I always make the same travel mistakes, because apparently I’m always hit by amnesia before flying!
There is this list of THINGS (or you could say – important pre-travel steps), which I always seem to forget about, and for that reason end up doing the same mistakes over and over again.
Like this very last time, just a week ago, I traveled from Sofia to London for a very first time. I arrived late on a Saturday night in my creepy suburb house, which I was going to rent. I unpacked my bags and took out my laptop. I was ready to text my family and friends, google some stuff about the city, watch an episode of Friends, listen to some music, when all of a sudden the low battery message appeared on my screen. I reached for the charger, but big surprise! In UK they have a different socket type than the one in Bulgaria! Of course, not only my laptop died, but an hour later my phone did to…
I guess most of you have been in exactly the same situation or a similar one. These THINGS that we always seem to forget to prepare in advance or even consider, end up ruining the first moments of our journey, causing unnecessary stress and inconveniences. Next time… I would rather miss out on those moments and enjoy some pleasant ones instead. That’s why I made a list, of the THINGS I forget, when my before flight amnesia hits every time!
Book a flight on a week day
I prefer to choose early flights during week days. It’s much better to arrive at your destination in broad daylight, especially if it’s your first time there. The reasons for that are many and the most important ones are:
- You can use the public transport from the airport to your accommodation.
- All stores are open.
- You feel much safer and comfortable.
The worst choice according to me is booking a flight on Saturday which arrives in the afternoon, or later. Most of the stores will be closed upon your arrival and there will be Sunday still ahead of you. As you know, in many cities everything’s closed on Sunday and I suggest you rather not count on “finding something open”. (Off topic, but this is one of the reasons I love Bulgaria – we have many 24/7 shops ❤ ).
Think twice before booking a low-cost
Low-cost is good. I love low-cost, as I don’t want to spend a lot of money on the plane ride (I would rather have it as a pocket money). So yeah, low-cost is good, but still not always the best choice. Especially when you are traveling with luggage and not just a backpack.
When you are looking for the cheapest flight and you find it among many many overpriced flights, you get excited. “That’s my flight, that’s my flight. Let’s book it fast, while there are still available seats!” But stop for a moment. Don’t forget about your luggage! Paying extra for a checked-in bag on a low-cost flight could be even more expensive then booking a regular flight with an included luggage!
My example: I booked a flight with Condor and the ticket was way cheaper than my other options at the time. I had forgotten about my luggage (rookie mistake) and I had to pay extra 30 EUR for 20 kilos. If I had chosen the Bulgarian Air ticket instead, I would have paid the same price, but would have had 23 kilos (the 3 kilos made a big difference in my case), an included meal and more comfort.
Check the forecast for your destination
Don’t underestimate the weather. Check the day before, or on the day of you flight (as earlier information isn’t dependable), but don’t just count on your knowledge of how the weather’s usually in the country you’re visiting.
You could even be flying to a nearby destination, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the weather conditions would be alike. Once I was flying from Sofia to Vienna. In Sofia, it was an unusually warm Spring – almost 20 degrees! I had a T-shirt on and leather jacket. When I arrived in Vienna it was around 8 degrees and what is more – it was windy! So, I froze, as you can guess. In this case you should rather just put an additional jacket in your backpack and be prepared. Or, when traveling to a warmer destination – dress in a way you can easily undress when starting to get hot. You know what I mean?
Check if are going to need a power adapter plug
That’s an important one! You should always check if you need a travel adapter for the power sockets used in the country you are visiting. For example, if you are traveling from Bulgaria to the UK, you are going to need one and it’s much better if you buy it in advance. You don’t want your mobile device or laptop to die when you most need them.
If you follow this link you can find the plug & socket types used in each country.
Prepare food & drinks for the flight
It’s good to be prepared. You can take an empty bottle with you, which you can fill in after you’ve successfully passed the scanners. Or, if you have forgotten to take one and don’t want to pay for an overpriced drink at the airport – the drinks in the vending machines are usually much cheaper than the ones in the cafés and stores.
As according to the food, I always take a chocolate with me and one or two sandwiches. Sometimes because of the excitement, or because I’m in a hurry, I say to myself: “I’ll buy something to eat right after I pass the passport check. OK, but let’s just collect my luggage. Let’s just go out of the airport. Let’s just get on the bus” and so on. There have been many times in which I’ve starved myself without wanting to.
When you have something in your bag with you, it’s much easier to stop for a moment, take a bite and not pass out somewhere along the road. Or, you can also eat in on the go if you are in a big hurry!
My mistakes have turned into valuable experience. I am now looking forward to my next trip and the new mistakes I’ll make to become wiser ! 😀