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Big Travel Mistakes to Avoid

Travelers Today       By    Staff Reporter

Updated: Nov 04, 2019 11:02 AM EST

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Big Travel Mistakes to Avoid

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Mistakes can't be avoided. Between visa requirements, voltage differences, and language barriers, common pitfalls can happen.

But these mistakes lead to wasted money, lost time, and missed opportunities. Avoid them and you'll be traveling cheaper, smarter, and longer.

Whether you're gearing up for your first out-of-country adventure or just need a refresher, these are the things you shouldn't do on the road:

1. Failing to get an entry visa

You may not even think to look into visa requirements until a few weeks before your trip if you're a citizen of US, UK, or EU. Getting an entry visa should be a simple affair. But for some countries with strict travel policies, it can take weeks to collect all the necessary paperwork.

Always check your home country's government website well. Read the rules thoroughly. Countries have different policies for things like acceptable passport expiration dates and mandatory vaccinations. If you're a US citizen, the Know Before You Go page on the State Department's website has a search bar where you can type in your destination country.

2. Assuming your cell phone is automatically ready for international use

You'll need to use your phone for getting directions from Google Maps or documenting your exotic meal on Instagram.

Each company has their own policy for international travel. You may need to buy a local SIM card to make calls when you're in another country. 

You can still update your feeds by using your phone in Wi-Fi mode and toggling off celullar data. Before you leave home, make sure you check with your carrier, so you have the right plan in place to be able to share the amazing moments with your friends and family.

3. Don't exchange money at the airport

Travelers often end up losing a lot of money while traveling abroad, and especially when they go to exchange foreign currency.

Never exchange cash at the airport unless you absolutely have to or you'll get the worst exchange rates. Airports plan well in advance to charge you more as the number of travelers who end up doing last-minute transactions is pretty high. Airport-based currency exchange shops know that you might need local currency to catch a bus, train, or taxi.

Avoid these currency exchanges if possible by getting currency in advance from a local bank. And use an ATM or credit card.

4. Forgetting to notify your bank know you'll be taking a trip

There's nothing scarier than being locked out of your bank account when you're in a foreign country. Call the number on the back of your debit or credit card and let them know. Give your bank and credit card merchant a heads up that you'll be going to a specific location for a certain amount of time. If you already use online banking, there's likely an online travel notice where you can do that as well.

Other than that, you should always have copies of your important documents and information. If possible, bring more than one credit or debit card with you.

A little careful effort goes a long away.

See Now: The U.S. had the highest number of Most Wanted properties, dominating the Hotels.com Loved By Guests Awards 2018

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