Travel No-Nos: 10 Basic Yet Vital Tips on How Not to Travel

Oh no, you didn’t.

There are so many guides on how you should travel, life hacks and other traveling what-to-dos out there, but nobody talks about how not to do it. For that, an idea comes to mind, hence this post. This is my own compilation of committed mistakes while traveling and you may just learn a thing or two from it…well, maybe. Unless you are already an expert in traveling (if there is such a thing). So, here it goes:


Travel No-Nos: 10 Basic Yet Vital Tips on How Not to Travel


10. Forgetting the 100 ml airport rule.

Such a basic rule and I had already been traveling for 6 years when I committed this mistake. We were off to Kota Kinabalu with no checked-in baggage, and I just bought our sunblock at a 50% off sale and just like that, it was confiscated at the airport because I forgot to put it in a smaller container (we went travel lite).


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I was pissed and nearly hysterical with the airport staff (not proud of it), but mostly with myself for committing such an amateur mistake! Make sure to pack your toiletries in small packages/sachets when you travel, so you don’t do the slip-up I did.


9. Wearing dresses and skirts.

Though skirts will make you feel girly and fashionable, it could also be a disadvantage for you when it comes to traveling.


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Take it from me. I didn’t get to go inside the small hole in Ho Chi Minh as I was wearing a dress at the time. Well, I could try, but my undies would be unearthed for the world to see if the guide lifted me up. So, yeah, I had to pass on the chance. Sayang.


8. Bringing a trolley on a beach trip.

I do not do this personally, but it irks me when I see it. It doesn’t help, especially when you are on the beach (which has sand).


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Bringing a trolley bag means that you have to check it in, too (provided you are not a photographer, an actor on a shoot or a person with a legitimate reason to do so). Puhleeease spare your trolley the trouble.


7. Choosing shoulder bags over sling bags.

Shoulder bags can easily be stolen. The fact that they mostly rest on your hands or arms makes it easy for snatchers to take them from you.

Aside from that, shoulder bags can also weigh you down. Being a girl (or maybe just being OC) may require you to bring your whole house on a trip. Since you can’t, though, you just bring your purse, which, we all know, weighs a lot. However, with all of the walking and sightseeing to do during the day, you could get tired of holding a heavy bag.


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Conversely, sling bags can be worn and feel like they aren’t even there. They can even be worn at the front, so pickpockets cannot reach them. Small sling bags also limit the essential items you need to put in them. Plus, they still look stylish. 


6. Bring that big ass hat.

Question: are you Samantha of Sex and the City? If not, then leave that ginormous hat of yours at home! I am not saying you should not wear hats under the scorching heat of the sun, but a hat as big as an umbrella can be difficult to put in a suitcase.


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If you are wearing it to define personal space (because no one can get close to you when you wear it), then go ahead. However, if you are wearing it just because you are afraid of getting dark skin, then maybe you shouldn’t be at the beach in the first place.


5. Not bringing your own snorkeling gear/goggles.

Renting a snorkel can cost around P200 – P300 in the Philippines. So, when my sister asked me what I wanted for Christmas once, I told her I wanted snorkeling gear! She was kind enough to give me a snorkel and aqua shoes (thanks, sis!). If you’re not as lucky as I am, though, you can buy your own. I believe mine cost under P1,000, but if you are on a really tight budget, you can find snorkelling gear in toy stores. Just find one that fits your face.


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The first advantage of having your own gear is that you can save money, especially if you go to the beach quite frequently. Secondly, it is good for sanitary purposes. Come on, we all know that your mouth hesitated a bit when the rented snorkel was given to you 🙂


4. Being too intense and hot-headed.

Yes, and that is coming from me. I am so obsessive compulsive that every detail of every trip has to be flawless. I once sat at a gutter of a port and became nearly hysterical (again, I know!) when we were left behind by the boat we were supposed to board to Camiguin. It turned out that there was another way to get there and we were just 30 minutes behind schedule.


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Many travelers might scold me for my advice to ‘chill out’ and ‘try not to have an itinerary’, but I have a day job and I need to get back to reality (too bad), so time is of the essence. Well, that was a lame excuse. Just go with the flow. That is what I try to do every time, even though it is so damn hard.


3. Ignoring the locals.

Don’t be a snob. Talk to the locals and I don’t just mean your tour guide or someone you asked for directions.


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You will be amazed by how much knowledge you can get by being inquisitive. Every destination has its story. Try finding it out by asking the right questions and, of course, don’t forget to do so nicely.


2. Not trying out local cuisine.

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Since you are already exploring, why not indulge on the unusual dishes that the locals eat? We tried eating balbakua when we were in GenSan, chicharon tilapia in South Cotabato and tamilok when we were in Palawan. What doesn’t kill you will just make you stronger. Word. Lol. (See food trip examples here).


1. Focusing on your face instead of the background.

When traveling, you can take a lot of selfies, but it is not deemed necessary to post them all on social media (spare your friends’ newsfeed). Showcase the place you are in instead. Another problem with selfies is that they mostly only capture your face and a glimpse of what’s behind you. Capture the beauty of the background instead and inspire others to travel, as well. After all, your friends and family already know what you look like.


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Are you guilty of any of these? Did I perhaps hit the bulls-eye? Good. Remember: the next time you visit a place, try to help tourism by encouraging others to take a trip, too.