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24 Bad Travel Habits You Should Avoid

24 Bad Travel Habits You Should Avoid

Have you ever gotten problems due to one of your habits? In order for a trip to be fun and to avoid bad situations, the following are the bad travel habits that you should give up:

Spending Too Much Time on The Phone, and Social Media

One of the bad travel habits, using phone too much on a vacation

Research by the University of Derby (UK) asserted that, on average, a British spends 3.6 hours a day looking at the phone screen. Thanks to social networks, you can share with your friends anything in life through the use of online media such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. Many people who go traveling are tempted by the desire to post sparkling pictures on social networks. However, if we spend most of our time in an “online world” like that, we will lose the opportunity to adventure in real life.

The best solution, in this case, is to put the social network aside and at the same time plan to travel and experience real life. There are so many scenes or activities that you can just enjoy with your real eyes, and experience thoroughly with your hands, or your foot. Hence, you should pay more attention to the real world, rather than the virtual world.

Too Obsessed with Taking Pictures

a bad travel habit, too obsessed with taking pictures

Okay, so you want to keep every moment by capturing all the roads, corners, statues, foods, etc. Finally, your camera is flooded with hundreds of photos that you won’t bother to review or just glance at when you get home. As a result, in the process of traveling, you neither remember nor experience anything special because you are too busy running from place to place with the camera. Therefore, obsessing about taking pictures is one of the bad travel habits that you should avoid.

Not Getting Along with The Locals

one of the bad travel habits, not getting along with the locals

Frankly, you must get away from this bad travel habit immediately, in order to have an enjoyable and experienced journey. Indeed, many people usually “stick” with their tourist group on their trip totally, without connecting with the locals. Why not start a conversation with a local when you experience your trip? You could find a bar near your hotel. There must be people that you could have a chat with. That would be a great opportunity to make friends, learn a new culture, or maybe you can learn a lot of interesting things from them. I’m sure there will be no travel agency showing you the enjoyable trekking routes around the world, such as the one in Ta Nang – Phan Dung, or Bu Gia Map but the Vietnamese locals.

Refusing to Learn Some Simple Local Words

You may turn yourself into bewilderment in a crowded city, where the language they speak is not yours. Yes, learning a new language is not that simple, and it might not be so meaningful to visitors who stay there for a short time. However, knowing a few simple sentences makes a great impact on impressing, and connecting with local people and their culture.

The solution for you is to write it down on paper, then put it in your wallet, or use any tools, or software with the most basic communication sentences in that country and recite them when needed.

Too Dependent on the Manual

a bad travel habit, which traveler is dependent on the manual too much

Planning a trip based solely on a guide will make your trip a lot of convenient. No one can deny the greatness of travel books, but you should only follow one or two travel suggestions from them. Alternatively, find new things and enjoy your own experiences. Indeed, traveling makes you smarter!

In addition, being too trustworthy in the “near the city center” guide can cause you problems. That is just a way to advertise in many hotels. In fact, you will then realize there are too many hotels which are not close to the city center as they said. And you will have to continue to spend quite a lot of money on moving, transfer, and travel. Accordingly, either you quit depending too much on manuals, or that bad travel habit will destroy your great trip.

Not Preparing Luggage Carefully

messy things to bring and organize in luggage

You plan to go on a vacation on Sunday, but you only pack your luggage on Saturday night because the mentality “I just need to bring a few simple things is enough”. If you’ve ever had this thought, make a change now. Because time is too fast for everything, it will cause you to forget things at home, lack the documents needed, or carry unnecessary items.

The solution for packing’s bad travel habits is, for anyone who is too busy to have packing time, to write down all the things to bring a few days before the traveling day. Later, on the night before heading to the airport, packing stuff according to the list. In this way, you will avoid forgetting things at home. Or at least to avoid messy upbringing things.

Bringing too Many, Unnecessary Things

A man is bringing too much stuffs while traveling

You don’t need to bring a hairdryer, or thermos bottle if you’re going to rent a luxury hotel. Similarly, a warm coat is meaningless if you’re going to the beach. You should determine where you will go on holiday, use which services, and find out about the weather in that place to prepare a reasonable suit. In addition to the necessary paperwork, you should bring only the most basic personal items. The more compact the luggage, the easier it is to move.

