5 Travel Pitfalls to Avoid in 2015

Have better trips by steering clear of these common mistakes.

By Mathew S. Chan
January 28, 2015


Traveling to new places can be a lot of fun, so people love to do it as many times as they can. But even if you’ve been to countless places and seen all the amazing sites, this doesn’t make you immune to making mistakes during your travels, sometimes even without realizing them. Make sure you get the most of your trips this year by avoiding these pitfalls.

1. Packing Too Much

This is one of the most basic mistakes a traveler can make. Overpacking is a common problem for travelers, whether you’re backpacking around Europe or just spending the weekend at a hotel in Hong Kong. If you’ve ever had to pay excess baggage fees, you know what we mean. So the next time you pack, consider this: it’s a matter of taking clothes you will actually wear as opposed to what you think you can wear. Also avoid bringing things you can buy conveniently at your destination. Cut out at least 1/3 of what you packed and you should be fine.

2. Not Bringing Enough Money
We are so careful with money that when we plan trips we make sure we can get the best deals possible to make the most out of our hard earned cash. But when we actually get to the place, instead of using the money we were able to save, we bring less to avoid spending and bring credit cards in case of emergency. This shouldn’t be the case. As much as possible you want to pay in cash when you are traveling and depending on where you go, in case of emergencies, cash might be the only thing they accept. You don’t need to spend a lot if you bring a lot of money; it’s about keeping things in perspective.

3. Losing Out on Hotel Perks
If you don’t think hotels give special treatments for couples or people celebrating a special occasion (such as your anniversary), then you are surely mistaken. Although of course you shouldn’t automatically expect it, some hotels do offer perks. You can email the manager or mention it during check-in. Who knows? You might get a room upgrade if they have one available or a simple token.

4. Judging a Place without Experiencing It

We are often swayed by the word of mouth, and because of this we often pass judgment on places we haven’t visited things we haven’t experienced ourselves. One bad review (as opposed to a pile of unanimously bad reviews) doesn’t mean a place isn’t worth visiting, so make sure you do additional research before swearing the site off your travel bucket list.

5. Not Being Able to Visit the Top Place on Your Itinerary
When traveling we often save the best places to see for last and we like to build up the anticipation before we visit. But because of unforeseen circumstances such as miscalculated days of the place being open or weather problems, we can miss out on the one place we really wanted to see. The best thing you can and should do is to visit the top place on your list first. It’s the highlight of your trip no matter when you see it because it won’t matter at all if you don’t get to visit anyway.