An experience that is supposed to be absolutely fantastic, when you put together a plan to go on a trip, visions of fun and relaxation are likely what you have in mind. Sadly, good intentions alone will not make sure that your vacation will play out as you hoped. Instead, there are any number of major issues or small frustrations that can take away from your experience as a whole.
Once you accept the idea that your vacation could fail to go off without a hitch, there are then two ways to deal with that. First off, you could think to yourself that these things happen and you’ll deal with it at the time and go on your merry way. Unfortunately, this way of thinking could result in you being in a pretty serious situation that you may not be prepared to tackle. On the other hand, you could think ahead and set things up to limit your vulnerability to being with. Realizing that avoiding issues, to begin with, is the better option inspired us to put together this list of the 20 worst things about being a tourist and how to avoid them.
In order for a problem a tourist can find themselves dealing with on a trip to be considered for possible inclusion on this list, it first and foremost needs to be something we could reasonably see come up. On top of that, there has to be a way to mitigate the issue, even if there may not be a singular way to completely eliminate the possibility of it coming to pass.
20 Missing Out On Freebies
Often only a problem after the fact, once you learn that there are oodles of freebies that you could have received during a trip and you’ve missed out on them, it is quite frustrating. If you are not sure what we mean, on top of the typical things like soap and shampoo, there are hotels that hand out things like show tickets, earphones, socks, and more. There is also always the chance that you could get free stuff from the airlines or other companies you interact with while on the road. Fairly simple to get if available, all you have to do is politely inquire if a business offers up freebies.
19 Fraudulent Rental-Car Fees
Something you should be very careful about, over the years, the number of people who’ve been pushed to pay for damage they didn’t cause by rental-car companies is far too high. Of course, by no means are we saying that each of these instances were intentional on the behalf of the company, but there is no denying that there are some shifty businesses out there. As a result, there are two things we highly recommend when renting a car during a trip, the first of which is to consult reviews and the better business bureau before renting. On top of that, you should also take photos of the car’s state before you even drive it off the lot.
18 Everything Electrical
One of the easiest to forget facts about traveling from one area of the world to another, electrical outlets in your country might be uniform, but elsewhere, they look quite a bit different. For that reason, you could easily find yourself incapable of charging your devices or use anything electrical you’ve brought with you because you can’t plug them in. Relatively easy to deal with, all you need to do is research whether or not outlets are different where you are going and purchase an adapter that is usable there if need be. After all, if you can even find an adapter where you go, it is likely to be far more expensive.
17 Tip Confusion
A simple fact of life, one of the quickest ways to offend the people around you is doing something improper when it comes to money. For that reason, if you dine out in a country you are not used to, it can be imperative to make sure you tip like the locals do. After all, you want to show the proper appreciation to your server and on top of that, if you are accompanied by people from that area, they could easily be upset by your actions. That is why we highly suggest that you look up what the tipping norm is in whatever country you are arriving in before you depart, especially since it is so easy to do.
16 Not Living in the Moment
Something that has become a much larger issue over time, when you spend your entire trip filming everything, you tend to remember it through the prism of your screen. That may be a pretty good way to experience things like social media or mostly forgettable videos on YouTube, but considering that going on vacation should be a joy, that just won’t do. Instead, we strongly suggest that you make sure that you limit the amount of thought you put into taking pictures so you can view the best parts of your trip in all of their glory.
15 Transaction Fees
Already a costly scenario, unless you are quite well off, your vacations can be ruined due to worries about the money being spent. Sadly, what a lot of people may not realize is that there may be a hidden cost waiting for you once you return home. That is because there are many credit card companies out there that charge 2.5% to 3% in addition to the typical fees when you charge things outside your homeland. If you want to avoid this expense, then you should research whether your card can be used outside the country for free — there are many that can these days — or pay for things on your trip with cash.
14 Packing Too Much
Often times, one of the last things you do when preparing to go on a trip, the process of deciding which of your belongings to bring with you deserves a lot more consideration than that. After all, if you bring too much on a trip that will take you to more than one location, then it can be a massive pain carrying it with you. On top of that, if you want to buy things to bring home you won’t have space. Instead, we suggest you bring less with you, perhaps by using a packing app like Packpoint that creates a list of what to bring based on where you are going and what your plans are.
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13 Offending the Locals
The people that help decide whether or not you enjoy a trip, if you upset the people from the area that you visit, it can make things really difficult for you. That is because your interactions with the locals could let you in on some of the best things to do in the area or treat you like an unwelcome intruder instead. Additionally, even if the locals are wonderful people that will treat you well no matter how you act, there is still a great deal of value in treating your fellow human beings well. As such, you should always treat everyone with respect and dignity and look into the customs of the area you are traveling to ahead of time.
12 Dashed Expectations
Easily one of the most delicate balances when it comes to enjoying any trip, if you don’t have any idea of what you want to do once you arrive somewhere, you can miss out on many things you’d love. On the other hand, if you leave nothing to chance and give yourself a tight timetable, then all spontaneity will be gone and it will put a great deal of pressure on everything you do. For that reason, we suggest you have some loose plans and take every effort to stop yourself from building up immense expectations in your mind.
