenlink.com. A basic feed to a mobile device allows you to keep an eye on the house from anywhere in the world.
It’s not only the physical things which need maintaining. While you’re away, relationships may start to fall apart a little bit. Sending a message or speaking on the phone isn’t as straightforward with the time difference and the lifestyle. Without any effort, however, friends can get annoyed and think you don’t care. Be sure to fire off a couple of calls and text messages once or twice a week.
Because there is a budget, travelers like to cut costs to the bone. That way, the money will last longer and they’ll be no need to fly home early. As far as logic goes, it doesn’t get any sounder. There is a delicate balance between slashing expenses and cutting corners, though. Sometimes, rookies can cross it without realizing, and that is when they end up in lots of trouble.
Travel insurance has to be the perfect example. You don’t need it because you have no intention of getting hurt. The thing is, no one has plans to go to the hospital because it’s a traumatic experience. Still, it happens when things get out of control, which is likely when you’ve had too much sun and alcohol.
A policy picks up the tab and covers your back in case of a medical emergency. Considering bills can range in the millions, it’s a pretty solid backup plan even if you never use it during your trip. Www.ytravelblog.com has advice for those who don’t know where to start.
Can you think of any other reasons why rookies make mistakes abroad?