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The challenging years of isolation and confinement are behind us.

We can finally make travel plans with our friends or family and spend some soul-nourishing time exploring our favorite cities. 

To ensure nothing stands between you and your much-awaited traveling plans, proceed cautiously, and re-evaluate your preparations. Above all, avoid making these 7 common mistakes that can ruin your trip and cost you time and money.

1. Understand the Flight Cancellation Policy

As the summer brings a surge in travel, flight cancellations have become an all-too-familiar occurrence that can damper anyone’s plans. 

Unfortunately, airlines have repeatedly failed to inform passengers of their rights in these situations adequately. This makes it crucial for you to understand your flight cancellation policy. 

Under the EU’s denied boarding regulation, you are qualified for a refund or an alternative flight if your flight is canceled for reasons outside the airline’s control.

Airlines are supposed to offer an alternative flight as soon as possible, preferably on the same day, but this has yet to happen frequently enough lately. 

If you end up in this situation, do not cancel your flight yourself, as this will relinquish the airline’s duty of care. If the airline is slow to issue a refund, consider making a section 75 claim through your credit card company or threatening legal action.

2. Overpacking

We all tend to do overpacking while traveling because we are unsure what we will need. 

Not only will it cause an extra luggage fee, but it will be inconvenient to carry around, limit your flexibility to explore, and can be stressful. 

Here’s what you can do to avoid it:

  • Make a packing list: This will help you stay organized and avoid forgetting anything important.
  • Pack for the activities: Think about what you’ll be doing on your trip and pack accordingly. 
  • Check the weather: Pack clothes appropriate for the temperature and conditions.
  • Limit your wardrobe: Try to bring mixed and matched clothes to create different outfits.
  • Use packing cubes: Packing cubes can help you stay organized and save space in your luggage.
  • Consider laundry options: Consider doing laundry during your trip instead of bringing a fresh set of clothes daily.

3. Delayed Check-Ins

Delayed check-ins can only mean two things; stress and frustration for the travelers. 

Not only can they cause you to miss your flight, but they can also throw off your entire trip itinerary.

To dodge this, triple-check all the details of your flight and account for any potential delays or complications. 

A backup plan is also a good idea in case your flight gets canceled. Research local hotels, rebooking, and any travel insurance protection you have beforehand. 

For added peace of mind, consider using a credit card with travel insurance protection to book your trip so you can recoup some of the costs of a delayed or canceled flight.

4. COVID Restrictions

While travel restrictions might have eased, COVID has not completely left us. Many places still follow COVID restrictions to some extent. 

Knowing about COVID restrictions before traveling is crucial, as they can significantly impact your trip. 

Entry requirements, quarantine rules, changes to facilities and services, and flight cancellations are just some of the potential impacts of COVID restrictions. 

By researching the restrictions at your destination, you can prepare accordingly, such as budgeting for unexpected expenses or adjusting your itinerary. 

Knowing the potential impacts of planning a safe and enjoyable trip is important.

5. High Car Rental Prices

High car rental prices can strain your travel budget, resulting in limited mobility and a negative travel experience, but it is not something you can’t prepare for in advance.


  • Booking in advance to get a better deal.
  • Comparing prices of different rental services.
  • Avoiding airport rentals as they can be costly.
  • Looking for discounts such as promotional codes, loyalty programs, etc. 
  • Renting for longer periods can give you lower daily rates. 

6. Being Cheap with Everything

While saving money on travel expenses is great, it’s important not to prioritize cost savings over the overall travel experience. 

Cheaper prices may come with trade-offs, such as longer travel times or less convenient locations, which can negatively impact travel enjoyment. So, balancing budget considerations and the quality of your travel experience is essential. 

Spending more time in a hotel closer to the main attractions or booking a more convenient flight can significantly impact your travel experience. 

7. Not Having Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is always an essential aspect of any trip, and in 2023, it’s more important than ever. With the pandemic still affecting travel worldwide, taking out travel insurance is a must. 

It’s now mandatory in many places, and you should choose a policy that covers all your needs, including COVID-19, accidental theft, and cancellation coverage. 

Travel insurance can provide peace of mind and financial protection in case of unforeseen circumstances.

Final Thoughts

Planning and financing a trip is easier said than done.  

When you get a chance to finally travel with your friends and family, make sure to go fully prepared and avoid any mistakes mentioned above to have a splendid traveling experience.

This article originally appeared on Financially Well Off.


Chris founded FWO, the ultimate destination for those looking to achieve financial independence, explore the world and stay motivated daily.

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