20 Mistakes That Travellers Make and How to Avoid Them

November 05, 2017


20 Mistakes That Travellers Make and How to Avoid Them


Making mistakes while travelling is very common because you encounter experiences and situations that are completely new to you. Without knowing how to handle these situations, every traveller makes mistakes once in a while so don’t be too hard on yourself. We have outlined 20 of the biggest mistakes that travellers make so that you can learn how to avoid them and have the most stress free and incredible trip.



1. Forgetting the Exchange Rate

It is very common for travellers to show up in a foreign country and completely forget to check what the exchange rate is. Not knowing the local exchange rate from your local currency is the best way to ensure you get scammed. If you are heading out on a long trip and know that you will have to juggle multiple exchange rates along the way, write them down and frequently update them.




2. Travelling without Insurance

You’d be surprised how many travellers skip insurance because they think they won’t need it. While it can be fun to take a gamble once in a while, being stuck with a huge hospital bill or having to replace all of your luggage on your own dime is anything but fun. Be sure to get travel insurance no matter the length of your trip and make sure to check which type of insurance covers the types of activities you tend to do while abroad.




3. Looking Like a Tourist

This is probably the most obvious mistake that people warn travellers about. You always hear tips like “don’t get out a map in the middle of a street” or “don’t look lost”. Instead, head into a nearby cafe or shop and try to make a bit of a game plan, even if you are only thinking one or two steps ahead




4. Planning Every Step of the Way

Whether you head out on a round the world trip, a week long vacation, or a weekend getaway, don’t make the mistake of planning out your entire day, week, or month. Nothing ever goes perfectly to plan and you will want the flexibility of free time and space once you arrive in your destination. You don’t want to feel stressed or obligated to do certain things, so give yourself plenty of freedom to choose along the way.




5. Packing too Much into One Day

If you only have a few days in a specific location, you may think it’s a good idea to cram your days with activities and sights so that you will see and experience as much as possible. Instead, you will end up feeling tired and rushed. Leave spaces in between activities so that you can simply relax and enjoy your surroundings. Sometimes, less is more.




6. Packing too Much into your Bag

Packing can be one of the most complicated tasks when it comes to travel. You already know that you won’t wear everything that you pack, so pack smart and plan for the type of weather you will encounter and for the activities you plan to do. Much like cramming too much into one day, less is more when it comes to packing as well. Consider using packing cubes to organize your belonging more which will save you time while travelling.




7. Placing Your Passport and Money on Show

When it comes to travel, only two things really matter and those are your passport and your money. Everything else that you need when travelling can be acquired in your destination country, however your passport and money are two essentials that you don’t want to misplace, lose, or forget somewhere. They are also objects that you want to hide on yourself while travelling. Never put them in your back pocket or in a purse that someone might steal. When you check into your accommodation, leave your passport in a locker or a safety deposit box. What’s more, a concern today with travelling is people taking your passport or card numbers using scanners. Purchase RFID wallets to protect your most important goods.




8. Not Writing Down Your Memories

Many travellers head out on epic trips and enjoy every single moment. They come home and tell stories and over time they forget those stories. Take a journal with you and write down your most cherished memories, draw pictures, or glue in ticket stubs and bus transfers. Write your memories down so that you can re-read them and experience the trip all over again.




9. Forgetting to Back Up your Photos

Phone and camera fraud is at an all time high so while it can be difficult to prevent fraud, you can cover your bases by backing up your photos everyday. This way, if the worst does happen, you still have all of your favourite memories and photos backed up. Consider purchasing a backpack that is anti-theft like these ones, which will ensure your belongings are safe while inside the bag




10. Staying Only on the Tourist Trail

Many travellers are scared to head off the typical tourist trail incase there is danger or they fear the unknown. However, the unknown can provide you with some of the most spectacular views, sights, people, experiences, and cultures. As long as you feel safe, take a risk and head to the other path, you never know what surprises you will find.




11. Disrespecting a Foreign Culture

The biggest complaint from foreign cultures is that visitors travel to their country and disrespect their culture, traditions, customs, laws, and people. Always behave the way that you would in your home country and exercise extra sensitivity towards foreign customs and traditions. Do your research and educate yourself before you go.