If you are a frequent baggage carrier, you’re probably familiar with luggage check-in problems, or bags that can’t be closed. To avoid these awkward situations in the future, you should only choose the essential items and use a suitcase, or backpack with the appropriate size for your trip. Some airlines are difficult with overweight baggage and have their penalty for that.

Don’t Buy Travel Insurance

travel insurance

Have you ever had a problem while traveling overseas? Then you received a huge bill that you had to pay yourself because you had no travel insurance. If you were in that situation, you have faced one of the extremely bad travel habits. (2018) stated from their survey showing that more than 75% of global travelers don’t protect themselves with travel insurance. It shows a huge number of people who possibly meet big problems if any unexpected things happen on the trip. Those could be baggage lost, stolen stuff, trip cancellation, natural disasters, etc., or the common problems with health, or sickness. As a result, the victims may The solution is simple, don’t go on a trip without travel insurance.

Barefoot in Transporters

a bad travel habit when people are barefoot in transporters

Undoubtedly, this is one of the smelly, and bad travel habits. An Expedia study revealed that 90% of survey participants from around the world thought this was absolutely not the right thing. The results are not surprising, because no one wants to see the toes of a stranger right next to, or behind the armrest. And sometimes, imagine it’s stinky, which could affect a lot of people sitting around, further significantly on a long trip.

Encroaching Someone Else’s Hand

How to use handrails on aircraft seats is still a controversial issue. Some people believe that the middle seat should have two handrails on the sides, so the people outside can easily stand up, and the people near the window can enjoy the scenery. On the other hand, some people think that handrails should be shared. Furthermore, many people find that the handrails are really just for dividing the seats. This is truly subject to personal opinion and will be debated.

And you, how do you use the handrails on planes?

Behaving Like There is No People

two girls behaving like there is no people at public

One of the bad travel habits, as well as another rude type of behavior, is to take place. On public buses, many tourists often have the habit of occupying a place for their backpacks. Some even sprawl, occupying a large area while others are forced into the rest of the space. In another situation, some people even put their feet on a cafe chair or a public seat. That ugly posture is like ‘selling fish’, as many people in Vietnam call it. Although you may be tired, try to be polite, and be considerate in public.

Jostling when Lining Up

hustle in a crowd, a quite bad travel habit

Have you ever been in a situation where you were lining up for a long time, and then someone just suddenly showed up and took your above position? I’m sure you definitely don’t like that, so do other ones if you do so. Whether you hustle, or not to line up, or pretend that you don’t know where to line up is a really bad travel habit that must be on this list. In other words, it should be avoided.

Booking Last-Minute Tickets

Many people have at least once regretted this in their lives, as also one of their bad travel habits. You might think waiting is a good way to get discounts. Nonetheless, the fact is that the more you wait, the fewer choices there will be. Sometimes, there is no choice, and staying at home would be your only option. Thus, you should buy tickets in advance to make sure your flight, accommodation, and tours are booked in advance and without any hassle. It’s always better to have a carefully planned, enjoyable journey than sitting at home watching Discovery Channel.

Sleeping While the Airplane is Taking Off

sleeping while airplane is taking off, a bad travel habit

Takeoff and landing are two times when the air pressure in the cockpit changes rapidly due to the height difference. If you are not prepared to adapt to that change, your eardrum can be severely affected.

British pharmacist Angela Chalmers explains that the rapid change in altitude affects the air pressure in the ear. This leads to the formation of a low-pressure area in the Eustachian tube, which makes you feel your ears ringing and uncomfortable. “You shouldn’t try to sleep at the time of takeoff and landing. Because when you sleep, you don’t swallow saliva as often as you wake up, and you are more likely to have tinnitus”, she said.

According to MedlinePlus, a health information site of the National Library of Medicine, prolonged tinnitus can cause a number of health problems such as dizziness, ear infections, eardrum damage, nosebleeds, and hearing loss.

Instead of sleeping, you should stay awake and find a way to stabilize the pressure on the eardrum. The simplest method is to yawn, or swallow saliva. These two actions help to open the Eustachian tube, allowing air to circulate in the middle ear. That helps the pressure on both sides of the membrane balance.

In addition, you can chew gum, drink water, or blow your nose to avoid tinnitus the next time you fly.

Don’t Turn Airplane Mode On

Turning off all electronics or switching to airplane mode, has become a routine reminder by flight attendants on every flight. So, what if you don’t follow the instructions? You are doing one of the very bad travel habits.

