5 Common Travel Mistakes to Avoid So You Don’t Look Stupid

So apparently I’m Scott Disick. I just got back from a quick one week getaway to the Dominican Republic. I’m not sure if I should be offended or flattered, but I don’t really care. I didn’t feel like getting a haircut. So all week I would slick my hair back. I was oblivious to the fact that I looked like some guy from a Kardashian reality show until random people started taking pictures with me.

I just love going on random adventures and trips. You get away from reality and meet all sorts of characters. I always return rejuvenated and ready to work again. When I have the time, I try to plan an extended trip or a some vagabonding around the planet.

Are you planning on traveling in the near future? Recently, we had a COLOSSAL piece go live on how to plan your next epic adventure. This should help you figure out all of the details. For now, I wanted to have some fun and look at some mistakes that I’ve seen or made.

Oh and we’re going to avoid discussing the obvious mistakes, such as, getting too drunk or being an obnoxious jerk. That’s not cool anywhere you are at any time.

What are five common travel mistakes that you need to avoid?

Not understanding local social norms.

Every town, city, country, region, continent, or just part of the Earth has its own unique customs and rules. The onus is not on them to explain these to you. The onus is on you to learn about them and assimilate. When you go somewhere they don’t have to justify themselves to you. You’re on their territory.

When I was in Poland, they had big signs up at one hostel about the rules in town just to remind tourists that there were severe consequences for certain behavior. You’re not at home and can’t pull the same crap that you do at home. When you’re on the road, you have to remember that your friends/local rules aren’t around to back you up.

You have to understand the local customs so that you don’t embarrass yourself (best case scenario) or get into trouble (worst case scenario).

Bringing too much stuff.

I’m prime suspect numero uno here. I always bring too much stuff. I’ve been getting better at this. When I was in Denver last year, someone snapped a picture of my huge suitcase and it was pretty funny to be honest. Everyone else was checking out with their little carry-on, while I had this monster on wheels.

It’s tempting to bring your whole wardrobe and then some, but it’s just not practical. You don’t need that much stuff. You’re better off bringing half of the stuff and double the money.

Not taking proper medical precautions.

Your body is a pretty complex machine. A machine that needs to be fuelled properly. I’ve really improved with how I fuel my body. I take my vitamins, try to eat well, and drink vodka straight.

If you don’t take the proper medical precautions, you can really get sick on a trip. I’ve seen people get violently ill.

Do you need proper vaccines where you plan on traveling to? Will your system be able to process food? Can you drink the tap water?

These are all questions that we need to consider before going on a trip. You don’t want to be up all night puking just because you drank the tap water when you shouldn’t.

For example, before we went away to Cuba one May I ensured that I got a pre-tan for the trip so that I wouldn’t burn the second that my skin felt the sun. One of my buddies didn’t listen. He got burnt to the point that he had blisters on his nose.

Are you on top of your medicals?

Not saving up in advance.

Trips are fun. Debt totally sucks. I hate debt. I love trips.

I recently got into a discussion with a local about how rich tourists really are. I told this local that there are tourists who have less money than them because they put their trips on their credit card and don’t pay it off until years later sometimes. If you don’t save up in advance, you return home to a huge credit card bill.

We recently looked at how to save up for any trip. The point of this article was to show you how you can go on a trip, regardless of your budget or lack of money. There’s no excuse ever to borrow money to go away. You have to earn your freedom.

[You can read up on how I traveled through Europe without going poor for more super-helpful tips.]

Waiting around for others.

If you want to do something, you need to get on it. You can’t wait for anyone or anything in life. I don’t believe in waiting for your turn. You have to grab life by the balls and take what you want.

When I traveled to Europe in 2011, I went alone. Everyone bailed on me. I almost bailed on myself. Then I realized that I didn’t need anyone. I booked my ticket and hit the open road. My dad almost had a heart attack. He freaked out on me until I emailed him from Cracow, Poland to tell him about how much fun I was having. Then he was on board. If I waited for my friends, I would’ve never gone. People are always falling in love, spending money on other stuff, or just afraid of taking that first step to book the ticket.

You don’t need to hire a travel agent or stress about a friend bailing on the trip. You just need to go. Stop putting off the excuses, start saving, and try your best to avoid these mistakes.

“The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” — Saint Augustine

4 thoughts on “5 Common Travel Mistakes to Avoid So You Don’t Look Stupid”

  1. I used to bring too much stuff, until I discovered a site called onebag.com. Now, I take carry on bags everywhere! I even to only a carry on for 10 days in Europe on a work trip!

  2. Another mistake is leaving your jewelry around. I’ve had a friend who left their ring and watch in their hotel room because they went out briefly and when they came back it was gone. My advice is don’t bring much jewelry (or at all) and if you must, wear it at all times.

    1. Oh yeas. I’ve heard this advice for years. This holds true especially if you’re in a poor region of the globe. We have to remember that these folks don’t have anything. They are poor, hungry, and doing anything to get by. You can try to walk around with a flashy watch or chain, but you must be careful about who sees you and where you go. Thankfully, I’m not much of a jewelry guy.

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