Gennady Podolsky: How to Avoid 8 Common Travel Mistakes

Seasoned travel advisor Gennady Podolsky understands that careful planning is critical for an enjoyable vacation abroad or road trip. However, he advises that travelers must also be mindful of certain behaviors and practices to avoid them and have the best travel experience. Here, Podolsky outlines eight of the most common travel faux pas and how to prevent them.

Don’t Overschedule Yourself

It’s tempting to pack as many sights and activities as possible into a vacation to get the most value. However, Podolsky warns against cramming too much into each day, as it leads to burnout that prevents thoroughly enjoying experiences. Instead, he advises working with tour operators to build in unscheduled time for a more relaxed pace. Independent travelers should design their balanced itineraries.

Pack Light 

Hauling excessive baggage is tiring and leaves little room for souvenirs. Podolsky recommends a minimalist approach, starting with carry-on luggage only and carefully paring down packing lists to essentials. He advises versatile neutral-colored clothing items that can serve multiple purposes on a trip.

Leave Valuables at Home

Don’t take expensive jewelry, electronics, or other luxury items that may attract thieves. Use secure pockets and bags that deter pickpockets. Also, avoid carrying excess cards or an overstuffed wallet that could make you a target. An RFID wallet can provide added protection against card data theft.

Respect Local Cultures  

Travelers must educate themselves on the cultural values, customs, laws, and norms of their destinations to avoid offending others. Podolsky stresses gaining at least a basic understanding of an area’s language, dress codes, and etiquette before traveling there. Respect and open-mindedness go a long way in ensuring positive interactions.

Explore Off the Beaten Path

Major tourist sites tend to be crowded and commercialized, often not reflecting authentic local flavor. For a unique experience, Podolsky advises researching hidden gems and conversing with locals to discover under-the-radar spots full of character.

Don’t Eat at Tourist Traps

Attraction restaurants catering to visitors are generally overpriced and of lower quality than neighborhood eateries favored by residents. Podolsky suggests getting dining recommendations from Airbnb hosts or friendly locals for a better value experience.

Notify Your Bank in Advance

An essential but often overlooked task is contacting your bank and credit card companies to inform them of upcoming travel dates and destinations. Doing so prevents false fraud alerts that can cause cards to be declined unexpectedly while abroad.

Carefully Review Travel Insurance Policies

Unforeseen circumstances like injuries, flight changes, or natural disasters can lead to costly troubles while traveling. Podolsky emphasizes thoroughly reading the fine print to understand precisely what scenarios and activities travel insurance covers in case issues arise far from home.

Avoiding these common travel mistakes takes some extra preparation. Still, advisor Gennady Podolsky says that doing so sets the stage for a smoother, more enjoyable vacation that will leave travelers eager to plan their next adventure abroad.