5 mistakes first time travellers make

You’ve booked your tickets, read the guidebooks and you’re ready to see the world. But becoming a seasoned traveller takes time. So we’ve compiled some rookie traps to avoid to help you travel like a pro.


You don’t need everything in the travel section. But do consider that travel mirror, micro-fibre towel and an extra SD card or two. Oh, and with a portable luggage scale you can save a lot of money avoiding extra fees for overweight bags.

Carrying too much cash

You’ll want a small amount of foreign currency for tipping and incidentals when you arrive, but there are smarter ways to manage your money than stuffing wads of cash into a money belt. A pre-purchased travel money card loaded up with foreign currency fixed at that day’s exchange rate is a great option. You can use a travel card over the counter in the same way as a credit card or debit card. Or, for those who prefer them, there are also traveller’s cheques which can be replaced if lost or stolen.

Not taking out travel insurance

First-time travellers can be forgiven for not thinking about the huge number of things that can go wrong. These range from the merely inconvenient like losing your bags, to the serious, like losing your leg. Travel insurance should be a priority. When taking out insurance, as with any legal agreement, it’s essential to read your policy closely to understand the level of your protection and avoid any nasty surprises.

Trying to see too many places

There’s a reason that those tours that promise to show you ‘Six Countries in Eight Days’ are popular. Every traveller is limited by time or money and we all want to pack in as much as we can. But a jam-packed itinerary doesn’t allow time for the chance meetings and unexpected discoveries that can transform your trip from ordinary to life-changing.

Running up a huge phone bill

Inexperienced travellers can return to huge phone bills for roaming overseas. There have been several cases of ‘bill shock’ reported in recent years where travellers have been landed with bills running to thousands of dollars. Consider turning off roaming or purchasing an international or travel SIM card. You’ll need to ensure that the SIM works in the countries you are travelling to and that your handset has been unlocked by your mobile provider.