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Biggest Travel Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

It is not uncommon for travelers to make a few careless mistakes on their adventures. Sometimes though, these mistakes can turn your once exciting trip into a disappointing experience that not only doesn’t satisfy your need to travel but also wastes your money.

There are a few common travel mistakes that people make, and it’s important to ensure that you learn to avoid them to get the most out of your next vacation.

Being Too Busy

Instead of being over ambitious when planning activities at your destination, be flexible. Never be afraid to change plans due to a shortage of funds, or a weather issue. It is important to account for any time that you will spend traveling from one activity to another when planning your itinerary. Make sure to factor in additional time for time to rest or any possible delays that may occur. Remember, there is no need to see the entire destination in one visit and attempting to do so will only make you feel as though you accomplished nothing.

Over Packing

When packing your luggage, you may think it’s a good idea to bring as much as you can. It’s quite the opposite. Make sure to pack only what you know you will use and need on your trip. It is important to think strategically here. You do not want to be forced to carry around a large heavy bag or be slapped with a large baggage fee at the airport. Pack light and only pack things you really need.

Not Protecting Valuables

Tourists make themselves vulnerable to thievery when they don’t take the proper measure to protect their valuable belongings. Thefts are truly the last thing you want to have to think about or go through while at your destination. Avoid having things like phones, cash or other valuables stolen by ensuring to keep them with you whenever possible and store them safely in your room.

Forgetting Your Phone Plan

With all the excitement of traveling to a new destination, you may forget to double check your phone plan. Make sure that you are covered by an international plan prior to setting off on your travels. If you aren’t covered, make sure to turn off your data prior to getting on the plane. Leave your phone on airplane mode for the rest of your trip and only connect to wi-fi to use it. Not doing these things can lead to an extremely hefty bill once you return.

There are plenty of mistakes people make while traveling. It’s a great way to learn what you need to get the most out of your vacations. Just make sure to avoid some of the costliest mistakes. After all, you don’t want to sully your travel experience by packing too much into your itinerary or luggage or losing valuable items only to return to a huge phone bill from your provider.

54 Comments

  • I am certainly an over packer but I worry about my valuables. I never use a crossbody bag at home but when I travel, it is a must! I can stay handsfree to do what I wish, but all my valuables are safe close to my heart!

  • Certainly very useful tips, I wish I could travel with less when heading for Europe, mostly it’s presents for my grandchildren though.

  • Thank you so much for this post! We are just planning our first trip abroad and it’s a little intimidating 😉

  • I used to over pack but now when i fly i only take a carry on. Did this last year for a 2 week trip to Europe and it was perfect

  • The time I suffered the most from overpacking was in Venice! Oh. My. Gosh. Lugging all those great big suitcases over stairs and bridges, through mini alleys and more bridges was torture. And there was no avoiding it! Lesson learned.

  • I tend to be an over-packer and learned my lesson when I had to ship some of my things back home from overseas when I got tired of lugging it around.

  • I generally over pack. Have to be prepared for anything, you know. I seldom take anything of great value when I travel so that is not a big concern for me

  • When my children were young, I was an over-packer. Now I like to pack essentials, a few outfits, and two pair of shoes. I can wash or buy if I need more.

  • I am guilty of over packing an over planning. I don’t like to sit still so usually come back less relaxed than before going.

  • I over pack every time and vow not to do it the next time I travel. I need to organize and re think my packing for future vacations.

  • I like to research where I’m going and pick just a few highlights to be sure to see. Then I just relax and let what happens happen.

  • I’m an overpacker – especially when travelling with the kids! My last vacation with the kids I did quite well though. I made them each bring just a backpack with their stuff. It worked out very well and i didn’t have to carry anything except my own stuff. Win-win!

  • I haven’t traveled much since my husband and I got a divorce when our son was 14 months old. It was so hard to travel when you are responsible for everything you need for a toddler and yourself. I always overpacked too. This was a helpful and very thorough article though.

  • Good article. We do not get to go very far very often. We feed a feral colony of cats and have pets too so finding someone responsible is tough. I think we worry too much about the animals. Of all of them, likely being too busy would be our downfall as when we have gone we want to see everything.

  • Thank for the great tips. I usually pack too much. On my trip in May with my daughter she had everything planned out. My husband and I were beat out so we decided to not to do anything one day and let her go do her thing.

  • Being dinged with a $287 cell bill was a HUGE lesson.I tell all my friends to check their providers’ policies BEFORE traveling.

  • I’m definitely guilty of overpacking! It’s so hard to estimate what you’re going to need/want to wear in advance! These are some great tips!

  • Nice article! It’s always a good idea to re-evaluate how you do things and if there’s any way to improve on it. Especially when it’s your time and money on a vacation!

  • I under-packed for my Son’s wedding, forgot the extra flash, a tripod & an extra warm top plus a heavier housecoat. Mornings were cool & smoky air & it cooled down at night. Left home on Wednesday & returned home on Sunday afternoon, I helped them set up & did a bit of weeding because the wedding was being held on her Mother’s lawn. The wedding was beautiful, had my hair done and helped my son with his tie. I have never done anyone’s tie so that was interesting. The Bride & Groom both chose the shortest ceremony ( which was fifteen minutes ) and she had to have a few shots before walking up the aisle, it went very smoothly. Both Bride & Groom were beaming after signing their certificates of marriage !!

  • My biggest issue is packing way too much! If I could pack just enough for the trip I’m currently on and not for 3 or 4 trips I’d be so happy.

  • My problem is under planning – I want to go and just rest but when that gets too boring I never know what to do as I’ve not looked anything up for activities.

    M

  • i tend to pack a bit more than needed but also pack items that can be worn many times as different outfits.i also only pack tolietries that i can not get at local pharmacy or store. i always buy the travel versions once i arrive at my destination that way i do ot have the added weight in suitcase if flying

  • You shared great tips. I see my biggest mistake…over packing! I am scared I may need something if I do not take it. This really annoys my hubby!

  • I used to over pack so bad and it’s quite true you sure can live in less, plus you will be buying or can buy anything you need when you get there.

  • These are all really important tips. I try to keep all my valuables as safe as I can when travelling because I think losing something is way too stressful. I also really agree with being flexible, it’s hard to plan everything out.

  • My daughter just went to Egypt with TWO backpacks – that’s it! I tend to load up when I travel but she has taught me the value of going minimal, and I find I can manage when I take a whole lot less.

  • We went to Palm Springs and I tell you – we had no solid plans and it was the best trip ever. I think we got to see so much more because we listened to the locals and planned just right before leaving. Loved it.

  • Good article on Biggest travel mistakes, some really good tips. There is always some article that gets left behind when packing for a holiday, make a list of what you are packing.

  • People who are traveling to experience a city, always pack too much. Planning to shop for clothes, don’t pack for the whole holiday. Buy clothes to wear and go home with a full suitcase.

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