Berlin (dpa / tmn) – Always watch your wallet and passport, ignore suspicious cheap branded products and do not eat uncooked food in the tropics: Most travelers know the most important travel rules. But is that all?
You probably have not thought about these eight things you should not do when traveling:
1. Trust the hotel safe
Passport, money, tickets and other valuables? Of course, they go into the hotel safe on the go, after all you do not want to miss them or make the next wallet happy.
But is it really safe? The short answer is: no. Some very old models can be turned off by turning off the power, others can still be turned on by factory settings and others reveal their contents if you hit the lid with your fist.
Guides on how to do it abound online, including some weird methods that require a potato.
Tüv Rheinland also warned in 2019: Safes in hotel rooms are often just a small barrier for thieves because they are mounted in the closet or on the wall with simple screws. Then they could break out of criminals and take them.
It was safer to use the hotel safe at reception, Tüv Rheinland then advised. Valuables are picked up there in exchange for a receipt and are fully secured – as opposed to safekeeping in a room.
The conclusion? It’s mostly fine. If you have really important things with you, you should ask the hotel again if there is no safer storage.
2. Telephone on board
When traveling by boat, for example from Germany to Sweden or Norway, getting a smartphone does not seem to be a cost problem. In addition, there are no roaming charges in other EU countries and in some other countries from 2017.
Unfortunately, this only applies to terrestrial networks. Since there is usually no cellular connection when at sea, large ships often have a built-in cellular network, which in turn connects to a satellite network.
Unfortunately, these ship networks are surprisingly expensive and have no automatic cost limits: a short phone call costs from three to seven euros / minute and you can expect up to 2.50 euros per 100 kilobytes of data traffic.
For classification: A short WhatsApp movie in less than a minute has a volume of about one to three megabytes. In the price example, reproduction costs between 25 and 75 euros.
It’s hard to imagine how much it costs kids to calm down with a bigger movie on YouTube. However, there is a safe countermeasure against all of this: just turn off your smartphone or at least switch to flight mode.
3. Pack everything in your luggage
Everything you need immediately after landing definitely does not belong in your luggage. According to a report by IT provider Sita, airlines around the world wasted about 25.4 million pieces of luggage in 2019, the last “normal” trip before the coronavirus, which is slightly more than 5.5 suitcases per thousand passengers.
That in itself is no reason to fear loss: according to the International Airline Association (IATA), 99.5 percent of all missing luggage reappears. In order not to belong to the remaining 0.5 percent, one should neither let loose straps hang in one’s luggage nor arrive with an excessively worn suitcase.
The so-called minimum connection time of a transfer airport is also important. If the transfer time is less than the specified minimum time, it will be tight and the suitcase will probably reach its destination on the next airline flight at the earliest and then usually follow the owner by taxi or courier.
If you do not want to sit with your underpants and the plate from the day before yesterday until then, you should have with you in your hand luggage a small, minimal set of equipment.
4. Not be prepared for emergencies
Honestly, when was the last time you looked for an emergency exit at a hotel? No matter how good the sprinkler system is: If there is a fire in the hotel, you should know the way out – especially on the higher floors, because the fire escape stairs do not go further than the seventh or eighth floor.
You should also know the emergency number and whether it is worth calling at all. It’s something like this: Just over 70 countries (two thirds of them in Europe) have a nationwide rescue service that is always accessible. In everything else, you often have to find out for yourself how to get to the nearest hospital.
5. Allow flight routes to end
How can an airline ticket from Oslo via Berlin to New York cost less than the same ticket from Berlin without the first leg? And do you really have to board Oslo? Even if this is just a fictitious example: Yes, it should.
If you leave a part of the air ticket expiring, the airline may charge you the difference in the price of the normal flight. This is legally controversial, but in any case causes unnecessary stress after the trip and possibly very high additional costs.
6. Not knowing the local laws
Being law-abiding while traveling is normal for most travelers. Of course, you should know that in Thailand, for example, lese majeste is severely punished. That’s why you should never stop a wavy banknote with a bold kick – the king is depicted on the front!
In Buddhist countries, people are sometimes allergic to supposedly funny photos of Buddha statues, and in the Maldives – those that do not belong to tourist resorts – bikinis are not allowed. In Bhutan, on the other hand, smoking in public places is prohibited and in Singapore, the transport of durian fruit with mold in the subway.
A particularly effective way to get involved with the law is with drone shots. In many countries you need a special permit. In Morocco, Iran, Kenya and Egypt, for example, they are completely banned. If you still let them fly without the right papers and even near a military area, they can quickly become a prisoner.
7. Carelessly taking medication with you
It does not matter if it is a fear of flying, pain or tension: In fact, there is a cure for everything. But you should not always take them with you when traveling.
Some countries around the world, including the United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Malaysia and many others, have much stricter drug laws than here. What still goes on as a common drug in Europe can be a ticket to prison elsewhere, even in small quantities.
Before you travel, you should ask in time, for example on the embassy website. A brief confirmation in English by the GP is also recommended that medication is necessary.
8. Check the hotel account balance
This is sometimes not a good idea, especially if WiFi is not password protected. Because, honestly, you are absolutely sure that you have chosen the right one?
Once an entry like “Visitor” or something similar appears in the list of available networks, most visitors assume it is the right network. It is also possible that criminals have set up their own WLAN hotspot near the hotel. At worst, they can track everything from email login to bank passwords, install malware, or redirect login to phishing sites. This method is also popular at airports and restaurants.
A solution for more security: Use your own mobile data or VPN tunnel software instead of WLAN.
Teltarif.de: Mobile phone usage cost trap on a cruise ship
Sita: Bagage IT Insights 2021
Airline ticket validity: consumer advocates on BGH crises
Risks from public WLANs