Rookie Travel Mistakes You Do NOT Want to Make

Before your plan your next big vacation, here are a handful of rookie mistakes you do not want to make.

Listen, we all make mistakes while traveling. From forgetting to make a reservation to accidentally leaving something behind at the hotel, making mistakes is a part of the travel experience!

However, there are a handful of travel mistakes that only rookies make. And trust me, you do not want to make them. Not only will these mistakes cost you a lot of money, but they could also completely ruin your trip.

woman looking at map

So, before you plan your next overseas excursion, here are a handful of rookie mistakes you do not want to make:

Changing Money Before Getting to Your Destination 

Do not — I repeat, do not — exchange your money to a new currency ahead of time. You will get ripped off. In fact, it’s not even a good idea to exchange your money at the airport, as it’s almost always more expensive.

One of the great things about traveling nowadays is that you can pretty much do everything with a credit card. Not to mention, most credit cards have a very small exchange rate fee. Try to do as much as you can with just your credit card, but if you need cash, exchange it in the city you’re traveling to. 

Not Alerting Your Bank of Your Travels

credit card travel

Speaking of money, please make sure to alert the bank of your travels before you travel. If you don’t, there’s a solid chance you won’t be able to use your credit or debit cards the second they’re used overseas.

Call your bank and let them know exactly where you’ll be traveling and how long you’ll be gone. This will keep your money safe and ensure you won’t have any troubles while you’re away. 


You do not need four pairs of jeans, five pairs of shoes, and 10 different dresses for your week-long vacation. You just don’t! While I understand wanting to have options, overpacking will just lead to more stress. Plan out your outfits ahead of time and only bring what you will actually wear.

And just remember, there are stores in other countries. If for some reason you end up needing something you didn’t bring, you can always go out and grab it. 

Not Checking Passport Requirements


There are plenty of rookie mistakes you do not want to make while traveling, but this one may take the cake. I have heard horror stories of people making it all the way overseas only to be turned right back around because of their passport expiration date. 

Every country has different rules — as some allow you to come in within six months of your passport expiring and others don’tso it is vital you do your research before booking your trip.

It is also a good idea to give yourself enough time to get a new passport, should you end up needing one. Before you even think about booking flights, hotels, and other accommodations, take care of this first. 

Not Having the Correct Visa or Vaccinations

Along with making sure your passport is not set to expire soon, it is also incredibly important to check what visas and vaccinations you may need before entering a new country. While some countries do not require visas (or vaccinations, for that matter), there are plenty that do.

Do your research ahead of time and make sure you double-check what is required of you before flying out. You do not want to get detained in a foreign country’s airport simply because you didn’t do your homework.

Booking Everything in Advance

I know it’s tempting to want to have everything booked and ready before you step foot on the plane, but it’s just not necessary! While it’s a good idea to have all your flights and hotel accommodations taken care of before your trip begins, you don’t need to plan every excursion or museum visit ahead of time.

One of the beautiful things about traveling is being flexible and allowing your trip to take shape on its own. There are of course going to be tourist attractions and big excursions you’ll certainly want to do — and those are OK to book out ahead of time — but leave yourself enough flexibility to be open to new possibilities. 

Buying Souvenirs

shopping for souvenirs

You don’t need to bring back a suitcase full of souvenirs. While the t-shirts and little knick-knacks may seem like fun things to buy at the moment, I guarantee you won’t touch them once you’re back home.

Instead, pick one thing to buy that actually means something to you. Oh, and by the way, you don’t need to buy souvenirs for your friends and family. You’re the one who went on the trip, not them!

Not Figuring Out Your Phone Plan

Do you want to have data and be able to reach family and friends while you’re overseas? If so, make sure to figure out your phone plan ahead of time.

Stop by your phone carrier and ask them about their international data plans. Set it up ahead of time so you don’t end up having to pay crazy fees while you’re away.

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