I’ve been travelling since I was 18 years old and now that I’m in my 30s, I’ve learned a few tricks and tips to make travel a breeze. Trust me, I have my share of travelling problems! One thing I've learned from this experience is that we could be prepared for anything but sometimes life throws a curve at us. But hey, that’s how resilience is built and you should not be scared to travel again! Here are some of the travel mistakes I’ve made and what you can learn from them!
1. Getting scammed
If you’ve been to major cities in Europe you’ve been warned about various scams that you should look out for. I was travelling in Berlin for the first time and wasn’t aware of how some young girls would approach you to sign some petition and then ask for money. I politely declined and swiftly moved away from them. I was lucky I wasn’t being chased by them! These days, there were some instances where people would come to you asking to sign something and while you were distracted, another person would mug you.
How to deal with it: If someone comes up to you asking for you to sign something — petitions, donations, offering you flowers, etc — just say no and move away from them.
2. Losing my passport
I’m sure many can relate to this incident. I was in Copenhagen when I lost my passport and I was panicking, of course! My next destination was Ireland and I had to cancel everything since I wasn’t able to travel. If I had bought travel insurance I would be able to claim for the lost passport, flight and hotel cancellations ?
How to deal with it: Firstly, don’t panic! Find the nearest police station and make a report for the missing passport. If your trip includes going to another country, you won’t be able to continue your journey. You’d have to cancel the rest of your trip and fly back home on a temporary passport. This is where travel insurance will come in handy! You’ll be able to claim for the loss and trip cancellations with Tune Protect Travel Easy. This protection kicks in once you purchase your policy and you can enjoy the 15% off early bird promo when you book 30 days before your departure date!
3. Not buying insurance
Hey, don’t judge. I was a young, naive and inexperienced traveller. I’d rather spend the money on getting a nice hostel but now that I know more, I always get travel insurance! It’s not that expensive too. For example, Tune Protect Travel Easy starts from RM58.65 where you can be covered for medical expenses, quarantine allowance, trip cancellation and more! Spending those extra few Ringgits will give you the benefit of feeling more secure in case something happens (lost baggage, trip delay or cancellation, medical emergency, etc.).
If only I had bought travel insurance before, I may have saved a few Ringgits *looks at damaged luggage in the corner*.
How to deal with it: Buy travel insurance once you’ve bought your flight tickets! Be sure to read the fine print to see what is included and if it suits your needs.
Also, you can save more when you buy Tune Protect Travel Easy! Get a 15% off early bird promo (when you buy 30 days ahead of the departure date!) and get an additional 25% discount when you buy online! The discount is also applicable to Covid Lite and Covid Plus Plan.
4. Getting lost
Back when Google Maps didn’t exist and when we could only rely on physical maps (yes, those were the days…), getting lost is a norm. But even with technology these days, you can still get lost especially when you’re travelling in a foreign country where English is barely spoken and those foreign signboards are not helping. It can be a horrible feeling — your heart beating faster as the panic starts to rise. You can get lost anywhere: a supermarket, airport, town centre or in the wilderness.
How to deal with it: Download offline maps! This has helped me travel in many countries, especially when I was too cheapskate to spend on local SIM cards or roaming. Before you leave, download Google Maps and then download the offline map for whichever cities you'll be visiting. With the offline map on your phone, you can browse even without an Internet connection.
What happens when your phone battery dies? A pen and paper always come in handy! Always write down your destination just in case you need someone’s help.
5. Did not notify my bank of future foreign transactions
Don’t be like me and do this! It was my first international trip and I didn’t know that I had to notify my bank that I was travelling abroad. I couldn’t even withdraw money at the ATM! I was quite lucky as I had an emergency credit card so I was able to use it but only at premises that could accept credit cards ?
How to deal with it: You can notify your bank through the website and even choose the period that you’ll be travelling. You need to do this in case your bank suspected any “unusual activity” and cancelled your debit card.
5. Getting into an accident
I was in Lombok for my honeymoon when we got into a little scooter accident (the beautiful views distracted my husband). There were two lessons we learnt during the trip. One, always buy travel insurance so when you got into an accident, you can claim for the medical expenses. Two, keep your eyes on the road and don’t get distracted by the view!
How to deal with it: Hopefully by now you’ve learnt from my mistakes and have gotten travel insurance. If you get into an accident, Tune Protect Travel Easy has a Travel 24/7 Emergency Assistance so they’ll be reachable to you any time of the day, in whichever timezone you’re in!
6. Losing my phone
It was during the same honeymoon trip that I lost my phone. It was after the scooter accident and I only realised that I’ve lost it when we got back to the hotel. It was a nightmare! Especially when everything is stored on the phone — contacts, bank apps, digital copies of travel documents, and security alerts.
How to deal with it: Make sure you know all your passwords and update your account details before your trip. Always have physical copies of your travel documents too! Losing your phone can be claimed with Travel Easy (up to RM5000) for a worry-free trip!
7. Booking flights with a short layover
The faster you get to your destination, the better, right? That’s what I thought so too! But it’s a bad idea as you may not know how long it’s going to take to get through airport security. I remember the insane crowd at Schipol Airport and how I almost missed my flight for my connecting flight to Hamburg. I literally arrived at the boarding gate while they were removing my luggage!
How to deal with it: Since that incident, I’d always choose a layover with a few hours in between. Then, I can relax and not get anxious at how close I’d be making the boarding gate. This would also allow for any possible delay scenario (flight delay, long customs line, long distance between terminals, etc.). You’d never know!
Psst… did you know that if your connecting flight is delayed or missed you can claim it from your travel insurance? You can claim up to RM400 with Tune Protect Travel Easy if there is no alternative onward transportation made available to you within six hours of the actual arrival time. If you’re planning to go for umrah or Haj, it’s good to know that Tune Protect Travel Insurance also covers a myriad of travel inconveniences so you’ll have a peaceful pilgrimage.
If there is one key takeaway from my travel mistakes, it’s to get travel insurance. If only I had known the benefits earlier, I could have saved so much more! If you’re still wondering if you should get travel insurance, I hope this article would convince you. It’ll be an investment to have a worry-free trip!
This article is brought to you by Tune Protect.