(Part 2) Travel experts were asked about their biggest travel mistakes or peeves.
Aggie from fashion, travel and lifestyle blog https://storybyaggie.com
The biggest travel mistake and the lesson learnt:
Looking back at my travel choices I can only clearly name one big mistake I made booking the holiday. Since [then] I have learned that checking the weather and estimated temperature for the month you want to travel is not a good thing, [it] is a must.
Last year me and my husband decided that we want to go to Dubai in July… We have already been [to] and truly loved the opulence of the place during winter season. I [had] already figured out that it will be warmer in the summer but I [thought] it will not be a big deal as it was not that hot in January. Little did I [know]!
It was unbearable with the temperature above 45 degrees. Staying outside without actually sitting in the pool with specially cooled water was not an option.
We still managed to get a good break but looking back of how uncomfortable I was and how limited our activities were (even after dark), I would not travel in that direction from April to at least November!
My travel pet peeves:
I enjoy most [aspects] of traveling from packing my suitcase to finding my way in the new place I have not visited before.
[Of] my travel pet peeves without the shadow of [a] doubt it would be anything to do with the airports.
From checking in, security checks up to boarding the plane. I find airports really stressful and even when I have lots of time I always feel under pressure and tense.
I try to be always ready when I go through security checks with my liquids separated, no sharps and one piece of hand luggage.
I understand that not everybody travels frequently but it annoys me when the person in front of me has the bag full of liquids, scissors and takes ages to remove watch, belt, shoes etc.
I am not going to change all the travellers but I feel that a little bit of preparation before you fly is very needed!
The Jeffsetters – www.jeffsetter.com
The biggest oopsie I can think of is not re-confirming our booking dates early in the process. Many booking sites will have a short memory when it comes to hotel searches, so they will reset in between searches. I can’t tell you how many times we started looking at hotels for our needed dates, only to have the computer reset them on us. This seems especially common on tablets and phone bookings.
99% of the time we catch the date changes before booking. But when booking hotels 365-days a year, that means that we book the wrong dates once or twice a year. And man is this painful.
The one I remember off the top of my head is when we showed up at the Vines in Mendoza http://www.vinesofmendoza.com/ in January… and they weren’t expecting us until April! Of course, this wasn’t an instance of computer error, but rather human error on their part. Even though it was their fault, they gave the whole song and dance about “we don’t allow walk ins, but we can make an exception.” Even though it was their fault. Gotta love hotel hubris. Thankfully, they were able to accommodate us in one of the most tremendous rooms of our 2016 travels. I still think about that sunrise all the time (see picture).
We made a computerized mistake when first starting our full time travel journey back in 2015 and shared that here as well. http://www.jeffsetter.com/our-first-hotel-mistake/ Usually a little humility in explaining the situation will allow you to get out of a sticky situation. That and a few dozen phone calls until you find an sympathetic voice.
As for pet peeves, I would have to say my biggest pet peeve is inconsistency across hotel chains. You may have a great stay with the royal treatment one night in one country, then get stonewalled a week later in another location. Hotels and airlines have short memories when it comes to loyalty.
Monique – travel blogger www.moniqueliveslife.com
1) Travel Mistakes
My partner, Matt, and I were driving through Italy from La Spezia to Florence. Upon arriving in Florence, we used our GPS to find our hotel prior to dropping the car off at the rental agency. There were various strange signs heading into Florence which we didn’t understand and couldn’t read… so we just kept on following the GPS instructions to our hotel, where we dropped off our bags, and then kept on truckin’ to the car hire drop off.
Once there, while Matt was sorting out the paperwork, the weird sign that we saw driving in Florence was on the wall of the hire place. I asked what it was about… apparently it says that you shouldn’t drive in Florence CBD without a permit, and every time you passed the sign without a permit it was a few hundred Euro fine. Bugger. We must’ve passed about 10 signs.
BUT turns out if we just walked to the other side of the carpark, we could pay a fine of 2 Euros, and the larger fine would be waived. Insane. So that escalated and de-escalated very quickly! Lesson learnt: know the road rules of the country you’re in, and never be afraid to ask a question.
2) Travel Peeves
One of my travel peeves is other tourists! Tourists can be so disrespectful and rude towards the country and culture they’re visiting, as well as towards other tourists! A little bit of respect goes a long way, and we should all remember that – no matter where we are visiting.
Bumble Bee Mum, bumblebeemum.net
1) My biggest travel mistake was planning a winter trip for our first trip with a baby. Coming from Singapore where it’s hot and humid throughout the year, we clearly underestimated the pain of bringing a baby around in winter. We were not equipped with suitable winter wear, blankets and stroller covers etc. which resulted in a miserably cold baby (and hence miserable parents). We also planned an itinerary which was way too packed as we didn’t realise how much time we required every morning just to dress the baby up for winter, and how often we had to stop for diaper-changes and feedings. We ended up revising our itinerary on the spot, dropping a lot of palaces and cultural sights, and visiting indoor attractions that were more kids-friendly. We learned from that experience that when travelling with kids, we could not visit as many places as we used to when we were travelling as a couple. Because kids moved so sloooowwwwly. And we had to insert playground visits into our itinerary every now and then to keep the kids happy. And we have since invested in proper winter wear for kids.
