Who does not love traveling? The prospect of visiting a new place is definitely thrilling. It is fun as well as necessary to visit new places every year to take a break from your routine and de-stress. However, holidays need not be smooth sailing. Each one of us has had our share of bloopers and sometimes even serious mistakes.

Here are 20 dumbest travel mistakes

that people usually make while holidaying. However, they are not just restricted to holidays; they can also affect business travel and other such trips.

Travel Mistakes

1. Booking a Wrong Flight

Sometimes people book their tickets on the wrong flight for several reasons. Some do it by mistake, and some do it just because of a lack of awareness. In the first scenario, you can change your ticket as soon as you realize your mistake. But you may lose money if it is a non-refundable ticket. But in the other scenario, you may have to face a lot of problems. For instance, many people do not know that Dubai and Abu Dhabi are the UAE’s two different emirates. So they book a ticket for Dubai even if they want to go to Abu Dhabi. Although Abu Dhabi is only two hours from Dubai, this mistake can cause you to lose money and cause problems with your plans.

2. Confusion in the Travel Date or Time

If you have booked your ticket too far advance, you may forget the actual travel date and start your journey earlier or later. There are also chances that people may misread the dates. The biggest confusion comes when your train departs at midnight. In such cases, you realize your mistake after reaching the airport or station. So, to avoid panicking at the last moment, always check the date and time on the ticket carefully. If there is any confusion about the date and timing, call and check with the authorities.

3. Too Much Luggage

One of the most common travel mistakes people make is carrying too much luggage. Although it is a personal choice, it can be quite a hindrance. Firstly, if you are traveling by flight, you will get charged for carrying more luggage than permitted. If you are traveling by train or bus, it will cause you a lot of trouble to get all the bags and suitcases in and out of the vehicle, especially if it waits at a place only for a few minutes. So, travel light. Carry only a few essentials you can wear in different ways by mixing and matching.

4. Forgetting or Losing your Passport or Visa

A passport and visa are the two most important things you must carry when going on a foreign trip. However, you may sometimes forget to carry these in the excitement of traveling abroad. This is a really grave mistake, as you cannot board a flight without it. Another thing that you have to ensure is that you keep these documents safe while you are on vacation. After all, you have to go back home too!

5. Expired Passport

Another common passport-related mistake, apart from forgetting it, is not checking its expiry date. Yes, you will be asked to provide the passport expiration details while booking your ticket. However, if you need to travel to an overseas location urgently and you book the ticket at the last moment, you would be in a soup if your passport has expired or is nearing expiry.

6. Going to the Wrong Airport or Railway Station

Sometimes the city you visit may have more than one airport, and you may get confused and go to the wrong one. Sometimes, your ticket is booked at a particular train station, and you go to another one without paying close attention to what is printed on the ticket. Such situations can cause you to miss your flight or train, as well as a lot of money. So be careful about this.

7. Missing your Flight due to Some Distraction

Some people have missed their flights even after checking in because they were distracted by something at the airport. In huge airports, you may find something interesting or sleep off, thus not hearing the announcement, and the flight takes off without you. On the other hand, some airports do not even make announcements and expect the passengers to reach the boarding gate on time. In such cases, you may not notice the time and miss the flight. So, take care and be vigilant.

8. Hotel Bookings for the Wrong Date

Imagine booking a hotel room in another state or country for your holiday. Upon reaching there, you realize that the date of booking is wrong. You arrived a day or two prior to the actual booking date, or you booked it for another month. Both situations are problematic, especially during peak season when all the hotel bookings are full. So, always double-check your hotel booking dates.

9. Not Having Extra Cash for Emergency

An emergency situation can come up anytime while you are traveling or on holiday. In these times, when debit and credit cards can be used anywhere, many people do not consider it important to carry cash with them. This can cause trouble when you get stuck in a place that does not have an ATM machine or where credit cards are not accepted. Even if you are traveling outside your country, do not carry the exact amount of cash you think you need. Expenses may go beyond your expectations, so carrying extra money is crucial.

10. Not Carrying Clothes and Essentials in Your Hand Luggage

You often have to change several flights while traveling to a foreign destination. In these situations, luggage may get lost in transit. So, if you are vacationing in a foreign country and do not get your luggage when you arrive there, you won’t have any clothing to change. In another scenario, you may plan impromptu short trips away from the destination to the countryside. For example, tourists often check out the best weekend getaways from Dubai to add new chapters of adventure. At these times, small bags of basics can come in handy. So, always carry a few essential clothes in your hand luggage. This will definitely help you.

11. Forgetting Some of Your Luggage

This may happen when you have too many bags or are traveling in a large group with too much luggage. You may forget to pick up your luggage from the airport, forget it on the train, or leave it in the waiting area while boarding your flight or train. As these things can happen quite commonly, always count your luggage before starting your journey, while boarding, after getting down, at the hotel, etc.

