When you travel for the first time, it can be very overwhelming when you find out how much you have to do. Here’s a list of some basic things you will want to keep in mind as you book your first flight and land in the new area.
Learn a little of the local language
One of the best things you can do for yourself when you travel anywhere is learning a little of the local language. Chances are the locals aren’t going to speak your first language. They will also be a lot happier with you if you at least try to speak their language.
You might be confused about how much is a little. It means try to learn at least the basics of that language. Even if you speak in broken X language, they will hopefully understand you enough to help you.
Another important reason to learn a little of the language is for the travel aspect of it. There are going to be road signs and directions on how to get to certain places.
Bring lots of underwear and fewer shoes
You never know what can happen when you travel so you will want to pack as much underwear as possible. However, you won’t need as many shoes. The rule of thumb for shoes in one pair of tennis/running/walking shoes.
If you are going to a warmer climate, then you might want to bring one pair of sandals. If you go to a colder one them make sure to back warmer shoes. The less shoes you bring, the more of other things you can pack into your luggage. Also the more room you will have at the end of the trip to bring things home.
Take more money than you think you might need
Whatever money you think you might need, bring more. While it is true that more ATMs are going up around the world, there are going to be places where you will need to pay with cash or you won’t have access to an ATM.
In the worst-case scenario, your card might get frozen by your bank if you don’t let them know ahead of time that you are going to be traveling. They will see unusual activity on your account in a foreign country and immediately put a hold on your card until the situation gets resolved.
During that time, you will be thankful that you remembered to take cash out of your account before leaving your home country. However, don’t be very obvious about how much you have with you nor where you put it.
Another word of advice is to not change over all your money to the other currency right away. You will want to exchange some of it, but wait until you get farther away from the city before you exchange any more.
Arrive at the airport early
When you travel, you will want to get to the airport very early. Yes, it will be very boring, but that’s better than missing your flight entirely. You can take this time to double-check that you have everything in order and avoid the huge lines at check-in and security.
You can also take this time to decide what you will do on the plane first: read a book, sleep, etc. If you do decide to sleep on the plane, make sure you set your phone and clock to the local timezone of the area you will be landing in. Many people suggest this to avoid jetlag as much as possible.
Another reason to get there early is so you don’t have to feel rush when you are in the check-in area. You might still have a small line behind you, but you won’t feel that panic of needing to get through as quickly as possible to catch your flight.
Choose luggage that will stand out
This tip is more so you don’t have to worry about wondering if that black luggage is yours or someone else’s. You should try to find luggage that looks unique and will be easy to point out as the luggage is going down the conveyor.
Luggage comes in many different colors and styles. You can choose one as unique as you are. There are cute, pastel looking ones like in the picture below, but there are also brightly colored luggage and rainbow luggage. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s different from the vast majority of the other suitcases everyone else uses.
If you’re worried about looking too weird, don’t. Chances are the employees or other fellow passengers who have seen weirder and will only give a passing glance or thought. If you like it, then use it.
This is an absolute must whenever you travel. A typical plan will include coverage for cancellations, medical emergencies, travel delays, and lost luggage. When you are panicking about losing your luggage or about missing a connecting flight because the first one was delayed, this insurance will be a life-saver.
Much like regular insurance, different companies will insure you. So make sure you look around the market and get the best price for the best deal you can find.
Find out if you need vaccinations for your destination
Another very important thing to understand when you travel is if you will need vaccinations for where you plan on going. You might have some immunity built up in your system for the diseases where you live, but not where you’re going. It’s important to be vaccinated not only for your own sake but also for the people you will be around.
So make sure you thoroughly research where you are going and the risks you take by going there if there are certain diseases you need vaccines for. Don’t think that you will be fine just because you will only be there for a short amount of time.
All it takes is one bite from a mosquito or something in the air to get into your system for you to get a disease.
Above all else, be patient while you travel. With the people, with transportation, with everything. You are visiting this place to experience something new, not bring something bad from where you came from.
Treat the locals with respect, be kind, and be patient. In their culture, what you consider okay might be insulting to them. So definitely research those kinds of things before you go.
You will have a much better time if you are on the locals’ good sides rather than them all hating you for being a horrible tourist. Treat their culture with respect and accept if you cannot do something in their culture that you can normally do in yours.