Things Not to Do When Traveling – Based on Visits to 15 Countries

There are things to do when traveling and then there are things not to do when traveling.  I’ve done plenty of things that you should not do when traveling, and if I have done them, you will too, well unless you are reading this, then you won’t.


Sometimes we read advice and don’t take it until we experience it.

Do Not Bring a Massive Wallet

I do not care how wealthy you are. You do not need a big wallet.

things not to do when traveling

It’s not 2005. You can fit just as many things in a slim wallet as in a big wallet. The only reason that you have a big wallet, em, well there’s no reason at all.

things not to do when traveling

A big wallet is an invitation for a thief. They can’t steal what they don’t see.

Your big wallet stands out. A lot.

My girlfriend won’t take that lesson. Don’t be like my girlfriend.

Big wallets are not easy to carry around either. They take so much space. Space that could be used for other things.

This absolutely one of the things not to do when traveling, ever.


A slim wallet.

It doesn’t matter what company but I personally love the Wally Euro from Distil Union.

Make no mistake, just because it’s smaller it doesn’t mean it won’t fit just as many things as your big wallet. It will. It’s all done in a much smarter way through.

Your coins? They are not in a pocket that’s closed with a button. The pocket for coins open when you squeeze it. That way our coins never fall out.  Your notes? They are held securely with a money clip rather than being loose in a pocket. Your cards? Wally Pull-Tab™ is a super convenient way to pull cards out. You pull the strap, and they come out. One of the things not to do when traveling is to bring a big wallet, but if you get a slim one, it might as well also make your life easier. The Wally Euro does.

Do Not Carry Just One Card

A wallet is only meant for cards. I learnt this trick last time after I applied for my New Zealand ETA online and got it in the form of a document rather than carrying a huge piece of paper with me in my wallet which helped me carry only my essential cards in the wallet instead of my whole visa document.

If you are in the country with excellent tech progression, you should be fine.

Once you leave though, that might not be the case, and the card you want to pay with might not work.


My girlfriend visited me in Ireland. She wanted to send a postcard. They did not accept her card.

Another example?

Things not to do when traveling Milan

I’m in a rush to the Milan metro as I’m about to miss my bus to Lyon. The metro does not accept my card. As a result, my friend and I missed our bus as we didn’t get into the metro on time.

Bring two cards with you, ideally one Visa and one Mastercard. And if you are going to the World Cup, especially do that. World Cup is sponsored by Visa, and they do not accept any other cards at the stadium.

Things not to do when traveling

How do you get another bank account? It’s simple. Online banks are emerging. N26 is my choice. I’ve been using for the past few months. It’s quick, technology friendly, and allows you to do so much more with your money by even providing something as simple as statistics. Oh, and it’s super easy to set up. All you need is a mini Skype call. It only works in Europe though.

Oh, and their cards look fantastic too!

Do Not Bring Just Cards

This is a very important thing not to do.

We mentioned not bringing just one card, but an even more important thing is not to just bring cards as even though we are in 2018, a lot of places still aren’t. I was in Greece recently. Using a card was painful there. They either did not accept cards, or they didn’t know how to operate the card machine.

Distil Union Wallet Clip

The metro machine didn’t accept cash their either. Oh, and when I was in Poland, I was in a rush to get onto a bus, and they also did not accept card at the bus station. I had to sprint to an ATM.

Once I even got a free coffee due to that, but it is overall problematic.

It’s always good to have some cash just in case.

Do Not Travel Early If You Know You Will Struggle

Early travel tends to be more affordable. Especially with the likes of Ryanair which we recently made a post about where we talked about getting the best seat for free. Here’s the thing, if you miss your plane or bus, you will pay so much more money than you saved on getting that cheap flight.

Some human’s, perhaps you, struggle to wake up on time and should try to travel late at night rather than early.

things not to do when traveling

For instance, remember that Milan story I mentioned? I didn’t tell you the full story. The whole reason for me rushing was that I woke up late. Like one hour later than I should have.

If you know you won’t be able to wake up, book at a different time. It’s not worth the stress.

Do Not Go Anywhere Without a Portable Charger or Cable

I was in Paris. In the damn center of Paris. Beautiful city. Except, it’s a lot easier to find your place when it’s further away than where you are in a center full of many many streets. It was like a labyrinth.

Things not to do when traveling Paris

Oh, but because my phone was dead. And having a phone with a USB-C port, not great.

If you do not have your charging cable, and sometimes also a portable charger, your phone will die. And that is not always great for your safety. Our phones are getting better but the batteries on them still suck.

Do Not Always Trust Google Maps

Google maps? Helpful for sure but yet checking Google Maps is one of the things not to do when traveling. Sometimes Google Maps will make you walk through a dodgy looking street. Sometimes it won’t show you the fastest way either as it’s not aware of some shortcut.

Things not to do when traveling

There are shortcuts of all kinds that Google Maps doesn’t know. And that people know.

Don’t be afraid to ask. You might learn something. You might meet somebody cool. Oh, and you might get to a place quicker.

Google Maps will never replace the knowledge of the locals.

Oh, and sometimes, getting lost is much more fun.

Things not to do when traveling

The internet is a big source of information on places but often tends to let people know just about a certain amount of places, over and over again. Due to that, you miss out on a lot of opportunities that the locals know about or that you can stumble upon by getting lost.

Things Not to Do When Traveling

There are a lot more things not to do when traveling. Do not forget to put sunscreen on for instance. Also, do not put it on at the start. These tips? These are some of the most important ones that will make sure that you won’t compromise on fun while also being safe and stress-free.

Things not to do when traveling

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