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Bad Habits are part of human nature. They serve to define negative behavioural patterns that we often cannot control.

When it comes to long term travel bad habits can result in excess spending, reduced understanding of the local culture and repetition of home comforts in foreign climes.

Join me as I share my own bad travel habits and personal pet peeves.



Laid on a Hawaiian beach or walking through the streets of a historic European city it’s all too easy to forget that you’re not on vacation.

No. You’re not on vacation. You’ve waved goodbye to financial security and embarked on an adventure around the world.

Unfortunately money does not grow on trees, neither is there an endless supply in your wallet, so behaving like you’re on vacation is not conducive to ensuring you can finance yourself through the next few months of travel.

Long term travellers are generally a savvy bunch. They do their research and are aware of their daily budget. They are selective about the tours and activities they pay for, instead opting to build their own itineraries and be their own tour guide. When you’re on vacation for a defined period of time your daily budget is less of a concern as you know that all too soon you’ll be sat at your desk earning more pennies to top up your savings.

Don’t be lead astray by two for one happy hours at the bar, gourmet meals and shopping sprees. They are not why you decided to travel. Invest your daily budget in activities that add value to your experience of a location and allow you to immerse yourself it its culture.


Bad Habits for Travellers On the Streets of Granada Druing the Tope de Toro

If you’re anything like me then you find comfort in familiarity however this mindset will not provide you with a wealth of travel experiences.

Long term travellers often backpack, road trip and hitch hike their way across a country, and it can be all too easy to find something enjoyable and replicate the experience every time they are somewhere new.

Be adventurous, if you’ve spent a few days exploring the coastline head inland and experience rural life. Get off the beaten path and choose to visit destinations that intrigue and inspire your sense of wanderlust.

Sample local cuisine and partake in cultural traditions, carry a phrase book and attempt to converse in the local language. Each new experience will provide a new perspective on the countries you visit.


Bad Habits for Travellers Saphire Fossicking in Emerald Queensland

In my opinion one of the worst traits of a traveller is to visit a foreign country and spend the entire time searching for the familiar comforts of home.

Without participating in local culture you merely skim the surface of a location.  Who cares if your home team are playing a game tonight, don’t search the streets for a sports bar head out to sample the local cuisine.

Embrace local fashions and respect local customs, join in with celebrations and visit festivals.

We visit a location to better understand its heritage and inhabitants so immerse yourself the cultures you visit and explore the depths of its diverse landscape.


Bad Habits for Travellers At the Market in the Parque Colon

While I appreciate everyone has certain foods they refrain from consuming I am firmly of the belief that eating local when you travel will save you money and open your mind.

Be adventurous and sample local delicacies, some of the best travel memories are made when you try something new.

If you’re staying in a location long enough contemplate buying fresh ingredients from local markets and attempting to replicate a native dish yourself. Taking cookery classes can elevate your understanding of techniques and enable you to create your own fusion dishes on the road.


Bad Habits for Travellers Crab Fishing in Port Germein South Australia

Regular exercise is hard enough to maintain when you’re living at home but it can prove to be challenging when travelling long term. When you’ve no longer access to your favourite gym and weekly yoga class you need to take your fitness into your own hands.

Set yourself a short routine that you can do anywhere in the world without the use of any equipment. Getting into a routine of daily exercise from the day you leave home will help you to avoid the dreaded flab attack.

If you’re staying in a location for a few weeks or more investigate what local fitness classes are on offer, or if your budget is limited hit the streets and indulge in a daily run.

When your fitness is lacking it can get you down. Good health improves your immune system to help you fight off those nasty bugs you pick up on the road, it also serves to keep your body and mind happy and better able to enjoy your journey.


Bad Habits for Travellers Cartwheels on Whitehaven Beach Whitsunday Island

In my opinion travel is about embracing new cultures and experiences. It enriches your life with unique memories that aid in allowing you to better understand your own character.

For me travel is not about collecting stamps on your passport. I believe the man who travels at the speed of light through every country in the world is no more enriched than the man who spends his life travelling through just one.

Be considered in your itinerary, choose a route that incorporates the locations you desire to see and ensure you give yourself enough time to truly experience a location.

While time and money restrict our ability to explore, spending both wisely will make your experience much more immersive.

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What are you’re worst habits when you travel, can you sympathise with any of the above? Share your pet peeves with us below.

About The Author

Freelance writer and blogger Charli has lived in 6 countries, driven 25,000km across Australia, explored the lush landscapes of Central America and the frigid winters of North America. Currently visiting St Kitts & Nevis she plans to explore the world one country at a time.

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24 Responses

  1. Brandon @ The Yoga Nomads

    Great reminders to check ourselves from time to time! I’m guilty of getting lazy and paying extra on transportation… nice train instead of bus, quick flight instead of 20hour boat ride, etc

  2. Loz in Transit

    That’s interesting, I’m a curious person by nature so I’m definitely open to going down rabbitholes and “ego-tripping” with people.

