Travel Mistakes I've Made As Both A Rookie And Expert Traveler
I've been traveling almost full-time for about three years now. I am not sure how many countries I've been to (over 30, but who's counting?) but I know that no matter how much of an expert I become, there are some mistakes and blunders everyone experiences - even the experts, against our better judgement!
Snagging a flight that is TOO cheap
I love saving money - especially on saving money on flights. My standards are pretty low when it comes to flying: as long as I can bring a personal bag and comfortably arrive at my destination without crashing, dying, or contracting some life-threatening infection, I'm good to go. If it is too good to be true, it might be. Do your research! Leave the too-cheap flights for trips with short durations but make sure longer flights have better standards. You truly get what you pay for when it comes to flying and the more budget the airline the higher the chances of "hidden" fees (for people who don't read).
Forgetting to ask questions because you're following other tourists
When you read tips about traveling solo and making friends at hostels, many bloggers and travel sites advise you to befriend other guests so you can tag on to some of their itinerary. It is an easy way to find companions (especially for multi-country backpacking) and takes some pressure off of you, planning-wise. But sometimes following other tourists can be detrimental - especially financially.
Not planning my work efficiently
You may not be a blogger and freelancer like me, but I am sure you often have some sort of work you need to get done while traveling. My weakness is underestimating how long that work will actually take me while visiting a new location (especially when with friends). Yes, working alone and in silence might help get things done quickly but I've definitely forgotten to account for crappy internet, sociable travel partners, and less than ideal work environments. This results in working 2-3x as long, becoming frustrated, and producing lackluster results.
High Season Travel
High season is the best and worst. On one hand, there is a reason why it is called the high season: the weather is usually clutch, certain sites and activities may be seasonal, and nightlife is always just a little bit more exciting - hence the visitors in droves. But I hate high season travel. Flights are expensive, hotel costs are sometimes astronomical, and everything requires advance planning. So while yes, trekking Patagonia during a time when I won't die is absolutely necessary, I don't know that a place like Costa Rica during the low rainy season (lush green jungle and awesome sun showers, anyone?) is necessarily worse than high, crowded dry season.
My tip: Before you plan, consider the activities and sites you want to experience and determine whether visiting during high season is truly the best decision. If seasonality isn't make-or-break, consider shoulder and low seasons for more travel flexibility, affordable prices, and WAY LESS people in your photos.