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20 Biggest Travel Mistakes

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20 Biggest Travel Mistakes

Postby kai1275 » Wed Aug 28, 2013 7:40 pm

This is worth the 2 mins it takes to read. Some pretty good gotchas are covered here in a slideshow.

http://www.cnn.com/2013/08/02/travel/20-travel-mistakes/index.html?iid=article_sidebar

My favs:

Number 5 : Overpacking - I would say the opposite. Underpacking is much worse I think. Little things like Magnum condoms, Name brand Allergy medicine like Zyrtec, Pepto Bismo, Ex-lax, or Immodium AD, and Advil/Bayer pills are not always sold everywhere and you never want to discover that the hard way. Extra coats, Thermals, and socks may be needed even if you think you can handle the cold!

Number 6: Loose Shampoo Caps. - BIG ONE here! I duck-tape the tops to my bodywashes before I pack them in bag. The one time I brought something I did not tape, my entire bag smelled like Wrinkle release spray.....

Number 9: Exchange for local money

Number 10: Cheap flip flops - Been there, done that here in the US. I knew better, but in case someone else does not know, never rely on cheap ass shoes locally if you are going on a serious trek/adventure. In fact make sure you buy some very good hiking shoes or boots!! I once had to climb a mountain in China in the freezing cold and I had no idea we were going to do that!

Number 11: Phone plan ignorance - The article says it best. Do your homework BEFORE leaving! Call your own carrier too for prices if your trip is a short one.

Number 12: Beating Air fare prices - I love this one because it tells the truth. There is pretty much no such thing as a "best time" to buy plane tickets.

Number 14: Avoiding Local Food - You have to do research to find out where to eat before you go. Mastering this skill deserves it's own topic really..

Number 20: Not printing reservation details - I always do this. Sometimes it is needed, sometimes it is not. The 2 times I really needed this because United or American Airlines staff was mentally retarded, it was worth killing a 100th of a tree. Some of them believe it or not don't care about what is visible on your phone.


Many others were good too, check it out.
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Postby Hero » Wed Aug 28, 2013 7:51 pm

Ha ha ha, #17 happened to me. I was about to go to the Philippines, ran my passport through the scanner, and found out that I couldn't go because my passport had less than 6 months until expiration. Rescheduling the trip cost me a fortune.
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Postby Hero » Wed Aug 28, 2013 7:52 pm

I don't agree with #12, though. You want to stay the hell away from street food. I got severe diarrhea 3 times while traveling in Asia.
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Postby aozora13 » Wed Aug 28, 2013 8:04 pm

Hero wrote:I don't agree with #12, though. You want to stay the hell away from street food. I got severe diarrhea 3 times while traveling in Asia.


+1

I actually had this happen when I was a teen while on vacation to Jamaica in the 1990s. I had Jerk chicken on the side of the road and I had stomach problems a couple days later. It was bad and I learned never to eat road side food again. I still tell women I dated that I cannot do it as I had food problems in the past and they understand.

I also had a problem with my passport since it was worn but had more than 7 months before it expired. I basically had a similar situation at the airport. The airline told me that the immigration in the country I was traveling too (Mexico) would not accept it and I would be kicked out. I then had to return home while being scorned by the woman I was going to meet because of a situation I did not think was a problem with my passport. I reschedule the trip for 3 months later which worked out much better.
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Postby kai1275 » Wed Aug 28, 2013 8:16 pm

Hero wrote:Ha ha ha, #17 happened to me. I was about to go to the Philippines, ran my passport through the scanner, and found out that I couldn't go because my passport had less than 6 months until expiration. Rescheduling the trip cost me a fortune.


OUCH!!!! That sucks!
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Postby Hero » Wed Aug 28, 2013 8:19 pm

It would be nice if the airlines would notify people about these requirements before they purchased their tickets. Yes, I realize it's the traveler's responsibility, but it would be a nice gesture on the part of the airline and it wouldn't cost them anything.
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Re: 20 Biggest Travel Mistakes

Postby ***JP*** » Wed Aug 28, 2013 8:34 pm

kai1275 wrote:This is worth the 2 mins it takes to read. Some pretty good gotchas are covered here in a slideshow.

http://www.cnn.com/2013/08/02/travel/20-travel-mistakes/index.html?iid=article_sidebar

My favs:

Number 5 : Overpacking - I would say the opposite. Underpacking is much worse I think. Little things like Magnum condoms, Name brand Allergy medicine like Zyrtec, Pepto Bismo, Ex-lax, or Immodium AD, and Advil/Bayer pills are not always sold everywhere and you never want to discover that the hard way. Extra coats, Thermals, and socks may be needed even if you think you can handle the cold!

