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Five travel mistakes not to make

5 travel mistakes not to make: Australia

This is just a tongue-in-cheek post as I was thinking about my past travels the other day and realised I really have made my fair share of travel errors, particularly in my 20's!

I'm not saying I am an expert now I am 30+, but I'd like to think I have learnt from some of these mistakes and know a bit more about what I am doing now. Read on for my top five travel mistakes that I (hopefully) won't make again.

Travel Mistake #1: Not Reading Up on Companies

Back in 2013 I flew to Australia for a girlie trip with a couple of friends. I was on my own, not earning tonnes of money and keen to travel on a budget. Problem was that it was January and flights were really expensive to Sydney. I picked a route with China Southern as it was significantly cheaper than any other option. 

The plane was really old, I really hated the food and it was an all-round uncomfortable 24 hour journey. I know many people felt the same around that time and had bad experiences with China Southern but I have recently heard better reviews. The word on the street is that they have improved! The moral of this one is to thoroughly check out any company before booking with them (airlines, hotels, tour operators, flight and holiday brokers) and also, don't go for the cheapest option every time! (I struggle with this as I just love saving money...)

5 travel mistakes not to make: Berlin

Travel mistake #2: Not triple-checking booking

I didn't have a great weekend in Berlin in general as something just didn't click for me, but the worst part was that we couldn't get up to our booking at the top of the Reichstag Building because we apparently hadn't confirmed our passports. We'd sent the documents but hadn't received the email asking us to confirm, and they just wouldn't let us in at all even though we had a table booking.

The moral of the story here is to always double / triple check anything with documentation to be totally sure it is all sorted in advance of the trip.

5 travel mistakes not to make: New York

Travel mistake #3: Getting drunk and not setting an alarm

I can't actually believe this one, but when I went to New York in 2009 with one of my best friends from school we had a night out the night before. Now for context, our flight was New Year's day and we were 23 so definitely didn't fancy missing our New Year night out despite having an early flight booking... However, neither of us remembered to set our alarm for the next day!

We were woken up by a phone call from the taxi company asking where we were as our airport taxi was downstairs. It turned out to be possibly my favourite holiday of my entire life, so it's a good job we managed to make that flight. It makes me shudder to think I did that now, as I am so sensible (maybe boring) when it comes to my plans the days leading up to a holiday.

5 travel mistakes not to make: Hong Kong

Travel mistake #4: Missing a flight

I can't quite believe I am admitting this in writing, but the award for the most stupid moment of my life has to go to this one. I was in Bali on my own after attending a friend's wedding. I had decided to stay on solo in Sanur for one more night before a flight to Hong Kong the next day for a conference. I knew the time of my flight and went to bed with my alarm set all ready for the next morning.

The next day I woke up and thought I'd double-check the exact time of my flight just before I got ready. Turns out that the time I had in my head for the flight was completely incorrect, and check-in would have been closing around the time I had woken up. It was over an hour to get to the airport so there's no way I would make it before boarding closed. 

I panicked and immediately rang the airline but nothing could be done and I had to pay for a whole new flight. I have only done this once and I will never get over this one as I can't believe how stupid I was! I don't think my mum reads my blog so let's use this as a test, I know she will mention it if she sees it as I have never told her...

5 travel mistakes not to make: Siem Reap

Travel mistake #5: Not reading Trip Advisor Reviews

The first four 'mistakes' on this list are daft things I can generally laugh about now, but this one could have ended up a lot worse than it did. Whilst in Cambodia we wanted to visit a floating village and took a recommendation from the hotel reception on a good one to book. Our tuk tuk driver didn't speak much English and seemed to be trying to tell us not to go as we set off, but we were confused about what he was saying and went ahead with our day out. The hotel had arranged it for us, so of course it would be fine, wouldn't it?

Turns out it was a huge scam which you can read about here, and the experience really spoilt my opinion of Siem Reap and Cambodia unfortunately.

After the event we checked Trip Advisor and found absolutely loads of reviews explaining what an awful scam / cruel place it was, and we kicked ourselves for not reading reviews and just trusting our hotel receptionists. Now even if I get a recommendation, I would always read reviews as I never want to experience anything like that again.

I'd love to know, have you made any of these silly travel mistakes before or are there any others that make you cringe? Let me know in the comments so I can avoid making them and adding to this list!

4 comments

  1. OMG I would die if I missed a flight. You live and learn though!

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    1. I was absolutely gutted, I'm sure you can imagine that feeling of sick / dread in my stomach when I saw the time. By far the most stupid thing I have done ever..! I now triple check flight times and alarms, I ain't making those mistakes again. Melis xx

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  2. HA HA! These are brilliant! Imagine if you hadn't pre booked a taxi and had just stayed in bed, you never would have made it!

    I remember doing some funny things to save money when I was younger, I once booked into a B&B where the bed was balance on some bricks and the toilet was in the bedroom! It was hilarious!

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    Replies
    1. I know can you imagine missing a trip to NYC, ridiculous! Omg that's so funny! I still like a budget trip but definitely need home comforts more than I used to. Melis xx

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