One of the biggest things that can ruin vacation plans is making a mistake with your booking and not realizing it until it’s too late to fix it. Travel reservation mistakes happen more often than you might think and they can not only ruin a trip but cause the trip from happening at all!
Here are 5 of the 10 of the most common mistakes and how you can avoid making them:
1) Not checking passport expiry dates
The number one mistake is forgetting to check passport expiry dates. Some passports are now valid for up to 10 years and time goes quicker than you think. Checking the expiry date is one of the first things people should do before planning a holiday. If the expiration date has passed (OR is within the restrictions of the country you are travelling to such as being valid for 6 months after your date of travel), you will be denied boarding, which could lead to costly changes or even travel cancellations.
2) Entering incorrect names
Entering incorrect names into online booking sites is a close second in mistakes with bookings. Often people will book tickets with their common names, rather than legal names. For example, newly married women who are changing their name have to book their travel in their passport name, not their new married name. By making a booking with anything other than your legal name, there’s a good chance you’ll have difficulty checking in at the airport. Making a change to an incorrect name can incur a change fee with the airline as well. So, before you finish the booking look over each entry slowly to be sure you have the proper name, spelling and details.
3) Not checking required travel documents
Passports aren’t the only thing people should check before making travel plans. If you don’t have proper documentation you’ll likely be denied boarding at the airport. Some travel Visas take months to receive, so experts recommend checking with the destination county to find out what documents are required. Remember to check with the consulate general of any transiting countries, as well.
Some hotels, resorts, transfers, tours and car rentals require vouchers to be shown at check in so be sure to check the requirements and have what you need.
4) Not checking airline baggage fees
It’s pretty common now for airlines to charge baggage fees, even on the first piece of checked luggage. And depending on how much luggage you’re bringing, the fees for checking bags and overweight luggage can be costly. It’s a good idea to check the fees in advance and pack smart. And remember the journey home, too, as you might be inclined to buy a few souvenirs, right?
5) Showing up to the airport at the wrong time/date
When it comes to travelling, almost nothing is worse than missing your flight! This mistake means you’ll have to pay for a pricey last-minute ticket or head home disappointed. Many search engines use the 24 hour clock so make sure you understand what time you are booking. And remember, for many international flights, companies require travellers to be at the airport three hours prior to departure. You CAN be denied boarding if you don’t show up in time.
Awareness is key!
I have the second half of this list to share next week!