Becoming an Expert TravelerAvoiding Common Mistakes of First-Time International Travelers
IntroductionThere are certain things in life, like travel, that you just get better at withexperience. And, unfortunately, sometimes we have to make the mistakebefore we can learn from it. If it’s your first time traveling internationally, we’dlike to help you get ahead of that learning curve – and avoid commonmistakes that could cost you time and money.
Passport Rules & RegulationsCommon Mistake No. 1: Not checking your destination country’spassport rules.Every country has it’s own set of rules and regulations when it comes to passports,which sometimes fluctuates based upon the country in which you hold yourcitizenship. For example, U.S. citizens traveling to Costa Rica must have a passportthat is valid for 90 days after their arrival, even if their trip is less than 90 days induration.Before booking your flight: – Check an official, government-sponsored website, such as www.travel.state.gov for U.S. citizens, to find out what the rules are for passports from country to country.
Being LateCommon Mistake No. 2: Missing your departure flightWhile first-time international travelers will spend months planning their trip, some don’taccount for traffic, crowded parking garages, long lines at the ticket counter, and otherinevitable frustrations that are just a part of the traveling process.Compensate for unexpected losses of time by: – Looking up the driving time from your house to the airport and planning your route. – Arriving to the airport two hours early. – Checking in early online and printing your boarding passes at home, if permissible based on the airline’s rules. – Packing everything at your front door the night before. (To avoid theft, do not pack your belongings in your car overnight.)
Overweight BaggageCommon Mistake No. 3: Overweight BaggageMany airlines charge a fee for passengers to check their bags. Depending on the carrier,this can often be around $25 for the first bag and $35 for the second. However, theseprices are based on weight restrictions, often at or near 50 pounds per bag. While thatmay seem like a lot, it’s surprising how much clothes, shoes and toiletries can weighwhen packing for a two-week trip. Passengers whose baggage does exceed weight limitsare subject to additional charges.Cut your costs by:• Pack only a carry-on bag. Be aware of your airline’s carry-on size restrictions though, which typically say not to exceed 22 inches long by 14 inches wide by 9 inches tall.• Pack clothing items that you can wear multiple times throughout your trip.
Overpaying for EverythingCommon Mistake No. 4: Not researching the conversation ratesMany first-time international travelers make the cardinal mistake of not checkingconversion rates from their local currency to the currency of their destination country.This is not only important to ensure a proper exchange at exchange rate counters, but itis also important even after that exchange occurs. For example, if you buy a soda froma street vendor in Rome who charged you €20, you just paid around $25.65 USD.But if you bought the same soda in Mexico for 20 pesos, that is a fair deal at around$1.53 USD.Know the conversion rates before you go by looking it up on a reputable website, such asCNNMoney.
Language BarriersCommon Mistake No. 5: Not learning essential phrases in the country’sofficial language.While many travelers visit countries where the locals speak a different native languagethan their own, it is important to at least learn several of the most important, commonlyused phrases to make your trip a little easier.Some of these phrases include:• How much does this cost?• Where is the [enter your hotel name here]?• Where is a good restaurant?• Where is the bathroom?• Yes, no, please and thank you.
Trip InsuranceCommon Mistake No. 6: Foregoing Travel InsuranceRoamRights International Trip Insurance helps protect money spent on non-refundableinvestments such as airfare, rental fees, tour package costs, and cruise bookings. So ifyou plan a trip and have to cancel last minute or cut the trip short, international travelinsurance can help cover the cost of associated expenses. Even more importantly, it canalso provide you with much-needed medical insurance coverage, in case youunexpectedly become ill or injured while traveling abroad.
The Adventure Doesn’t Stop Here.Find the travel insurance coverage you need with RoamRight.RoamRight’s travel insurance professionals have more than 60 years of experience inhelping travelers around the world get the coverage they need. We are committed toproviding our clients with:• High quality coverage – Comprehensive coverage to protect travelers and their financial investments on their trips.• Competitively-priced products – Customized programs for large groups or single travelers. You get only the coverage you need at a price you can afford.• Excellent customer service – RoamRight’s website makes it easier than ever to learn about and purchase travel insurance. You can also chat directly with a customer service representative on the website, or call RoamRight toll-free at 1-877-687-7170.Get exclusive travel news: Subscribe to our blog or connect with us on Facebook. LetRoamRight be your passport to peace of mind.