10 Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Vacation and How to Avoid Them

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Image of a person shivering standing beside a snowman

They say – to travel is to live. However, even a dreamy vacation can turn into a nightmare due to one mistake. So, if you are planning the trip of a lifetime with your family or just yourself, here are a few mistakes you could avoid. Let’s keep those vacation memories pleasant!

1. Wrong company

Image of a family or group of friends sitting on grass outdoors for a picnic

This is the most underrated travel mistake ever. We travel to be away from stress, to rejuvenate and recharge ourselves to face the mundane back home. However, if you don’t travel with the right people, you invite a whole bunch of trouble which will leave you frustrated at the end of your much awaited holiday.

Therefore, it is wise to plan a trip with only those you love (and can tolerate completely). If nobody fits into those criteria as of now, it is not a bad idea to plan a solo trip.

2. Unsure of what you want from the trip

Image of a landing jetty inside the sea with a wooden walkway

Everyone goes on a holiday for a reason. Here, there is nothing like one size fits all. You might want to go on a leisurely trip and relax in the spa all day instead of hiking mountains for those ‘views to die for’. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. The only thing important is that you know what you want and are able to convey that to your travel partner(s).

3. Documents!

Travelling itself is a lot of fun, but the planning bit could get on your nerves. If you hold a Singaporean passport, there are many countries that will welcome you with open arms, but still, there are those which will require you to arrange for a visa before setting a foot there. Also, check if your passport is expiring anytime soon.

Plus, buying a travel insurance is absolutely necessary as you don’t want to drill a hole in your pocket due to lost baggage or any medical emergency in a new country. For example, if you have the HSBC Travel Insurance, you can receive up to S$7,000 for the loss of your personal possessions.

4. Not packing right

Image of clothes, electronics, shoes and bags, ready to be packed

Put in or throw out? Packing for a trip is always tricky. If it is your first cruise vacation, make sure you do some research on cruise essentials before you pack. In case you are going on a hiking trip, packing light is the key; but don’t forget all the important stuff.

It would be a great idea to read up first-hand reviews and suggestions on online forums or use phone apps such as Packing Pro or PackPoint which will help organise your entire packing process.

5. Booking blunders

Image of a person entering a hotel room

From hotels to trains, everything must be booked in advance for a smooth holiday, especially if you are travelling with kids.

Make sure you book an apartment with a full kitchen so that you can quickly whip up a meal for those tiny, fussy eaters. If anyone with you has a mobility issue, make sure you check that the hotel/apartment is compatible with them.

Also, safety is of utmost importance so don’t compromise on the location. To get great benefits on air ticket bookings, check out these air miles credit cards.

6. F for forex

Image of Singapore dollar notes and other currency bills

Using your credit card overseas might be a great option due to its transaction security, tempting rewards, and easy access. However, most credit cards issued in Singapore will levy a transaction fee when used internationally.

Now you don’t want an unpleasant surprise awaiting you back home in the form of a massive credit card bill. Therefore, it only makes sense to study the fees and other details before you use your credit card abroad.

Also, there are some cards which charge lower fees than the others so it would be a good idea to check them out. It is always safe to keep some local currency in the form of cash available for any sort of emergency.

Related: Warning: Don’t Pay in Singapore Dollars When Shopping Overseas

7. Culture clarity

Image of the feet of a woman in saree walking

Each country has its own culture and practices. For example, if you are visiting a temple in Bali, you ought to be dressed in a particular attire or talking ill about the royals of Thailand when there can lead to you being fined! You don’t want to ruin your trip because of something like that.

Therefore, it would be great if you research a bit about the cultures and unwritten rules of the country you are planning to visit to make sure you have a hurdle-free trip.

8. Scam Jam

From the fake orphanages of Cambodia to the broken meters of India, many scams await you on your vacation. Scams are not uncommon and tourists are the most gullible to them! Searching the Internet on the common scams in the country you are planning to visit can help you a great deal. Once you know the trick, it won’t be difficult to avoid it.

Related: What to Do When You’ve Been Scammed, Pickpocketed or Robbed While Abroad

9. Smartphone slavery

Image of a woman with smartphone in her hands

Yes, you love your smartphone and it keeps you updated with what’s happening in the world. However, your vacation is the time for your rejuvenation, exploration, and enjoyment. It is the time to try new things and make precious memories with loved ones.

All this can happen only when you take your eyes (and your mind) off the smartphone. This time, select a place where the WiFi signal is weak. You will enjoy the detox for sure.

Related: 4 Costly Addictions and Ways to Get Rid of Them

10. Overspending

Image of money under a magnifying glass with a calculator in the background

You don’t want to come back from your holiday feeling depressed because of all the overspending! It is a great idea to allocate budgets to various items such as food, travel, accommodation and sightseeing in advance and of course, not overshoot it.

Spending more money than what you decided not only spoils the whole vacation mood but also messes up your finances. Hunt for deals on your cards and make use of them.

Related: 5 Often Overlooked Ways to Be Smart About Money While Travelling Abroad

Now that you are all set to have the hurdle-free vacation of your dreams, don’t let anything stop you!


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