Wednesday, 11 December 2013

9 Travel Mistakes I Have Made

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.


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!

Have you made some travel mistakes? Can you share one with me? 

29 comments:

  1. I wrote my "mistakes" in post way a few months ago:

    5 Stupid Things I stopped doing When Traveling (+1 Bonus)

    http://www.noelimits.com/2013/05/5-stupid-things-i-stopped-doing-when.html

    Feel free to read and share your post too in the comments! <3

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    1. Read your post too, Noelfy. I agree we all sail in the same boat. :)

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  2. Mine would be that I get so wrapped up in setting timetables and deadlines to see the so-called "touristy" or popular sight-seeing places that I forget to just relax, soak in the local culture and go off the beaten track once in a while!

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    1. True Megha :) That happens with all of us! We get so carried away by the usual stuff that we forget to really experience the place.

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  3. Real common mistakes of most travellers! Even I have committed the same, Renuka!
    But, it's great to learn from mistakes and grow so that the next trip is better! :)

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    1. Exactly! It's better to learn from our mistakes. After all everybody makes travel mistakes! :)

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  4. Didn't research enough is one mistake I keep doing, but thankfully never missed a train.

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    1. That's true, Indrani. :) Not researching enough is a common mistake. If we research a few important things, a trip can turn out so much smoother.

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  5. I have missed train on many occasions. Its such a terrible feeling to see the train moving away right in front of your eyes!

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    1. I can understand Nevin. :) I have caught many trains at the last minute, but after missing the Udaipur one, I learnt to be more careful.

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  6. Great post, but I need to say your biggest mistake is not to try different food on your travels. You are missing out, seriously! I know it's hard to eat something you are not familiar with, but it's a great way to experience the country, though the food. The local dishes often express the history and customs of the country!

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    1. I absolutely agree with you, Agness! I have felt it many times that I should be trying new cuisines instead of settling for the usual stuff. But I'll make it a point on my next trip to try out a local specialty. :)

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  7. Happens Renuka. Mistakes are meant to make us better travelers :) Echoing your first point, i remember the time when i had traveled into the interiors of Rajasthan . I wanted to take some pictures so ventured out alone. While i was walking, 3 men started following me making lewd gestures. I ran and they followed me! Trust me thats one of the worst experiences of my life!!

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    1. I can understand what you are trying to say, Pallavi! There are certain things that I would rather not mention in a post, but there have been some real vulnerable times. Fortunately, I have always met good people on my trips - people who have taken care of me. But there have been times when I should have been more careful.

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  8. I guess we all make mistakes when we travel (or when we are brand new at traveling). I have made some of these mistakes but want to believe I am getting better with every trip. One mistake I particularily regret is related to taking pictures. When I started to travel, I wasn't that into travel photography. For example, I took 900 pictures (some of them pretty bad) during a 30 days trip to Europe (that is what I take now in less than a week). Sometimes, I want to bang my head against the wall for not documenting that trip better.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Ruth :) Yeah, that's true. When we are new to travel photography, we tend to make many mistakes. Even I feel so whenever I look at my old pictures. I always think I should have taken better pictures. It happens. But I guess what's more important is to grow with each trip. :)

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  9. If you made all these mistakes, you sure must have had lots of fun. Mistakes are the biggest chunk of memories we all have :P

    What if you had made all of these on one single trip?

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    1. Well, yes. Mistakes do give us fun memories, but we need to learn out of them! Ha ha....I can't imagine making all these mistakes on one single trip!

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  10. I can relate to this post. I know how it feels to end up somewhere without proper research and now I have started to experiment with food as well.

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    1. I'm glad you liked the post. :) I guess, we all end up making some travel mistakes, but it's good to learn out of them and grow as a traveler.

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  11. Really helpful list. I have missed trains in the past and sometimes I hesitate to try new dishes too.

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    1. Thanks Avada for stopping by :) Yeah, I can relate to you. It happens, but it's good to realize our goof-ups and be better every time we travel.

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  12. Interesting one. "7. Hesitated to take pictures" is something that always happens to me, especially when I am in moving around in streets.

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    1. Yeah, I understand. Although I am totally comfortable walking on the streets and taking pictures, I still do miss out on something or the other. :) Thanks Amit for stopping by!

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  13. Renuka! You have mentioned the same mistakes that I have often done during travel. Travel has become my passion now. I love to explore the whole world and get information about the different places. Recently I have come from boston to DC bus tours. Before going to this I did not research about it, just reserved and went with them. However it was a nice experience. The food experiment which I used to do during my tours often I have to regret about it.

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  14. nice read. I have also not experimented much with food and didn't take some photos I should have taken

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    1. I guess that happens with all of us. But, we learn from our mistakes and become better travelers.

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