Unseasoned travelers can be a lot of fun. They’re full of enthusiasm and excitement, and they’re always up for an adventure. But sometimes, their lack of experience can lead to some pretty hilarious or even cringeworthy moments.
Do You Make These Newbie Mistakes?
Here are some of the most common things that unseasoned travelers do that make seasoned travelers go, “What?!?” Whether it’s overpacking, dressing inappropriately, or not learning a few basic phrases in the local language, these are the mistakes that only newbies make.
Incorrect Usage of Overhead Cabin
People misuse the overhead cabin by overpacking, stuffing oversized items, or using it for all their stuff.
“Incorrect placement of objects in the overhead bin….then closing it when it’s half empty.”
“Never mind that cabin crew are going to open check and close it again anyway. Closing it just paints you as rude who’s trying to stop anyone else from adding anything next to your prized coat or whatever.”
Overstaying Your Visa
Many first-time travelers have no idea about transit visa requirements or the repercussions of overstaying a visa.
“Thinking that overstaying a visa by a few days or more won’t matter.”
“I was nearly refused entry into a connecting country; I think it was the Guangzhou airport, by immigration because my layover was so long that I didn’t have my connecting ticket yet. I was detained, and they took my phone. After about an hour, I was allowed to enter.”
Getting a Passport at the Last Moment
Many people think travel documents are quick to get. While it may be true for some countries, most take at least a week.
“Not planning visa/passport/inoculations several months in advance.”
“Oh gosh, the library I used to work at was a passport agency (forget the term for it). We had a couple of people who could help travelers with their paperwork. Once, a lady made a passport appointment for two days before her trip. She must have thought we could just print them off the computer.”
Underestimating Body Odor
“Years ago, I got on a trans-Atlantic flight, and the dude beside me STANK—sour week-old BO. Since then, I have always had a tiny container of Vick’s Vape-O-Rub in my carry-on. A tiny bit in the nostrils, and I don’t have to confront some nasty dirty stinker about their body odor.”
“Ugh, we just flew from NY to CA, and the lady in front of us smelled like fermented onions. My husband and I swiped deodorant on our wrists. Someone in our aisle handed out wet wipes to hold over our noses. To add insult to injury, her toddler started puking everywhere.”
Complaining About the Foreignness of Things
A lot of new travelers complain about how they don’t get the food they like or how foreign things are.
“Complaining about the foreignness of everything. Yup, you picked a foreign country and traveled there, and wow! It’s foreign! The food and climate are different, and people speak a different language.
I’m British, and I am mortified by the Brits complaining about not being able to get a “proper cup of tea.” And then talking loudly and slowly at (not to) someone who speaks multiple languages and telling them how to make a cup of tea that will pass muster – despite the tea bags being a different style of tea and the milk undergoing a different process so it’s not possible to emulate the cup of tea they have back home.”
“I remember a friend’s parents coming home from Europe to Australia in the 90s and saying they ate McDonald’s the whole time as they “couldn’t trust the local food.”
“I travel to Jamaica a lot. The number of people complaining about all the black people always boggles my mind. Bonus are the people who complain about weed. Like, did you do any research before you took your vacation?”
Blocking Others and Being Slow
Being near people who either block you or are slow is annoying.
“Don’t have their ticket and ID ready for checking or TSA. They don’t know where tickets or anything else is located in their purse/luggage. They went very, very slowly through security, packing, and unpacking, looking for hidden water bottles because they didn’t know they couldn’t take them. Researched absolutely nothing before traveling. How could anyone not know at this point?”
“Lots of bags, oblivious about how much they’re blocking others with their stuff, whacking everyone in the shoulder with their purse or backpack as they board. Whew, I feel better now.”
Expecting A Flight To Be On Time
Many people believe flights are always on time and make the mistake of not having enough time if they have connecting flights.
“Expecting a flight to go 100% as expected. Some peeps I know throw the biggest fits of a flight is 20-30 minutes late. This happens all the time. Plan for it.
And by “plan for it,” realize that the shortest connection between flights often does not mean you’ll make it there quicker. If anything goes wrong, it might mean you won’t even make it there today.”
Pack Very Heavy
Unseasoned travelers have a habit of packing heavily.
“Pack very heavy! I saw many travelers with two heavy rolling suitcases struggling to walk in narrow streets in Italy (e.g., many steps on the Amalfi coast) and struggling to get in trains quickly.”
“Next, packing WAY too much. If I had a Euro for every time I’ve seen a couple struggling to get multiple large bags up the cobblestone paths and steps, I’d have enough for an entire vacation’s worth of meals.”
No Snacks For Long Flights
“I was once stuck on the runway in Charlotte for 7 hours during a snowstorm. When we finally took off, the FAs had to throw away all the sandwiches because they had been at room temperature the whole time. I landed in Cleveland after midnight when everything in the airport was closed. Learned my lesson about packing snacks!”
“I ALWAYS have a “just in case” snack in my bag. I may not eat it, but it’s there if I find myself in a situation. A 1.5 hr nonstop to New Orleans ended up taking close to 6 hours due to weather delays and being rerouted mid-flight, and I was happy to have a bag of dried mango strips to munch on!”
Cramming Way Too Much Into One Short Trip
A lot of travelers want to cover a lot in a short amount of time. It’s hilarious!
“The biggest one is, without a doubt, trying to cram too many cities in a too short itinerary.
“Hi! We’re going to Europe for a week. We’d like to see London, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Venice, Rome, Florence, Pisa, Monaco, Barcelona, Madrid, Seville and Lisbon. Do you think that’s too much?”
Not Waiting To Leave the Plane
When the airplane stops, people rush to get out of the plane and don’t give space to others in line.
“People don’t wait their turn to leave when the plane lands. They think because they’re standing, they don’t have to wait for the rows ahead of them to pack up and leave.”
Not Using Headphones
This one is terrible and the most annoying thing unseasoned travelers do.
“People have gotten so terrible about watching videos or listening to music in public without headphones. It’s infuriating. Even when the pilot or flight attendant announces they need headphones, they keep blaring their basketball game without caring. How?”
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Well, get your passport back out. Here are the safest countries and cities around the world for you to explore without worry.
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