    But I also have my passions. I like to imagine, “What if I grew up here, what would I do for fun?”. Chances are it wouldn’t necessarily be anything traditional. I enjoy searching for the local punk rock, comedy or hiphop scene. Finding sports or the latest gallery opening. Seeking subcultures and likeminded artists and creatives that I would probably want to hang out with if I lived there.

  3. Vanessa | Turnipseeds

    Great post! I love the idea of taking a cooking class – it’s nice to break up the routine and learn something new. Brain challenges are a good thing! I’d also recommend some short term volunteering. There are many programs that offer one-day volunteer projects. It’s a good way to contribute to the community, make some new friends and (usually) keep fit.

    • Charli | Wanderlusters

      Great recommendation Vanessa, I volunteered as a veterinary nurse in Costa Rica during a house sitting assignment, it was just one day a week but I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and like you mention, I made friends within the community and got to see a little more of the local culture than I perhaps would have otherwise.

  4. Jim

    Great post. I must admit, I’ve definitely fallen into a few of these bad habits from time to time. It’s inevitable if you travel for long enough.

  5. Alyse

    Great post and wonderful web page! One of the things I researched before we left (just three short weeks ago) on our trip was exercise routines for the road, and you’d be surprised how few blogs even made mention of it! You have such a gorgeous site, so glad I found i!

  6. Carmen

    I totally agree with these!
    I really can never understand when tourists visit an amazing city like Paris and then they eat at McDonalds. I mean, you’re in France, taste the amazing food!

    • Charli | Wanderlusters

      I know! It does irk me somewhat but then I know I am guilty of hunting out a few home comforts once in a while…however McDonalds….in the food capital of the world?!!

  7. Nicole | Suitcase Stories

    I completely agree with all of the above! I don’t understand how someone can travel and not want to immerse themselves into the local culture!

    The only thing I have an issue with is the flab attack! lol I am the WORST for keeping fit when we are house sitting. When we are ‘on the road’ we walk for 8 hours a day exploring cities but when we are looking after someone’s home and we don’t go out as much, I turn into a flab factory! 😉

    • Charli | Wanderlusters

      Oh I sympathise Nicole! We’re house sitting at the moment and my exercise routine has gone to pot! I think as long as you’re concious of it then it’s not too bad as sooner or later you’ll be inclined to do something about it!

  8. Yeity

    Good guidelines to follow but reckon it would be quite hilarious travelling with someone like that – your own episode of “An Idiot Abroad”

  9. Angela

    Ohh I am so guilty of the flab attack, the vacation mindset and the ground hog day experience! I like going on shopping sprees now and again. I throw out all of my old clothes (take note, I only have two dresses, two shorts, two tops and one vest) and invest in some new stuff. I know I really shouldn’t be doing this too often but everyone gets to have a guilty pleasure right?

    • Charli | Wanderlusters

      I must say I sympathise with your propensity to gravitate towards the odd shopping spree. Travelling light means you wear out clothes so quickly, so I think it’s ok to restock once in a while!

  10. Anita Mac

    I am with you on all of the above. Sure, there are times when I slip into the routine…long term travel can be tiring, but when I see McDonald’s popping up in exotic locales…it just makes me so upset! Someone once reminded me that just because it is so reminiscent of home for me – I should be alittle more tolerant as it is a treat for some of the local people! Never-the-less, I avoid almost all (my only occasional exception – love Chai at Starbucks – it is a weakness!) North American fast food. Eating local is part of what I love about travel!

    • Charli | Wanderlusters

      Hi Anita, I have to say that is one of my pet peeves. Of all the economic development and revolutionary ideas of the West I think fast food has to be the worst. What a shame that it’s the one thing from our culture that has managed to have the most influence across the far reaches of the world.

  11. Kimmy | AfterGlobe

    Great article! Very eye opening. I have no idea why people travel, but don’t get to know their local culture. When we were on Maui for our wedding, the husbands’s father and brother got up at 2am to watch some sports thing on TV. I thought they were crazy.

    • Charli | Wanderlusters

      Thanks Kimmy, I’m glad you enjoyed it! I have to say it does confuse me why some people travel to then simply remain in their own cultural bubble. Each to their own I suppose!

  12. Alex

    I totally agree in exploring a destination in detail as opposed to visiting many places for only short periods. Vacations are learning experiences, you might not take notes but will definately try out new things. I have a sensitive stomach so I am extra careful when it comes to food 🙂

    • Charli | Wanderlusters

      Hi Alex, thanks for your comments. I agree with your observation about vacations, world travel is such a brilliant opportunity to expand your concept of the environments that you visit as well as appreciating those in which you live.