The world is smaller than ever, with opportunities to travel increasing every day.

More and more places are within our reach and there is an abundance of information about travelling to even the most remote places in the world. As such, more people are setting off to explore. And so they should – travelling is an amazing opportunity and offers once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Unfortunately, not everyone does their preparation and travellers tend to make the same mistakes. We have gathered five of the most common so you can learn from them and head off without worry. Take a note of the following:

1 They think they are invincible

If you are from somewhere where petty crime is relatively uncommon, it is easy to assume everywhere in the world is the same. Unfortunately, there are a lot of opportunistic thieves out there, and as a tourist, you will be a target. So if you are wearing a travel wallet, looking at a map, and struggling to use any local language, watch out. Check out these 18 signs you’re about to be robbed and get clued up about how you can be vigilant whilst travelling. The post also mentions some common scams around the world including:

  • Broken taxi meters
  • Someone wanting to practice their English
  • Someone inviting you for tea
  • The attractive local girl wanting to chat to you
  • A fake baby has been thrown at you

2 Being over-ambitious with their plan

Okay, you obviously want to pack in as much as you can. But travelling can be tiring. There will be days when you just want to relax on the beach and do nothing. If you have got a fixed itinerary, you are putting too much pressure on yourself and will end up feeling bad when you miss something. Instead, learn to go with the flow a bit. Don’t be afraid to change your plans due to weather or money shortage, and remember, you do not need to see the whole country in one visit. Planning to do so will make you feel unaccomplished. It is about knowing what your must-sees are, but being flexible about when you go.

3 Inevitably packing too much

As a backpacker, you will have to carry your stuff with you. Think about what you really need. Most people try and take too much, ending up ditching it somewhere. Remember, in the worst-case scenario, you can just buy something you forgot. There are loads of packing lists out there, but some of the things you definitely shouldn’t take, include:

  • Money belt
  • Silk sleeping bag liner
  • Dedicated travel clothing
  • Excessive amounts of medicine
  • Duct tape

Not sticking to their original budget

You can only keep travelling if you have got the money to do so. Although you can work whilst travelling, you should think about this possibility before you set off, rather than assuming you will stumble across a job. Places like hostels do sometimes let people work in exchange for accommodation and food, but those roles are popular and limited. Your best bet is to set a budget and stick to it. Have a reserve for emergencies, but do not rely on it for the times you run out of cash at the bar. If you want to travel for as long as planned (or longer), you have got to be careful with your spending. Luckily, countries on popular travel routes, such as South-east Asia, are cheap. However, not everywhere is friendly for your budget. Watch out for the expensive countries Switzerland, Singapore, Iceland and Australia – find a complete list here.

5 They forget to keep in touch with friends and family at home

Your nearest and dearest will naturally worry about you. With modern technology and Wi-Fi, there are few excuses for not keeping in touch. So keep everyone happy and schedule in some regular calls or messages. They will appreciate you working around the time zones to tell them you are okay. Alternatively, make use of social media to share updates and boast a bit about your adventures, although be warned, people will quickly get jealous of your gorgeous pictures of endless beaches and the best cityscapes in the world.

  • Have you been travelling? What did you learn? Feel free to share your suggestions for first-time travellers with us.