In honour of April Fool’s Day, I’ve compiled some common foolish mistakes that backpackers & tourists often make while travelling. How many of these are you guilty of? Or do you have any more foot-in-mouth incidents you would like to share??
Foolish Mistakes to Avoid While Travelling #1:
Not backing up camera or phone photos. How many times have I heard this one? A lot. Unfortunately phones and cameras are fragile and have a habit of getting lost, stolen or irreplaceably damaged, thus losing all the data and photos you accumulate over your travel period.
How to avoid this? Back-up, back-up and back-up again. Whenever you can, upload your photos to the cloud if the internet allows, or pop into an internet café to copy your precious pics to a separate memory stick at the very least.
Foolish Mistakes to Avoid While Travelling #2:
Falling for scams. I am sure we have all been ripped off one way or another, whether it is paying twice the price for a taxi or that must-have souvenir, but some scams are more sinister, and can sadly ruin a once in a lifetime experience for travellers.
How to avoid this? Do your research. Know where you are going to when you arrive in a new place, check tour companies thoroughly before booking with them, and follow your gut. If you feel something isn’t quite right, it probably isn’t. Don’t be afraid to refuse help from that dodgy stranger, don’t be pressured into buying anything you don’t want to; politely but firmly refuse, and get out of there as soon as you can.
Foolish Mistakes to Avoid While Travelling #3:
Un-Safe Sex. The mojitos are flowing, that hot beach boy or girl has been giving you the eye all night and you just can’t help yourself. A few more drinks later you’re down on the sand getting busy and loving it. However, the next morning hazy memories come flooding back and you find a strange itching sensation down below, or worse!
How to avoid this? Abstinence is obviously the most effective way to avoid nasty STIs and unwanted pregnancies, however I am not going to deprive you of some action when it comes your way. Keep a couple of condoms in your wallet/purse all the time, then when you get lucky you can be safe at the same time. No glove, no love my friends!
Foolish Mistakes to Avoid While Travelling #4:
Getting hammered. Alcohol & partying often go hand in hand with backpacking, and we have all been there! However, getting so drunk you dance naked on the bar before vomiting all over yourself isn’t the best way to end a night. Or waking up without your phone or wallet and no memory of what the hell happened.
How to avoid this? Try to take it relatively easy, especially if you are in a group of people you don’t know well. Have fun by all means, but keep an eye on your drink at all times, and be wary of accepting drinks from strangers. Have some water or soft drinks occasionally, and remember to line your stomach before you go out to help soak up the booze.
Foolish Mistakes to Avoid While Travelling #5:
Breaking the law. From doing illegal drugs to having sex on the beach in Dubai, there are some things you simply shouldn’t do while travelling. It is all so easy to think ‘what the hell’, but stripping naked at Machu Picchu for a photo op will not only get you arrested, it is also extremely disrespectful.
How to avoid this? Use your common sense. Cocaine and other drugs may be your bag back home, but the punishments in other countries can be far more severe than you expect. And travellers can be easy targets for police to search. Generally, it is best to play it safe so if you can resist temptation to strip off or get high then do so!
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