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My Biggest Travel Regrets

Many people will regret not travelling. But does anyone actually regret travel? A group of travel bloggers look at their biggest travel regrets.

travel regrets? I don't have any
Travel regrets? I tried to make sure I had none, including cramming in one more trip before child #2 arrived and clipped our wings. Of course, having children didn’t stop us travelling at all. But we made sure we didn’t regret travelling before we had kids.

“I regret travelling around the world; I wish I’d stayed home instead,” said no-one ever.

Man Vs World

I love that quote.

So do I have any travel regrets? I don’t think I do, I’ve been thinking about this for days now. I’ve been tagged, I have to write this post and pass on the baton. This is HARD!

Travel Regrets

Unlike Bethany at Flashpacker Family, I did a lot of travelling before I had kids, I was 37 when my first child came along. I’d had plenty of time to explore the world before motherhood.

Unlike Simon at Man vs World, I don’t regret not buying more in South East Asia, I bought a whole new bag and shipped it back full of trinkets. They’re still special, 20 years later.

Unfortunately, I may have to sell them all in our quest to become nomadic next year.

I could say, spending months in India and not seeing the Taj Mahal was a travel regret. Nah, don’t care. Soaking up the life of the place is more important to me than the tourist traps, India is bursting with life and I’ll get there one day.

How about the time I went to Crete, spent half a day on a bus, to find the Palace of Knossos closed. Nope, then my Knossos- being-closed story wouldn’t be so good. It’s rather similar to my not-seeing-Ho-Chi-Min-story. We got to the mausoleum on a Thursday, the deceased leader’s day off. Everyone needs a day off, don’t they?

Maybe I spent too long in a bad relationship, not pushing any travel boundaries because my partner wasn’t happy to do so. Once I ditched him it was onwards and upwards. Without him I would never have discovered the joys of solo travel. That can be a relationship regret, not a travel regret.

How about taking the train to Amritsar and not leaving the station to see the Golden Temple?  No, we’ll do it next time, the station was fun , we actually booked a room there and spent the greater part of a day eating station food. Indian stations do the best food, I recommend visiting them just to eat.  There were too many bombings going on right then, we chilled out for the day and at least we can say we’ve been to Amritsar. We’ll enjoy the Golden Temple all the more when we take the kids.

The time I nearly died diving the Yongala was a bit hairy. But it’s my best travel horror story. I didn’t die, so I’ll keep that one too, thanks.

And that is where I totally run out of ideas. I’ve traveled, it’s fabulous, I’ve seen the world and the people who make up the world, on 6 continents, over many years.

I’ve read endless books about travel, foreign histories, beliefs and cultures.  I’ve educated myself along the way. School counts as nothing compared to the education travel, and a thirst for travel, gives you. I’m pretty happy with what I’ve done so far, incredibly thankful to have lived this unconventional life.

Regretting Spending Money on Travel

No, I do not regret spending money on travel, mostly. The times we ended up in disappointing destinations, maybe. We wasted thousands on a hellish trip to Sabah. Possibly I can regret that. But that one place out of 50 countries, it’s not much to regret.

Spending money on travel and taking time away from my career and the housing market are things I will never regret. Breaking free of the rat race was actually life changing. Life changing for the better.

My Actual, Very Minor, Travel Regrets

So there are no big regrets. I’ll have to cut my travel regrets down to size, they are a bit minor. Here we go.

1. Being robbed at Cairns airport. I should have been more careful, but we’d just left Africa, I thought we were safe. They got THE bag, we were emigrating, not traveling, the bag with all the memories and the important things. It’s hard to deal with losing so much precious stuff, knowing that someone just took your camera and chucked the rest in the bin. But, 5 years later, it’s all over, it’s gone. I’ve survived without it. Although it still hurts.

2.Falling asleep on Christmas Eve in Goa and missing the Midnight Mass the waiters were going to take us to.

3.Wasting my money booking package holidays in the early days. It’s way cheaper and more interesting to just book a flight and backpack around a country.

4. Choosing shopping in Hoi An, Vietnam, over a private, personal tour of a village with a local guide. My husband went without me, he ended up at a wedding and had a fantastic day. I got a new dress that I’ve never worn.

and , that’s it. I can’t think of anything else.

Travel regrets aren’t for me, everything is a learning experience, even the bad stuff. The worst things that happen usually make the best stories. Happy travels everyone!

I’m tagging Tiffany at Fite Inertia, let’s hear your travel regrets!

swimming at Mossman Gorge
A Tropical Christmas in Port Douglas Australia
gardening in the tropcs. tomatoes
Gardening In The Tropics


Saturday 19th of September 2020

Great article. Definitely don't regret travelling. Yes there are sometimes things that don't go how you want. But overall the experience is great.

Bernadette Jackson

Thursday 7th of February 2013

Loved the Knossos comment; I remember that the Roman cemetary at Arles also closes for lunch. ;-)

So many of the best memories are the ones that just spontaneously happen, rather than the big spectacular must-sees.

Really looking forward to catching up with more of your travels.

The Guy

Wednesday 6th of February 2013

You've got a great outlook on life and it is great to live without regret.

I must admit to being quite shocked that you were robbed at Cairns airport of all places.

Colleen Brynn

Sunday 3rd of February 2013

I like your spin on the travel regrets. I try to see things in the same way... as the best stories. I can appreciate those small things though... every now and then, a memory of a trip comes up and it still stings, even if just a little, still years later.


Sunday 3rd of February 2013

I like your take on travel regrets. Really hiccups in the road are just more interesting travel stories. I have been robbed too while traveling and in the end, it really just makes for a chapter in my travel story, not really a regret.