12. Booking Connecting Flights with Not Enough Time in Between

If you book two or more flights separately, airlines are not responsible if you miss a flight due to delays or other unforeseen conditions. Always give yourself plenty of time in between two flights that will take place in the same day and always consider how long it will take you to get through customs and to your next gate. If possible, book your flights all together so that the airline or the flight website are responsible if you do miss a flight.




13. Having No Cash on you

Many foreign countries don’t use credit and debit cards all of the time the way we do in places like North America, Australia, and Europe. We have become so reliant on using plastic cards for payment that many of us don’t use cash anymore. When travelling, check the local payment forms that are most frequently used and always have at least some cash on you.




14. Forgetting to Check your Foreign Bank Charges

Before you travel, always contact your bank and confirm the types of charges that you will encounter when taking money out in a foreign country. This will ensure you are not surprised every time you take money out from an ATM. Furthermore, let your bank know where you are travelling to so your credit cards or bank cards don’t get frozen or cut off.




15. Travelling too Quickly

Much like packing too many activities into one day, many travellers travel countries way too quickly. Remember that travelling is supposed to be enjoyable, exciting, and educational, so take you time and enjoy every moment.




16. Losing Track of your Bookings

Many travellers pre-book accommodations and flights before they travel. If this is the case, be sure to track all of your bookings in an app or a journal. This will ensure you don’t misplace, lose, or simply forget where you’re supposed to be. Track other details too like directions, phone numbers, and contacts




17. Not Taking Advice from Locals

Many travellers fail to speak to locals when in another country. This is often due to fear of not understanding one another. Try to chat to locals in shops, restaurants, and on the street to get a sense of what they typically do in their city or town. Taking advice from locals can be one of the greatest things you do while on the road. You never know what types of experiences you will have, where you will end up, or who you will meet.




18. Choosing to Follow Guidebooks Only

While purchasing guidebooks can be a good idea, it is often better to follow the advice of travellers and locals that you meet along the way. Guidebooks can be out of date and furthermore they guide hundreds of thousands of other travellers on the exact same route. If you choose to follow a guidebook, use it as a rough guide only.




19. Trying too Hard to Stay on Budget

If you are heading out on a long trip, you may have set yourself a tight budget for each day. While it is a good idea to budget, leave yourself some room so that you don’t feel stressed over money each day. Don’t try too hard to stay on budget and remember you are there to enjoy yourself and have new experiences first and foremost.




20. Not Fully Immersing Yourself in the Culture

Travel can open your eyes to a world of new possibilities. While it’s nice to enjoy the finer things in life like hotels, fancy restaurants, and shops, try to fully immerse yourself in the local culture by eating at family owned restaurants, dining on street food, exploring local towns and villages, and befriending locals.



What other big mistakes do you think travellers frequently make?  

4 Responses

Sharon Dodd
Sharon Dodd

May 01, 2018

We stay in hotels, predominantly. We find it very useful to chat to the concierge for really good advice for local activities and really good, economical restaurants. We’ve eaten at some amazing local restaurants, and despite language barrier, have eaten some amazing local fare. No way would I bother to cook & clean dishes…..I’m on holidays too, and my husband supports that.

Daniel baxter
Daniel baxter

January 20, 2018

I decded to stay in Philippines Love it but I broke my femur falling off a ladder ( I was 2steps from the ground) insurance ran out couple weeks before so I had operation in Phillipines they put stainless partiall hip ,I then felt ill after a few months so managed to return to Australia just made it I had caught CRE Carbapenem Resistant Enterobacteria infection I have had 3 operations to clean out the infection and been on micro antibiotic for months due off all antibiotics next week and hopefully full hipmtransplant in 6 weeks time SO check local infections and never be too careful even a scratch could result in serious infections such as CRE

Noel Nielsen
Noel Nielsen

December 21, 2017

Knowing the exchange rate is toooo complicated….it is FAR EASIER to simply know how much local money you will walk away with from a money changer. Admittedly you have to know what the rate is at a particular money changer BUT discussing the exchange rate is a distraction and a ruse by the scoundrel….Just know how much you SHOULD receive, count it in front of them and challenge immediately if its not right

Noel Nielsen
Noel Nielsen

December 21, 2017

Knowing the exchange rate is toooo complicated….it is FAR EASIER to simply know how much local money you will walk away with from a money changer. Admittedly you have to know what the rate is at a particular money changer BUT discussing the exchange rate is a distraction and a ruse by the scoundrel….Just know how much you SHOULD receive, count it in front of them and challenge immediately if its not right

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