First-Time Travelers

8 Common Travel Mistakes First-Time Travelers Make

You’re embarking on your maiden overseas journey exploring new horizons is all about unraveling the mysteries of the unknown. It’s not unexpected to encounter a few bumps along the way, but fear not! By preparing ahead and taking lessons from these common travel mistakes, you can fully immerse yourself in the joy of your adventure.

#1 Underestimating time required for security

It’s surprisingly common for many travelers to miss their flights due to poor time management when going through security. Few things can be more frustrating than seeing your flight time approach while waiting patiently in line.

For international flights, it’s generally recommended to arrive at the airport three hours before departure, especially during busy periods like school holidays. Arriving early has its advantages, such as finding a relaxing spot in the airport lounge before your flight.

#2 Overpacking

Dragging around a massive, hefty suitcase can really ruin your vacation. Packing too many things can result in a cluttered hotel room, aching muscles, and an overload of dirty laundry. Avoid overpacking by choosing a travel bag or suitcase that is just the right size. Start with a carry-on bag and only go bigger if absolutely necessary. Pick out everything you think you’ll need, then challenge yourself to remove half of the items. This exercise helps you focus on the essentials. Opt for a neutral travel wardrobe that allows for mix and matching. Also, choose versatile clothing that can be used for multiple activities, allowing you to pack less.

#3 Overpaying for plane tickets

During booking flights, many travelers make mistakes. This is fraught with spending extra money on travel. Try setting a price alert to catch a cheaper ticket. You can also order tickets by connecting to another region where they are cheaper. You just need to change your region through VeePN and check prices there. Check out a few options and see where tickets are cheaper. Also book tickets on cheaper days, usually mid-week. If your flight is cancelled, there are also options for flight compensation claims.

#4 Having an over-ambitious itinerary

In a different light… Embrace adaptability; don’t hesitate to alter your plans due to weather or budget constraints. Consider the travel duration, not only based on distance but also on the mode of transportation: car, bus, train, etc. Allow extra time for potential delays and for relaxation. Keep in mind, there’s no need to explore the entire country in one trip; attempting to do so will only leave you feeling unfulfilled.

#5 Forgetting the budget

When it comes to experiencing a place, think of your budget as a tool for creative and authentic exploration, rather than a limitation. Craft a practical budget that accommodates unexpected costs and allows you to enjoy your travels fully. If you’re embarking on a long-term journey, set up regular transfers from your savings to your checking account, mimicking a paycheck, to provide clarity on your spending limits.

#6 Not double-checking your documents and bookings

Ensure you review and verify all your documents and bookings. It is better to double-check all the data once again. Unexpected surprises are not always pleasant. Moreover, make it a point to confirm the correct spelling of your name on your flight reservation.

#7 Not making copies of important documents

Make sure to keep physical copies of important documents. Additionally, it’s a good idea to have a secure digital copy, preferably as a password-protected PDF. Have a dedicated email account that only you can access. If you lose your original documents, having copies will help verify your identity and expedite the renewal process.

#8 Not understanding the local culture

With a grasp of the local culture, as well as the political and economic state of your destination, you can fully experience all that awaits you. Understand the customs of the country, this will help you avoid any inadvertent offense to the locals. Researching the legalities of your destination may prevent unexpected surprises. A good example is Singapore’s ban on chewing gum, which carries hefty fines. Familiarize yourself with your destination’s history and culture beforehand to become an informed visitor rather than an uninformed tourist. In doing so, your travel experience will be more seamless and enriching.


All this information is the experience collected over 12 years of travel. It was obtained by trial and error. It is wise to learn from other people’s mistakes, so learn from the above.

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