Every backpacker makes stupid travel mistakes when they first start  travelling and I’ve done my fair share of those. Instead of holding my head in shame and pretending it never happened, I’m going to do the exact opposite. Here are five of the stupidest travel mistakes that I’ve made in my last ten years on the road.

EL Tari Kupang Airport

Stupid Travel Mistake Number 1:
Buying a plane ticket to the wrong island sounds like something only an idiot would do. Yes, unfortunately at idiot was me. It would be the first, but not the last time I made such a stupid mistake buying a plane ticket.

Sushi la paz

Stupid Travel Mistake Number 2:
It’s a 20 hour by bus ride from the sea to Latin America’s highest and most importantly completely land locked capital city. Why I thought eating raw fish was a good idea was completely beyond me. No surprises then that I got food poisoning.

Jakarta Airport terminal

Stupid Travel Mistake Number 3:
So when I land at the airport I’ll just get some money out at the ATM. It will be fine, I’ve told my bank I’m coming to Indonesia, so the card won’t be… F#%k, it’s cancelled. Queue a ten hour wait at the airport in a country I’ve never visited and a language I can’t speak while I try and beg, plead and borrow my way out of this disaster.

lima thieves

Stupid Travel Mistake Number 4:
Tap on the shoulder, look round to see who it is and there’s a Peruvian talking Spanish to me. “Sorry, I don’t understand what you’re saying.” It doesn’t matter because his friends already taken my friends bag. Well that’s a relief, it only had his passport and camera in it.

Australian immigration

Stupid Travel Mistake Number 5:
If you loose your passport then your visa is null and void. This sounds pretty obvious right. Well, I should have thought about that before getting on my flight to Australia. Fortunately for me the airline was landed with an $1,100 fine and not me.