1. Too much tourism
Even if you are goal oriented and travel somewhere wanting to see specific monuments and museums, it’s easy to get saturated. Having overly structured days defeats the purpose of a holiday, and it prevents spontaneity. Remember, a day spent walking aimlessly or sitting in a café isn’t a wasted one. Mix up scheduled excursions and unplanned exploring.
2. Too many pictures
With outlets like Instagram and Twitter, it’s almost possible to create a live feed of your trip. Instead of doing this, take a step back and appreciate your surroundings with your own eyes. Selective photography makes the pictures you do take more meaningful, while allowing you to spend more time experiencing things directly.
3. To tip or not to tip
The first time I went to France, I was surprised to learn that restaurant bills include tips. Where I come from, you are expected to leave a 15% gratuity in addition to the billed amount. Take the time to learn about these minor, yet vital, differences. On holiday, you deal with service staff in a multitude of forms; treat them with the respect they’re used to.
4. Manage your gadgets
Ever hear about those horror stories where someone comes home from an overseas trip to a thousand-dollar cell phone bill? Don’t let that be you. Contact your service provider and find out exactly what you can and can’t do.
Or better yet, keep your phone off unless it’s an emergency and leave your computer at home. Who do you need to text when you’re walking the streets of Rome, anyway?
5. Getting lost in logistics
Researching a hostel or hotel with a good location is wise, as is searching for transportation deals. However, on a longer trip, allow some room for planning on the go. Organizing every detail before you leave is stressful, and it doesn’t allow for the spontaneity to extend your time somewhere or visit a place you hadn’t planned on seeing.