5 Travel Mistakes Not to Make in 2021

You missed an entire year of travel in 2020, and today, you might finally be able to catch up. However, a lot has changed when it comes to travel due to the coronavirus, so you might be in for some good preparation. Also, there are general travel mistakes you still need to keep in mind. So if you want to have a smooth and safe trip in 2021, here’s what NOT to do when traveling.

Not sorting out your documentation

If you’re traveling abroad, you will need to show a variety of important documents to pass through security and be let into the country. Think a valid passport and visa (if necessary), proof of health and vaccination, permits for certain attractions, etc. Before you embark, have all of these ready. You might have to apply for a visa months in advance, otherwise, you’ll get stuck at the airport and have to postpone your trip. Also, make copies of all your important documents and keep them close to your person at all times while leaving the originals in your hotel safe or at the reception.


Some planning is always necessary for a trip, but make sure to be at least a little flexible. A lot of things can change during your trip, from your financial situation to your health and weather. Keep in mind the time it takes from point A to point B, depending on your transportation means. Also, factor in various delays and set some time aside to rest. All of these variables require flexibility, so don’t get stressed if your plans get a little off-track. There’s no need to see and do everything at your destination in one visit and get the most for your money—if you try to do that, you will most likely fail and feel disappointed.

Not doing your research

If all you know about your destination comes from Instagram posts, you’re going to have a bad time on your vacation. Make sure to actually do some research and look up all the issues that might come up and bite you on your behind. You might want to research the weather, best times to visit, national holidays and such since these can highly influence your packing process and itinerary. Also, look up local laws—they might be very different from what you know at home. For instance, if you’re a vaper, you have to check the vaping laws at your destination. If you can’t travel with your regular setup, grabbing the best disposable vape pen might do the trick. These will satisfy your vaping habit and potentially cause fewer problems on your trip. Plus, you can just throw it away when you’re done and not think about issues on your return.

Not being culturally sensitive

Being politically correct and culturally sensitive is very important in 2021 and for all the right reasons, so don’t be one of those travelers who disregard the local culture, traditions and habits when visiting a place. If you come off as culturally insensitive, it can ruin your trip and even cause various issues that can jeopardize your stay. Some countries have laws and norms that greatly differ from your own, but make sure to be respectful. It’s very easy to look up the local culture online so you can be the best tourist you can be.

Not listening to local advice

Sure, you might have done your research on all the important things to see and do at your destination and armed yourself with travel guides and other materials, but if a local offers advice on where to eat and what to do, take it into consideration (they live there, after all). Local advice can often also save you a lot of money on tourist traps! However, when asking for directions, take every piece of advice with a grain of salt. For the best directions, ask more than one person and go with the general consensus. If a person starts thinking about where to send you, thank them for their help and go get additional info.

Now that you know what not to do when traveling in 2021, you can start preparing for that much-awaited holiday and have a blast while staying safe and responsible.

By Peter Minkoff

Peter is a lifestyle and travel writer at Men-Ual magazine, living between Ústí nad Labem and Antwerp. Follow Peter on Twitter for more tips.