I’m sharing 32 Tips for What NOT to Do When You Travel. These are tips on what not to do at the airport, what not to do in the airplane, what not to do in a foreign city, and what not to pack.
The number one tip for what not to do when you travel is do not over pack. I have many travel tips to help with packing methods and for packing toiletries. Do not take an outfit for every day of travel. Mix and match your clothes that you pack.
Do not pack too big of a personal item bag. Your travel personal bag is supposed to be able to fit under your airplane seat. Your airline’s website has a luggage size requirements that will help. Mostly if you use common sense, your bag will be fine. I travel with a huge back pack, and it fits all sizes of airplanes that I have been in here in America as well as in Europe.
Do not keep travel documents put away in your bags until it is your turn. Have them out; you can have them in your pocket when 4 people are in front of you in the security line. Or you can have them in the closest pocket that is easiest and fastest to get to.
Do not hold up the line in security.
So do not wear a belt. Do not wait until the last minute to untie your shoes. Do not wait until the last minute to take out your liquids bag. Have the zipper of your carryon unzipped so you just have to take out the liquids bag and then put your backpack on the security conveyor belt.
Do not try to be funny with TSA by saying, “what do you think I could do with a knife that size!” and then use a terroristic idea. You most likely will not fly that day if you do AND you will hold up the line for other responsible travelers.
Do not wear lace-up shoes into the airport through security if you can help it. It takes too long to untie them and then tie them back.
Do not be in a hurry. You have paid for this trip. You are being responsible and planning wisely before you even get to the airport. Passengers tend to make mistakes like lose an ID or their ticket when they get in a hurry. If you make a mistake in the security line, it’s okay. Take a breath, keep your thoughts together and keep going.
Do not be rude to gate agents who are telling you your flight is delayed again. They have no control over it, and they have no control over the screens being updated. The communication sometimes is so bad, and they are just the messenger.
Do not expect the flight attendants to put your bag in the overhead bin. Ask them nicely as you are getting on the plane. You could also ask a nice gentleman sitting near your seat if he will help you. Do not say, “I can’t lift this up there.”
Do not wear tight clothes on the airplane. Sit and see how much the button is poking into your belly. Also, be careful of tight trousers or jeans around your calves. They can constrict blood flow and cause awful blood clots for some people. I can recommend compression socks or leggings. There are also compression sleeves-footless compression sleeves for your calves.
Do not keep ringing the flight attendant call button. They are not waitresses; they are there for your safety. The free drinks are bonus.
Do not leave home without Tylenol; if you have a fever, it will help stave off some of the effects of an infection until you can get to a doc or get through the flight home.
Do not expect to sit with your family even if you have chosen seats. Just check when you check in and print your tickets. If you’re not together, tell the gate agent. Usually the flight attendants are the ones who will correct the problem. You can also ask someone to move. It is kind of like that Seinfeld skit where he rents a car online and gets there and there is no car available.
In a carryon suitcase do not put containers in your liquids bag that are larger than 3.4 ounces /100 ml. Like you cannot carry a large shampoo bottle even though there are just a few drops of shampoo in it. The containers and the amounts that go in the liquids bag must be no larger than 3.4 ounces.
Do not forget that you can sign up easily for the State Department for updates to your phone if civil unrest or if there is a family emergency. In my 9 Safe Travel Tips video, I also give you an app for finding out the emergency numbers in 70 different countries. I’ll link that video below in the description box. Lots of safe tips!
Do not talk loudly on the park and ride bus or in the boarding area. It makes you look uneducated technology-wise which is something pick pocketers love.
Do not take bulky headphones. There are so many loop over the ear kinds now that save you space in your travel bag.
Do not take a tupperware of tuna salad. The smell is awful to other passengers, but you’re stuck with the tupperware the whole trip. But I have done it before and just throw away that tupperware. It’ll show up in the cabinet days later anyway!
Move to the side of the terminal if you want to stop and pull out your documents or ticket to see where your gate is. Those terminals are narrow and passengers need to be able to keep traffic moving.
At every airport there are now really good water fountains that you can fill an aluminum or plastic water bottle. Tip: you can bring a water bottle through security that is filled with ice. If some has melted, just drink the melted part before getting in line. Solid ice packs are also allowed but not if they’re room temperature.
There was an article recently that talked about how flight attendants do not want you to order a Diet Coke or any soda because it took so long for the bubbles to dissipate, but I do not think that is the case.
Don’t let airline’s booking system give you a tight connection. An example would be less than one hour for domestic flights. For International flights, try not to have a tight connection if it’s the last flight of the day. I remember people would come in to Dulles Int’l Airport from Germany, landing at 4 and running down the terminal that I was on for a 5:35 departure to Phoenix.
Do not pack any liquids in your personal bag or carryon bags that do not fit in your liquids quart size bag that will be pulled out when you go through security. All liquids have to fit in one quart sized bag.
Do not feel bad if you need to use the restroom on the airplane, and the person beside you has fallen dead asleep. It happens, and you will never see that person again.
You do not need to pack a travel inflatable pillow according to this pro packer.
Do not throw all of your clothes in. Choose a packing method – rolling, packing cubes and there is even the kon mari folding method.
Do not put all of your belongings back in your carryon at the conveyor belt in security. Take the little bin over to the bench; then you can put your belt on, put your documents away securely and you do not delay the people behind you in line.
Do not forget to sign up for police house check program for your state. Check your county. I would google police house check montgomery county. They ask you a few questions, and will periodically-not set times or days-drive by and maybe walk around your house to make sure all is safe. If you have not seen my 9 travel safety tip video, I list 9 other ways.
Fo international travel do not stand out for pick pocketers. I have heard this from Love and London and Welters World – writing on your sweatshirts and graphic tees are not a thing over there. Do not pack all of your money in only one place. Hide it in some places like in my 19 Life Hacks video. Do not wear bright white sneakers; if you do not have Converse, you can wear gray tennis shoes or Merrells or Skechers or Sofft shoes my new fave.
Occasionally I use affiliate links, and all opinions are my own.