Here is a list of ridiculous mistakes I have made along my travels and I am pretty sure there will be more in the future. I hope you won’t make the same mistakes after reading them.
1. Single Entry Visa – I am well aware of the difference between Single Entry vs Multiple Entry. However, it slipped my mind that I would need a multiple entry visa when I went to Indonesia- Malaysia- Singapore – and back to Indonesia. I guess they were just one state with little islands in my head 😀 . Read more about it here.
2. Visa Application – I missed out to provide 1 out of 2 visa refusals which ended with another visa refusal. It honestly slipped my mind, I appealed with the same reason but the officer did not find it as a legitimate reason. Triple check your application form and make sure that all information is provided as requested.
3. Transportation in India – A friend of mine kept nagging at me that I need to book my train and bus tickets in advance because they run out real fast. I did not take it seriously and I had to change my plans according to the availability of bus/train to travel from one city to another. Read more about my Top 10 Tips for India here.
4. Weather Forecast – I regularly check on weather forecast while travelling to avoid bad weather and plan my day accordingly. I had forgotten to check the weather forecast when I went to camp in Miyajima Island and it ended up with a nightmare. There was a gale; my tent, clothes, books and everything I had was drenched in water. I had to throw away my books and do laundry all day the next day.
5. Shopping – Did you ever shop so much while traveling that when you come back home and look at all the stuff and start questioning; what am I going to do with them? When I first travelled, I went to Morocco and I bought so many souvenirs, leather goods, figures, clothes etc. BIG MISTAKE. It’s a waste of money. From then on, the only souvenirs I buy are magnets. It’s small, doesn’t take space, cheap and great item to remind you of the cities or countries you’ve been.
6. Giving in to naggers – When I was in Egypt, I went to the pyramids and the guide asked more tips than I had given him. He kept nagging and wouldn’t let me go and I gave in. Since then, I just walk away whenever anyone asks for a tip when they don’t deserve it.
7. Forgetting an important travel item: I traveled to Japan in April and the weather was 8C. I realized that I left my jacket at home when I was in immigration. It was too late to go back and I was on a tight budget so I couldn’t purchase a new jacket in Japan. I had to live with the cold weather without any warm clothes.
8. Leaving things to charge and leaving them for good: I left my power bank to charge at the reception of a hostel and I left the country without it. Since then, I am always very cautious whenever I leave my things to charge in public places. I put an alarm as a reminder on my phone in case I forget.
9. Wrongly booked a ticket: I was supposed to stay 2 nights in Jordan and ended up with only 1 night. Crammed everything in 26 hours and managed to see more. Read more on how I managed to see everything in Jordan within 26 hours here.
10. Cash: I usually withdraw cash from the ATM once I reach my destination. This didn’t work when I was in India and I had to hitchhike my way to the hostel. The cash machine would not accept my debit card so I had to keep withdrawing from my credit card which has extra charges.
11. Cash Currency: Lesson learnt from India in point 11 but it wasn’t enough. I had cash to exchange when I arrived in Cambodia. However, they don’t accept Saudi Riyals or Japanese Yen. Those were the only currencies I had. The ATM wouldn’t allow me to withdraw either so I had to arrange a friend to transfer through paypal to a local’s account then he withdrew it for me. From then on, I only carry US Dollars or Euros to exchange.
12. Ctrl+X > Ctrl+V > Ctrl+Z = Memories gone – I had rented a professional camera when I went to a safari in Masaai Mara to shoot great photos of the wildlife. I had so many photos that I loved. While I was copying them, I cut, pasted and pressed undo and poof! Everything was gone. I tried to have it retrieved multiple times, but no luck at all 🙁
13. Translated Documents: As a resident in Saudi, I can travel visa free to Georgia by presenting a valid residence ID.
However, the residence ID is in Arabic and of course they cannot read it. I went by train from Armenia to Georgia and they asked that I need to travel back to Armenia because a translated document is needed which I did not have.
I begged them to check it through the Ministry of Interior portal but they refused. I ended up showing them a screenshot through the portal and converted the date from Lunar to Gregorian calendar. It took about 45 minutes of convincing and lots of crying until they let me into Georgia for only one night. I was not allowed to extend my stay.
There you go! In every travel, every new country, I learn from my mistakes yet there is always something more to learn! I hope you enjoyed laughing at my ridiculous mistakes and I hope you won’t do the same.
I will be continuously updating this post because I know for a fact that there will be more mistakes no matter how many times I’ve travelled.
Share your experience below so myself and others can avoid 😀