11 Hotels That Disappoint
Surprisingly one of the things that a lot of people choose to get a bargain on when they go on a trip, if you walk into a horrible hotel room, it can cast a shadow over your entire stay. While it may just be the place where you rest your head, if you’re dreading going back to your room, it can be a serious drag. Don’t get us wrong, though, we aren’t saying you need to spend a fortune. What we would push you to do, however, is be willing to spend a little bit more to have a nicer stay and pore over reviews of any hotel you are considering before you book it.
Something that a lot of people mistakenly take for granted, just because you are mostly aware of the laws in your homeland does not mean that they will apply where you are going. For instance, in Singapore, it is illegal to connect to someone else’s WiFi without permission and if you are caught doing so, you could face as much as 3 years in jail. Only one example of a law that many outsiders know nothing about, if you are going to another country, it is imperative that you look into the legal differences lest you end up behind bars.
9 Feeling Rushed
Another example of the problems that can arise because you’ve meticulously planned every aspect of a trip, having a firm timeline can make things feel far too rushed. We say that because you should be able to do something like slow down and enjoy an incredible view if you come across it without worrying about being late for your next destination. While a timetable may be necessary if you have a dinner reservation for instance, outside of instances like that, you should do what you can to leave a time cushion between any plans you make.
8 Falling for a Scam
Unfortunately, it is simply a matter of fact that there are some people out there that are looking to take everything you have if they can. Always on the lookout for someone to scam, if they rip off someone that won’t be in the area for long, it is a lot easier to get away with it. As such, there are people out there that are all too happy to do things like sell tourists fake valuables or pick their pockets. While they may be difficult to beat, you can protect yourself by doing things like keeping your guard up, not buying something if it seems to good to be true, and carrying only that which is truly necessary.
7 Increased Prices
Initially, an issue that we considered to be just another scam that tourists face, in reality, many of the businesses that charge tourists more than everyone else don’t see it as any kind of trick. Instead, the way they view it is that they are giving the people from the area a special deal that isn’t available to strangers. No matter how you look at it, nobody wants to pay more than their peers for the same thing. A couple of ways of ensuring you’re paying a fair price, we suggest checking online menus to make sure their listed prices match yours and keeping your eyes open to see what other people are paying.
6 Missed Flights
Either the bookends of a trip or the method used to take your trip to a new area, every effort should be taken to make sure that when you take a flight, it goes off without a hitch. Unfortunately, issues can arise that are totally out of your control, like inclement weather grounding a plane or turbulence. What you can do is limit the possibility of you missing your flight, especially if you have multiple legs to a trip. You can do this by making sure you arrive at the airport in good time and making sure that if you have a connecting flight, it takes off with time to spare after your previous plane lands.
5 Too Many Other Tourists Around
Just because you are a tourist and proud of it doesn’t mean you want to spend your entire stay in a foreign land surrounded by other people in the same boat. We say that because it is pretty annoying when you finally get to see the landmark you’ve been hearing about all of your life and it is surrounded by a bunch of looky lous. The best ways of making sure that the crowds aren’t out of control during your trip are choosing to travel outside of the peak season and going to landmarks either late at night or early in the morning.
4 Awful Roaming Fees
Pretty much attached to the hip of most people these days, cell phones have become such a big part of the lives of some that they can’t imagine going somewhere without them. While that is understandable to a degree, if you take your phone to a foreign land and use it as you normally do, it could easily cost you a fortune. That is because there are some cell phone plans that charge exorbitant roaming charges if you use your device outside the country. Fortunately, there are more and more plans these days that allow you to be charged a much more reasonable amount if you set things up before you leave on your trip.
3 Credit Card Problems
In an effort to protect their customers from having their funds stolen, credit card companies keep an eye on the things you are charging and in some cases, will cut you off. As an example, if you live in Canada and charge things in and around your city all of the time and then travel to Las Vegas and use your credit card, it could stop working at any time. A major issue if it is your only form of payment at the time, if you call your credit card company in advance and tell them you will be charging things while abroad, you can do so without that worry.
One of the worst things that can happen while on vacation abroad, if you suddenly are hit by an ailment or are injured, it can be a really big problem. That is because healthcare is not free for foreigners in many countries, some of whom also charge locals, and if you are not covered, those expenses can add up quickly enough to bankrupt you before long. The best option to ensure that a medical issue doesn’t sink your ship, if you get travel insurance before you depart, it should cover most issues, depending on how good the plan you opted for is.
1 Passport Problems
An imperative part of international travel, showing your valid passport upon arrival in other countries should allow you to stay. Unfortunately, there are rules that apply to it that can completely ruin your trip if you don’t know about them. One such example, in Thailand, tourists must carry their passports with them and present them when requested by the police or face deportation and criminal charges. Another rule that a lot of people may not be aware of is that just because your passport has not expired does not mean it will work everywhere. That is because you must renew your passport if it expires in 6 months before going to at least 29 different countries since they won’t accept it otherwise.
References: lifehacker.com, onestep4ward.com, theguardian.com, greedyrates.ca, businessinsider.com, therichest.com, itunes.apple.com, cosmopolitan.com
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