Traveling to new places is fun and exciting. However, it can also be tedious and stressful especially if it is your first time and have no experience at all in traveling. Being in an unfamiliar territory will give you many problems if you are not used to it.
After traveling for some time, I had experienced many mistakes and learned from it. Let me share you some travel tips based from my experiences. I hope these can help you on your journeys as well.
1. Book Less
When traveling to a place with many attractions and activities to do, it is better not to book everything such as your breakfast, lunch, dinner, and attractions that require tickets. It prevents you from being flexible on your schedule. I know you’re excited on your first travel and there’s that intense desire to do everything fun in that place. But, you’re time is limited. You can’t do them all within your limited time. Just pick the best places you want to go depending on your preference. Probably around 5 to 8 places is good for a whole day trip in a city. If you’ll be going to a place with many activities, such as a theme park, half day should be enough.
2. Research on safety
There are scams everywhere. It’s hard to avoid it especially if you’re dealing with experienced pros who are used to scam people. Sometimes, you don’t even know that you’re already being scammed. To prevent you from being scammed, I suggest you research first about safety tips in your destination place.
3. Treat locals as friends
It is pretty daunting to know that you’re in an unfamiliar place and you don’t know anybody, especially if the people are not fond of speaking in English. If you’re an introvert, talking to strangers makes it more difficult to communicate with locals. However, you’re in a foreign place and you have no idea how to go to a certain place, or where is the best place to eat. You really have no choice but to ask for help from locals. Don’t be scared from talking to locals. In fact, they can actually be your local tour guides. They can even suggest some of the best places you can visit that are not yet popular to tourists. We all know that there are bad people around but not all people are like that. Just choose the right people whom to ask for directions or suggestions. Actually, it’s fun to communicate with locals because you get to make more friends and learn from them as well.
4. Bring extra money
Always bring extra money when you travel but don’t spend this during your trip. This is only for emergency purposes. Sometimes there are unexpected incidents that might happen such as pickpocketing, scams, and sudden trips somewhere. You might end up begging in the streets if this happened to you and you have no extra money. You can also bring your credit cards in case you run out of cash. Just control your expenses and stick to your budgets.
5. Pack light
Always pack light. Based from experience, I had a hard time traveling when I carried a heavy bag. Imagine walking long distances and you’re carrying all your stuff on your back. It’s just very inconvenient. Also, this might be a problem in checking your baggage in the airport since there is a weight limit depending on the airlines you’re flying with. By bringing only what you need and packing light, it frees up the space in your bag and gives you less problems in terms of convenience as well.
6. Personal Planning
There are many travel agencies and tours popping up in the internet recently. As a first time traveler, you’re tempted to book tours, especially if it includes everything such as your round trip flights, land transportation, compulsory tours, meals, and accommodation in hotels. Booking tours are great especially if you don’t have the time to plan your trip. However, you’ll end up paying more than what you can actually spend if you plan your trip yourself. Also, you can’t go to places where you want to go since the tour is already fixed by the agency. If you’re a budget traveler, I suggest you do DIY traveling to spend less and to fully experience the authenticity of the place.
7. Excessive compulsive buying
First time travelers are always excited to try new things. When they see something different, they are always intrigued to buy it, particularly souvenirs and local delicacies. This might screw you up on your budgets. Think first if you really need to buy something. Sometimes you end up buying too much and it just gets stacked somewhere in your house without any function at all. In cases of food, just buy whatever you can eat. Don’t buy too much as it will just spoil if not eaten.
8. Download travel apps
Technology is very important nowadays in traveling. For example, Google Maps can help a lot in terms of navigating where your current position is. It can tell you how to go to your desired destination through its GPS. It won’t get you lost even if you don’t know the place. In communicating to locals, if you find it hard to talk to them in English, you can download Google Translate. It worked out effectively for me in Vietnam and Taiwan.
9. Avoid bringing large liquid containers and sharp objects
Airports are very strict on hand-carry baggage. They don’t allow sharp objects and liquid containers that are more than 300mL. Make sure when you pack your bags not to bring any sharp object and big liquid containers. They will confiscate it if they find it and they won’t give it back to you anymore.
You have to be flexible on your schedule. Having an itinerary before your trip are great habits. However, sometimes the planned schedule doesn’t go smoothly as expected. You might spend more time than expected in certain places, especially if you are traveling with friends or family. Or sometimes you can experience problems in booking and have to spend time to negotiate with it. It is part of traveling. Don’t be too upset if you have not visited some places within your schedule. Bottom line is be flexible enough to change your schedule to accommodate all the places you’d like to visit. There’s always a next time if you can’t visit some places.
11. Buy a local sim card with internet data
If you’re in a foreign country, it is better to buy a local sim card which offers data for you to be connected on the internet. This is useful because most of the time you’re out of the hotel and there is no wifi connection. In case you need some navigation guide, being connected anytime will not be a problem anymore. Also, this will lessen your expenses compared to using your roaming data all the time.
12. Bring your universal plug adapter and power bank
Electrical outlet plugs are different from every country. It is better to have your own universal adapter for your convenience. It will be useful if you’ll be traveling to different countries. Also, I suggest you bring a power bank. A lot of times I had to conserve my phone’s battery when I’m out of the hotel and it had me worry a lot.
Following these tips can save you a lot of money and time. It will also leave you stress-free. Travel now and have a smooth journey ahead!