Travel should be an adventure, whether you’re jetting off to explore a tropical paradise or taking a domestic trip to get away for the weekend.
Even with all the conveniences of the modern world, the experience of travelling can still be spoiled by a handful of annoyances.
Here are just a few of the biggest obstacles that travel fanatics need to overcome, with some tips on how to sidestep them altogether.
This is arguably the most irritating part of the process of arranging an exciting excursion. The prospect of booking flights and getting the best price is daunting enough, but then you have to factor in other costs, like parking at the airport if you plan to drive, or looking up train times and taxi options as an alternative.
Flights themselves have become much cheaper in recent years, although budget airlines can leave passengers in the lurch. Paying a little more for a better established operator can go a long way to securing peace of mind.
Packing for your travels is definitely a challenge, and if you want an easy life it’s better to be brutally honest about what you actually need to take with you, and what you can afford to leave at home.
The temptation to take everything and the kitchen sink will not only put you at risk of exceeding airline baggage weight limits, but could also be a hindrance when you’re on the move. Even wheeled suitcases will tire you out eventually if they’re overflowing with clothing, accessories and other accoutrements.
If you want to travel light, buy a case that’s small enough to be considered hand luggage and use that as your upper limit for packing. That way you can also avoid having to stand around at the baggage carousel waiting for your hold bag to be disgorged, which is a bonus. Some airlines are changing rules on this, so remember to stay on top of cabin baggage news.
No matter how good you think your sense of direction is, at some point in your travels you’re bound to realise that you aren’t exactly sure where you are. In big cities that’s not usually a problem, although the language barrier in certain countries can get in the way.
Your instant thought might be to make sure that you’re never lost by having a smartphone with GPS capabilities and a data connection available. This is definitely sensible, but as a failsafe it’s always worth keeping a physical map with you, so that a dead battery doesn’t leave you in the lurch.
Another way to overcome being lost while travelling is to embrace it, at least for a little while. Explore the area you’re in, visit places that aren’t in the guide book and go with the flow. You can usually find a licensed cab or a helpful local to point you in the right direction once the time to return to your hotel comes.
Being Charged for Card Use
Making sure you can pay for everything you need while you are on your travels is getting easier, but with most banks and credit card providers still forcing you to pay a fee for every transaction and withdrawal you make overseas, this comes at a price.
Thankfully innovative new options are available, aimed specifically at regular travellers or even occasional holiday makers. Monzo is a banking start-up that is leading the charge for fee-free international card transactions, and others are following suit. We could be on the verge of a revolution in this area.
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