We all get excited when it comes to traveling and there are at least ten travel mistakes we all often make when planning our dream vacation.
It’s tempting to pack everything but the kitchen sink ‘just in case’ but let’s face it, you don’t really need ten outfits and the shoes to match. Choose some good staple pieces, like loose light linen pants, or cool tops and an outfit or two that can go from day to night or be dressed up with a different accessory. You don’t want to have the first part of your vacation be all about dragging a heavy bag around, paying extra money for it, and then finding you don’t end up wearing half the items. Plus, you’ll need room for all the cool souvenirs you buy along the way!
Forgetting to Figure out a Cell Phone Plan
We all know roaming charges can quadruple the charges we rack up while away. What could possibly be worse than getting back from your amazing vacation in Jamaica to a giant phone bill? Check with your provider before you leave. Is your phone unlocked? Can it take a foreign SIM card? What are the roaming charges or packages available to you. By the time you sort all this out it may be more expensive and more trouble than it’s worth. In Jamaica, a great option is to arrange to get a phone at the airport as you arrive in Jamaica with Stay Connected, a service that offers phones and tablets with data and call plans which you pick up and turn in right at the airport before you return home.
Not Having Some Local Currency in Hand When You Arrive
Although ATMs are on site at both airports and can be found easily around the airport, sometimes they do run out of cash or you may find yourself needing to pay for something before being able to get to a bank machine. If you’re an American, most Jamaicans will accept US dollars, however, if you’re from anywhere else in the world you’ll be out of luck.
Not Informing Your Credit Card Company of Your Travel Plans
Credit card companies flag foreign transactions in case of credit card fraud and may freeze your account, so be sure you inform your company ahead of time. Also, have a backup payment option if you can in case your credit card isn’t accepted. For example, some smaller operators won’t accept American Express due to the fee they are charged per transaction. You may also want to find out if you will be charged a foreign transaction fee so you don’t get a shock when your next bill arrives.
Not Checking to See What You Are Allowed to Bring into Jamaica
Customs differs from country to country. You will be handed an immigration form just before you land, but by the time you read it, what is in your suitcase is already in there! Most often, all that will happen is that you’ll see some lovely item you were really looking forward to enjoying on your vacation go straight into the bin. However, some items do incur a fine and it’s up to the customs officer whether you’ll get charged or not. For example, any kind of meat is a big no-no when arriving in Jamaica. So be smart and do your research before you go.
Not Keeping Track of Your Reservation Details
Although nowadays the online world usually means your information is available at the touch of a button, let’s face it, sometimes things go wrong, from a system being down to a mistake in the entry of your details. Having your flight and hotel reservation details handy, either on paper or on your cell phone means less hassle for you and your vacation should start the moment you close your front door.
Packing Too Many Activities Into Your Trip
The whole point of heading to an island for your vacation is to switch gears and start operating on Jamaican time. The local phrase “soon come” resonates here and can mean anything from 3 minutes to 3 hours. If you’re busy rushing all over the place and trying to make sure you make it to the next thing on time, you’ll need a vacation from your vacation. Give yourself time to relax and soak up the moments you travelled so far to experience.
Forgetting to Register With Your Embassy
If you register with your embassy before you travel its always easier for them to assist you should you run into trouble on your vacation. Just in case, you may also want to make copies of your important documents like your passport. Many countries also have enhanced programmes for their citizens travelling abroad like the US Department of State S.T.E.P. programme which also offers helpful tips and travel advisories.
Not Checking Visa Requirements
Every country has certain arrangements with other countries when it comes to permissions for entry, duration of stay and what you can carry in and out of the country. Check to make sure you have any visas you may need to enter the country and that you give yourself enough time to arrange the paperwork, especially as many flights either don’t offer refunds and change of dates can come with a hefty fee.
Deciding Against Getting Travel Insurance
Most travel agents or travel websites can advise you on any health concerns and precautions you should take like being prepared against mosquitos that may carry certain illnesses native to the region. They also can offer great travel insurance for a small fee. You never know what can happen on vacation and you want to make sure you’re covered and have peace of mind when you travel and want to be focused on other things.