Top five travel mistakes

Flying to the wrong place, having your luggage confiscated and ending up in quarantine are just some of the travel mistakes YOURLifeChoices can help you to avoid so that your holiday is as relaxing as possible.

Right time, wrong place

Booking a flight to the wrong place is probably the worst travel mistake you could make. And it’s easier to do than you might think. Falling victim to a ‘destination doppleganger’ – two cities with the same name in different countries – can really put a dampener on your holiday. For example there is a Paris in France and in Texas, USA, a Venice in Italy and in Louisana, USA  and a Perth in Australia and in Scotland. To avoid confusion each airport in the world has a unique three-letter ‘airport code’. Before you book your tickets use the World Airport Codes website to look up the correct airport code for your desired destination, and make sure it matches the flights you are thinking of purchasing.

Local customs

It is important to look up the local customs of your destination before you go. In Indonesia you should point with your thumb, as using a forefinger to point is considered very rude. In Japan it is rude to finish all the food on your plate, as it means your host has not provided enough, while in many countries it is rude not to finish everything you are given, as it is wasteful and suggests the food was not good enough. Knowing the local customs will help you to avoid offending the locals. Any good guide book will cover this sort of information, or you could start your research by looking it up in Google.

Airport customs

No matter which country you are entering or exiting, you will have to pass through customs. The first thing you can do to make this process easier is to arrive in plenty of time – this will be especially helpful if you get stuck in a long line. Check what you can and can’t take through customs in your destination country. Australia has some of the strictest customs laws in the world, so to find out what you can carry on and off the plane take a look at the Australian Customs Guide for Travellers.

Tip: if you have a little pocket knife attached to your car keys, leave it in the car before entering the airport. These will be confiscated, and you won’t be able to get them back.


Leaving your vaccinations too late, or not getting them at all, may mean that you can’t travel, or that you can’t re-enter Australia at the end of your holiday without going through quarantine. To find out which vaccinations you will need, and when you will need to get them, you can either talk to a travel doctor or you might like to visit the My Vaccination website for more immediate information.


We are all guilty of taking too much stuff when we travel. But a heavy suitcase can make your trip harder than it has to be, particularly when you realise that wheels are less than effective on stairs. Try picking clothes which you can mix and match, or restrict yourself to a smaller suitcase. If you can’t quite seem to cut it down then try watching this video on packing like a pro to discover the best way to fit an enormous amount of clothing into a tiny little backpack. 

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What’s the worst travel mistake you’ve ever made?