- Ajaz Shaikh
Common Mistakes to Avoid on Your International Trip
Growing up we’ve often heard the saying To err is human and this magnifies ten-fold when you are rushing to make it somewhere. International trips can be painstakingly exhaustive in themselves, right from choosing your desired destination to smoothening the nitty-gritty details to finally breathing that sigh of relief as soon as you are seated on your flight. And as normal as it is to make mistakes, sometimes being forgetful can be time and money-consuming and more likely to leave a bad imprint on your memories.
After all, aren’t gentle friendly reminders always helpful? Here are a few common travel mistakes you are likely to commit, especially our fellow newbies who are understandably lost amid all the excitement.
1. Forgetting to check passport expiration
The sigh of relief post receiving your passport in the mail is as gratifying as it can be. But it doesn’t end there! Often your passport is tucked away in the corner of some bottom drawer collecting dust and it isn’t until the very last minute before your take off that you are rummaging around for it. And oh! the sinking helpless feeling when you notice the expired dates at the airport! There’s nothing much left to salvage the situation except to take it as a lesson well learned. To avoid exactly this, it is highly suggested to keep your passport and other crucial travel documents up to date several months well in advance and also pay keen attention to the dates to be valid a few days after your arrival back home.
This one is for our over-enthusiastic crowd who thinks five pairs of undies and four different shades of the same cap for a weekend trip is still less. Calm down, reign your horses! Excessive packing is just going to slow you down and end up in you cursing yourself for dragging around huge suitcases with useless baggage. Since I have been travelling around for a couple of years, it's pretty much safe to call myself a packing connoisseur and I’ve realized once I let go of my ‘what if's and just focus on the basics necessities and keep it to a minimum, travel has been less stressful.
Another tip I would like to impart is to pack according to the weather of your ultimate destination. Research well in advance the climate changes and the forecast for the days you’ll be spending your time there.
3. Reaching late at the airport
It’s a well-known fact that airports require fellow passengers to arrive 3-4 hours early before departure time and this is because of the unpredictable crowds and long waiting lines at customs and security. Regardless of how confident you are of making it in time, you can always be met with massive roadblocks, leaving you frazzled and out of sorts.
4. Not opting for web check-in
Following up on recent years, airlines have been encouraging web check-in and it is as savvy as it sounds. Web check-in accompanies multiple advantages, from choosing your desired seat (aisle, window, or the one with more legroom) especially when you are with your family to avoiding overbooking and crowding at the airport counters, this is a switch to a more convenient alternative. Also, since you receive a copy of your boarding pass on your phone, the entire process of handling additional papers can be skipped. It's just your passport and phone you have to look out for!
5. Forgetting to carry in-flight entertainment
Usually, long-haul flights have tv screens with the appropriate in-flight entertainment but that doesn’t necessarily mean it is your preferred kind of entertainment. Along with itchy skin, bad back posture, and a cranky mind, losing control over the kind of media you binge on is the last thing you want. Maybe download that series you have on your watchlist, a couple of youtube videos, get that premium subscription and doze off to high-frequency tracks, I say do it all! When too much screen time is irritating your eyes, switch to some light reading. The true pleasure in feeling the rough pages of a book while your mind is off wandering into the bookish scenarios is genuinely lost. I say, this journey, recall and imbibe your forlorn desires!
Let’s wrap up
Mistakes and mishaps are bound to happen, it's part of life. If nothing they prove to be amazing life lessons for the future. After all, isn’t travel all about the experience and stories you yearn to share with your friends!? No matter how many itineraries you make, certain things will always occur irrespective of your plans, and that’s the beauty of an unexpected turn of events! What may start as you internally cribbing and cursing at your taxi driver for missing a turn to some highly talked-of cathedral can end up in you discovering a hidden spot or meeting a few locals who managed to lift your spirits even on a challenging day like this.