A few initial studies indicate that this is done to ensure the safety of passengers. Because when the plane starts to take off, the phone signal will hit high-rise buildings and create stronger signals. This will clog the underground transmission line. Moreover, this will hinder and create more trouble for pilots in important moments of a flight. Takeoff and landings are important times that require a high concentration of pilots.

Do not Check The Exchange Rate

Don't checking exchange rate prior to a trip

If this is a habit, you will be sad often because the money in your wallet leaves so quickly. You should use a currency exchange application on your phone, or use all other sources of information to check about exchange rates. And you should convert some of your money into the currency of the country of destination. This helps you in spending while you are there, avoiding wasting money.

Shopping Un-smartly

If you are a shopping addict, be careful! The most important thing is to know what your budget is, and you need to know this before every trip. In this way, you are not tempted by frivolous beauty and unnecessary luxuries. Spending money on meaningful work, and remember that everything you buy should be useful. For example, a good backpack always lasts longer and is more utility than second-hand, fake ones which you can easily find at cheap prices in a traditional market in China. Consequently, think carefully before deciding to buy anything, and keep in mind that some airlines charge for luggage a lot if the number of kilograms is exceeded!

Trying to Bargain Excessively when Shopping

There is no way to lose a better impression on the locals than to bargain in a market. Although knowing that, paying is also an art when traveling, but should not be insistent just to reduce an extremely small amount. That’s considered a bad travel habit. The advice here is to buy an item with a comfortable heart when you really want it.

Don’t Pay a Reasonable Amount of Money

counting money

The travel expenses vary among visitors, the types of travel, and the services used during the vacation. Using money when traveling is normal, but everyone likes to spend money. Many people choose alternatives to save money such as walking instead of taking a taxi or choosing budget hotels far from the center. Considering a certain aspect, this is the right action to avoid an empty wallet. Notwithstanding, your feet will ache if you walk too much, and a budget hotel can face such poor services as dehydration, power outages, no internet, etc. In addition, the slow and far moving also makes you lack health and time to visit your favorite destinations.

Having Fun Till Exhausted

having fun till exhausted, a quite bad travel habit

If you’re sick or find yourself needing to rest after a vacation, you’re obviously greedy for too many activities on that trip. And I consider this to be one of the bad travel habits. Perhaps, the fun activities on the trip are too attractive and you want to experience it all. Nevertheless, there is no reason to turn a “vacation” into a “work” occasion (playing games one after the other, visiting all destinations, etc.). As an alternative, choose the games and services that interest you the most. It is important to give yourself time to really relax and rest.

Biting Nails

Do you know, this bad habit can cause illness, even serious illness if you are traveling? Traveling allows you to visit many places, and experience the lives of many locals, and that’s the opportunity for you to come into contact with bacteria. Hence, try chewing gum instead of biting your nails. In addition, drink plenty of water and wash your hands as soon as possible. Moreover, avoid getting your hands in contact with your face.


smoking in public, one of the bad travel habits

This may not seem relevant, but smoking or excessive smoking can be a problem. Therefore, you should give it up before deciding to travel the world. At present, there are many countries that banned smoking in public places. You do not need to relieve stress by smoking on long flights, because there are many different ways to help you quit this bad habit while traveling such as chewing gum, applying patches, sleeping, or even smoking electronic cigarettes! Although you cannot smoke on the plane, for now, some aircraft still allow you to smoke e-cigarettes.

Cursing or Swearing

OK, so you may swear freely to your friends and family anytime, anywhere, but most people from other countries won’t agree with you. For some, swearing or cursing someone is really rude, even uneducated. There are lots of parents around you who will never allow their children to say bad words, especially in enclosed areas like airplanes. Traveling is a great opportunity for you to meet many people from different cultures, but it is not recommended if you introduce your own “swearing culture” to your international friends. These are surely must-avoid bad travel habits.

Anger and Sadness

anger and sadness, those are so bad travel habits

When things don’t go your way, don’t get angry or upset. Alternately, think of solutions like working on a daily basis. Many people always think that when they go on vacation, their minds must also get maximum rest, so they are very lazy to think and refuse to find solutions for each difficult situation during the trip.

Ideally, to avoid disappointment before each trip, you should find destinations for yourself. And if possible, check in advance the points you will go to instead of leaving it completely to the travel agency. There are too many channels for you to do it quickly, from a phone, internet, friends, acquaintances in your local area, etc.

