5 Tips For First Time Travellers

About to head off and see the world but feeling a bit daunted by the whole thing?  Don’t worry, you’re not the only one. The great thing is that it really doesn’t have to be that hard –- a little knowledge goes a long way.

  • Planning
  1. Do your research and decide on your destination.
  2. Determine your budget and start saving early.
  3. Plan a flexible itinerary. Decide on the main things you will do, but be careful not to cram too much in.
  4. Purchase travel insurance. You might regret it otherwise.
  5. Research local customs so you’re prepared for when you arrive.
  6. See your doctor to discuss your travel plans and find out whether you need any vaccinations.
  7. Advise your banks you will be traveling internationally to avoid your cards being cancelled when foreign transactions appear.
  8. Print several copies of your itinerary and leave one with your parents and a good friend. 
  • Packing
  1. Make a list. It will help you feel organised and ensure you won’t forget anything important.
  2. The most important item you can bring is a pair of comfortable shoes.
  3. Tie a ribbon or colourful luggage tag onto your bag to help you recognise it on the luggage carousel. You’ll be surprised by how many bags look the same!
  4. Prescription medication should be clearly labelled and you should carry a doctor’s note if possible.
  5. Pack a good book for those long flights.
  6. Pack a change of clothes, underwear, deodorant and toothpaste in your carry-on luggage. It will make you feel like a brand new person when you land.
  7. Remember to pack an adaptor so you can use your electronics overseas.
  8. Make photocopies of your essential documents such as your passport and itinerary and pack them in a different spot to the originals.
  9. Weigh your bags before you leave to ensure you haven’t exceeded your luggage weight limit. 
  • Flying
  1. Sleep and eat on your destination’s time. This will help you beat jet lag.
  2. Don’t drink alcohol during the flight. It will dehydrate you and you will feel worse after drinking it.
  3. Drink plenty of water.
  4. Move around the cabin regularly. This will help reduce swelling in your ankles and feet and increase circulation.
  5. Don’t worry if there is some turbulence. It’s normal.
  6. Pre-order the vegetarian option. You will feel a million times better.
  7. A neck pillow, eye mask and earplugs are your friends and will help you get some sleep. 
  • At Your Destination
  1. Respect local customs. Remember that you are a guest in this country.
  2. Manners are universal. Politeness and a smile go a long way.
  3. Don’t judge things you see that are different to back home. Instead, think about how interesting they are.
  4. Learn a few phrases in the local language.
  5. Keep some of your money and cards in a separate place to the rest.
  6. Don’t be afraid to respectively say no.
  7. Go with your gut instinct. If something doesn’t feel right to you, don’t do it.
  8. Be aware of your surroundings and conscious of where your valuables are.
  9. Be open and make friends with other travellers.
  10. Turn off international data roaming on your mobile phone to avoid a nasty bill when you return home. 
  • Photography
  1. Invest in a good camera. It will keep your travel memories clearer.
  2. Get up early for the best light and fewest crowds.
  3. Be patient. Wait for that perfect moment to snap your photo.
  4. Look for a different take on famous landmarks.
  5. Get off the beaten track. A shot full of tourists is never a good one.
  6. Learn how to use the manual settings on your camera before you depart.
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