Top travel mistakes — and how to avoid them
Saving money at the expense of time: People focus on saving money while forgetting that their time is an equally valuable and limited resource. It's worth paying for museum admission rather than going on a free day and suffering through slow lines and crowds. If a taxi costs you and your partner $5 more than two bus tickets, it's worth the 20 minutes saved. If ever time was money, it's when you're trying to get the most out of travelling abroad. (Fotolia)
Once, while riding the train into Dresden, Germany, I got off where most other passengers did — at Dresden Neustadt. After 20 minutes of walking in a confused fog, my denial that I had gotten off at the wrong station slowly faded. Embarrassed by my mistake, I hopped on the next train. Five minutes later, I got off at Dresden Mitte. As I stepped outside the station, it slowly sunk in: I had made the same mistake again. Another train came. I got on and finally made it to Dresden Hauptbahnhof — a block from my hotel.
Even after countless trips to Europe, I still make my share of blunders — I get lost, miss train connections, and get shortchanged by taxi drivers. But with each slip-up, I learn something. Now I make it a point to tell people: "Many towns have more than one train station. Be sure you get off at the right one."
Find some of the biggest mistakes I see travellers make these days in the gallery above.
Rick Steves (www.ricksteves.com) writes European travel guidebooks and hosts travel shows on public television and public radio. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow his blog on Facebook.