Rookie Travel Mistakes

10 Things New Travelers Do Wrong and How to Fix Them

Podcast Episode # 2

 by Brad Kammlah

In this Episode, You'll Learn:

  • How to Never Forget to Pack Something
  • How to Save Time at the Airport
  • Ensure Get Most Frequent Flier Points You Can
  • How to Stay Healthy on the Road
  • Ensuring Make Time for Most Important Goals even when Traveling

So you’ve just landed a new job requiring you to travel… a lot! But you’re a smart new traveler and want to avoid the growing pains of frequent business travel. Well here’s 10 New Traveler Mistakes  you might want to consider as you begin hitting the road more often. And if you’re a seasoned traveler, let’s make sure you’ve got these essentials covered!

Here are some highlights from the episode, but be sure to listen to get all the great tips and details!

1. Not Using a Packing List

The easiest way to forget something important is telling yourself you’ll remember it. A much better way to ensure it ends up in your packed bag is to write down the things you pack for every trip and quickly run through that list while you’re packing. It’s funny how we can overlook even the most common items like socks or pants, but using a good list will help with that.

Solution: Make a Packing  List & Reuse it Every Trip

If you need a good packing list to get you started on making your own, download this free packing list that I’ve made to get you going.


2. Checking a Bag

One of my favorite scenes from any travel movie is from Up in the Air when George Clooney is patiently telling newbie frequent traveler Anna Kendrick just how much time she is wasting checking a bag. Hey says 35 minutes a flight multiplied by every flight a year.

I’d say checking a bag is even worse than that, actually wasting around 45 minutes to 1 hour each flight; 20 minutes checking a bag and 25 minutes waiting for it at baggage claim. And this time does really add up quickly.

On top of that, you are risking the airline losing your bag all together!

Solution:  Always pack carry-on bags only! And NEVER CHECK A BAG!

3. Not Getting a Passport Now

I am surprised how many travelers don’t already have their passport. Most of them wait till they know they’ll be taking a trip abroad. The problem with that logic though is that by then it will be too late! It can take 6 weeks or longer to get a passport.

So if travel at all for work get a passport as soon as possible even if you don’t think you’ll ever need it. When that last minute trip to Paris comes up you’ll want to go, but will stuck back home if you don’t have a passport.

Solution: Get Your Passport Today!

4. Not Signing Up for EVERY Frequent Flier, Hotel and Rental Car Program

Most travelers have already signed up for the frequent flier program of the airline they use most often and maybe a hotel or two. But they are often passing up on so many points when they take that one off flight here or stay in a different hotel that “one time.” The problem is that these one off flights actually add up over time and might even get you a free flight after a few years.

Solution: Sign up for EVERY Airline Program and MOST Hotel Programs.

5. Not Signing up for TSA Precheck

This can save you hours! The only reason people don’t signup for it is that they think they don’t travel enough to justify the cost.

But what’s the cost of a missed flight? The cost of the time wasted standing in line instead of finishing some work sitting at the gate?

Solution: EVERYONE should get TSA Precheck or Global Entry

6. Bringing too many Electronic Devices

Our electronic devices really weigh down our bags. They are some of the heaviest things we bring with us and the first place to look when trying to lighten your load. I see new travelers all the time bringing huge noise cancelling headphones, an iPad, a Kindle, a mouse, Bluetooth speakers, and a bulky laptop. And it’s weighing your bag down BIG TIME!

Solution: Be Selective with Electronics, packing a Smart Phone, a Laptop and earbud style headphones.

7. Renting a Car

Renting a car still makes sense in most cities especially in the U.S. But many times it can be both a waste of time and an added expense.

It takes a good 30 minutes or so to pickup the car and an additional 30 minutes to stop for gas. That’s a wasted hour especially if you’re just headed to the hotel, the office and back to the airport. Not to mention that many hotels in downtown areas charge a hefty fee to park a rental car.

Solution: Only Rent a Car in More Rural Areas – Opt for Uber, Lyft or Taxi

8. Drinking too much at Business Events

Having a great cocktail at a business event is a nice perk when traveling for work. The problem for new travelers is if they drink the same way at business events as they do when hanging out with friends back home. It’s important to remember that you are still technically working at that networking event or business dinner so a pro always stays classy by being social but never tipsy. Nothing can make you look worse at a business event than being “that guy” who didn’t reign it in.

Solution: Keep it to 2 drinks or less

9. Eating Terribly on the Road

It’s hard to turn down the huge calorie appetizers and desserts while traveling for work but as we know those extra calories go somewhere and probably we don’t want them.

So whatever healthy eating you do at home be sure to mirror that when you’re traveling too.

Solution: Eat the same diet you do at Home

10. Not Making Time for Your Life Goals

If you travel a lot, you’re often passing the time with a bad movie on the plane, a magazine or scrolling through Facebook. But while you’re wasting your life doing that, other people are writing novels, connecting with their family, or working on their passion project. The point is that we waste a lot of time traveling and we can easily forget to make time for the most important things in our life.

Solution: Use this Travel Time on Your Goals

Ready for the Next Step?

Now that you’re no longer a rookie, why not check out the next episode 10 Veteran Travel Mistakes!


For Business Trips

Want to start packing better? Get your FREE copy of the ESSENTIAL PACKING LIST for BUSINESS TRIPS! The absolute best resource to get you started on your way to better travel.