This article reviews 10 mistakes to avoid for travelers. I will highlight the mistakes I have experienced and try to avoid.
Under estimating your hotel from city center.
We have always selected our hotel near the city center especially if we are not familiar with the city. Our trip last year to Paris France we selected our hotel in the 7th and it was a great location to all the sights and Metro and did not use a taxi the entire trip. It was great just walking out of our hotel and everything was at our disposal and I would recommend Rick Steve’s guide books. We just booked our hotel for our Beijing trip and this will be our first extended stay in Beijing. All the reviews I have read was about the terrible traffic, so we selected a hotel near the Forbidden City area to avoid traffic jams. Again we are unfamiliar with Beijing so it is a good first start for us.
Trying to do too much on your trip
I love to plan like crazy but usually try to slow down and enjoy the travel experience. In Paris France we enjoyed our lunch and dinners by slowing down and taking several hours for each meal. We planned to use the 4 day museum pass in Paris but only bought the 2 day because we wanted to slow down and knew we could not realistically see everything but we initially planned for it. As in China this will be our first trip planned to see major sights rather than seeing our family and friends exclusively and hope to provide more travel tips and cultural experiences with you. We plan on 4 nights in Beijing and our plan is the Great Wall, Summer Palace, Forbidden City Tiananmen Square, and Peking Duck Dinner.
Not being honest with your likes and dislikes
This is a great topic because it describes our trip to Paris France last year. My wife from China likes to eat and shop but could do without all the sights. I like to drink and see historical sights. We cut our 4 day museum pass to 2 days because I knew my wife would get bore very quickly and it was not a wise investment in the longer pass. She got to shop more and I got to drink my red wine 1 bottle at lunch and 2 at dinner, so we compromised.
This is the best part of traveling is to explore and get lost. In Paris France we asked our hotel clerks to the Metro stop for Chinatown and they were surprised we asked and had to look it up. They stated there was nothing for us to see like Chinese architecture or anything like that but we wanted to go to get some great food. Sure enough it was an adventure and we met an old Chinese lady whom lived in Paris for 40 years spoke 4 languages and recommended our best restaurant of the trip. She recommended this locals place near the 7th and it took some getting to but it was the highlight of our eating experience in Paris France. In China we spoke to locals in a city we were not familiar with and they gave us directions to the best noodles I have ever eaten hand made with the bamboo mixing style, out of this world! Go explore and you will have the best memories of your trip.
Love that Photoshop but yes photos are tricky to get a true picture of your hotel or places. When selecting a hotel I use Tripadvisor.com and only really use the comments related to my standards. What do I mean is that a lot of reviews are like a bell curve, you will have some guests who love it and some guest who hate it with a passion which are the ends of the bell curve. Look for reviews in the middle of the road and related to your normal environment. I look for reviews from travelers from the US and more specific the region of the US I am from New England. I prefer traveler’s photos over properties photos and look for a LCD TV to date the room and the bathroom is the most important to me. I wish hotels had more photos of all classes of room with bathrooms rather than all their suites. I prefer recent reviews as well. Social media has made a great impact because we can easily take photo and communicate via the internet for the latest information and we need to keep it up as travelers.
The initial low price is not always the same for outlying airports. Perfect example is when we fly into Shanghai verses directly into Nanjing China. We can get super low flights from LAX to Shanghai but we live in Vegas and stay in Nanjing China. When we used to fly into Shanghai we had to spend the night in Shanghai then take a bus or train to Nanjing which easily added $300 for the 2 of us round trip. We lose 2 days in Shanghai because our first night has to be in Shanghai and then our last night as well because we did not have enough time to travel from Nanjing to Shanghai to catch our flights in the same day. We found it was the same price or cheaper to fly directly from Vegas to Nanjing and it was the most convenient and maximized our time in Nanjing China. Now we book with Chinese airlines because they are the most flexible and baggage allowances are currently more liberal. Again the initial low price to an outlying airport may not be the lowest overall and you must include everything which is your time, airports, taxis, buses, trains, planes, hotels, restaurants, and the hassle of carrying your luggage as well.
Passionate for everything related to China travel.