7 Biggest Travel Regrets for Millennials

by Published

Helping you avoid travel regrets altogether

We’ve all heard it, and you can’t deny you’ve said it yourself.  “I wish I would have done this…I should have taken time to see that…I regret not doing…”, yada yada yada!  We always think there will be another day, another experience, once more chance, but the world doesn’t always work out like that. That’s why we have gathered the biggest millennial travel regrets so you can try your best to get in a mindset where you don’t have to make the same mistakes. Instead, you can enjoy every single second abroad, and beyond. 

So let’s get crackin’ on travel regrets so you can get packin’ (but not too much)!

Hikers in a mountain

If you keep waiting until you’re ready, you’ll be waiting for the rest of your life (aka just go)👋

1. Overpacking

I just wish I packed less. I literally didn’t wear half the clothes I brought and purchased more clothes from cheap pop-up shops in the city!” - Tiffany Young, TEAN Study Abroad Alumni

I know I know I know, but what if I end up going to a party and I need those fancy shmancy shoes, this shirt doesn’t match these pants, and what if I meet the Queen!? There are so many “what if’s” when going abroad, but trust me, pack as little as you can! It’ll save you space, sanity, and back pain later. #Minimalism

[CONSIDER: Study Abroad in New Zealand with The Education Abroad Network]

Girl sitting on a cliff near the coast in Ireland

You are going to want to know all the places you have to see while you’re abroad, right?

2. Researching too little

I wish I had done a bit more research on how to transition into a life abroad, because I had never crossed the ocean to visit another country before living in Dublin.  I feel as if I could have been a bit more prepared regarding cultural differences.” - Jaclyn Kanter, Global Experiences Alumni Intern

Whether it’s learning more about the weather, language, or the cool pubs that are in you area, taking initiative in your new home is crucial to having a meaningful experience abroad. Make sure to do your fair share of Sherlock Holmes cultural investigations to get yourself ready for the adventures to come and prepare yourself to get out of that comfort zone of yours!

[CONSIDER: Summer Internships in Dublin with Global Experiences]

Girls in a sunflower field in Italy

Sometimes letting your hair down and enjoying the experience is all you need.

3. Researching too much

I would have not planned as much. I didn’t follow my schedule and desires to the ‘T’ but I think I could have been so much more pleasantly surprised by seeing what surfaced once I was there. It’s good to stay open.” - Natalie Hutchinson, USAC Study Abroad Alumni

Don’t get us wrong, planning is important while traveling a country that is foreign to you...quite literally.  However, sometimes you have to let go of the reigns and really just go wherever the wind blows you.  Some of the best and most memorable experiences happen when you least expect them...I mean you hear it all the time with love, so the advice has to be right in some sense, right?  Do as the ocean does and go with the flow at times, you will not regret it!

[CONSIDER: Study Abroad in Italy with USAC]

Study abroad students in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Hanging out with peers from back home is great and all, but...

4. Not getting to know the locals

I wish I would have spent more time with my host family. I loved my host family, and it would have been nice to explore Buenos Aires with them as well.” - Kaitlyn Greta, IES Abroad Alumni

To make it pretty clear, the world isn’t going to come to you, you have to make the initiative to get out and make the most out of every single moment. Whether it be getting to know your host family or finding other ways to mingle with the locals. They will be your best teachers too! 

[CONSIDER: Study Abroad in Spain with IES Abroad]

Woman sitting against graffiti wall

Instagram doesn’t know what’s about to come…...🔥📸

5. Not getting involved

After coming back to America, I learned about Aboriginal Australian culture, so I wish I took more of an initiative to learn about while I was there. I also wish I volunteered more, but I was busy during most opportunities.” - Sarah Whitman, AIFS Study Abroad Alumni

Learning about the culture you are living in is so important throughout the whole experience; before, during and after!  Don’t get me wrong, the before and after are just as crucial, but there is nothing like learning and emmercing yourself during your time abroad.  Make sure to take every opportunity to look at everyday as a means of learning.

[CONSIDER: Study Abroad in Australia with AIFS]

Woman standing against graffiti wall

Instagram doesn’t know what’s about to come…...🔥📸

6. Not going abroad sooner

I wish I would have studied abroad sooner so that I could have either stayed longer or had the opportunity to experience it again. Lastly volunteering is another thing I would have enjoyed throughout Scotland.” - Shelby Sage Lisieski, CISAbroad Alumni

There is never the PERFECT time to go abroad. So instead of waiting, just take the leap! Go abroad opens your eyes, your mind, and your horizons (literally), don’t wait too long that you regret missing out on the opportunity.

[CONSIDER: Study Abroad in Scotland with CISabroad]

Study abroad student sitting near a lake in Italy

First priority, the perfect shot. Second priority, souvenirs.

7. Not buying quality souvenirs

Bought more paintings?!” - Abbey Moran, SAI Study Abroad Alumni

“Paint me like one of your French girls”...well actually just save room for the paintings, and all the other little trinkets you’ll find on your adventures.  Walking those crowded alley ways, and gandering through old antique shops will get the best of you, and a lot of authentic things you won’t be able to find at home.  Take the chance while you’re abroad to treat yo’self to a souvenir here and there!

[CONSIDER: Study Abroad in Florence with SAI Programs]

Girl looking at photo book with glitter in the air

Blow away your regrets and watch the magic really happen. ✨

Resources to help you make your travels regret-free

Looking for even more advice to ensure you don’t have any of the travel regrets above, don’t worry; we’ve got you covered! Check out these four articles to prepare for the most regret-free trip you’ll ever have:

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