9 Common Travel Mistakes You Don't Think You'll Make, But Probably Will


When most people write travel posts, they can probably refer to their prior experiences.

They may be able to make lists of new places to see or reference back to a time they got lost.

But I’m not like most people. I have to let you in on a little secret.

The farthest I’ve ever been to getting out of the country is drawing my own flight paths on a globe.

I haven't even been to Canada. (I mean, it's not like it's right above the United States or anything.)

Obviously, telling from my unsightly travel admissions, my travel experience is nothing to brag about yet.

I’m no self-proclaimed Samantha Brown, Anthony Bourdain or Indiana Jones, and I'm totally okay with that.

At least, that's what my bank account wants me to believe.

However, it doesn’t take a travel genie to tell you stressful times call for desperate measures.

In other words, using your shirt as an impromptu shower cap or hunting for a convenience store that only sells one measly toothbrush is part and parcel of the travel experience.

It's just one of those unspoken, glorious truths nobody tells you about traveling.

Whether you're going on a four-hour bus ride two states away or flying to another country, travel is made up of various, unexpected, "What the hell is happening?" moments.

To be honest, that's the best part.

I've listed a few times we've all suffered from airplane brain.

They're those forehead-slap, amateur-hour mistakes, capable of making the biggest travel expert invest in a few more travel guides.

But hey, what great adventure ever ended with happily ever after?

1. Not Checking The Weather

I have this belief that the weather where I'm at will be the same where I'm headed.

Sure, I have a sense of whether it's a hot or cold destination, and I will pack accordingly.

But I always manage to forget to check for something like, I don't know, record-breaking heat waves or torrential downpours expected to last the whole week.

2. Not Remembering It Rains Often And Unexpectedly

Yes, it rains. Sometimes, it rains torrentially.

So, do I ever remember to pack an umbrella?

No, never.

I usually end up shielding my head with whatever is in my hand, which is normally nothing.

Go me, always planning ahead.

3. Forgetting Basic Toiletries

I can't tell you how many times I've gone someplace, unpacked my luggage and surprise! No toothbrush.

It happens every time.

Why don't I just buy a travel set and pre-pack them?

I always forget.

4. Neglecting To Double-Check Your Checklist

I think we're all too familiar with those "How could I forget that?" moments.

It's a moment I surely know all too well.

It seems like the more prepared you are, the more things you manage to forget.

My advice to you is don't take my advice.

5. Thinking A Hot Season Means Hot Weather

Oh, it's summer. You know what that means: shorts, short shorts, sandals and more shorts.


Mother Nature is one unpredictable mofo.

One day, it could be 90 degrees and sunny. The next day, it's 75 degrees with a slight chance of misery.

Always be prepared for weather changes.

When has the forecast ever been 100 percent accurate?

6. Showing Up At The Airport At The Wrong Time (Or Even Worse, The Wrong Day)

I don't know about you, but sometimes, after taking a nap, I wake up disoriented.

I start thinking, "Holy crap, its 2028. Where are my keys?"

So, it's no surprise this particular mistake happens to me a lot.

This is not necessarily with regard to the airport, but I've admittedly missed several appointments.

I keep thinking Tuesday is Friday, and Friday was that one day back in 2008.

Always set an early alarm and give yourself plenty of time, especially when hitting that snooze button seems way more appealing than a 4 am wake-up call.

7. Not Doing Your Destination Homework

Sure, it's all fun and games until someone gets lost.

Maybe just winging it sounds like an adventure in and of itself, but when it comes to safety, always play it smart.

When you're going to any foreign-to-you destination, at least research the basics.

Always have an idea of where to go and what to stay away from.

8. Listening To The "Just In Cases"

What if I get invited to some fancy, black-tie event? Well then, I'm definitely going to need those brand new, $600 Manolo Blahnik heels.

You know, just in case.

For that reason alone, we end up with a bag full of shoes and one less toothbrush.

Let's be honest: What are the chances this is ever going happen?

Pretty slim.

But "just in case," bring one pair of fancy shoes.

Always be prepared, but don't be too prepared.

9. Not Writing About Your Trip

This one, to me, is by far the most important.

Believe it or not, writing isn't just for writers.

Documenting your trip with photos or words helps you capture every moment and relive them whenever you want.

It helps you encase these very moments in a traveler's lockbox and create a story worthy of being told time and time again.

It's especially good for those unexpected moments that are capable of leaving you speechless.

It's for the times words can recapture a mental image better than any photo ever could.

Trust me: You'll regret it if you don't.