10 Turkey travel mistakes & how to avoid them

10 Turkey travel mistakes? Is there such a thing as failure when on holiday? Well, these things largely depend on your mindset and on how well-prepared you are. We’re not the overly prepared travelers you might take us for, as we love to go with the flow to see where it takes us. But we do our homework before we leave because we want to avoid mishaps and unfortunate events turning our trip into a bad experience. After all, you’re traveling to relax and to enjoy yourselves. A little research upfront goes a long way and helps you make the most out of your Turkey trip.

Running a Turkey travel website, we get emails from all over the world with questions from people preparing their trip to Turkey. We’ve noticed that plenty of first-time travelers often make the same mistakes and decided to bundle them into this post with 10 Turkey travel mistakes & how to avoid them.

10 Turkey travel mistakes & how to avoid them

Turkey Travel Mistakes To Avoid, Don't Get An Overpriced Visa

Turkey Travel Mistakes To Avoid: Don’t Get An Overpriced Visa

1. Getting an overpriced visa from an unofficial source

Depending on which country issued your travel document, you may or may not need a visa to travel to Turkey. Most people who need one can easily get their Turkish tourist visa online. It’s called an e-Visa, and it only takes a few minutes to get one. Great news, isn’t it? So, what’s the catch? As always with things done online, there are pitfalls to avoid, such as buying an overpriced travel visa from an unofficial source.

Some would call it a visa-scam; we would say it is probably one of the easiest Turkey travel mistakes to make. Why? Because most people use Google to find the e-Visa website, and the top results are all paid ads by companies offering to make your visa application for you. Are these visas legit? In 99% of the cases, yes. But you’ll pay an awful lot more for the same thing, and getting an e-Visa is so easy that there’s no reason not to do it yourself. To make it even easier for you, we’ve made a step-by-step guide to order your visa for Turkey online using the only official Turkish visa website.

Click here to order your Turkish visa online in just a few minutes with our failproof step-by-step guide

Turkey Travel Mistakes To Avoid, Remember That Some Resorts Are Closed Entirely

Turkey Travel Mistakes To Avoid: Remember That Some Resorts Are Closed Entirely

2. Thinking resorts are happy-go-lucky places all year round

Looking at pictures of your favorite Turkish resort, you might be inclined to think that these places are operational throughout the year. Some are, but you’ll learn that many are not. Plenty of Turkish resort towns virtually close down entirely over winter. Some places, like Ölüdeniz, where everything is open and buzzing from May to the end of October, are deserted over winter. Apart from the odd open café or restaurant, the entire resort has the appearance of a closed luna park.

Does this mean that places like Ölüdeniz should be avoided at all costs out of season? Not if it’s up to us! We love long winter beach walks on a beach that has returned to its natural state. Curious as to what it looks like? Check it out in this post.

The idea is to do your research and to know what to expect. If you’re not in it for the entertainment and the pirate boat tours, and you’re not too bothered with the deserted look of some resorts, Turkey is a great country to visit out of season. It’s our favorite time of the year, with fewer people and more pleasant temperatures. If you prefer things to be a little more lively, pick a town as a base where people actually live, rather than a dedicated tourist resort.

Check our top tips for traveling to Turkey off-season here

3. Not looking beyond the common name of a tourist resort

Yet another example of Turkey travel mistakes that can make or break your holiday. Yes, this is really that bad! Tour operators and locals alike love simplicity. One of their favorite – and misleading – practices is to generalize things and pick one common name for an area consisting of lots of individual & entirely different resorts. Bodrum is a good example, but even Marmaris or Fethiye would do. Not to mention Antalya. Why is this such a problem?

Let’s take the Bodrum Peninsula as an example. People say that they are going to Bodrum. Even the brochure says that, regardless of which resort you will be staying at on the peninsula. But the Bodrum Peninsula resorts couldn’t be more different from each other. Bottom line, this is a good thing, as there is something for every style and budget on the peninsula. Travelers are wonderfully spoiled for choice, except when they’re unaware of it and end up in a place that doesn’t suit them.

Turkish resorts come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. You have destinations for nature lovers and people who like to take it slowly; you have the ultimate party animal towns, budget destinations, or billionaire clubs. Knowing that you’ll be unhappy in a loud party place if you like silence is a no-brainer. Always check this with your travel agent!

