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16 Traveling Mistakes Backpackers Should Avoid

When you travel for the first time you tend to make many mistakes. Some of them are not so serious, while others can make us have a hard time. But do not think that this happens only with the newbies; It also happens with seasoned travelers. You cannot always keep an eye on things, and that’s where we fail.

Errors that are committed when we travel tend to happen more than what one imagines, and it is normal that they happen. We learn from the best source of wisdom, experience. These tips are also valuable for those who decide to stay in a city they could call home whether renting or buying a property.

Here are some of the most frequent mistakes among backpackers:

Traveling with excess weight or luggage

Whether traveling by plane, by boat or on land, carrying too many things on top is cumbersome. While traveling sometimes we have to pay something like $25 for overweight at the airport. Imagine what you can do with that amount of money.

Airlines charge you not only for the weight, but also for the amount of luggage you bring. The next time you go to pack or backpack, never forget that less is better. Your back and waist will thank you.

Ignore the exchange rate

One of the smartest ways to save money is to know where to change your money without feeling that you are losing. Banks are the most feasible option since they give you the exact change, while at airports and borders it is where the lowest tends to be.

The money changers of the borders, in order to win, will not give you a high change, but if there is a situation in which you need local currency do not hesitate to go with them.

Do not find out the weather of the place to visit

My friend traveled to Nicaragua in a hot summer. She went to Ometepe without knowing how the weather was, assuming it would be as calm as the rest of the places she had visited. The day after she landed, it rained and flashed so much that she had to cancel the climb to one of the volcanoes on the island.

Moral? Investigate as much as you can the time of a place before going. A simple Google search on the climate of the area you visit will give you more peace of mind. It is obvious that weather is not something that we can often predict for sure, but it is not enough to know about the weather.

Travel in the same season as everyone

Traveling in high season is synonymous with streets and places crowded with tourists, not to mention that the prices of most activities go up. That all people travel in the busiest season does not mean you should do the same (unless you must travel at that time of the year).

Do not take travel insurance

Many people do not resort to the cost of travel insurance because of the cost that may be incurred in the long run, but you never know what may happen along the way. If you want to save money at this point, I recommend using insurance in a country where you feel insecure. The latter will depend on each one.

Not knowing about the subject of the tip

In certain countries the tip is mandatory or optional, while in others it is a total lack of respect. Many of us have gone through uncomfortable situations regarding the subject of the tip. The local people are the ones who can best guide you on whether to tip or not.

Not taking backup of photos/ videos of your trip

It is very common for travelers to take any number of photos / videos and pass it to a computer after the memory of the camera reaches its limit. In other more practical cases, they use their cell phone or even a tablet (or iPad) to take photos.

Regardless of what device you photograph, the detail resides in that if for things of the life your laptop or cell phone was stolen, it assumes that you lost forever the images and all digital memories that document your trip. Avoid these types of mishaps and save your photos in the cloud with Dropbox or on sites like Flickr.

Do not take copies of your personal documents

Parallel to take backup copies of your digital files, is to get copies of the most important travel documents that you carry (passport, ID card, travel insurance, credit cards, airline ticket). If in the worst case you get lost, a copy would facilitate the verification of your identity and information related to you.

Spending alcohol

Some people prefer not to drink a single drop of alcohol when they travel because they know they will spend more than they need, and there are those who do not mind having a beer in each destination they arrive at. The main issue is that if you are from the group that comes out to drink, do it with total moderation to avoid getting to the point of drunkenness.

Needless to say, the more you take (especially in a place that is unfamiliar to you), the risks of accidents or of being robbed are greater.

Look like the classic wealthy tourist

In my personal opinion, one of the worst traveler mistakes that one can commit is to presume that you have money. I do not necessarily speak of taking bundles of bills in the middle of a pedestrian avenue; I also mean exposing you to other objects (laptop, camera, travel guide, tablets) unnecessarily.

It is not about stopping taking pictures or not using your smartphone if they call you, but it is more than everything to go for a walk with the essentials at the moment and only use it when you should. Use your instinct and do not be another statistic of robberies to travelers.

Wanting to see everything in such a short time

It is understandable that desire to plan in excess and go out to see as much as you can when you travel for a few days, but from experience I would say that you do not. Ideally, you should be realistic and not stressed by seeing every attraction of the destination you visit in such a short time, but go slowly so that you can enjoy as much as possible.

Being careless with your luggage

This is a mistake that most backpackers make at some point, and that is to neglect the backpack in public places. For example, when you go to the bathroom and leave your luggage in the corridor, or when you sleep during a bus trip and place your backpack on the upper shelf.

It is more common to neglect when taking public transport, which is when you should be more alert. It is not a matter of becoming paranoid, but you do pay attention to your belongings applying common sense and being malicious.

Do not notify the bank that you are going on a trip

If you go abroad with your credit / debit card, it is crucial that you notify your bank in advance of the destinations you plan to go to. The last thing you would want is to not be able to withdraw money from an ATM because your card is blocked, an event that would come to represent a big setback.

Disregard the advice of the locals

There is no worse backpacker than the one who thinks he knows them all. We have the notion that because there is internet no one can tell us; this attitude is what often gets us in trouble.

You should always pay attention to the recommendations of the locals, evaluate what they say and do not underestimate their opinions, because you will never know if one of their advice will get you out of trouble when you least expect it.

Not having a monetary backing

If there is one thing that will make the difference in your favor, in the scenario of running out of money suddenly, it is to have emergency money. More useful still if you have more than one way to access it. Remember that this money is not part of your travel budget and is only for emergencies. My suggestion is that you bring it in cash and by credit card.

Trust blindly in travel guides

Travel guides serve to inform you of the destination in which you are, but only that. You do not have to base every aspect of your trip on the book’s recommendations, not because it’s bad, but it’s best to do and see what you want without a book giving you orders. In addition, the information that appears in them is outdated after a certain time.