So, your big bucket list trip is coming up. The excitement has been building and it’s finally here. You’re buzzing, and you can’t wait to get on the plane and land in that dream destination. Sound familiar? The build up to a big trip is always an exciting and busy time, but sometimes all of this can lead to vital mistakes that make actually going on your travels very difficult!
To ensure you remember everything and get the most out of your next adventure, check you haven’t made any of these travel faux pas…
1) Forgetting your passport
This is probably the biggest mistake, and definitely the most common. Be prepared for a bouncer-like rejection from that stern lady at the check-in desk, as your bingo club membership card is definitely not enough to prove who you are. Simply check, double check, and triple check that you have your passport before you leave the house and save yourself that horrible gut feeling when you realise it’s still sat on the kitchen table!
2) Not checking your passport expiry date
Okay, so you’ve managed to remember your passport, but what you didn’t realise was that it expired last month! If your passport is out of date, you’re not going on holiday. Simple as that. Flirting with border officials or offering them bribes will not work. Some countries won’t even let you in if your passport is due to expire in a few weeks. So even before you book your holiday, check entry requirements for the country you are hoping to visit, check the date on your passport, and renew it if you need to.
3) Forgetting to print your boarding pass
This mostly depends on who you are flying with, but like it or not, if you’re in the hands of certain low-cost airlines they will charge you for printing your boarding pass at the airport, and for a family of 4 this adds up to a pretty outrageous sum. So, check in online in advance of your travel date and print out your boarding pass before you leave for the airport, but make sure not to leave it behind with your passport!
4) Packing away your passport or boarding card
Keep your travel documents accessible in your hand luggage. You don’t want to be ‘that person’ who holds everyone else up and is in a complete flap because “they were here earlier!” You’ll need both at check-in, at the departure gate and at passport control so make it easy for yourself! And definitely don’t put them in your hold luggage – you don’t want your undies strewn about the terminal floor as you rummage about in the bottom of your bag.
5) Packing too much
The tension is unbearable. You plonk your suitcase onto the conveyor belt, the numbers shoot up, the scales settle, and you’re over the weight limit. Cue frantic shedding of heavy items from your luggage in front of the other toe-tapping holidaymakers. Avoid these awkward moments by weighing your bags on the bathroom scales, or wear your belongings- you might look daft but you’ll save yourself money and worry!
6) Not leaving yourself enough time to get to the airport
Be sure to over-estimate how long it takes to get to the airport. If your check-in time is 6am on a Sunday then obviously the roads should be clear so you shouldn’t have an issue. But, if you need to do the M25 at rush hour, add in an extra half hour or so. It’s just not worth the stress and no one wants to listen to you cursing at every red light. Because let’s be honest, no one ever got any trouble from being early and you can always enjoy a relaxing brandy once you’re there!
7) Trying to use your credit and debit cards without alerting your bank
No one wants to be locked out of their account when you desperately need cash abroad. Banks have now made it easier to let them know you’re traveling. Instead of having to go into your local branch, you can now just look for a “travel notification” link on your bank’s website and follow through those easy steps.
8) Joking with airport staff
Those beefy uniformed airport officials may have a sense of humour deep down, but they have a serious job to do, and that’s to keep us safe in the skies. So don’t tell them that a strange man packed your bags for you or that you have socks stuffed down your pants, because as funny as you find it, they certainly won’t and you might find yourself experiencing a full-body search!
9) Not sticking to the 100ml rule
It might seem unfair that you’re not allowed to take 500ml of Chanel No.5 in your hand luggage, but rules are rules. Stick to the liquids limit. Decant your toiletries into 100ml containers before you get to the airport to save the fuss and heart-break when you have to leave some of your expensive make-up and perfume behind.
10) Not having the proper visa
When you leave for a country, you’re expected to know what visas you need to be let in. Don’t be shocked when you are turned away at Immigration for not having the proper visas. Do your homework long enough in advance that you can secure the proper visas before you leave as sometimes this can take a month or longer.
For more advice about heading out on your big adventure travel trip, feel free to contact us today on 0176 930 9007.