Daniel is a copywriter who has well and truly been bitten alive by the 'travel bug'. After ticking off several North American National Parks and exploring Europe by train, his sights are now set on South East Asia. Usually with at least one camera locked and loaded, you'll find Daniel wherever there are mountains, lakes or beaches.
Every traveler craves insider tips and hacks to make their journey smoother, but not all advice is golden. We’ve put together a list of 10 terrible travel hacks that can actually ruin your trip!
Don’t Bother Buying Insurance
“Travel insurance is a total scam, right? It might as well be a tax on vacations!” Ever heard something like this? You can be sure the person making the claim has never had a canceled flight, an injury, or lost luggage when traveling.
Sure, it’s an added cost that could go toward a nice dinner or part of a seat upgrade but it’s peace of mind. You should of course do your research into travel insurance options but it’s always worth purchasing before any trip.
Roll Your Clothes So You Can Fit More Into Your Suitcase
Sure, this is a good way to make a little more room in your suitcase. But it also means you’re far more likely to overpack for your trip.
Vacations are all about escaping everyday life and feeling free. That comes down to simple things, like not overthinking what you’re going to wear each day. The more room you have in your luggage, the more unnecessary things you’ll pack and have to organize.
Plan Out Every Second of Your Trip
A second not doing anything on vacation is a second wasted, right? Very wrong, in fact, this is one of the worst travel hacks on this list.
Of course, you want to make the most of your trip – book that night river cruise in Budapest or reserve a seat at the restaurant you’ve been dying to eat at. But on the flip side, schedule plenty of downtime. Whether that’s sleeping in, getting some alone time away from the family, or simply reading by the pool, it needs to be done.
No one wants ‘forced fun’ and that’s exactly what it will feel like when you’re tired and strung out from doing too much.
Pack Travel Sized Kitchen Appliances
Come on now, let’s take out that portable juicer from your suitcase… And you really need that miniature slow cooker?
When on vacation, it’s time to treat yourself a little and let others do the cooking. That doesn’t mean you have to spend big at fancy restaurants, you can still visit more affordable spots or even make your own salads or sandwiches. Leave the kitchen appliances where they belong – in the actual kitchen, at home.
Print Out the Directions to Your Hotel
If you’re younger than 80 years old, you truly have no excuse for doing this. In a world where the vast majority of people own a smartphone, the days of printing off directions should be long gone. It’s a waste of paper, ink, and another unnecessary task added to your pre-travel checklist.
If you’re concerned about not having data, just screenshot the directions on your phone before boarding your flight.
Skiplagging to Save Money
Skiplagging is one of the newer travel hacks to emerge but it unfortunately is also another dud. It involves paying for a flight with one or more connections, but instead of actually connecting, you leave the airport during your layover.
In some cases, it does save money but it’s usually pretty minimal, and the risks far outweigh the small savings. Airlines are losing money thanks to this trend and they are clamping down on it. If caught, some airlines are suing passengers who skiplag or charge extra fees for not reaching the final destination on their ticket. You also run the risk of airlines banning you from using their services in the future.
Go For the Cheapest Flight
Talking of flights, it’s very rarely worth going for the cheapest flight. Waking up at 3 AM before having to board two connecting flights, to arrive at your destination by 9 PM is not worth the $80 in savings. You’ll start your trip off miserable and the chances of losing your luggage increases with each connecting flight.
Only Visit Countries You’ve Heard of
This depends greatly on your geographical knowledge but if you’re only visiting countries you’ve heard of and think are safe (we’re talking UK, Canada, France) you’re doing yourself a disservice.
Not only are these destinations usually more expensive, but they are also typically crowded and to be honest, kind of boring. For a real adventure where you’ll meet locals who are far more welcoming, do a bit of research into nations that are a little less visited but still considered safe for tourists.
Wake Up Early Every Morning to Make the Most of Your Day
We get it, you arrive at your long-awaited destination and you want to make the most of every single day. The first few mornings you wake up with the sunrise and power through your itinerary. By day four, the alarm blares and you find yourself screaming “SHUT UP” – don’t be that vacationer.
If you’re a morning person, by all means, wake up early on vacation but for a few of those mornings, why not read in bed or head off to the empty beach to listen to the ocean waves? Vacations are for relaxing as well as exploring and nothing beats sleeping in late every so often!
Avoid Street Food In Case of Food Poisoning
By swerving street food, you could be missing out on a huge piece of culture and discovering your new favorite dish, too! Yes, in some parts of the world, it’s best to be cautious, but after some practice, you’ll be a pro at spotting the best foods available. Here’s one tip for free: buy from the vendors that have large lines outside; that way, you’ll know they have a good reputation.