While you can do big mistakes during travelling the biggest ones are usually made before you even start, during planning. This is a summary and maybe also a reminder for you. You will probably find some of them again when you follow my guide. They can’t be mentioned often enough anyway.
- Planning too much: Of course, you need to plan a lot when going on a trip around the world. Don’t overdo it though, leave space for the unknown. Give yourself a chance to be spontaneous sometimes. Otherwise your trip might just feel like ticking of sights.
- Informing to less: The exact opposite of point one. It’s nice to be spontaneous but you don’t want to be pissed off coming home and realizing how much you actually missed out. Just because you were to lazy to gather a little bit of information. You can always redecide if you realize that place looked better on the internet than it actually is.
- Wanting too much: It can easily happen that you get too excited during planning and therefore try to force too much into your trip. Rule of thumb is atleast one month per country. That should be the lower limit, unless you are travelling really small countries. Some countries can’t even be done in 3 months (e.g. India). Otherwise you will just rush through everything and never get the chance to understand, or even adapt to all those cultures.
- Giving away your flexibility: One of the most beautifull things about travelling the world is experiencing the feeling of freedom and just doing whatever feels right in the present moment. That only works if you actually leave space in your plans to do so. Another reason why point 1 is so important. Try to not appoint meetings with family or friends, or buy tickets long in advance.
- Travelling in a group: Finding an acceptable solution for just 2 travellers can be frustrating already. Now imagine the same if you travel in a bigger group. The disadvantages outweigh the advantages by far. Altough I don’t see any advantages at all in doing so. If you always dreamed of travelling with your clique, go for it though!
- Using a lot of technology: You want to discover the world and not be stuck with your electronic odds and ends. Someone once said (I can’t recall who) you can either experience a moment, or capture it. I witnessed how true this is, especially during diving. Your camera distracts you from the beauty of the moment. Besides that, fancy technology is most likely heavy aswell. Also, why would you want to spend time browsing social media for new contents when you can just get out of your room, walk 5 minutes, and see things you have never seen before.
- Travelling with valuables (jewellery…): That’s actually a real no-brainer. Thiefs need an opportunity and you give them one by showing off. Don’t carry anything with you, which loss you couldn’t bear.
- Calculating too tightly: And having to watch others having fun, while you need to stick to that tight budget. Rather save for a few more months and actually get to enjoy your trip. Or atleast be strong enough to cut out countries when you realize your budget is not fitting your way of life.
- Travelling with a (too) heavy backpack: Sometimes it might seem like the backpack carries the traveller and not the other way around, since it is so big. If you see one of those look into their faces. Trust me, you don’t want to be that guy. A lot of what you might think is unquestionably necessary is just ballast. Some travellers take it as far as to just travel with hand luggage.
Particularly on your first trip you will do a lot of mistakes. That’s fine, everybody did. Just face them with the right attitude. Try to learn from them, instead of getting dissapointed and discouraged. It’s not about doing everything right, but about enjoying the process of learning.
A mistake is only truly a mistake if you don’t learn from it.
– Ritu Ghatourey
As always you are very welcome to leave additions/suggestions/opinions in the comments!
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