Travel, whether undertaken for business or pleasure, should be as streamlined and relaxed an activity as possible. But this simply isn't always the case, for any number of reasons. Sudden airline cancelations, requiring you to find a new last minute flight, can send you into a tailspin of stress. Finding out that the hotel closest to your company's secondary office in another city is fully booked, forcing you to find lodging far away from everywhere you need to be, could also have that effect.
"Don't let silly mistakes put your travel plans at risk."
Stress like this isn't out of the ordinary - but you can't let it or any other factor drive you to make mistakes that might imperil your vacation or corporate trip. Check out a few of the errors commonly made by travelers and how you can avoid them:
Always check your information twice
Some of the most frequent blunders travelers make might seem obvious or intuitive, but judge not: just because they're simple doesn't mean you're any less capable of making them than others.
For example, USA Today pointed out that in international travel, you'll see variances in date formats: 10/11/2017 would be correct for the U.S., but for most of the world, the day goes before the month - 11/10/2017. Experienced corporate jet-setters have confused dates as a result, so it's unwise to think you're somehow immune from the same gaffe. Basically, you shouldn't make travel plans in a hurry. Closely read over boarding passes, confirmation emails and all other essential information in advance.
Goofing up while packing
Citing survey data from Travelodge, CNN Travel noted that most travelers - about 66 percent - won't wear as many as six of the outfits they pack for a given vacation. This means you may be wasting valuable luggage real estate that could go toward work materials or serve as storage for souvenirs you can bring home to your significant other or little ones. With this in mind, CNN recommended packing clothing ensembles that can safely be worn twice in a given period. (The only real exception might be trips to exceedingly warm and humid locales, where you'll probably sweat more than you'd like and could benefit from the extra shirt or pair of underwear.)
Also, if you're bringing your own toiletries, be sure all the containers holding liquids or lotions are sealed tightly and place them within an airtight plastic bag. You don't want to be late for conference registration because body wash has leaked all over your slacks.
The dangers of poor preparation
If you're visiting another country for your vacation or business jaunt, failing to prepare accordingly can be disastrous: Errors like not adjusting your phone plan or buying prepaid phone cards, or forgetting to get some of your currency exchanged can lead to an utterly unbearable lightness in your wallet.
You can also run into considerable trouble by failing to buy travel insurance, as Ordinary Traveler pointed out. Life is full of possibilities, not all of them positive, and failing to account for them can lead to outcomes including biting the bullet on a massive fee for a flight you had to cancel. Travel insurance helps mitigate this, and can also cover you on any medical charges incurred while abroad.
Staying on the beaten path
While traveling for your company, you don't necessarily have a ton of time to see the sights, so hitting the best-known spots of a given city is understandable and acceptable. It's like owning the greatest hits of a music group you sort of like but aren't devoted to. But if you do have time to really sink your teeth into the culture of a city far from your home, why would you limit yourself to the recommendations of guidebooks and tourist-magnet attractions? According to CNN, overusing these well-thumbed sources of information makes sense up to a point, but they shouldn't serve as the primary creator of your itinerary.
Instead, do some research in advance: Try to find blogs or magazine articles written by natives, or by American expatriates who now live where you're going. See what they recommend. You'll likely find landmarks, eateries and shops that will help make your excursion a one-of-a-kind affair.