unexpected tips: 8 travel mishaps (and how to avoid them)

We’ve definitely all met a frantic traveler… or been one. And it’s easy to be them- traveling is quick to put you into a high stress situation! While traveling, we have to carry our lives in our luggage, making each item ten times more valuable. Keeping track of people, things, and ourselves is easier said than done.

Here are the some common travel mishaps, and how to avoid them.

1. Losing Your Passport



How to Avoid: Pack your passport away the night before traveling, keep it in either your hotel safe (carry a photocopy!) or locked in your bag. When you take it out, remember to always put it back!

If it Happens: Find your embassy ASAP.

You really shouldn’t have a reason to carry your passport around unless you’re traveling, checking into a hotel, or in some countries (such as Nepal), buying a SIM card, so leave it at home! In specific countries, however, its important to carry it around on your person at all times.


2. Running Out of Money

How to Avoid: Budget enough for the average cost per day, then bring a little more.

If it Happens: Find a job teaching English, in a cafe, or in a hostel! Sign up for WWOOF and do some farm work in exchange for accommodation, (sometimes) food, and an experience like no other.

3. Being Pickpocketed

How to Avoid: Don’t flash your valuables, and look up classic scams for your destination. When being asked for directions or help, hold your bag a little closer.

4. Damaging Electronic Devices

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How to Avoid: Get a good phone/laptop/camera case, bring a hard drive, and BACK FILES UP. Getting some insurance is also a good idea.

5. Not Planning ANYTHING


How to Avoid: Spend some time on an airplane, in a car, or or wherever and whenever you can afford it, to quickly google some things to do and see.

If it Happens: Check into your hotel/hostel and ask the other guests/staff what their favorite thing in the city is. If you’re traveling solo, this is also a great way to meet others. If they’re not the most helpful, then take a walk around the city to see what’s interesting to you!

7. Overpacking

How to Avoid: Pack what you think you’ll need, then half it! I always use this tip.

If it Happens: You’ve got three options. A) lug around your stuff, B) ship it home (although depending on where home is, you might have to pay a pretty penny for shipping), and C) donate it!

10/10 overpacked

8. Not Checking Visa Requirements

How to Avoid: Before booking flights, always look at the requirements and if you meet them! To easily find information about visas, go to the destination’s government site. The visa application process and requirements will be there!





16 thoughts on “unexpected tips: 8 travel mishaps (and how to avoid them)

  1. That was quite informative.

    Travel Insurance is also a must.

    One should make sure that they print all confirmation documents and file them away the very minute they book their hotel online. I wasn’t allowed to check in once just cause the hotel lost my reservation (face palm).


  2. Some great tips! Printed travel documents are a must from home, but I find that its a little more difficult when traveling for a long period of time! I use my phone then!

    And yes yes yes to travel insurance- such an important thing we often forget about!


  3. Could also be named “every travelers nightmare”. Thanks for that article! I have one more: credit card doesn’t work at any ATM. This happened to me a couple of times before even with three different types of credit cards. To avoid I always carry some spare USD and EUR just in case. Another credit card one which luckily did not happen to me, but some friends is to loose the one and only credit card. First way to avoid is to bring at least two credit cards and second to always check after getting money at an ATM that you have your card back too (they left the card because in some countries you will get the money first, then need to confirm that you are done and only then get the credit card back).


  4. Great tips! Not planning anything or planning too much can really ruin a trip. It’s important to have a good mix. Ever since my first overseas trip, I’ve tried to avoid overpacking. It’s so annoying to lug around things you never end up using.


  5. Yes to all of these! I’m definitely guilty of overpacking but I always get insurance and I haven’t lost my passport…yet!!


  6. Fortunately did had to go through any of the ones above… ok, ok, sometimes over packing, but that was in the past :)). The more you travel, the more you learn!


  7. Overpacking is something I still struggle with hahah. I get better each time though, I think! This was a good list for newbies!


  8. I have to admit – I used to be a #7! Now I can pack everything I need in a carry on suitcase. Before it was an extremely large suitcase and it was well over the 50 pound limit for most airlines!


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