If you think traveling is something only rich people do, you’ve obviously never met a backpacker.
Traveling has become quite the trend in recent years, with more and more people taking extended leave from work to go on extended getaways.
What originally was an activity reserved for those who could afford it and had the time to take such long vacations has now become accessible to almost anyone willing to make sacrifices — financial or otherwise — in order to see the world. If you’ve been thinking about taking a trip but haven’t yet made the leap, now is the perfect time.
There are plenty of great things about traveling as a first-time traveler, not least of which being that it’s much easier to know what NOT to bring than knowing what you need to bring.
Read on for some useful tips about packing for your first trip, what not to forget when leaving home, and how to stay safe while on vacation.
Here are the most important travel tips for a first-time travellers…
Research is key
Just as you would do before any major life decision, you’ll want to do your research before picking a place to travel to.
There are a lot of websites and blogs dedicated to helping people find the best place to visit, so you’ll never be short on options.
You’ll want to decide on your budget. How much do you have to spend? How many months of work do you want to take off? What’s your timeline? Are you interested in a long-term trip or would you prefer to stay in one place?
You’ll want to look into the local climate and typical weather, the best season to visit, the average number of tourists and whether the area is safe to visit.
You’ll also want to consider the language of the people and whether or not you will need to learn it in order to communicate with the locals.
Don’t forget to bring your identification
It may seem silly, but bringing identification with you on your trip can be very important.
If you’re traveling around Europe, for example, you may need to show identification to get a train ticket, get into certain museums, or book a hotel room.
You’ll also need it to travel to and from places like the United Kingdom or France if you’re not from those countries.
If you’re traveling to the United States, you will also need a passport. You may also be required to show a proof of vaccination.
You’ll want to check with your doctor to see which ones are recommended and required at the time of your trip.
Pack light, but be sure to pack smart
You want to pack light, but at the same time you want to be prepared for anything. The golden rule of packing is to bring only what you need and nothing more.
Never pack something you don’t need. If it’s something you think you “might” need, then don’t bring it.
There are a lot of things you can buy when you get to your destination, so don’t weigh yourself down with what could very well be unnecessary items.
At the same time, you want to be prepared for anything. You never know when you might end up needing something you didn’t expect to have.
Having a first aid kit is always a smart idea. You don’t need to go overboard with things like bandages and antiseptic ointment.
A small kit with items like pain killers, antacids, bandages, and triple antibiotic ointment will suffice and is often enough to help you and your fellow travellers out in a bind.
Always have cash on hand
You never know when you’ll need to pay for something with cash. If you’re staying in hostels or other places where you don’t have a credit card, you may have to pay for things in cash.
If you’re traveling in a foreign country, you may have trouble using your debit or credit card.
If you’re in a country where you don’t speak the language, it can be hard to explain to the local bank that you don’t know the PIN of your card. Even if you speak the language, the banks can be slow to process the information.
You may also want to consider having a little extra cash on hand for emergencies. You never know when something might happen that leaves you stuck in a place and unable to move on.
Having enough money to get yourself out of a jam is always a good idea.
Check the country’s import laws
Some countries have very strict import laws. You may be able to bring certain things into a country, or you may be able to bring only a certain amount.
You want to be sure to check a country’s import laws before attempting to bring something into the country.
If you don’t comply with a country’s import laws, you could find yourself in a tricky situation.
You could be fined, you could have your items confiscated, or you could be thrown in jail or even deported.
Find out if you’ll have free WiFi anywhere
A lot of people rely on WiFi to keep in touch with friends and family back home, but you may find that WiFi isn’t free wherever you go.
It’s an added expense you don’t need, so you’ll want to find out if you’ll have free WiFi wherever you plan to visit.
You can look up the city you plan to visit and see what the WiFi situation is like there. You may also want to check the WiFi situation at the places you plan to stay.
Hotels often have WiFi, but hostels don’t always. If you’re staying in a hostel, you may want to invest in a WiFi hotspot subscription to make it easier to stay connected.
Bring a pocket knife or small toolkit with you
When you’re travelling, you never know when you might need a simple tool. You may need to tighten a loose screw, open a can of beans, or even open a door with a broken knob.
You never know when you might need a simple tool, but you won’t want to ask your fellow travellers to use their pocket knife to assist you.
You may also need a pocket knife for other reasons. If you’re travelling in a developing country, you may want to carry a pocket knife as a safety precaution.
You may want to bring a small toolkit with you as well.
You never know when you may need a screwdriver, pliers, or a wrench.
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Be careful where you put your hands and feet
You may want to avoid shaking hands with people if you aren’t sure where they’ve been.
You also may want to avoid touching door handles in public restrooms and try to keep your feet as clean as possible.
Many places are very clean, but other places may not be as careful about cleaning. You don’t want to risk getting sick from bacteria or other germs on surfaces where people put their hands.
You also don’t want to put yourself in a position where you are too trusting of the people around you.
Even though you may be on vacation and in a good mood, you still want to be aware of your surroundings. Be careful where you put your hands and feet, and shake as few hands as possible.
If you don’t feel safe, leave immediately
Sometimes, travel goes sour. You may end up in a situation where you feel unsafe or threatened.
If you feel unsafe, you should leave immediately. If you’re in a hostel, you should talk to the manager and ask them to help you get to safety.
If you’re in a taxi, you should ask the driver to take you to the nearest police station or place where you feel safe.
You should also report what happened to the police. Reporting what happened is important because it helps keep other travellers safe.
If you follow these tips, your first trip will be a safe and enjoyable one. Travelling is an incredible experience that you should definitely try at least once in your life.
Those are the most important travel tips that you can learn or use a first-time traveler, whether travelling outside the country or within the country only. Those travel tips above, can be a handful, especially if you are visiting on a country that you don’t have any idea about it. Just enjoy your travel, and always prioritize your safety when travelling.
Only the tomorrow I can see now.