4 Mistakes Tourists Make on Holiday
We all have a story about annoying tourists from other countries: hordes of garishly clad holiday-makers, swarming through the tourist-friendly parts of town, taking photos and videos of everything, posting shameless selfies, talking and laughing too loudly, making spectacles of themselves, completely oblivious of their surroundings or the poor locals who are just trying to get through their day-to-day. Sound familiar?
While these faux pas are easy to deride, who hasn’t been guilty of doing the same or similar when on holiday? Afterall, we’re all human, and for those of us lucky enough to travel to amazing holiday locations like the Mediterranean islands, avoiding these types of behaviours, as well as other typical tourist mistakes, can often be easier said than done.
So, to help you get the most out of your next Mediterranean holiday, here are four of the biggest mistakes to avoid as a tourist on holiday.
Neglecting Pre-Departure Basics
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when traveling to faraway holiday destinations are the basic admin tasks that you might neglect to take care of before getting on the plane. While these may seem like small, trifling matters to deal with at home, once you find yourself abroad in a foreign country, they can become very big problems, if not taken care of beforehand. Neglecting to do either of the following two things will significantly detract from your holiday bliss:
Firstly, check your mobile plan to see if you have roaming and/or coverage abroad. If that’s not part of your current plan, it might be worth checking with your provider to see if can be added. Most mobile networks offer coverage and roaming plans to just about everywhere in the world nowadays, and most are cheaper than you might think – some are even free; you simply have to request them.
The second-most important mistake to avoid is not informing your bank or credit card company of your travel plans. Most banks have become hyper-vigilant about detecting card fraud, which is a very good thing, unless you’re traveling abroad and need to withdraw money.
The last thing you want after touching down in a foreign city is to realise that your bank has blocked your attempt to withdraw money from a cash machine; not only that, but minutes later – assuming you got your mobile coverage sorted out beforehand – you get a text from your bank, explaining that your card has been automatically frozen due to attempted fraudulent activity. This is not a good way to start your holiday.
Another thing to check is whether or not you will be able to withdraw money without having to pay foreign ATM fees. However, even if there are transaction fees, you’re still likely to get a better exchange rate withdrawing from a foreign ATM than if you were to exchange money at the airport.
Taking Too Much Stuff with You
The temptation to overpack for a holiday is strong, but there are several reasons why you should avoid this.
More and more airlines (especially ones offering cheap-seeming flights to hot holiday spots) have hidden fees for carry-on as well as checked luggage. A lot of these fees are not listed on the third-party sites, you’ll only find them buried in the fine print on the respective airline’s site. Would-be holiday makers often don’t learn about these hidden baggage fees until they go to check in at the airport. Again, not a great way to start your long-anticipated holiday.
Another thing to consider is getting all of your stuff from the airport to your hotel. Hidden baggage fees or not, lugging around multiple suitcases in a foreign city can be a stressful and sweaty start to your holiday.
Another reason to avoid overpacking is that you simply aren’t going to need most of that stuff anyway. Think about it – most luxury holiday accommodations are going to have most, if not all, of your basic needs covered. For example, Freelance Holidays provide all necessary toiletries in addition to an extensive range of amenities at our pool villas in Crete, including pool towels, a washing machine, dishwasher, Satellite TV & DVD player, and free air conditioning.
Only Sticking to the Tourist Hotspots
This is the classic mistake that all tourists have made. However, it’s also such an easy one to avoid, and there are many reasons why you should.
If you’re town is a designated tourist attraction, then you probably know exactly which places to avoid and which times of the day, week, or year to avoid them. That’s because these areas cater almost exclusively to tourists; with restaurants, shops and attractions all vying for tourist money, these are the places that the more savvy locals avoid like the plague.
Firstly, you should avoid eating in or near the more touristy parts of town; restaurants in these areas are almost always over-priced and lower quality, offering inauthentic cuisine (if the attempt is even made) and full of other tourists. If you want to enjoy high-quality, authentic local cuisine at very affordable prices, you need to leave the tourist zones – the further away, the better.
Not trying the local cuisine of your holiday destination is a cardinal sin. Why would you skip local cuisine to eat the same food in the same chain restaurants you could find at home?
What applies for food, also applies for any other aspect of the local culture. If you want to have a truly authentic experience, don’t be afraid to mingle with the locals. Of course, this means branching out from the known, tourist-friendly places, which can be a little scary, especially if you don’t speak the language. However, these adventures into the uncharted corners of holiday towns are often the most memorable and rewarding.
Trying to Do and See Everything
Most of us have never experienced half of what there is to see or do in our own towns, so why do we always feel compelled to turn our relaxing holidays into marathon sightseeing tours? For example, it’s simply an unrealistic expectation to fit everything you could possibly do in Crete into a 5-day holiday, so why even try?
By taking a more realistic – and relaxed – approach to planning your itinerary, you’ll have a richer, more rewarding experience on your holiday. Being in a foreign country can be stressful, especially if you’re going off the beaten tourist path, as we heartily recommend. Instead of filling each day full to the brim with a checklist of sights to be seen and things to be done, you’ll have a much richer and more relaxing experience, if you give yourself plenty of downtime. And isn’t relaxation supposed to be what holidays are all about?
By staying at one of villas with pools in Crete, you’ll be able to do just that. Instead of bracing the hordes of other tourists, spend at least part of every day relaxing by your own private pool, where you can reflect on your most recent adventures in the heart of the real Crete, before going out and doing all again.
For more information on our Crete villas or apartments, contact us today and let us help you plan your next holiday to this amazing destination.