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10 Rookie Travel Mistakes (& How To Avoid Them)

July 9, 2020 | Guest post by: Emma Wilson


Traveling is becoming popular all around the world due to the innate thirst to explore. People love to travel to different places to experience diverse cultures and witness beautiful sceneries. However, there are specific points where every traveler slips. So, here is a list of 10 rookie mistakes travelers do and how to avoid them:

Planning a trip with a map, camera, and money


1.Overambitious planning

Sometimes an overwhelming travel plan leads to an impractical itinerary that only drains your energy. Then, when you can't accomplish everything on your list, your failed plans cause frustration and disappointment.

How to avoid this?

In simple words, be flexible. Don’t hesitate to change the course of your journey due to bad weather or other unavoidable issues. Calculate the time you’ll need to move from location ‘A’ to ‘B’ and make a note of the mode of transportation (car, bus, etc.). Don’t explore the whole country at once. Instead, plan and travel around the destination with a practical itinerary. Prioritize the attractions you definitely want to see first and then if there is time you can check out the other items on your list.


2.Exchanging currency at the airport

Almost all travelers look for the currency exchange counter after coming down the plane and drop off their currency. However, the airport currency exchange rates can be extremely high, so they will take a good chunk out of your vacation budget. 

How to avoid it?

Place your order with a credit union or bank before going abroad. You can also look for in-network ATMs to withdraw day-to-day funds. Confirm the foreign transaction fee beforehand with your specific bank. It will be much better if you have a credit card with zero transaction fees.



Realizing that your bag is overweight at the check-in counter is a very stressful experience. With checked bag fees soaring every year, paying extra for just a few pounds is a bad deal. This generally happens when you overpack your things at the last moment.

How to avoid it?

Curate a list of the clothes that you will use, not what you ‘think’ you will use. In this case, pack all round clothes and minimize your body care products. If you are traveling by jeep, make sure that the vehicle is equipped with a jeep roof rack to carry your luggage.


4.Forgetting important documents

It would be a nightmare if you were held back at the security check because of a single document. There are always specific things that may go wrong with documents. Any mishaps like theft or loss can turn your dream trip upside down.

How to avoid this?

Always make a checklist of documents you need while packing your bag. Make sure you have photocopies of your passport, visa, credit card, and other crucial documents. Also, leave a set of these essential documents with your neighbor, friend, or family, just in case you need them.


5.Depending on guide books

Guide books are meant to give you an overview of the journey. It is not a blueprint of how your actual trip will look like. There may be some changes in the traveling guidelines, which the book didn’t include. This can leave you clueless in a foreign land.

How to avoid it?

It is better to put the guidebook down and encourages some real-world interactions. Talk to your fellow travelers and ask them about their experiences and take advice. Allow yourself to lead an uncertain path and bring your judgment forward.


6. Not backing up your data

Everywhere we go, we take the camera to record the experience and keep it safe with us. But, there is always a risk of the memory card getting corrupted or stolen. If this happens to you, there is no way to recover.

How to avoid it?

Back up your data on a CD/DVD/USB or a hard drive regularly. You can also upload it on online drives e.g., Dropbox. By uploading them to a drive, you can make sure that it is safe and can access them anytime.


7.Being unaware of cell and data plans

There are significant changes you have to pay if you are using your phone abroad. Every country has different carriers, and their coverage varies. You wouldn’t want to get stuck in a place where your carrier is not in service.

How to avoid it?

After you land, find out if your carrier’s network is available at the destination. Also, determine the amount of internet data, you will need for the duration of your trip. You can consider opting for an international calling or data plan.


8. Not notifying your bank of future transactions

Banks have specific protocols to follow to keep your money safe and intact. If they find access to your account from another country, they will promptly act. Either they will limit the features of your account or close it temporarily.

How to avoid this?

Before leaving your country, let your bank know about your destinations where you will use your card. In this way, they will see that it is you who is using the card.


9.Being unaware of the locals

If you want to relish the culture of the foreign country fully, you can’t just rely on the reviews shown on yelp. Missing interaction with the locals will make you unaware of the hidden beauty of the country.

How to avoid it?

Find a cafe or non-hotel bar and start friendly interactions with the locals. You’ll be surprised to see how passionately they tell you every detail about the place, people, and culture.


10.Sticking to the usual trip

The last thing you would want is coming back home and regretting a place you didn't visit. This happens when you follow the tourist trail and only explore what is famously shown in the guidebook.

How to avoid it?

Be ready to explore the standard route. Do something different and create your unique experiences. Explore that unknown path, visit a hidden street, or try that local delicacy.



Travelling excites each one of us as it provides a perfect getaway from daily hassles. When it comes to traveling, none of us is perfect in planning, and that’s where mistakes take place. Even the smallest of errors, such as overpacking, over planning, etc., can become a pain in the journey. So, follow this guide to avoid mistakes and have an incredible journey.

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Hi there! 

We are Jacob and Taylor. Travel is our passion and we love sharing our experiences here at The Travelling Souk. Our hope is that you would be inspired by this little blog to try something new, embrace an adventure, and live life to the fullest. 

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