15 Rookie Travel Mistakes Made By Experienced Travelers


After 30+ years of touring seven continents, and greater than 50 international locations, we contemplate ourselves to be “experienced” vacationers. You would assume by now that we had all of it all the way down to a science and know precisely tips on how to efficiently navigate journey. Well, we nonetheless make errors. We see journey as a steady studying course of, particularly now. We wouldn’t say that we’ve made each mistake ever made… however we’ve come fairly shut.

We hope you’ll get pleasure from this journey by way of our journey errors and even add one or two of your individual.

1. 25 Cities In 20 Hours (Or Trying To Do Everything)

Reggie’s first journey out of Singapore proper after she graduated faculty was a type of bus excursions of Europe the place you go to twenty totally different cities in a really quick interval. In some methods, we’ve by no means grown out of that. We at all times attempt to do an excessive amount of all over the place we go, particularly if there’s avenue artwork to be seen.

Chintung Lee /

2. Passport Mistakes

Bringing an expired passport or one which has lower than six months validity is such a typical error. We every have made this error at the least as soon as. One of us was flying from the U.S. to Canada on a enterprise journey, pondering she solely wanted a driver’s license. Another time, one in all us introduced an expired passport. Since we left for the airport very early, we had time to go house regardless of the push hour visitors and get the present one.

3. Leaving Too Late For The Airport

This is the one mistake on this record that we don’t make. For a global flight, we regularly depart at the least three hours forward of boarding time. Since we reside within the New York City space, it may usually take two hours simply to get to the airport. This got here in helpful when Sue introduced her expired passport by accident.

4. Disagreeing About A Destination And Going Anyway

One of probably the most problematic errors we ever made was deciding to go to a vacation spot that one in all us disagreed about. It concerned driving 14 hours spherical journey to a volcano in rural Tanzania. Neither of us ended up having fun with that a part of the journey and we by no means made it to the highest of the volcano.

A set of warm clothing
Africa Studio /

5. Not Having The Right Clothing Or Gear

We have made this error so many occasions we will’t even rely. When we went to the Atacama Desert, we didn’t pack sufficient heat garments and ended up sporting every bit of clothes we had dropped at attempt to keep heat on the geysers. In Alaska, we checked the climate beforehand, but it surely was unseasonably chilly. In that case, we went procuring.

Overpacked bag on table
Miro Vrlik Photography /

6. Bringing Too Much

Given the experiences we’ve had, you may assume that we by no means overpack. In our early travels, we packed very mild. We did three weeks in Asia with simply carry-ons. As we’ve gotten older, we’ve change into extra used to having some conveniences. I as soon as went on a visit with my mom to Ecuador and he or she introduced two enormous suitcases for a 10-day journey. I requested why she introduced a lot stuff. She stated she didn’t know what she would wish to put on on any specific day, so she made positive to deliver every thing.

An empty airport gate
Mikko Hyvärinen /

7. Not Knowing Where Your Gate Is Located

Okay, this one in all probability looks like a no brainer. Find your gate. Then go calm down someplace close by. In Norway, we had been strolling by way of the airport and noticed a nice-looking restaurant for breakfast. The signal implied that our gate was simply down the hallway. We by no means regarded how far down the hallway it was. We had a leisurely breakfast. When we heard the boarding announcement, we began strolling to the gate. We quickly realized that the hallway was very, very lengthy. We began working and eventually arrived on the gate on the final name.

Gates additionally change periodically, make certain to test periodically. If you don’t communicate the language, you possibly can actually run into bother. Make positive you’re ready near the gate except you wish to take a look at your 100 yard (100 meter) sprint velocity.

8. The Layovers, Layovers, Layovers

Layovers are a continuing wrestle. They are both approach too lengthy however not lengthy sufficient to go away the airport. Or they’re too quick. We hate the nervousness of not realizing whether or not we’re going to make our flight, so we regularly select an extended layover. That may be notably difficult after we’re going to Asia and a 21-hour journey turns into a 28-hour journey. Sometimes we simply add in a stopover in Taipei or someplace else to interrupt up the journey in order that we don’t have to fret concerning the layover.

Travel insurance form
279photo Studio /

9. To Travel Insurance Or Not To Travel Insurance

People have conflicting opinions about journey insurance coverage. We at all times get journey insurance coverage. If we’re going someplace off the crushed observe, we purchase medical evacuation insurance coverage. We’ve had associates that needed to be medically evacuated and since that they had insurance coverage, dodged a $100,000 invoice. To us, it simply appears value it to not have to fret.

Close up of textual content VISA on USA visa stamp in passport

10. Not Knowing The Visa Requirements

Understanding visa necessities by way of your individual analysis is critically necessary. We journey on totally different passports. One of us is a U.S. citizen and the opposite is Singaporean. There are very totally different guidelines in each nation for each passports. Once, we had been in Peru and crossing over to Bolivia at a tiny passport management station. Our journey agent had advised us that Singaporeans didn’t want a visa. We trusted our journey agent and didn’t do impartial analysis. When we obtained to the passport management station, we ended up having to pay to get throughout the border. We nonetheless don’t know if that was authorized or unlawful.

A woman using her cell phone
ponsulak /

11. Making Calls From Abroad

Have you gone on a global journey and got here house with an enormous mobile phone invoice? Not turning off roaming knowledge once you journey internationally together with your mobile phone may run you up a invoice much more than the price of the journey itself! These days, we use apps that enable us to speak regionally. We additionally journey with unlocked telephones the place we will simply swap out our SIM playing cards for the native ones to maintain our mobile phone payments low. Remember to swap out the SIMs once you return house.

Currency exchange in San Francisco
Kenishirotie /

12. Converting Currency And Other Things

Understanding how forex and weights are transformed is necessary when procuring on the markets, on the airport, on the financial institution, and doing something with money. Airports have the worst conversion forex charges. Some native money conversion locations may even attempt to recover from on uninformed vacationers. Once we had been in Mexico shopping for cheese (in kilos). We did the conversion in our heads from kilos to kilos and ended up with 4 occasions greater than we wished.

13. Not Doing Your Own Independent Research

Doing your individual analysis is so necessary for a calming, fulfilling, and protected journey. We have relied completely on what a journey agent had advised us many occasions after which came upon that it wasn’t one hundred pc correct. For occasion, in our try to scale Ol Doinyo Lengai, the journey agent advised us that we didn’t want any particular gear. That was not the case and we may’ve simply figured that out if we had finished our personal analysis.

14. Not Trusting Your Own Instincts

Over the years, we’ve got discovered to belief our personal instincts. When we noticed the boat captain in Southern Laos bailing out water from the boat that we had been presupposed to get on, we refused. It didn’t appear protected to us. That meant ready hours longer for a ship that wasn’t leaking. Our information was not pleased with us however we felt safer.

The Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, Israel
Olesya Baron /

15. Not Understanding The Culture

We worth being culturally respectful wherever we journey. It’s necessary to have some understanding of tips on how to behave and gown in numerous international locations and at spiritual websites. For us, there’s one other layer. As an LGBTQ+ couple, we additionally want to know tips on how to be protected in addition to respectful. We’ve traveled in lots of international locations the place being LGBTQ+ is against the law. We have discovered tips on how to navigate resort rooms, nighttime actions, and different points like public shows of affection (which we primarily keep away from).

There are so many extra errors that we may point out right here, together with failing to inform your financial institution and bank cards about journey plans, not sharing copies of your itinerary, understanding time zones, ending up on the improper resort or the improper airport, and extra. The COVID pandemic provides one other layer of complexity.

We are positive we’ll uncover some new errors to make in our subsequent decade of touring.

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