Traveling is amazing, but booking a trip can sometimes be a bit of a drag! When planning a vacation, we have to put so much thought into our itinerary and how we’re getting from point A to point B before we even make a packing list. Sometimes planning a trip can take up quite a bit of time, and we find ourselves sitting in front of our computer, wondering how on earth there are people out there who travel full-time!
Plus, there are all kinds of little mistakes that we can easily make when planning a trip. We can make one little typo that jeopardizes our whole flight reservation. We can misread something and book the wrong flight. We might even book a flight for the wrong day! It can get very confusing, very quickly. But the good news is that most of these mistakes are fairly easy to avoid. We just need to take our time, read everything carefully, and go over our itinerary a second time before booking anything—or even a third time just to be on the safe side! Here are 25 mistakes tourists make when booking vacations (and how to avoid them).
25 They Book A Weekend Flight
Of course, it is always easier to fly on the weekend when you work a full-time job, but the thing is, taking off time during the week and flying then instead can literally save you hundreds of dollars. According to The Points Guy, flying during the week rather than the weekend is almost always cheaper! Hey, that’s money that you can put towards a nicer hotel, going out to eat, or doing a little shopping at your new destination.
24 They Don’t Compare Flight Prices
Simply comparing flight prices can save you a ton of money, and the good news is that this literally only takes a couple minutes. According to the travel blog Nomadic Matt, many people do not even check one or two other flight websites to see if they can get a better deal than what the airline offers on their site. But in this day and age, there is almost always better a deal online if you decide to look for it!
23 They Don’t Leave Any Flexibility In Their Dates
As we mentioned earlier, when it comes to booking flights, it’s definitely easier to be flexible if you have a boss who is okay with you taking time off. But according to the travel blog Hopper, leaving just a day or two of flexibility in your arrival and departure dates can save you so much money. Maybe you want to fly out on a Wednesday, but you see that the Thursday flight is actually significantly cheaper—the change could be worth it!
22 They Forget To Check If Baggage Is Included With Their Ticket
This is such an easy mistake to make—every traveler has done it at some point. According to The Huffington Post, many cheap airlines are able to make their ticket prices so cheap up front because they do not include any baggage with the ticket! Now, some people are okay with flying with just a carry on, but if you know that you will need to check a bag, make sure that you go over the airline’s baggage policy in advance,
21 They Fly Into A Major Airport Hub
Of course, flying into a major airport hub can definitely save you time—they are generally closer to the city center of wherever you’re trying to go. But according to The Points Guy, flying into a small regional airport instead can actually save you a lot of money. These smaller airports will usually have plenty of flights for cheaper prices than the major airports. This is such an easy way to save money—consider it when booking your next trip!
20 They Book A Flight To The Wrong City
You would be shocked at how easy it is to make this mistake! There are so many airports around the world with airport codes that are only one letter away from each other—plus, there are cities that share the same name! According to Yahoo Finance, even seasoned travelers make this simple mistake from time to time. The solution? Just slow down and read everything very carefully when you are purchasing your plane ticket—you will be thankful you did!
19 They Don’t Research The Amenities On Their Flight
According to The Huffington Post, so many different airlines offer different amenities these days—some will give meals, some won’t. Some will have entertainment, some will have WiFi, some will have different perks. If any of these things matter to you, it’s really important to research that before you even book anything. You don’t want to be traveling with your laptop to get some work done and then get on your flight to find out they don’t even offer WiFi!
18 They End Up Paying Extra For Little Perks
As you book a flight, you might be asked about adding on little perks to your ticket as you check out. Don’t click so fast—those will almost always end up costing you money! According to Yahoo Finance, lots of airlines (especially budget airlines) will try to trip up their customers by asking them to buy other perks as they check out! Don’t be fooled by this common tactic. Read the prices on everything carefully, and do not be tempted.
17 They Don’t Take Advantage Of Rewards Points
We admit, rewards programs for trips can be tough to figure out. But even if you don’t have a credit card for a specific airline, you can absolutely still take advantage of rewards points! According to Thrifty Nomads, many regular credit cards can also earn you travel reward points! Don’t sleep on those benefits—you can save so much money with reward points! Look at it this way, it’s basically like getting free money just to travel—so worth it!
16 They Book A Flight That Arrives Late At Night
We know that sometimes, it can be so tempting just to book a flight because it’s the cheapest, no matter what time it arrives. The struggle is so real! But according to Smarter Travel, this is not always the best idea—you do not want to show up in an unfamiliar destination at night! This can leave you feeling very confused and even a little anxious and worried. Not the way you want to start off your big trip, right?
15 They Forget To Check Their Passport Expiration Date
Your passport will not last you forever. According to Smarter Travel, it’s super important to keep an eye on your passport expiration date when you plan to book a trip. Every few years (sometimes five, sometimes ten, depending on how old you were when you got the passport), your passport will expire, and it’s up to you to renew it on time! If you show up outside the country with an expired passport, you might be in for some trouble.
14 They Don’t Check If They Need A Visa Or Not
Did you know that some countries require to register and pay for a visa before you visit? According to Thrifty Nomads, this is very common all over the world, and your visa requirements will depend on your nationality and the purpose of your visit. Some travelers don’t even check if they need a visa before they book their trip to a new country—and as you can probably guess, showing up without a visa is guaranteed to land you in hot water!