Click here to get a better idea of the different Bodrum Peninsula resorts

Turkey Travel Mistakes To Avoid, Don't Underestimate Travel Times

Turkey Travel Mistakes To Avoid: Don’t Underestimate Travel Times

4. Underestimating the distances & travel times

Picking the wrong resort is pretty high on the Turkey travel mistakes list, but so is underestimating distances and travel times in Turkey. Turkey is a big country, and while infrastructure is great and the roads are always inviting you to plan your next road trip, lots of travelers gravely underestimate the time needed to go from point A to point B. Sure, you’ll get to enjoy some pretty scenic rides in Turkey, but unless driving or flying is your idea of the perfect holiday, you might want to spend an extra day preparing your itinerary and checking (or even double-checking) travel times.

There’s no need to invest in any fancy tools to calculate travel times between Turkish cities accurately; good old Google Maps is great at that.

Planning a road trip? Read all about driving in Turkey!

Turkey Travel Mistakes To Avoid, Don't Stuff It All In One Trip

Turkey Travel Mistakes To Avoid: Don’t Stuff It All In One Trip

5. Thinking you have to stuff everything in one trip

We already mentioned it: Turkey is a big country. But, it’s not just big, there’s something to discover almost behind every corner! We’ve traveled around the country extensively, and the more places we can check off our bucket list, the more we keep adding to it. If you’re the kind of traveler that needs to have seen everything in one single trip, you might as well give up. It simply won’t happen, even if you plan on traveling around the country for months. With over 8.000 kilometers of coastline, 18 UNESCO World Heritage sites, and more than 200 ancient sites, stuffing it all in one trip is an illusion.

Our advice? Don’t rush it, and don’t try to cover too much terrain. Pick your favorite region and arrange some day trips from that base. Trust us, you’ll be back once you’ve got that Turkey fire burning, as being hooked for life is one of the dangers of traveling to Turkey.

Want to keep things organized and make lists? Check out our Turkey Trip Planner!

Turkey Travel Mistakes To Avoid, Trusting The Bartender As Your Agent

Turkey Travel Mistakes To Avoid: Trusting The Bartender As Your Agent

6. Trusting the friendly bartender as an agent

One of the recurring Turkey travel mistakes is trusting the friendly bartender as an agent. Turkish people are extremely welcoming, and their hospitality is truly unequaled. Anyone who has traveled to Turkey will have stories to tell. But we all have our trades and expertise, and when it comes down to finding or organizing the perfect excursion, the only right way to go about this is to make sure that you are using a licensed Turkish travel agent or guide. This matters if you want to play it legally, and you prefer to be safe and insured.

Don’t worry. We’ve gone ahead and did the legwork for you. We have a dedicated post where you can find out how to check Turkish travel agents or guides.

Read: 5 reasons to use a licensed Turkish travel agent & how to check if yours is legit

Turkey Travel Mistakes To Avoid, Read The Small Print On Your Policy

Turkey Travel Mistakes To Avoid: Read The Small Print On Your Policy

7. Traveling without insurance or not checking the fine print when quad riding, paragliding, or extending your holiday

Worry-free traveling is making sure that you are covered if things go south. The truth is that the last thing that you need is a small (or big) mishap happening when abroad. Having an accident – no matter how small or big – in another country is terrifying. Being hospitalized even more so. But having to go through this without proper insurance is the worst scenario ever and definitely at the top of the list of Turkey travel mistakes to avoid.

Healthcare is excellent in Turkey, and most hospitals have a tourist department with translators available to assist you. On top of that, both ambulance services and the health line work in collaboration with a dedicated International Patient Support Unit that offers its translation services 24/7 in six different languages. You can reach the call center directly at +90 850 288 38 38. They assist in English, German, French, Russian, Farsi, and Arabic.

Always check if your travel insurance covers activities such as quad riding or paragliding or if you’re protected against cancellations, baggage loss, and more unfortunate events.

Click here to get a quote for comprehensive and affordable travel insurance that also has you covered for paragliding and quad trips

Turkey Travel Mistakes To Avoid, Checking The Weather

Turkey Travel Mistakes To Avoid: Check The Weather

8. Forgetting that the coast and inland have an entirely different climate

A country as big as Turkey has different climate regions. It’s not unusual to drive half an hour away from the coast in winter to find yourself in the snow. That’s great if you know that this can be the case. However, it’s rather unpleasant if you’re wearing nothing more but shorts and a t-shirt. Depending on when and where you’re traveling in Turkey, you may need to pack an entirely different set of clothes for different parts of your trip. We’re huge fans of layered clothing, especially out of season. Just add or remove whatever is needed whenever the sun decides to disappear or reappear.

