13 common travel mistakes and the best ways to avoid them

Here’s everything you’re doing wrong when traveling

For many of us, traveling is a way of life. It’s something that we’ve been doing full-time for the past few years, and as you can imagine,for us, avoiding travel mistakes is crucial because it can lead to very unpleasant situations. Actually, avoiding travel mistakes is crucial for everyone, even if you’re rarely traveling.

As digital nomads, we want to share our knowledge of the most common travel mistakes we’ve made or we’ve seen other people make. Plus, we will try to give great advice to each one of these problems so you can dodge them successfully.

Traveling is a really really fun experience so it would be a shame to destroy your holidays with just one mistake. In order to avoid that, let’s see some of the most common travel mistakes and how to avoid them…


Packing only what’s necessary when traveling is a skill that you must acquire. Too many handbags and large suitcases will just lead to discomfort and a lot of regrets. So, for all the beginner travelers out there… be very humble with your luggage.

Wearing the same clothes for a couple of days is not a crime, you can pick them based on how many activities they are appropriate for. The more the better! At the end of the day, you can buy some clothes or accessories at your travel destination and you won’t have to bring them from home.

Avoid showing off valuable things

This goes for every case. Whether you want to bring valuable things like an expensive camera from home or a watch, you should avoid drawing attention to your valuables in unfamiliar countries! Unless it’s necessary, there’s no reason to put something valuable at risk. Especially when you don’t know the location or its people, you can easily fall victim to theft or pickpocketing, remember not all countries are ase safe as yours and common sense goes a long way here.

Other than pickpocketing, you might just lose something, and then your mood is destroyed for the rest of the holidays.

Doing too many things

Many people fall for this trap and it isn’t something you want to do in any of your travels. What’s that? Making too many plans! Traveling should give out a carefree vibe and not a “I have a whole book with activities to do” vibe.

Sure, making some plans and being ready for everything is crucial but when you try to fit everything into a short period of time, you most likely won’t be successful.

And once the trip is over, you won’t even remember most of the museums you visited or restaurants you ate at because it all happened too fast. In our opinion, people should embrace slow travel, you can read more about it here!

Security check at the airport

Security checks at the airport could take you some time to complete and if you’re not there on time, it could lead to a missed flight. That’s why you should always arrive at the airport a few hours early… Get the security check done, say goodbye to your home and you’re on your way for the next adventure.

Especially in holiday periods when lines at the airport are a little too long, being early at the airport can be lifesaving.

Inform your bank about the trip

Many banks have anti-fraud systems and if they spot unusual activity, your card could be flagged or put on hold.

Using your card in Bali when it should be used in your hometown in Italy is an unusual activity. Therefore, your card might get flagged. To avoid all this, keep your bank updated about all your trips.

Be Careful where you withdraw money

Exchanging money in your home country before traveling is a good idea if you are older than 80. But nowadays there are lots of Banks that offer free withdrawals from any ATM in the world, so you can easily avoid the hefthy fees from banks and the need to carry large amounts of cash.

The most useful tip here is, just withdraw money from official bank ATMs, not just for the risk of getting skimmed, the exchanges rates will be the official and you won’t be ripped off by a random ATM on the street.

Learn some local phrases

Being in a new country with a completely different language is definitely a scary experience. If you have no way to communicate with other people, things are going to get tough. However, the knowledge of at least some basic phrases like “thank you” and “please” will come in handy. Locals will appreciate you much more if they see that you’re trying to speak their language and will offer help if you need anything.

It doesn’t take long to learn some basic phrases and you can do so by using an app or going online.

Know the laws and customs

Customs are what makes each city, country, and continent unique. When you travel to a country with different customs you should give yourself the time to explore this new adventure and learn from it. It’s definitely worth it! The world would be a boring place if customs weren’t a thing.

You also want to inform yourself about the local laws. Most of the time, nothing strange will come up but there are places with strange laws. In Singapore, for example, you could pay a fine for chewing gum!

Don’t nap when you arrive

Napping after a long trip definitely sounds like a good idea! Should you do it though? we’d say no!

Taking a nap just extends your jet lag and doesn’t allow you to adapt to the new time zones. Napping is a choice we wouldn’t make. Just wait until it’s evening, your normal bedtime, and then go to rest.

Don’t follow the crowd

In order to avoid this mistake you should research your destination extensively before even going there. Find things only locals would know and don’t just settle for the hotspot tourist attractions.

Tour guides and travel companies will take you to the usual places and then the usual restaurants to eat. That’s how they do business. But that affects your experience and makes it much less authentic.

Therefore, you should research and visit places and attractions that aren’t “trending”. That way not only will you see amazing places but you’ll also feel proud of yourself.

And of course, if you decide to visit the tourist hotspots, do it as early or as late as possible to avoid the crowds.

Have travel insurance

This is a very common mistake and we suppose it’s because people have connected traveling solely with positive experiences and outcomes. Hate to say this, but that’s not always the case.

There’s a possibility that you might get hurt or crash your car. If you don’t have travel insurance, you could end up paying a lot of money. We suggest you to pay a small price for your insurance and have your mind at ease rather than always worrying about something bad happening.


And here are 2 travel mistakes and how to avoid them specifically for digital nomads and the nomadic lifestyle:

Working too much

Working too much seems to be a problem many digital nomads are facing. The problem with this is that if you’re working a lot, you don’t have time to explore the place you’re staying at.

In order to maintain a good work-life balance, you need to make a good schedule and follow it. We think it’s great if you take a day off in the middle of the week to relax and unwind. You’ll have the chance to explore nearby sights and fill your batteries for the next day at work.

Staying at hotels

Hotels are great for short-term stays but if you’re planning to stay for a while, you should go looking for an apartment.

After some time, your small dull hotel room will become frustrating and you won’t be enjoying your stay as much. Especially if you choose to work from home and not a cafe or a coworking space, your hotel room won’t be able to satisfy all your needs.

Traveling comes with mistakes and if you’re just starting out, it’s almost guaranteed you’ll make some of them. In this article, we informed you about 13 common mistakes travelers do and how to avoid them. If you encounter any of the above-mentioned mistakes, remember this article and avoid them in the best way possible.

Lost Coconuts

Hi! We are María & Toni, digital nomads and creators of Lost Coconuts.

On our blog we share travel guides, tips for digital nomads and free tutorials with everything we’ve learned so that you too can start your own digital projects. About us

Now in: Georgia 🇬🇪

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