Let's be honest, a lot of conventional travel wisdom -- from always book your trip early, to exchange currency at the airport -- is out of date in an increasingly digital and connected world. And travelers who still follow such misguided advice end up wasting money, losing time, and missing out on opportunities.
As a travel writer, it's easy to tell people what they should do on their adventures -- and to share the best travel tips and tricks. But sometimes it makes more sense to tell them what not to do, at least that way we can hope to finally dispel many of these pervasive travel myths.
To that end, here are 12 common mistakes every traveler should avoid.
DON'T use US-based search engines exclusively
All search engines have blind spots, no matter where they are in the world. But by using only the large US search engines, you are reducing the chance of finding a deal. Many sites like Kayak, Orbitz, and Expedia don't include smaller budget airlines or seasonal carriers.
What to do instead: Use Google Flights, Skyscanner, and momondo to find foreign and budget airlines. In fact, go one step further and mix-and-match your flights to save big money. For example, I once needed to fly from New York to Paris but the fare was $900. So instead, I flew to Dublin for $600 and hopped a $60 budget flight to Paris. It took longer, but the $240 I saved was worth it. With more budget carriers around the world these days, it pays to at least take a look -- and you're not going to see those airlines on the big US travel sites.