Your GTG’s top 10 mistakes made by beginners

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Well folks, as the world tightens its belt (in some places) and our globe becomes a smaller place, I thought it would be sensible of us to investigate how we can hit the ground running with some handy tips from the been there done that crowd  (of which I am a lifetime offending member).

  1. Taking the first taxi you see when you get off the plane- this is the most-assured way to pay a maximum price and taxi drivers are more than well aware of the fact that you have no comparison of price yet (thank you Kuala Lumpur).
  2. Eating at places with an English language menu- hint hint, if there is a menu not designed specifically for the locals then there is going to be a reason, i.e. it costs more…
  3. Taking too much luggage, especially in handle-drawn suitcases- if you ever intended to scream to locals that you have more money than sense (or something along those lines) then this is definitely the way to do it. Your GTG can confess to having done this (albeit not proudly) through a number of experiences.
  4. Booking everything beforehand- some advance-bookings are a good idea but the prices and different options you can get as you progress through the duration of a trip can be highly preferable.
  5. Sticking 100% to a guide book- your GTG is definitely a fan of guide books but I maintain that they are best read beforehand and only referred to in brief whilst on the road.
  6. Mistaking the language spoken locally- Brazilians amongst many others will testify to the ignorance of visitors when attempting basic communication with no previous research.
  7. Being unaware of local laws and customs- Australians have the example of Schapelle Corby to reference as to what can go wrong when you don’t take a local justice system seriously
  8. Expecting bookings to be 100% secure- your GTG is fairly certain it would only take one trip to ascertain the irregularity of bookings of any kind depending on the establishment.
  9. Expecting to see it all- I still freely admit to being somewhat over-ambitious when it comes to how much can be taken in over the course of a trip so the best formula here is to take what you had planned, and halve it or reduce it by a third. At the very least you will have a more in-depth understanding of the places you have visited. An extension of this concept is the idea you can sight-see on a holiday (not really achievable).
  10. Attempting to get ‘exotic’ goods through (particularly Australian) customs… Here your GTG re-visits the horror of those B-grade border security programs which would have you believe that any attempt to bypass detection be it innocent or malicious will indeed be detected. Whilst your GTG has on the odd occasion indulged (raw squid from Japan and wooden masks from South Korea come to mind), it is never recommended as an option.

So there you have it, complete but by no means exhaustive, let’s see what you have already come up with yourselves 🙂 As they say in Spanish, Bon Voyage… until next week,

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