13 They Make A Typo That Costs Them
Now, this one may sound silly, but we can assure you that it is very common! According to Travel and Leisure, many travelers will make a small typo when booking flights—for example, they might spell their last name wrong. Now, this may not seem like a big deal at the moment, but trust us, you definitely want to double check this kind of thing! If you show up with the wrong info on your boarding pass, you can’t fly.
12 They Book A “Cheap” Flight With Hidden Costs
Yes, we have given you a few ways to save money when booking flights—but on the other hand, sometimes paying a little extra money to fly is worth it! According to Hopper, sometimes it can save you a whole lot of time and eliminate many inconveniences to just drop a little extra money on a flight. For example, you can spend a little extra to fly in at a more convenient time, or to include baggage and WiFi in your ticket.
11 They Forget To Select Their Seat When Booking
Okay, we’re going to preface this by saying that yes, we know selecting your seat when booking a flight instead of going with a random seat can cost you a little bit of extra money—but here’s why it might be worth it. According to The Points Guy, not selecting a seat means that if the airline has to bump some people because the flight is overbooked, you could be the first to go! Select that seat for extra security.
10 They Don’t Send Travel Alerts For Updates
You might think that setting travel alerts from your airline just means that you’ll be getting annoying texts with sales-y offers from them all the time—but this couldn’t be further from the truth! Travel alerts are super important. According to Hopper, opting in to travel alerts means that airlines will let you know if your flight has been delayed or even cancelled ahead of time. That way you can adjust your plans accordingly without going into panic mode.
9 They Wait Too Long To Book
When you see a good flight deal, don’t sit around and hope that it will get lower in a couple days, because chances are it probably won’t! According to The Points Guy, you do not want to wait too long to book a flight. You will end up spending more money if you wait in hopes that the price will drop—because chances are, it will probably go up. It’s best to act fast when it’s time to book that flight.
8 They Don’t Consider The Cost Of An Airport Hotel
So, let’s say that your flight home leaves SUPER early in the morning, and you don’t have a way of getting to the airport at that time. According to Adventurous Kate, booking an airport hotel in this situation may be your best option—but in reality, your real best option might be booking an earlier flight and spending a little more money on your ticket! Chances are, this will actually cost you less in the long run than the hotel.
7 They Don’t Clear Their Cookies While Searching
Did you know that if airlines can tell you’re looking for flights, they totally will up the prices that they show you? We know it doesn’t sound fair, but that’s the truth! Crazy, right? According to Scott’s Cheap Fares, you should clear your cookies while searching for flights because the sites will raise prices they show you if they register that you are looking to book a flight. Yup, sometimes it seems like technology is way over our heads these days!
6 They Don’t Purchase Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is never a waste—unless you have a ton of cash stashed away to cover any possible emergency, you will want to give yourself a little peace of mind on the road. But according to This Is Insider, many people do not even consider buying travel insurance before taking off. However, this is such an important little detail. Travel insurance can cover all kinds of costs, like lost luggage, cancelled flights, and even some healthcare costs in emergencies.
5 They Book Their Flights Too Early
Okay, we don’t want to sound like we’re contradicting ourselves here, but yes, you can actually book your flights too early! According to The Points Guy, booking flights too early (we’re talking like a year in advance here) can end up costing you more. So, when is the sweet spot for booking flights? How can you time it so that you get the best prices every time? Try to book your flights about 3-4 months in advance for the best deals.
4 They Don’t Choose The Meal They Want In Advance
If you have specific dietary recommendations, you will definitely want to make sure that you book your meal in advance! Even though this is quite important, some people do forget in the chaos of trip planning. According to Money Sense, this is one of the most common mistakes people make when booking a flight—partially because some people assume that it will cost them extra money. Not the case! You can choose your meal online or by calling the airline.
3 They Don’t Consider Getting Security Precheck
Yes, registering for recheck will definitely cost you some extra money, but if you know that you will be in a time crunch, just trust us—it’s totally worth it, no doubt. According to Scott’s Cheap Flights, paying for security precheck guarantees that every time you fly, you will save time at the airport. You will have extra time to arrive, to have a nice meal and grab a coffee, and even to get some work done before you fly.
2 They Book Flights With Multiple Layovers To Save Money
This may seem like an easy money saving trick when it comes to booking flights—but trust us, this can end up costing you not only your money, but your time as well. According to The Huffington Post, booking cheaper flights with multiple layovers may seem like a great idea at the time, but what happens if one of those flights gets delayed? Your entire itinerary could be messed up for a day or two! Sometimes the higher price is worth it.
1 They Don’t Consider How They Will Get To The Airport
If you live far away from the airport, you definitely will want to consider your transportation options BEFORE you book that big trip! According to Smarter Travel, many people will book flights without considering how they will get to the airport beforehand. If you can easily drive there, then you might not have this issue to consider, but if you can’t, make sure you have a ride lined up or a good public transportation option that you can rely on!
References: thepointsguy.com, nomadicmatt.com, hopper.com, huffingtonpost.com, finance.yahoo.com, thriftynomads.com, smartertravel.com, travelandleisure.com, adventurouskate.com, scottscheapflights.com, thisisinsider.com, moneysense.com