Top travel mistakes — and how to avoid them

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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 ( writes European travel guidebooks and hosts travel shows on public television and public radio. Email him at and follow his blog on Facebook.