2) We have a tendency to keep changing hotels during my travels. My friends say we travel like a refugee and can never understand why we do that. But I enjoy trying out different hotels / resorts / apartments, experiencing different neighbourhoods, and most importantly changing hotels along the way usually allows us to cut down on traveling time compared to staying at one ‘base’ and going to and fro!
Morgan Timm of Mostly Morgan is a life and style blogger focusing on fashion and travel. She covers topics from the perspective of a woman in her early twenties, often traveling solo and making friends as she goes. mostlymorgan.com
1) Travel Mistakes
In November 2016 I was in San Francisco for the first time with a girlfriend, and we hit all of the touristy spots. Our last destination was Golden Gate Park before we flew out later that night. We were sitting and chatting and I sat my wallet down beside me on the bench and all the sudden it was gone. I’d like to think I’m not naive and I should have known better than setting it down, but you think when something is that close to you it can’t possibly get stolen. Luckily I had my ID in my phone case so I was able to board my plane without trouble, but it was definitely discouraging to have been stolen from and there’s a certain sense of violation you feel, too.
2) Travel Peeves
They nearly all have to do with airports! The worst offense in my opinion, though, is people crowding the luggage carasoul. It makes so much more sense to have everyone standing ten feet back and stepping forward to grab their bag when it comes out. But instead you’ve got people pushing and shoving to stand with their knees touching the return and when someone who isn’t crowding’s bag comes out they have to fight a crowd to get to it. The same idea annoys me when boarding a plane. They board in zones for reasons, yet as soon as zone 1 is called 80% of the passengers line up no matter what zone they’re in. They are just slowing things down for everyone else!
Just quickly I think the worst travel mistake I’ve personally experienced Is not preparing my itinerary. For example, on a drive vacation I usually have maps, mapquest and directions from the resort I’m headed to. Then I plug in OnStar to talk me through my drive. But I’ve been really busy so I cut corners and didn’t do the background work. I only used OnStar and the directions were wrong. To make matters worse there was no cell service so I couldn’t call the resort or get a connection to On Star for revised directions. It was a scary feeling being in the middle of nowhere with no assistance anywhere. I know this is minor compared to other peoples travel issues but other than a few misted connections due to weather or plane delays my travel experiences have been positive.
My pet travel peeves are unhelpful attendants be it in an airport on on a plane. I have been sent from one desk to another around an airport each saying the next person could help. That wouldn’t be so bad if I were not mobility challenged. I have a bad limp and travel with a cane so dragging my carry from kiosk to desk to supervisor is not my idea of fun. Again, small issue compared to some of the horror stories I’ve heard others talk about. I count my blessings and look at each trip as an adventure. It helps to get over the rough spots that way.
Ady, Founder of Verbal Gold Blog // www.verbalgoldblog.com
I have a few pet peeves when traveling. My first is with hotels. When you check into a hotel at 11pm after a long day of flying and realize that check out time is 11am and they are unwilling to extend your check out time. I feel like I rented the room for a day and I’d like a full 24 hours or a discounted half stay rate.
My other pet peeve is with other travelers and their travel etiquette and manners. When the plane lands, exit the plane in rows letting the people in front of you go ahead. Stop trying to cut, this isn’t middle school.
For example, on my flight home there was an air marshal and about 20 people from the back of the plane rushed to the front (BEFORE the plane had even stopped) and he had to threaten them with having an FBI agent site them (whatever that means) if they didn’t return to their seats. Then he asked everyone to calm down and take a deep breath. Fast forward past the anxious and confused passengers, plane stops and they do it again. A lady was trying to get her luggage down and they zoom past her while the luggage beams this kid in the face. Total and utter chaos. If I would have filmed this I think I’d be a YouTube star!
Sian Hannah Thomas, www.rebelangel.co.uk
1. The biggest travel mistake I’ve ever made was probably taking 4 flights in one day. We were travelling from home (North Yorkshire, UK) to Aspen, Colorado and needed to fly from Manchester to London, London to Chicago, Chicago to Denver and finally Denver to Aspen. Unfortunately there was a huge storm in Chicago so we sat for hours and hours on the tarmac, missing the next 2 flights as a result. Fortunately the airlines sorted out somewhere for us to stay when we arrived at Denver before the next flight to Aspen, even though it was only a few hours. But having already had 1 internal flight at home, 1 international flight of 9 hours, then sat on the tarmac for about 5-6 hours before that 3 hour flight, we were exhausted. I won’t be booking more than 2 flights in a row ever again!
