Traveling tests us in many ways. It tests our problem-solving skills, patience, and ability to be resilient.
Mistakes happen, especially when you don’t speak the local language. That being said, there are several relatively common travel mistakes you can watch out for when headed on vacation. Don’t fall victim to any of these simple (yet profoundly frustrating) mishaps.
1. Triple check your dates
Yes, you should always double and triple check your dates, but we want to highlight a particular situation that seems to catch many travelers off guard. When your flight leaves between 12:00 AM and 2:00 AM, pay special attention to the date. Many travelers see military time such as 00:15 and confuse their date of departure. Don’t show up a day late, always double and triple check.
2. Expecting to make a return flight when you miss the departure
Missed your flight because of the situation above? Don’t expect to book a one way and catch your return flight home. Most airlines will not allow you to travel on a return ticket if you don’t make your departing flight. We hear from travelers who fall victim to this all the time – be sure (if you can) you make your departing flight.
3. Arrive at the airport late with a bag to check
In particular, we really want to stress that you can’t do this if you’re checking a bag. This is what catches most people. Maybe you’ve made a domestic flight that you’ve shown up to 46 minutes before departure – this is where most people get caught. They think because it worked once it will work again with a bag to check.
You absolutely can’t show up an hour before your flight with a bag in hand to check, plain and simple. You’ll be out of pocket for a hotel and a new flight – it happens at every airport, every day.
4. Get the name on the ticket right
If you’re booking travel for someone else, you must get the name on the ticket right. Most airlines will correct misspellings, but they absolutely will not change an entire name – which is going to leave you holding the bag, so to speak. If you’re booking a flight for someone else as a gift or for work, make sure you don’t mistake the middle and last name!
5. Drinking the night before an early flight
It seems obvious but trust us – people miss flights due to rough mornings all the time. If you booked yourself an early flight, don’t tie one on. It can be enticing to do so since it’s your last night in a destination before returning home to regular life but don’t fall victim to the trap. Party extra hard the night before the night before your early flight!