How to trip the light fan­tas­tic

An­thony Den­nis asks in­dus­try ex­perts to share their top tips for avoid­ing trou­ble while roam­ing the world

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - Escape - - TRAVEL MISTAKES -

FOR a pur­suit with such a faith­ful and pas­sion­ate fol­low­ing, travel can some­times be a cruel mas­ter.

One mis­take, one lapse in con­cen­tra­tion, one act of care­less­ness, one poor de­ci­sion can de­stroy a hol­i­day and all of its mem­o­ries.

But many mis­takes can be avoided by ad­e­quate prepa­ra­tion and re­search be­fore you take off.

Here, then, are some of the most com­mon mis­takes and some com­mon­sense ways to avoid them:

1 Net loss

Penny Spencer, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Spencer Travel, nom­i­nates ‘‘ DIY travel’’ – where travel is booked on­line – as one of the most com­mon ar­eas where trav­ellers come un­stuck.

‘‘ One of my clients booked a flight on­line in 2010 when he wanted to travel in 2009,’’ Spencer says. ‘‘ So, on turn­ing up to the air­port, he found he was at check-in a year be­fore he had booked and the flight was full.’’

Air­lines, too, re­port tales of cou­ples turn­ing up at air­ports for their hon­ey­moon trip only to dis­cover that they’d en­tered the wrong date or even the wrong des­ti­na­tion when they’d booked the flights on­line.

Al­though more and more of us book on­line, cred­i­ble travel agents re­main a more re­li­able method of ar­rang­ing a trip, es­pe­cially if you’re not a reg­u­lar trav­eller and are un­used to book­ing a large amount of travel on­line.

Re­mem­ber, too, that not ev­ery site is gen­uine. Spencer re­calls one client who ar­rived at a New York apart­ment for which he’d booked and pre-paid on­line. But the owner had no record of the trans­ac­tion. It was a fake site – his money never reached the owner.

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