Like any other traveler, I also have my share of travel mistakes. Trust me, I am highly reluctant to talk about the mistakes that I have made on my trips. But then I thought I should if it helps my fellow travelers.
So here I am with a pack of travel mistakes that I have made over the years – some really avoidable ones and some not so grave, but mistakes are mistakes. Even little things create big hassles.
Also read 10 Ways To Travel Smart And Cheap
1. Compromised on my safety
I’m really ashamed of this one! I have compromised on my safety quite a few times while traveling. My enthusiasm for travel soars so high that I end up being too brave. But it’s not wise to take risks! Delhi is known to be an unsafe city for girls, but I have traveled within the city and also to the airport/railway station all alone while it had got quite late in the evening.
It’s not good at all. I wouldn’t advise anybody to be so reckless. I mean, it’s okay to travel solo, but not in a deserted area or after it has got dark. Never ever compromise on your safety!
2. Didn’t plan properly
My travel planning has not been very good on some of my trips. When I say ‘some of my trips’ it means I have planned really well on other trips, but goofed up on some. But the thing is if you goof up, you have to pay a price for it. Lack of proper planning leaves you with limited options. For example, if you already know in your head that you want to visit a certain place and you also know how you are going to get there, it manages both your time and money.
3. Didn’t research enough
This is the most fatal one. A good research can make your travel experience a really smooth one. Well, I do research whenever I plan to visit a destination, but there have been instances when I didn’t do the kind of research required. For example, if I want to go for a jungle safari, I should know all about it in advance. If you already know about the packages and deals, you don’t have to rely on travel agents.
4. Missed my train
I still shudder to recall the moment I had missed my train to Udaipur. It was a Diwali eve and roads in Delhi were chock-a-blocked. Although I started from home quite well in time, I saw my train leaving the station in front of my eyes. I missed it by a minute, I guess. I learnt a very important lesson that day – to keep one hour spare when you have to catch a train.
5. Never experimented with food
This happens with me all the time that I end up eating something that I am familiar with or something that I really like. Although I am pretty easy going with food, I don’t usually try a new cuisine. On most of my trips, I have either ordered pasta, pizza, fried rice or a mushroom dish. I have never really made it a point to try a local cuisine or something totally new to my taste-buds.
6. Rushed through a place or two
I hate myself for this! I have turned a blind eye to many beautiful things because I didn’t devote enough time to some places. Travel requires time. You can’t experience a destination in a rush. You have to slow down to observe things around you. I have realized that whenever I have given time to a place, lingered and loitered or simply sat quietly, it has been more rewarding. I just need to do that more.
7. Hesitated to take pictures
People who know me closely would be surprised to read this one! I normally go crazy when it comes to clicking pictures. I feel I should just relax and give my camera a break. But on the other hand, I miss out on many valuable opportunities of taking some unique pictures. Many a times I have felt that I should have asked the driver to stop the car for a minute, so that I could take a picture, but I didn’t. I regret not taking pictures when I could have. I would advise you to always take pictures when you think you should.
8. Carried only one memory card
I can’t get over this one really! It was on my trip in Manali - my only memory card got corrupted and I could not click any more pictures nor could I recover the ones I had clicked! There were so many scenic sights on the way to Rohtang Pass, but I just pined helplessly to take some pictures. Now I carry at least three memory cards whenever I travel.
9. Didn’t do my 'own' thing
I think it happens with all of us that we tend to rely on our host to show us a new place. I have made the mistake of not doing my own thing. I should have explored the place on my own instead of depending on someone else. Whenever you travel to a new place with someone, you see the place from that person’s eye. What happens is that you end up skipping something spectacular, because the other person didn’t think it was important enough to be seen.
The travel mistakes that I have made have taught me some valuable lessons. I have grown with each trip. I’m determined not to repeat any of my mistakes, because all these little or big things make or break your travel experience.
Now it’s your turn!