The purpose of this blog post is to educate travelers who are looking to experience individual museums or destinations while on their trip. The blog post seeks to help travelers do more research in advance, and the more the traveler knows, the more chances they will enjoy their trip.
Travel writers always talk about what to do when you travel. The must-see this, must-see that, stay here, eat here, spend this, etc., etc. But what about all the things you should not do. Here is a list of things to not do while going on a trip.
Book in advance when possible.
Many attractions get booked months in advance. Tour guides book in advance to have the tickets purchased before your arrival or have fellow guides buy the tickets in the morning to have smooth transitions throughout the day. When I went to San Francisco’s Alcatraz, I had booked the tickets two months before my trip, and the day I arrived, they were sold out for tourists who had just come. Waiting for available tickets means you are slowing down on your exploring time, which could damper your trip.
Consider travel insurance.
Now more than ever, you will need travel insurance to ensure that you are safe and covered while traveling. Check your health insurance coverage because some allow health services within the U.S. only, meaning you might need to review travel guidelines. When I went to Europe, I invested $80 for a two week trip to Europe. I knew someone who fell and broke her arm while on her Europe trip and spent thousands of dollars to be treated and cared for.
Careful to not overpacking and making your trip complicated.
You have seen it, people taking things out of their bag and adding layer per layer to reduce the additional cost of overweight luggage. Travelers will sometimes bring clothes for weather that does not correlate with the destination. Avoid heavy jackets, things that add additional weight to yourself and your bag. Pack light is a skill, especially if you intend to bring things back for loved ones.
Ensure you do not have an over-ambitious itinerary.
You want to do it all, trust me, I understand. Unless you are with a travel guide or understand the language, you are bound to get lost, even for a little minute. In Paris, I got stuck on the last connecting train to Disney Paris. I only found my way because many guests had Disney attire. In Paris, another situation occurred where we could not understand if we needed to go left or right and because we choose wrong, it delayed our destination by 20 minutes. Please make sure you get time to rest, trust me. Remember, you don’t need to see the whole country in one visit; planning to do so will make you feel unaccomplished.
Ensure that you back up all images.
When working at Disneyland, I always found a 3-thousand-dollar camera on a bench with our guests’ photos. Yes, it does happen, so I suggest you turn on the Bluetooth settings on your digital devices and backup images. I have a portable hard drive because it has Bluetooth capabilities, which reassures me that my items are safe. Besides losing your camera, I have been a victim of misplacing my phone on a Disney ride and never seeing it again. All the photos were lost, not to mention a personal item that is used daily. This mistake is very heartbreaking, so it’s best to avoid it.
Learn about currency exchange.
Exchange just enough to cover you until you get to the first ATM or a good-rate exchange kiosk at your destination. Research this because some places have horrible rates and fees. Besides, careful not to bring foreign coins back from your travels because the cost to ship the coins back means it’s not worth exchanging.
Research local areas.
This is a grey area because you see travel photos of people enjoying the beach vs. those renting boats. This is a matter of preference, but most people will stick to knowing the main attractions to skip the small popular places like bakeries, shops, and more. You need to have a backup plan; in Italy, certain areas have a long wait time, but you can ask when a place slows down (if any), so you can get a snack and come back to experience the food. When I went to Seattle, I did all the things I wanted to do on day 1, which meant that I was researching what else to do for the remaining two days of my trip.
When you’re traveling, it never seems like there are enough hours in a day, let alone enough vacation days in a year. The more research you do in advance and the more you know, the more chances you have to enjoy your trip.