Number 6: Loose Shampoo Caps. - BIG ONE here! I duck-tape the tops to my bodywashes before I pack them in bag. The one time I brought something I did not tape, my entire bag smelled like Wrinkle release spray.....

Number 9: Exchange for local money

Number 10: Cheap flip flops - Been there, done that here in the US. I knew better, but in case someone else does not know, never rely on cheap a** shoes locally if you are going on a serious trek/adventure. In fact make sure you buy some very good hiking shoes or boots!! I once had to climb a mountain in China in the freezing cold and I had no idea we were going to do that!

Number 11: Phone plan ignorance - The article says it best. Do your homework BEFORE leaving! Call your own carrier too for prices if your trip is a short one.

Number 12: Beating Air fare prices - I love this one because it tells the truth. There is pretty much no such thing as a "best time" to buy plane tickets.

Number 14: Avoiding Local Food - You have to do research to find out where to eat before you go. Mastering this skill deserves it's own topic really..

Number 20: Not printing reservation details - I always do this. Sometimes it is needed, sometimes it is not. The 2 times I really needed this because United or American Airlines staff was mentally retarded, it was worth killing a 100th of a tree. Some of them believe it or not don't care about what is visible on your phone.


Many others were good too, check it out.




On #11 I would add-- Have an unlocked GSM phone and buy a prepaid SIM card in the country of your destination because then your carrier will not overcharge you on roaming fees plus check places with free wifi for your long distance calls using calling apps like Skype, Viber, Tango chat etc.
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Re: 20 Biggest Travel Mistakes

Postby aozora13 » Wed Aug 28, 2013 10:12 pm

***JP*** wrote:
kai1275 wrote:This is worth the 2 mins it takes to read. Some pretty good gotchas are covered here in a slideshow.

http://www.cnn.com/2013/08/02/travel/20-travel-mistakes/index.html?iid=article_sidebar

My favs:

Number 5 : Overpacking - I would say the opposite. Underpacking is much worse I think. Little things like Magnum condoms, Name brand Allergy medicine like Zyrtec, Pepto Bismo, Ex-lax, or Immodium AD, and Advil/Bayer pills are not always sold everywhere and you never want to discover that the hard way. Extra coats, Thermals, and socks may be needed even if you think you can handle the cold!

Number 6: Loose Shampoo Caps. - BIG ONE here! I duck-tape the tops to my bodywashes before I pack them in bag. The one time I brought something I did not tape, my entire bag smelled like Wrinkle release spray.....

Number 9: Exchange for local money

Number 10: Cheap flip flops - Been there, done that here in the US. I knew better, but in case someone else does not know, never rely on cheap a** shoes locally if you are going on a serious trek/adventure. In fact make sure you buy some very good hiking shoes or boots!! I once had to climb a mountain in China in the freezing cold and I had no idea we were going to do that!

Number 11: Phone plan ignorance - The article says it best. Do your homework BEFORE leaving! Call your own carrier too for prices if your trip is a short one.

Number 12: Beating Air fare prices - I love this one because it tells the truth. There is pretty much no such thing as a "best time" to buy plane tickets.

Number 14: Avoiding Local Food - You have to do research to find out where to eat before you go. Mastering this skill deserves it's own topic really..

Number 20: Not printing reservation details - I always do this. Sometimes it is needed, sometimes it is not. The 2 times I really needed this because United or American Airlines staff was mentally retarded, it was worth killing a 100th of a tree. Some of them believe it or not don't care about what is visible on your phone.


Many others were good too, check it out.




On #11 I would add-- Have an unlocked GSM phone and buy a prepaid SIM card in the country of your destination because then your carrier will not overcharge you on roaming fees plus check places with free wifi for your long distance calls using calling apps like Skype, Viber, Tango chat etc.


+1

JP, I do that too when I travel. It is much cheaper and you do get a reasonable amount of data in Europe or where you are going to live in the future, the balkins. Did you finally get your paper work straightened out after you were married this year?
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Postby Ghost » Thu Aug 29, 2013 3:01 am

I definitely believe in traveling light. Not underpacking, just traveling light. I think my biggest thing was not doing adequate research about a phone/phone plan before leaving. During my 2 days of travel, I basically had a communication blackout and couldn't geton the internet at most airports I stopped at!

I did exchange plenty of money to take though, and I think that was most important. Some people don't bring much or can't. I brought over a $1000 equivalent in cash.

And taping shampoo caps...ditto...
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Re: 20 Biggest Travel Mistakes

Postby ***JP*** » Thu Aug 29, 2013 9:23 am

aozora13 wrote:
***JP*** wrote:
kai1275 wrote:This is worth the 2 mins it takes to read. Some pretty good gotchas are covered here in a slideshow.

http://www.cnn.com/2013/08/02/travel/20-travel-mistakes/index.html?iid=article_sidebar

My favs:

Number 5 : Overpacking - I would say the opposite. Underpacking is much worse I think. Little things like Magnum condoms, Name brand Allergy medicine like Zyrtec, Pepto Bismo, Ex-lax, or Immodium AD, and Advil/Bayer pills are not always sold everywhere and you never want to discover that the hard way. Extra coats, Thermals, and socks may be needed even if you think you can handle the cold!

