Travel Planning Mistakes to Avoid


Shortly after the second world war in 1950, there were only 25 million tourist arrivals worldwide. Today, that number has dramatically increased to 1.4 billion international arrivals per year. This is according to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, or the UNTWO.

Travelling offers a number of benefits, including expanding social networks and lowering the chances of developing heart diseases. People spend months of diligent planning to reap the benefits of a perfect trip.

We hawkishly watch airfares go up and down, fill spreadsheets with train times and bus routes and take screenshots of every must-try restaurant. However, even the mightiest plans can go askew. Here are some all-too-frequent planning mistakes to avoid.

Even experienced globetrotters fall victim to these planning blunders.

Booking flights too far in advance or too late

Are you a detailed planner who insists on booking plane tickets months in advance to sort every single thing out, including the things to do in Changi Airport during your layover? Or do you prefer to plan out the details on the fly and book the train tickets when you are already in the new city?

A recent survey showed that the prime booking time for the best plane tickets is 54 days in advance. This is the average booking time. When flying to popular international destinations, however, like Europe for the summer, booking the flights longer in advance makes more practical sense.

Waiting to book at the last minute can be quite an expensive gamble. One way to easily grasp the chance to book that cheapest flight is to set up daily fare alerts on travel metasearch sites. These search engines compare aeroplane tickets between Point A and Point B, helping travellers sort out all the different options and make an informed decision.

Not searching for flights incognito

searching for flights

We all spend hours or days of repeated searching when trying to book the cheapest flight possible. However, have you ever noticed airfares seem to go up after searching for it a few times? This happens even in a matter of hours or even minutes.

Many websites track customer behaviours online using cookies. Airlines and flight aggregators use these data to slowly inch up the prices on the tickets that customers are interested in. So, no you’re not crazy for thinking that a flight price has inflated after searching for it multiple times.

To work around this, you can opt to move across the web in stealth mode by switching your browser settings to incognito mode. Your cookies are reset every time you re-open an incognito window.

Cramming too many activities in

Trying to pack too much on a vacation is entirely counterproductive. Have you heard of a travel burnout? This is a real thing, and it is used to describe a certain body malaise caused by travelling too long or cramming in too much on a short trip.

To avoid travel burnout, give yourself more time to explore by allocating some slots on the agenda to yourself.  Slow down on your sightseeing, as switching towns every few days or frequent short-haul flights can become exhausting after a while.

If you know where you are going on your next trip, make sure to plan ahead of time and avoid these common travel mistakes. Make sure to use set daily fare alerts instead of repeatedly searching for airfares and create a travel itinerary that will make you feel relaxed and invigorated at the end of the trip.