The Turkish climate is as diverse as the country, with important distinctions between the regions. As a rule of thumb, count on dry and hot summers, almost all over Turkey, except maybe along the northeast coast. Other than that, Turkey has a continental climate inland, so expect snow and cold in winter and relatively cool nights, even in the height of summer. Along the coast, the climate is mild, with slightly higher temperatures on the Mediterranean. Once you’ve picked a date and a region, head over to our Weather in Turkey page to check out the statistics and forecasts.

Click here to go to our weather in Turkey page

Turkey Travel Mistakes To Avoid, Don't Overpay For Your Taxi Ride

Turkey Travel Mistakes To Avoid: Don’t Overpay For Your Taxi Ride

9. Getting into a taxi without agreeing on a price or verifying that the meter is running & what the travel time should be

Another one of the Turkey travel mistakes you will want to avoid is being overcharged for a taxi ride. Don’t worry; in most resorts, the pricing is very straightforward, and you will often see an overview of the tariffs at the taxi stops. In big cities, such as Istanbul, for example, things are sometimes a tiny bit more chaotic and less transparent. The trick is to come prepared, and the best way to do that is to use the Turkey Taxi Cab Fare Calculator below. This tool should give you a good idea of what to expect.

After that, make sure to agree to a price upfront or check that the meter is running and indicate that you have done your homework and know what a fair price for your ride is.

Click here to go to the Turkey Taxi Cab Fare Calculator

Turkey Travel Mistakes To Avoid, Not Using A Vpn

Turkey Travel Mistakes To Avoid: Not Using A Vpn

10. Not using a VPN for safe & full internet access

There are several reasons why using a VPN in Turkey is a good idea. For starters, using a VPN ensures more internet security, which is especially helpful if you intend to use public WiFi hotspots during your travels. Your IP address is hidden, and your internet activities are private and protected with encrypted data. Another advantage is that VPN’s unblock websites that are not accessible in Turkey. Wikipedia was blocked for years before being accessible again in the course of 2020. It is still impossible to book a room in Turkey on booking.com from within the country unless you are using a VPN.

Additionally, if there’s a (usually short) interruption of social media access, a VPN will prevent you from losing access to your favorite channels. But really, your main concern when traveling is internet security, regardless of the country that you are traveling to. This alone should be reason enough to use a VPN and, to make the win complete, read how to get a Turkish SIM to save money. This may not be the worst of these Turkey travel mistakes, but it is still something that you should consider!

Click here for a massive discount for a great VPN to use with unlimited devices

Final thoughts on these Turkey travel mistakes

The best way to avoid all or any of these Turkey travel mistakes is to allow a little extra time to prepare for your trip. It’s a small effort with a huge benefit. After all, you want to make the most out of your trip and the memories that go with it. Don’t let anything spoil that. We’ve bundled all the important practical topics on a single page. Use this post and the advice from our Turkey travel resources page to kickstart your trip to Turkey. Happy travels!

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Check the weather

Never wonder about the weather in Turkey again. The Turkish climate is as diverse as the country with significant differences between the regions.

This page contains the current weather and weather statistics for all regions in Turkey.

Prepare your trip

How to order a tourist visa for Turkey?

What about public transport?
Can you skip the line at Istanbul Airports?

General Turkey travel information, essential to help prepare your trip, on one page!

Lists & Reviews

Bookmark your favorite places, find other destinations nearby, get directions from your location, and read or leave reviews.

Our Turkey Trip Planner wad designed to do just that. You'll find all our favorite spots in one place, including scenic road stops.

Map of Turkey

Do you like to see things on a map? On our interactive tourist map of Turkey, you'll spot nearby points of interest right away. We've done the heavy lifting for you. Just click on the icons to go to each post.

Enjoy our practical and inspirational map of Turkey!

Check the weather

Never wonder about the weather in Turkey again. The Turkish climate is as diverse as the country with significant differences between the regions.

This page contains the current weather and weather statistics for all regions in Turkey.

Prepare your trip

How to order a tourist visa for Turkey?

What about public transport?
Can you skip the line at Istanbul Airports?

General Turkey travel information, essential to help prepare your trip, on one page!

LISTS & REVIEWS

Bookmark your favorite places, find other destinations nearby, get directions from your location, and read or leave reviews.

Our Turkey Trip Planner wad designed to do just that. You'll find all our favorite spots in one place, including scenic road stops.

Map of Turkey

Do you like to see things on a map? On our interactive tourist map of Turkey, you'll spot nearby points of interest right away. We've done the heavy lifting for you. Just click on the icons to go to each post.

Enjoy our practical and inspirational map of Turkey!

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10 Turkey travel mistakes & how to avoid them