*After months of planning and saving, you have just firmed up your itinerary for your overseas vacation of a lifetime. Your airline and hotel reservations have been made, and now you are thinking of what you’ll need while you’re gone.
In order to make sure that you have an incredible time and everything goes as smoothly as possible, it is important to avoid certain common mistakes that many travelers make. With that in mind, check out the following four issues and how to avoid them.
Advertising your plans on social media
As much as you want to share your vacation plans with your friends on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, please resist the urge to do so. Yes, you trust your friends and family on social media, but do you know and trust all of their friends, co-workers, neighbors and casual acquaintances? People who post their upcoming trip dates, itineraries and photos taken along the way on Facebook are essentially telling the whole world, “Hey, my house is vacant until January 10 — come on over and help yourself to my TV.” Once you post something on social media, it is hard to control where it goes, but it is easy for a criminal to figure out where you live.
Not having a security camera
Speaking of break-ins, another common mistake travelers make is to not secure their home as much as they can prior to leaving. Before you leave, consider investing in a cloud-based security camera monitoring system from a reputable company. Installing the camera and monitors well ahead of your trip, as well as signs out front alerting people that you have a security system, will give you ample time to learn how to properly use the new system and check the security footage. There is a wide variety of affordable and high-quality cameras including indoor and outdoor models that take clear video. As a bonus, they do not require that you sign a contract. The equipment is easy to install, and once it is up and running, you can stay in-the-know about what is going on at your home by checking the footage while you are gone and alerting authorities if there is an issue.
Not packing extra clothing and medicine in your carry on
Sadly, luggage may get lost or delayed on long trips. To avoid potential health issues related to missed medicine doses and/or having to wear the same clothes for days on end, pack a change of clothes in your carry-on bag, as well as medicines that you take regularly. You might also toss in a toothbrush and travel-sized toothpaste, shampoo and a hairbrush.
Staying in the touristy parts of town
If you are going to Paris, you may understandably have your heart set on seeing the Eiffel Tower, visiting The Louvre and Notre Dame, and having lunch at a trendy café in the center of the city. While these are all amazing plans and you should definitely fill as much of your Parisian bucket list as you can, remember that lots of other tourists have the same plans in mind. To enrich your trip and discover some amazing places on your own, leave the “tourist zone” with its huge crowds and higher prices for exploring quieter places. Go on an adventure stroll and you may be pleasantly surprised to find a delicious café about 20 minutes from The Louvre, filled with locals who are happy to teach you some basic French while enjoying a scrumptious meal.