Travel is great for the soul and it’s like fuel for our imaginations. Being able to go and explore the world is one of the greatest privileges of being an adult and is a wonderful experience which we all should try at least once in our lives. If you have never been travelling in your life and you haven’t ventured passed your own countries borders, here are some of the essential tips which you need to think about.
1. Don't book because you think you should
For a lot of people who are new to travelling abroad, it can seem as if the best place to look for recommendations is the Internet. Although you can of course eat some inspiration online for places to see, you will also be led into going somewhere you wouldn’t have necessarily chosen before, just because it is the place to be. Don’t ever compromise on your travel and simply visit somewhere because everyone else thinks that you should do. Make your own decisions and find a place which genuinely interests you. Even if it is somewhere most people haven’t heard of it doesn’t matter! Go with your gut and do what’s right for you.
2. Take the road less travelled
Most of the time if you are about to embark on your first travel trip alone or with a partner, you might be tempted to look for the most popular tourist destinations and find the biggest hotel complexes you can for convenience. Although there is definitely nothing wrong with picking a popular place, you can sometimes have a better experience by going somewhere a little less populated by people. Think about renting something like a cottage or Duplex condo in the area instead and try to travel to hidden gems instead. You will likely have a much more fun time and you will have the added bonus of privacy in your own place at the end of the day.
3. Do you need a VISA?
A VISA is something which you never think about until you go abroad, and there might even be some confusion as to what one is and the different types of VISA if you have never travelled before. Always double check with a trusted authority to find out whether your destination requires a VISA to enter. India is the most popular example of a country you can’t simply visit, so make sure you check before you start planning the trip. The last thing you want is to get to the airport and not be able to fly!
4. Scan your documents
One of the things you will find when you book your first solo trip is that there are a lot of little bits of paperwork you have to remember to bring with you before boarding. If you want to save the stress of worrying about your documents, scan the documents and keep them stored on your mobile phone ready in case you forget something. It will make the day of the flight much less stressful and you can look forward to your first ever trip away.
5. Bring a credit card
Firstly, I will add that I am not an advocate for travelling with a credit card. However, I do believe this is an essential item for your first trip overseas. Until you've figured out how much you're likely to spend a credit card is an essential item just in case you go a little overboard. When planning to go abroad you will have to start thinking about spending money, and due to the currency differences around the world it will cause you to take a trip to the Bureau De Change to exchange your cash for local cash. However, it is sometimes not enough money to spend while you are away and this can be a problem after a night eating and drinking with your friends. There are some really useful travel credit cards which you can apply for and bring with you on holiday which won’t charge you extra for overseas usage and will even give you rewards for spending. It will ensure you don’t run out of cash in a foreign land and will allow you to make those spontaneous decisions during the holiday.
6. Use Google Translate
When you visit a foreign country you will most likely be around people who have learnt English so you won’t have a big issue with communication. However not everywhere you go will be an English speaking area and you could find yourself in the middle of somewhere in which everyone speaks a foreign language. Google Translate can be a super helpful tool here because you can use it to ask for simple things like a loaf of bread or a cup of coffee without stress.
7. Pack less, enjoy more
When it comes to packing up your clothes for your first trip abroad it can be tempting to throw as many things in your luggage as possible and make sure you are prepared for every possible event. However packing lots of items will only increase your time packing at both ends of the trip and it will cause you to spend more time deciding what to wear each morning rather than simply going out and enjoying yourself. Think about packing a few simple staples like a pair of jeans, a pair of shorts, a skirt… and then just layering these with a few tops and bikinis and a dress. It can be simple and will be much easier to handle.
8. Weigh your suitcase
It is incredibly important when it comes to packing up your suitcase that you weigh it before you go to the airport. Every airport has a limit on luggage and if you want to make sure you are allowed to fly you need to stick to this limit to allow for travel. Weigh your suitcase and ensure that it is under the limit and then you can go about your holiday freely.
9. Bring plane entertainment
Flying on a plane for the first time will be a huge mixture of nerves and excitement and both of these things can get the better of you on the plane and cause anxiety to arise. To stop this from happening you can either make sure to sleep on the plane, or you can bring a book or a game with you to keep you busy on the flight so that you don’t think too much about being in the air.
10. Make an itinerary
When you think about travelling for the first time, it can be easy to want to just go with the flow and see where the trip takes you, and this is a great way to be. However, sometimes this can lead you not to experience as much as you may have wanted on holiday which can be damaging to your mood. Think about making a general itinerary before you leave which tells you where you want to see and how far it is from where you are staying. This will better allow you to manage your days and will make the whole process much easier on the whole.