The Broad Life introduces to you great, inspirational books for your wanderlust. They aren’t just simple travel, each book recounts the author’s journey to discover and learn many awesome things from new civilizations and places.



24 Bad Travel Habits Must be Avoided - The Broad Life's Pinterest Board

Khoi Nguyen builds The Broad Life with a desire to inspire people go exploring the world and live a more interesting, experience, and adventurous life. This blog shares the stories, pictures, and experiences at destinations where he has traveled to.


  • Stacie

    I love these! I have had to remind myself on trips in the past that pictures are great, but too many pictures just takes me right out of the experience.

    • Khoi Nguyen

      Yeah sometimes just focusing on taking pics would take us away from enjoying the trips fully

  • Heather

    I honestly, never do any of these, but I have seen people doing one or more of the publicly visible ones, and it’s so frustrating.It’s just rude.

  • Ntensibe Edgar Michael

    Uuummmppphhhhhh….my biggest challenge is always spending time on my phone. And social media, too. It is such a huge distraction.

    • Khoi Nguyen

      Haha me too, I truly spend so much time on social media even my friends warning me so

  • TheSuperMomLife

    Yikes! I’m definitely guilty of a number of these, especially being on my phone and taking too many pictures, mostly because that’s my job.

  • Matt Taylor

    This is a great list for bad travel habits, and yes I have done some of them before, haha. Always a good reminder. 🙂

  • Mary Edwards

    Love your list. i was definitely too obsessed with pictures when I was younger. I’ve since learned to live in the moment

  • katrina Kroeplin

    those are great tips. i always buy my tickets in advance. i seem to find better deals. i like to compare last min just to make sure and i’m usually right. makes me feel better lol.

  • GiGi Eats Celebrities

    This list is actually awesome and outside of the box! I had no idea about the sleeping when taking off thing – I should remember that although I have not really had many problems with my ears.

  • Angela Milnes

    I set my phone across the room at night time. It helps me to relax and makes me sleepy!

    • Khoi Nguyen

      There are some apps that’s really good supporting good sleeping like Headspace, or Calm, have you tried?

  • EmmanDamian

    With the digital age, people are too obsessed with taking a lot of pictures. I’m guilty sometimes but we really have to experience the fun and adventures during travels. It’s all about experience and lasting memories!

  • autumn

    Some great advice for people that do not travel a lot. Depending on the country you are in, last minute flights can be a good thing. Not all countries charge an hefty fee for last minute travel. Although, it is always good to book in advance.

  • Blairvillanueva

    Not getting along with locals is the major no no for me. If we are not comfortable with locals then, why visit?

    • Khoi Nguyen

      that could be a thing to consider. Perhaps there are some exceptional cases, how is your opinion?

  • Brianna

    The first one is the one I recommend the most! Turn your phones off, enjoy life and traveling!!

  • Simply healthy vegan

    I’d like to think that I dont have any of these bad travel habbits because i observe those who do have bad habbits and it makes me cringe. especially the no shoes one! YUK

  • Deborah Butler (@SuperBusyMum)

    This is a great list of bad habits, thanks so much for sharing!

  • Lou

    So important to check and digest the exchange rate beforehand – got into trouble so many times without it – great tips!

  • Eileen M Loya

    This is a must read for both first time travelers and seasoned ones. We may have lapses sometimes but this post is a good reminder of what NOT to do while traveling.

    • Khoi Nguyen

      Glad that you find this post good to read or to remind first time/ seasoned travelers! 🙂

  • Melissa Wint

    These are so true! I spend far too much time on my phone when travelling and it really takes away from the moment. I also tend to overpack and not bring the essentials!

    • Khoi Nguyen

      I’m the same with my phone. Perhaps using a camera instead of carrying a phone going around is a better choice. But how about the other tools you can use with your phone?

      • Melissa Wint

        True I think a camera instead of a phone is much mo re purposeful and less distracting!

      • Khoi Nguyen

        Yeah it is! You can try a mirror less camera. It’s quite light, and good as a DSLR for beautiful pics 🙂

  • bruceschinkel19

    Really great list here! Something every traveller should read at least once. Thanks for a great post

  • Nina | Lemons and Luggage

    Wow, this list is amazing! Definitely words to live by, some not only while traveling!

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