Number 6: Loose Shampoo Caps. - BIG ONE here! I duck-tape the tops to my bodywashes before I pack them in bag. The one time I brought something I did not tape, my entire bag smelled like Wrinkle release spray.....

Number 9: Exchange for local money

Number 10: Cheap flip flops - Been there, done that here in the US. I knew better, but in case someone else does not know, never rely on cheap a** shoes locally if you are going on a serious trek/adventure. In fact make sure you buy some very good hiking shoes or boots!! I once had to climb a mountain in China in the freezing cold and I had no idea we were going to do that!

Number 11: Phone plan ignorance - The article says it best. Do your homework BEFORE leaving! Call your own carrier too for prices if your trip is a short one.

Number 12: Beating Air fare prices - I love this one because it tells the truth. There is pretty much no such thing as a "best time" to buy plane tickets.

Number 14: Avoiding Local Food - You have to do research to find out where to eat before you go. Mastering this skill deserves it's own topic really..

Number 20: Not printing reservation details - I always do this. Sometimes it is needed, sometimes it is not. The 2 times I really needed this because United or American Airlines staff was mentally retarded, it was worth killing a 100th of a tree. Some of them believe it or not don't care about what is visible on your phone.


Many others were good too, check it out.




On #11 I would add-- Have an unlocked GSM phone and buy a prepaid SIM card in the country of your destination because then your carrier will not overcharge you on roaming fees plus check places with free wifi for your long distance calls using calling apps like Skype, Viber, Tango chat etc.


+1

JP, I do that too when I travel. It is much cheaper and you do get a reasonable amount of data in Europe or where you are going to live in the future, the balkins. Did you finally get your paper work straightened out after you were married this year?



I'm currently in the process of getting my residence visa approved and I'm actually moving to the Baltics and yep I did all the paperwork this summer and traveled to New York to submit the papers personally at the consulate.
Last edited by ***JP*** on Thu Aug 29, 2013 11:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Taco » Thu Aug 29, 2013 9:41 am

Always bring a laptop with you. In countries where you can't speak the local language its your life line to the rest of the world. Also comes in handy at the airport when your flight is delayed you can send messages to friends and let them know your going to be late.
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Postby Cornfed » Thu Aug 29, 2013 10:03 am

If you don't speak the local language, you would want to learn in advance how well English is supported where you are going. For example, in Cambodia there is a tourist infrastructure where everyone speaks English well enough. In Korea, very few people speak English (despite spending years learning it in school) but there is some support, what with bi-lingual signs, some English speakers and such. In provincial China, no-one speaks English, there is no support and you would basically be f***ed without helpers.
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Postby ***JP*** » Thu Aug 29, 2013 11:23 am

Ghost wrote:I definitely believe in traveling light. Not underpacking, just traveling light. I think my biggest thing was not doing adequate research about a phone/phone plan before leaving. During my 2 days of travel, I basically had a communication blackout and couldn't geton the internet at most airports I stopped at!

I did exchange plenty of money to take though, and I think that was most important. Some people don't bring much or can't. I brought over a $1000 equivalent in cash.

And taping shampoo caps...ditto...



Well having an unlocked phone goes long ways especially if it's an unlocked smartphone from whichever platform you prefer. A lot of airports already sell prepaid SIM cards right there at the facility and from different companies so you can compare the rates from local carriers in that particular country. I always used voip apps on both phone and laptop to keep in touch with family. Sadly our american carriers have a leash around people's necks especially when it comes to unlocking your device. Especially the big 2 at&t and verizon but there's tons of sites that sell unlocked phones at every price range.
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Postby ***JP*** » Thu Aug 29, 2013 11:25 am

Taco wrote:Always bring a laptop with you. In countries where you can't speak the local language its your life line to the rest of the world. Also comes in handy at the airport when your flight is delayed you can send messages to friends and let them know your going to be late.



Also I would suggest to do research on the city you are headed to for free wifi hotspots too. That way you are prepared and know exactly which places to go when in need to communicate home.
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Postby kai1275 » Thu Aug 29, 2013 12:59 pm

Great tips on the SIM! I definitely will try that next time. You are right about ATT and the other big ones. They will demand you pay out of your contract if you got your phone on one of those discounted contract deals before they unlock your phone for you. That is a big gotcha. That is why I never do contract and I save up cash and buy my phones at full price instead. If I can, I buy them on Ebay too which is cheaper than going to the official big carrier store.
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