No, I think they thought portals were only for the same planet. Since they don’t know the planet names, they wouldn’t know the pop ups for portals indicate the planet (which is definitely not in the tutorial, and probably should be).
So they wanted to go on adventures to other planets and were using paid totem warps. Probably to go to planets they’d been to using portals.
They also didn’t know the purple things on the compass are portals. That should probably be in the tutorial.
They did know about free warp home and shop scanner though.
It’s kind of a niche case, but that aspect of the tutorial definitely isn’t clear.