8 Biggest Travel Mistakes

 young shocked businesswoman covering her mouth

Say “Oh Yeah!” to Avoid “Oh No!”

Planning a trip can be chaotic, especially if it’s rushed. Between triple-checking your passport and arranging a pet sitter, you can forget some things. Everyone wants their trip to be enjoyable, but a travel mistake can have you kicking yourself.  No one wants that, especially your traveling partner. Hopefully, some of these travel blunders will make you say, “Oh yeah! I forgot to do that.” Read on to avoid making some of the biggest travel mistakes.

overpacked suitcase on bed


This is one of the easiest fixes to do, yet no one wants to do it. While you’re sitting on your luggage, yanking on the zipper, reconsider some of the items sticking out. If you must, repack completely with a goal of downsizing. Stick to items that are versatile and fashion-neutral.  The odds are you will not use or wear every item that you pack. Try rolling clothing, rather than folding. If anything, underpack and make plans to do a load of laundry while abroad. Apply these tips to your carry-on, as well. You won’t regret the lighter baggage when you’re running to make your connecting flight.

Female hands holding Ukrainian passports with Shengen visas on the Krakow city

Not Checking Visa Requirements

Traveling can seem so easy. Some of us have built up this fantasy that all we need is some money in our pocket and a plane ticket in order to go somewhere. Those at the ticket counter or checkpoint will burst your bubble when the ask about your visa. Look online to find what countries require visas and what types. Nothing is worse for your trip than not going at all!

foreign currency

Not Getting Currency at the Airport

Traveling can be expensive. After considering air travel, hotel, and food costs, it’s no wonder travelers try to cut costs in other ways. It’s best to exchange currency in the country that you are visiting. Once you have landed, you can conveniently exchange currency within the airport. Think you’ll get a better rate outside the airport? You might, but it probably won’t be much. Is it really worth going out of your way and starting out your trip with limited funds? You’ll probably regret it when you can’t find a taxi that’ll take your credit card. Speaking of which…

Picture showing woman in call center

Not Telling Your Card Company About Your Trip

You probably don’t like to deal with your credit card company, even in the comforts of your home. When your card is declined in a bustling airport, calling about your account can feel torturous.  Avoid this by simply calling ahead of time and letting your credit card company know about your trip. Make the most of your call by inquiring about foreign transaction fees. Said fees might break your budget, but not as much as our next traveling mistake.

f male doctor bandaging foot of female patient at doctor's office.

Not Buying Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is an investment that can make a huge difference when things go wrong. It can seem like a waste of money until you miss a step and end up in the local hospital with a sprained ankle…or worse! No one plans to get hurt or sick on a trip, but it happens more often than people would like to believe. If you think travel insurance is going to hurt your wallet, imagine what a foreign medical bill is going to feel like. Not to mention the cost of an early return flight, if necessary.

Businesswoman talking on the smartphone while walking.

Not Checking Your Cell Phone Plan

Unless you’re a fearless traveler who plans to go abroad without a phone, you should probably check with your cell phone provider about traveling options. See what plans fits best for you and your phone usage. Consider looking into some apps that allow you to communicate over Wi-Fi. If you don’t choose a travel-based plan, be prepared for some startling charges when you return home.


couple disagreeing about where to go

Too Much in Too Little Time

This is a mistake that can apply to many aspects of travel. Don’t try to visit 14 attractions, 8 restaurants, and 30 shops all within a weekend visit. This can also apply to planning your connecting flight(s) without plenty of cushion time. Either way, trying to jam pack your itinerary when you only have a short amount of time will lead to stress and frantic running. It’s better to under-plan than over-plan. Be realistic with yourself and pick a few top things you would like to do. Line up some backup options in case you have more time than expected. Alternatively, plan minimally and see where the day takes you. The spontaneity could be the best part of your trip.

Hand of the Thai vendor showing roasted scorpio. Street market in central Bangkok Thailand.

Staying in Your Comfort Zone

You can have a lot of apprehensions when in a foreign land. You might feel inclined to stick in tourist areas or even your hotel. Traveling is about being elsewhere and sometimes that can be uncomfortable. Recognize that being uncomfortable is part of traveling, and more often than not, it may not be as bad as you think. Go talk to locals. Explore beyond the tourist zones. Eat some unusual street food. You’re more likely to regret the things you didn’t do, rather than what you did do.

Happy mature couple looking at a city map.

Profess that You’re a Professional

Did you already know these things or did some escape you? Seasoned travelers may already know how to dodge all these traveling mistakes. They also may have some of their own travel snags not listed. If this is you, let us know your own traveling mistakes and tips on how to avoid them. Share in the comments below!