Travel missteps I have made
I travel a lot and to loads of different places. And I haven’t made that many common traveller mistakes. However also I have made some obvious travel mistakes during my trips. Here a selection of my mistakes.
1. Eat from restaurants and shops at the main tourist street
Sometimes you are hungry or you really want for example an ice cream. My girlfriend and I made this mistake several times in Italy. Restaurant and shops at the main tourist street serve food overpriced and not that delicious. Instead go into a small side street and discover more authentic places.
2. Buy something without knowing the price
A mistake also made at the main shopping street in Florence. A place called Gelaterie Sofia. The place is owned by an old Italian guy. However he doesn’t have a price list at the place where you will order your gelato. In the end we paid € 8,- for one big scoop of gelato. That ice cream wasn’t even that delicious. Our recommendation, if you are in Florence, go to Marco Ottaviano Il Gelato Gourmet at Via Matteo Palmieri. The most delicious ice cream you will ever find.
3. Get out of the bus while everyone stays in the bus when you go to a famous hotspot
This sounds obvious. However people are willing to scam you. In China we were sitting in the bus to visit the Great Wall at Jinshailing. At a certain stop a English speaking Chinese guy entered the bus with the uniform of the bus company. He told us this was the stop for the Great Wall. If this happens to you this should warn you. I was the only foreigner in the bus, and this guy spook proper English. It was that he was wearing the uniform from the bus company and was inside the bus that I thought he could be alright. Even I knew that our stop should be a bit further. We were indeed wrong and he wanted to offer us a taxi. Instead we took the next bus a bit further.
4. Falling asleep in the bus and not getting out of the bus on time
This sounds as a contradiction with my previous point. However in India I took a night bus. I asked the bus driver if he could tell us in person when it is our stop. I should have known by now that Indian will always give you a positive answer even if they don’t understand you. The same if you ask the way and they don’t know where it is, they will still point you were to go. Even if they don’t know where it is.
During the drive I heard by several stops that they shouted the name in Hindi. However my Hindi is not on the highest level and sometimes I fell asleep as well. At the end of the journey the bus driver told me this was the final stop. After I got off the bus, I discovered this stop was 300 km further then where I wanted to get off. Luckily this was one of the best places, off the beaten track I have discovered during my India journey.
5. Not arranging the complete price upfront
It is not the same thing as point number 3 that I mentioned. This also didn’t happen to me personally. But a group that I was travelling with in Ghana, arranged a trotro ride from one place to another. They arranged the price up front, at least that is what they thought. Only the driver thought only the price for the people was the arrangement and they still had to arrange the price of the luggage. So after leaving the trotro, the driver insisted to get some extra money for the bringing the luggage. So make sure when you arrange stuff that you make sure you agreed on everything up front.