12. Picking Up Someone Else’s Luggage

This may have happened to a lot of us. You will be waiting for your red suitcase at the airport conveyor belt, and you can see a sea of red suitcases, of the same size, brand, and design. Moreover, you may pick one up, thinking that it is yours, which would probably land you in trouble. Hence, always check the baggage tag before picking it up and taking it home. You can also put some signs on your bag to let people know it is yours, like tying a ribbon or putting a pen mark on it, etc.

13. Not Carrying Weather-Friendly Clothes

You may be staying in a freezing place, but the place you are visiting would be too humid and hot. So, if you carry only your winter clothes to such a place, you may not be able to get out of your hotel room. Hence, always carry appropriate clothes. Most of the time, your travel agent would tell you about it. But if you are traveling on your own, conduct thorough research and pack the right clothes and accessories.

14. Not Having Travel Health Insurance

Medical emergencies can occur anywhere, at any time, even during vacation. So, having travel health or medical insurance is extremely important, especially when you traveling to a foreign country. For instance, you are visiting the UK or USA, and a medical emergency arises. Medical treatments at these places are really expensive. Hence, if you do not have medical insurance, it is likely to cause a dent in your finances.

15. Getting onto the Wrong Train

This happens when there are frequent trains to the same destination. If there is a train before yours to the same location you are planning to go, check whether it is your train before boarding. It would be a really difficult journey if you had to travel for a long time without a seat or a ticket.

16. Sleeping off on the Train and Missing Your Destination

Sleeping on the train is common, but what if you oversleep and miss your destination? That would be disastrous, especially if you travel for an important meeting or perhaps a family function. To avoid such a situation, set up an alarm on your mobile phone to wake you up at least an hour before the train reaches its destination. You can also ask a co-passenger to wake you up.

17. Not Doing Enough Research

Many people forget to do research about the place they are visiting. While you may know about some of the crucial attractions that you should see in a particular place, you may not know about the less famous but must-not-be-missed places. So, always research not only the clothes that you should wear but also what you should visit when in a particular country or state.

18. Going on a Cruise When You are Seasick

Yes, going on a cruise is exciting. But would it be fun if you are sick all the time? You would not be able to enjoy the trip and the worse thing is you would not be able to get off the ship once the journey begins. So if you know you are seasick, avoid going on a cruise. However, if you want to go on a cruise, take proper medicines with you. They usually help.

19. Separating with Your Travel Companion

Sometimes, you may get separated from your travel companion. Although this is not a grave problem, it may become so if only one person is carrying the ticket and cash. To prevent such a problem, always keep your ticket with yourself and split the cash. This way, you would not have problem even if separated from your partner or group.

20. Not Knowing Your Visa Requirements

Not knowing the visa requirements of the country you plan to visit is one of the dumbest mistakes. You cannot travel to most countries without a proper visa. So, check the visa requirements in detail and be prepared. If you do not have the time for this, entrust this work to a travel agency or company that will take care of all the visa requirements for the duration you will stay there.

These 20 dumbest travel mistakes can be easily avoided if you are aware of what not to do while traveling. Traveling and vacationing are meant for relaxation, not for getting stressed because of these mistakes. So, plan your travel carefully to ensure the best travel experience every time. You can also save yourself from the travel preparation hassle by downloading the best travel applications that every traveler must have.


Q1. What are some dumbest travel mistakes to avoid?

  • Booking the wrong flight
  • Too much luggage
  • Losing or forgetting visa or passport
  • Not having cash during emergency

Q2. Why it is important to carry a travel health insurance?

Even while on vacation, medical problems can happen anywhere, at any time. Therefore, having travel health/medical insurance is crucial, especially if you are going somewhere foreign. For instance, a medical emergency might occur when you are visiting the UK or the USA. These places have very pricey medical care. Therefore, not having health insurance is likely to put a strain on your finances.

Q3. How can I avoid making dumb travel mistakes?

You can avoid making dumb travel mistakes by double-checking all of your travel plans, packing light and efficiently, researching your destination thoroughly, keeping an eye on your budget, and staying alert and aware of your surroundings.

Q4. What should I do if I realize I made a dumb travel mistake?

If you realize you made a dumb travel mistake, the best thing to do is to stay calm and try to rectify the situation as soon as possible. If you forgot essential documents, see if you can obtain them quickly. If you overspent, try to cut back on other expenses to make up for it. And if you are lost or confused, do not be afraid to ask for help.

Q5. How can I learn from my dumb travel mistakes?

You can learn from your dumb travel mistakes by reflecting on what went wrong, understanding why it happened, and taking steps to prevent it from happening again in the future. Keeping a travel journal or taking notes can also help you remember what to do (and not to do) next time you travel.

Rezmin is passionate about traveling and curating content about history, traditions and other intriguing aspects that make a place attractive. In her spare time, she enjoys reading fictional books sprinkled with inspiration, humor and enthusiasm.

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