Travel can be an awesome experience. Just make sure that you are prepared, because those new to traveling often make some pretty big mistakes when abroad. Here are 15 tips to ensuring you don't look like a rookie while out and about.

Underplanning
Underplanning
Maybe you like to live life a little on the edge. However, you should do some research on the area before you leave. Not knowing anything can lead to some pretty big frustrations or scary situations.
Overplanning
Overplanning
You might be excited about your upcoming trip, but don’t go overboard on the plans. Make time for only one big thing a day. You’ll be less rushed and stressed out and will leave room for spontaneous decisions without feeling like you missed out on something.
Not Researching Cheap Travel
Not Researching Cheap Travel
Unless you are Rich Uncle Pennybags, you’re probably going to be on a budget. Be as lenient with travel dates as possible. You’d be surprised how much travel expenses can fluctuate during the week.
Booking a Shady Hotel
Booking a Shady Hotel
That cheap, two-star hotel’s price might be enticing, but spring for something with decent reviews. You never know what a living situation will be like until you get there. If not, you could end up sharing a bed with some friendly bugs.
Packing Too Much
Packing Too Much
When you’re planning your trip, you might think that you need way more than you actually do. Make sure you have the essentials, but don’t go crazy. You can leave the cooking utensils at home.
Forgetting Passport
Forgetting Passport
If you leave the country, you’re going to need your passport. Triple check that you have the proper identification before you leave. Forgetting to do so will create many hassles you don't want to deal with on your vacation.
Missing Your Flight
Missing Your Flight
Every airport recommends getting there two hours early for a reason. Be prepared for all necessary hassles including long lines at the security checkpoints. It doesn't hurt to go online and research the security protocols to be prepared when you get there as well. Nothing’s worse than reenacting the airport scene from "Home Alone 2;" do you really want your son to wind up in a different city because you weren't prepared?
Exchanging Money at the Airport
Exchanging Money at the Airport
Currency Exchange locations at airports are notorious for charging more than is necessary. Check with your local bank to get the money you’ll need abroad BEFORE you leave. Make sure you exchange enough, because you don’t want to be broke in a foreign land. Better yet, inform your credit card company you will be traveling and use credit; the company will make the exchange rate for you, generally for little to no fee.
Not Being Open to the Culture
Not Being Open to the Culture
Once you’ve arrived, you may be surrounded by sights, sounds, and smells that you’ve never experienced. Be open to things that you might be a little uncomfortable with. It’ll make your travel much more enjoyable. (This picture is hilarious. You better be open to their culture!!)
Not Securing Valuables
Not Securing Valuables
Maybe you’ve brought a camera, or you want to carry your wallet around. Keep those items secured when you’re walking about. Not doing so could make you an easy target for theft; as a tourist you already have a big target on you so take some extra steps of precaution.
Going Off The Grid
Going Off The Grid
A phone is a good tool to have when you travel. It can help you get around and also be a lifeline if something unexpected happens. Some airport shops offer cheap temporary phones, or you can check with your phone company about extending your current plan to cover international use why you are away.
Taking Too Many Pictures
Taking Too Many Pictures
You’re traveling for a reason, so don’t stay glued to your electronics. You can miss a lot if you’re looking through a zoom lens the entire time. Experience new places with your own eyes.
Avoiding the Locals
Avoiding the Locals
Meet people who really know the area. They’re helpful in getting you to the places tourists don’t usually see. You might even make some new friends.
Playing Dangerously
Playing Dangerously
It can be easy to get into the care-free travel mindset, but don’t let that trick you into making bad decisions. Always practice caution in a place where you don’t know the law.
Remaining Comfortable
Remaining Comfortable
Traveling is a great opportunity to see new things, but it’s also an excellent way to do stuff you’ve never done before. Don't sit in the hotel room; Get out there and experience new things. You’ll have some awesome stories to tell your friends when you get home.

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