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In 2015, 10 Western tourists stripped on one of Malaysia's most sacred mountains and the incident was blamed for causing an earthquake that killed more than 16 people. There is a tendency for most travellers to underlook cultures/traditions that have been in practice for generations when they visit foreign places. 

Common travel mistakes you should avoid in 2017

By Evelyn Masaba 

There are so many issues that travellers overlook on their journeys, and a lot of this stems from a number of reasons that may include time and poor planning. It doesn’t only happen to first-time travellers, but seasoned ones as well. Here is how to avoid common travel mistakes.

Over-planning
There is such a thing as planning out your trip that it seems to follow a sort of schedule. There is nothing wrong with setting plans and itinerary for travels, but it is also good to sometimes veer off the track and go with the flow, especially if you are on vacation. After all, you went on holiday to get away from the routine that has been your daily life.

Not researching
There are very few people who actually do a thorough research before planning for their holiday trips; you end up going to a place without bothering to look up simple issues that could easily spoil or make your trip even more fun. Some of the finds of your research usually help determine what you might need for your trip and highly influence your itinerary. It’s therefore important to make sure you look up your destination choices before jetting there.

Unplanned spending
The excitement one gets when they travel is not as much as the one they get when they find a cheap place to buy or eat from when they reach their destination. This excitement usually leads to unplanned spending and there’s nothing worse than running out of money in a place far away from home with no similar banking facilities as the ones you are used to. Before travelling, always stash aside enough money for the unexpected expenditures — just to be on the safe side.

Cultural insensitivity
There is a tendency for most travellers to underlook cultures/traditions that have been in practice for generations when they visit foreign places. Being culturally insensitive to your hosts can be deemed as rude and in some instances can be detrimental to your stay. Some countries observe certain laws and norms that you might find very different and strange to you, but it is better being respectful to them. Never know you might learn something new from those very cultures you underlook.

Local advice
As much as you have done your research about your holiday destination and bought books with some important information about what to do and not do, when you are offered advice by locals who are well versed with their home, take it into consideration.

Documents
Every new place you will visit has a number of important documents you will need to show — everything ranging from proof of health, permits to tour certain places and, of course, the most important one: the visa. Before you leave home, make sure you have all that sorted out and make copies of your passport with the visa that you can move around with on your excursions.

Security
Be very careful and vigilant when travelling in places you are not well acquainted with. Do not move around flashing your expensive phone and other gadgets or jewelry especially when touring crowded places that are usually havens for pickpockets. It doesn’t matter how affluent a place is, there are always people looking to make money off your demise.

About The Author

Evelyn Masaba is the public relations manager at Jumia Travel in Uganda. Travel.jumia.com is Africa’s No.1 hotel booking website, allowing you to get the best prices for more than 25,000 hotels in Africa and more than 200,000 hotels around the world. Follow @NoirEnBlanca
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