2. My main travel pet peeve is actually connected to my other answer – people who get overly angry and shouty when travelling! The vast majority of the time, it’s not the fault of the person who is having to deal with the public if your flight is delayed or cancelled, plus they’ll be more able to figure out something to make the situation better if you keep calm and give them a chance to do so.
Naty Michele, natymichele.com (instagram @natymichele)
1. The biggest travel mistake I’ve made was overpacking on my very first solo trip to Ireland back in November 2015. I had a huge suitcase plus a roller carry-on. Being alone and trying to navigate my way in unfamiliar territory while lugging around two suitcases from planes to hotels and busses was stressful. I remember getting off the bus from Shannon airport to Galway. I was walking in the pouring rain with my luggage trying to find a taxi.
I quickly learned that I needed to pack much less and since then I’ve pretty much mastered the whole packing process. It’s also taught me how to make it work with much less.
2. Some of my biggest travel pet peeves are delayed and cancelled flights, when they make you check your carry-on bag (even though it fits in the overhead compartment) and rude travelers.
Victoria’s Vintage Blog, http://www.victorias-vintage.co.uk/
My biggest travel mistake is probably:
Not checking the weather forecast – One of the worst mistakes I have made recently is when I went on a trip to Berlin in March expecting the weather to be chilly and dull. I packed waterproof jackets and warm jumpers as I thought the temperature wouldn’t be much different to back home. However there was an unexpected early start to summer and I hadn’t checked the weather forecast beforehand. This meant I was left with nothing suitable to wear in the warmer than usual weather, and ended up having to spend my euros buying cheap lightweight clothes on my trip! I would recommend always checking the weather forecast before you travel, and pack lightweight layers than you can add or remove as required. And take a couple of different pairs of comfortable shoes too!
Yi Tsing, pekyj.blogspot.com
1. Booking my tickets too early because they were cheap.
I got my tickets to Taipei [at] almost half its usual price, but only after booking did I [realise] it’s because August is the prime of Taiwan’s typhoon season. Moreover, because I booked my tickets more than half a year early, my plans for the rest of the year were kind of stuck and I had to allocate a budget for the trip even if I felt like going elsewhere other than Taipei.
2. Anyone obnoxious on flight
Being [constrained] to a tiny seat for several hours is already taxing, [it’s made worse] when greeted by obnoxious travellers kicking my chair, talking non-stop and laughing loudly. Or worse, if the person beside me smells bad. Some proper airplane travel etiquette please!
Stefanie de Roux, www.stefderoux.com
1. My main travel mistake was to not research what each airport’s rules are. I was traveling in Europe and found out, as I was going through a check point at London Heathrow that one cannot carry more than 1 ziploc with 5 items inside. If you have 2 ziplocs they will throw one away.
At the time I was lucky because my husband was carrying none, so I gave him one and problem solved. But it became a bitter moment arguing with TSA people.
Things like these can ruin a nice vacation sometimes.
2. My biggest/huge pet peeve, people who comfortably stand barefoot, no socks, nothing as they are being checked at airports. Or people who remove their shoes in airplanes and put their feet up, again, barefeet.
Travel Happiness Advocate
1. My biggest travel mistake has two parts, both from the same trip. I left Rome without seeing St. Peter’s Basilica and later realized that my Eurail pass did not include travel to Ireland. I am more of a spontaneous traveler, as opposed to a list maker, but I have to admit that I at least have to do some homework and have a mental checklist of major highlight attractions.
2. My travel pet peeves include people who pack too much (physically and emotionally) and do things others tell them to do (follow the crowd). See my article, 3 Habits of Happy Travelers [ http://www.mccooltravel.com/2015/04/3-habits-happy-travelers/ ].
Doug Bardwell | http://DougBardwell.com
My biggest travel pet peeve is going to a museum or attraction and being told – NO CAMERAS ALLOWED. As a photojournalist, that makes my storytelling extremely difficult. I can understand where repeated flash or strobe photography would conceivably alter the color of a painting or tapestry, but taking photos without flash will never damage anything. I also understand copyright laws for modern works, but copyright ran out a long time ago on ancient Grecian urns and prehistoric animal bones.
I guess that could also be my biggest travel mistake – not checking ahead of time. Lesson learned – always call ahead to check on their policy.
Mary Hone http://talesfromthebackroad.com
Travel pet peeves would have to be inconsiderate people who don’t control their dogs on leash, or clean up after them. We don’t often stay in RV parks, or campgrounds, but they all have rules about dogs on leashes, and especially cleaning up after them. Nothing irritates me more than people who don’t believe the rules apply to them. We have also encountered dogs that are aggressive towards our dog, while she is on a leash. This is never a good situation, as the dog that is on a leash feels threatened, and at a disadvantage. These are the people that give all dog owners a bad name.
(Part 2) Travel experts were asked about their biggest travel mistakes or peeves.