Travel writers are often talking about things to do while travelling. It’s all must-see this and must-see that, stay here, dine here, spend here, and so on.
But what about all the things you should never do while driving?
In an increasingly digitised and connected world, much of the old traditional travel knowledge is out of date. Furthermore, since the Internet (and culture) move so fast, tips and methods are continuously evolving. There are several travel blunders that result in wasted money, lost time, and missed opportunities.
However, there are a few unchangeable foundations of knowledge.
Today, I’d like to discuss some of the things you should never do when travelling. If you avoid these typical blunders, you’ll be able to travel for less money, wiser, and for longer. (Keep in mind that there is always an exception to every travel regulation, so these guidelines may not apply in certain regions, but they do 99 percent of the time you’re on the road.)
- DON’T dine near a popular tourist attraction.
Meals near famous attractions will be twice as expensive and half as flavorful as food elsewhere. When restaurants know their customers aren’t returning, they don’t have to worry about maintaining consistent quality.
What, after all, do visitors know about good local food? They have just arrived! It’s all great to them, and many are glad to return home and tell their friends about eating “excellent” pizza in front of the Colosseum. Restaurants in tourist locations have little motivation to be excellent.
Local, non-touristy restaurants, on the other hand, must be of great quality or residents would abandon them. These establishments cannot survive by providing crap.
Rather of dining at a tourist trap, walk at least five streets away. The farther you go, the cheaper (and tastier) the cuisine. Also, steer clear of establishments with multilingual menus. That’s a dead giveaway of a tourist trap.
- DO NOT exchange currency at the airport.
If you do, you will obtain the poorest exchange rates. You’d be better off setting fire to your money. When you get in town/away from the airport, use an ATM or credit card to receive the best rates. This will be as near to the interbank rate as possible, ensuring that you are not being taken advantage of.
Never swap cash unless absolutely necessary (and there are times when you have to). When my ATM card stopped working, I had to exchange funds at a Romanian airport, but it was an emergency. If you must convert money, attempt to do it at a downtown bank for higher rates and less costs.
But, as much as possible, use plastic.
- DO NOT USE TRAVEL CHECKS OR PRE-PAID CARDS
Traveler’s checks are pre-paid checks issued by banks that enable the holder to exchange the check for cash anywhere in the globe. It was the easiest method for travellers to obtain money without carrying a lot of cash before ATM and credit card acceptance became common. They are no longer used, but if you were considering them, don’t. They are no longer usable.
Also, don’t acquire those pre-paid money ATM cards. Your bank will fill these cards with a predetermined currency (for example, if you’re heading to Australia, you’ll receive one loaded with Australian dollars). Because you’re constantly paying in the local currency, you won’t have to pay any fees. The issue is that the currency rate at which you purchased may fluctuate. All you’re doing is hedging against a significant decrease. That is never a good idea. Simply use a standard credit card.