Travel Mistakes to Avoid Now: Summer vacation is back for 2021! However, it still has its challenges to address. Before you dash out of your house, take a look at our five key mistakes to avoid.
Travel Mistakes to Avoid Now: Plan Ahead and Plan Like a Pro:
Waiting for lower airfares.
In any market, it can be tempting to wait for the very best price. One year I did this when booking a Christmas Day flight to Southeast Asia. I had done all my research head of time. Certain experts held forth that on mid-week, Tues. and Wed., low, low fares were announced. On Tues., I found the right flight flying from Washington, DC to Bangkok connecting to Cambodia and returning via Vietnam and Bangkok to Beijing and DC. It was really complex in any case. However, I was determined to wait until the next day sure that an even cheaper deal would appear. Sunrise that Wed.: My ideal flight economy class was $400 more than the day before. Having outsmarted myself, I learned the hard way that when you see a great or even very good fare, grab it right away.
In 2021-2022, as travel demand increases, airfares will also rise. If you can travel off-season, that will help to keep the prices down but don’t expect to see real bargains.
Not booking lodging and a rental car in advance.
Even before the pandemic created much travel uncertainty, I also learned this the hard way. A female colleague and I traveled to Geneva for a business meeting. We had been very creative in booking our return fare to add several days vacation in France at our own expense. While we managed to get a rental car without a reservation, that can lead to your not finding one available or having to splurge on the highest priced remaining option. However, our visions of a quaint country inn were quickly quashed. It was about 32 degrees Fahrenheit as we stopped at each and every bed and breakfast, guest house or other lodging with no vacancy to be found. It was starting to look like we would spend the night in the car shivering from the cold. At last, we found a modest guest house. The indoor heat was perfect. However, the amenities were scarce to come by. My colleague later mentioned how rusty the tap water was. Unfortunately, that was after I had used it to “brew” my cup of instant coffee!
Skipping travel insurance (especially Cancel for Any Reason or “CFAR” policies). There are two good reasons to get travel insurance in general. First, even a hale and hardy young traveler can have an accident skiing, on motor scooters or on the highway. Secondly, while it is better not to travel with valuable items, theft, loss and damage are common mishaps on the road.
In 2021-2022, there are even more reasons to get travel insurance. With all the uncertainty as to changing requirements and testing for the Coronavirus, a CFAR policy allows for cancellations within stated conditions/time restrictions even for a fear of travel during the pandemic rather than more typical concerns such as accidents or injuries.
For more information on travel insurance options now and beyond, check out Insure My Trip.
Booking multiple country crossings while pandemic restrictions continue. In going abroad, plan your trip to include no more than two countries. Why is that? Even in the European Union each country has the right to impose new, stricter standards if the Coronavirus flares while you are there. That could mean a delay of up to five days or more for quarantines or for added COVID-19 tests. You will have to find the location and hours where tests are given. In a foreign language with a language you don’t speak, this can mean that instead of sightseeing or relaxing you are spending a half-day just getting this done!
While two adjacent or nearby destinations, can double your options, it also increases the number of border crossings and likely restrictions during the pandemic.
Travel Mistakes to Avoid Now: Hidden Budget Busters: Money Matters:
Not factoring in hidden costs of travel, especially during the pandemic. Surprises can be fun but not if they empty your wallet.
Failing to have access to emergency travel funds.
It is easy to rely on using an ATM bank card. However, there are typically daily withdrawal and/or other account limits. While credit cards help, I was surprised on tour to discover that abroad certain hospitals require daily payments and don’t accept health insurance. On one tour this was brought home when we had to leave one of our fellow travelers behind recovering from an illness in a local hospital.
Beyond medical issues, political events, strikes and natural disasters, such as hurricanes, can delay your return home. Even if you are very frugal, you can run up a huge bill for lodging, meals and alternative transportation. On 9/11, I found myself stranded abroad for eight days. It cost me at least one thousand dollars extra/
With the right plan, your 2021 dream trip does not have to become a nightmare. Plan ahead, but keep it simple for 2021.
For more information on tours and places to stay, go to our free, user- friendly SoloTravelPricingTracker.net. You will have over 1,000 travel providers covering 20,000+ trips and over 1 million solo-priced lodging and top value solo travel deals.