Top 5 Most Common Travel Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Woman at the airport

Traveling is an exciting part of life, but it, too, comes with its fair share of mishaps. Whether you just got the travel bug and are eager to start exploring the world or are an experienced traveler, you’re not insured against making a mistake here and there. Here are five crucial mistakes many travelers make and how to avoid them. These will spare you time, money, and headaches!

1. Overweight or Oversized Luggage

Suitcase or luggage with conveyor belt in the airport

As tempting as it may be to stuff “just another” pair of shoes, pants, or pajamas in, think again. Airlines make a lot of money on rookie mistakes like thinking you can get away with showing up with an oversized or overweight bag at the airport. This is especially important when you’re flying budget airlines, as they always find ways to charge you. Always check the baggage allowance, especially the bag size and weight, as well as the forbidden items.

2. Spending Too Much Time in Big Cities

When traveling, it can get quite tempting to just stay in the same city for longer or even spend your entire holiday there. Fight through that comfort zone and dare to go outside the big cities because there’s often a lot of magic that awaits right outside them.

3. Leaving Little Time Between Layovers

person looking at his watch shocked

There’s no greater shock than missing a flight because your connecting flight was delayed or, worse, canceled. Be sure to leave a good two-to-four-hour window between flights. If you’re traveling internationally, you’ll also have to go through security and immigration customs again, so keep that in mind before heading for the nearest lounge. This applies not only to flights, though. Delays can happen with virtually any type of transportation, so it’s best to have enough leeway between connections.

4. Eating Right Outside Tourist Sites

It may be convenient, but it’s usually the fastest way to get poor-quality yet very overpriced food. Not to mention the lousy service. This is one of those mistakes that can cost you not just money, but your good mood, too. Walk a couple of blocks away from the busy tourist sites or ask a local for recommendations. You won’t regret it.

5. Not Knowing Local Scams

taxi cabs
Just like travel mistakes, scams are a part of life. Before heading to someplace new, research the crime rates of the destination, how safe it is, and what tourist traps and scams are common. It could be anything from creative thieves and overpriced taxi rides, to “tram scams” like they do in Budapest and other capitals.

Other Mistakes to Avoid

A big part of present-day travel is finding the so-called “hidden gems.” While that’s great, you’ll also find adventure and novelty in some widely popularized destinations (like the Dominican Republic!). Another common mistake is being afraid to travel alone. Although you need to be extra cautious and avoid certain destinations, solo travel can be incredibly rewarding, and it’s worth trying!