Expensive travel mistakes to avoid

Tony Baker, @TouringTony in Shanghai, China. Photo provided.

by Tony Baker
Travel Columnist

Everyone always asks me for tips on what one can do to travel well and wisely. But, in this article I will talk about a few things to not do!

Traveling is supposed to be fun and enjoyable. I think it is. Furthermore, I feel like money, time, and energy spent traveling is never wasted, except, when you waste any of those things by making silly mistakes. 

Let’s go over a few ways you can avoid waste and silly mistakes.

Don’t forget to call your card company

With more and more fraud, it seems like credit and debit card companies are getting more strict with security measures. If you plan on traveling, do not forget to call your credit card companies, and your debit card (bank) to set up a travel alert. 

Travel alerts will keep you from being stuck halfway across the world, penniless because it is 3 a.m. at home (bank closed), and middle of the afternoon where you are, and you tried to use your cards, setting off a fraud alert.

A simple call will, most of the time, solve this!

Also don’t change cash at the airport, instead get cash from the ATM. You get the best exchange rate this way.

Use credit cards or debit cards without an international fee. Check into this before you go anywhere. Capital One and AMEX usually do not have these fees.

Do not lose your passport

If you are traveling overseas, you will need your passport to re-enter the U.S. If you think,“Well, I’m an American, I can get back in,” well, no, not without a passport. 

Always make a few color copies of your passport photo page, and keep one with you at all times. Unless the country requires you to carry your actual passport with you, keep it locked in the safe at the hotel, and carry a copy. If you lose your passport, it’s fixable but costly, time-consuming, and very, very frustrating. 

No roaming around

For those of us that are old enough to know what “roaming” is, yes, it’s still a thing internationally. After a great trip, there’s nothing worse than getting home to find a $7,000 phone bill from international roaming charges. To avoid this, call your provider and ask what roaming options they have, and make sure you're all set up. 

I use T-Mobile for international roaming. It’s included in most plans, and it works well for me.  You can also take an unlocked phone and buy a sim card wherever you're going if you would rather, but this task adds a bit more work to what’s supposed to be a fun time. 

Whatever you do, make sure you don’t get a nasty surprise when you return and get your bill.

Don't forget to make transportation plans for your destination

You have it all planned out and budgeted so you have money saved up to do some fabulous shopping on your trip. But you find out when you land it’s going to cost a few hundred bucks to get to your hotel. Yes, this is also a thing.

Most airports are way out of town. Without pre-arranged plans, one can get taken advantage of arriving late at night with no other options available. It’s best to check with your hotel for transport options or recommendations. I also use Viator and BlackLane quite a bit.

Do not forget to pre-arrange this as airport transfers can easily cost more than your hotel if not done right!

Not making travel mistakes can save you just as much money as making the right ones. It’s good to double and triple check things that may or may not happen and head mistakes off at the pass.

Thanks for reading, and if you have any questions, drop me a line at gayly@gayly.com, and please, travel more!

Copyright The Gayly. 10/16/2019 @ 3:40 p.m. CST.