A first international trip is always a roller coaster ride of emotions. Fear, excitement, hope, and surprises engulf the new traveler. Down the road after some years and after a whole share of mistakes, a seasoned traveler would want to teach his younger self some much-needed lessons.
Travel changes us for the better. It is almost always a very enriching and eye-opening experience. One thing that always comes up as more refined and less extreme is the traveler’s inner self. You learn to lose the stereotypes that you have made around others and the prejudices that prove you superior or inferior to others. Travel has always taught me that the human race is diverse yet similar in many aspects.
The world is so big, and there is so much more to see. Therefore, start now and plan a trip wherever you can. Be it a flight to your neighboring state or a world trip, and you are going to love it for sure!!
Here are the top traveling tips from the seasoned vagabonds, especially for the new travelers venturing into their first traveling experience. Consequently, you won’t make the same mistakes we made, go, and make your own.
1. Research your dream destination
Research is one tool in our traveling toolbox that is always handy. Though new travelers research deeply about hotels, fares, and tourists attraction, they mostly forget the tiny little details.
Cultural awareness is essential, it helps you go about the daily routine smoothly without causing unnecessary drama. Learn about basic manners and things to avoid. For example, in conservative countries, a particular dress code may be followed. Pack neutral clothing in terms of colors, styling, and writings on them. Nothing too colorful, too flashy, too revealing, or anything with offensive papers on them. Taking photos of locals might be considered offensive. Also, watch your speech, respect their religious beliefs, and learn basic manners.
The weather may change unexpectedly even at smaller distances, so it always helps to research about climate at all the places you are going to visit in the country and pack accordingly.
Public transport systems are the cheapest bet. Beginner travelers must explore the types of local transport systems, maps, fares, and timings.
2. Think about Your Budget
It’s usually not the high visible costs but the small careless money mistake that wreck the new traveler’s budget. As per our experience, you can manage a sustainable budget can by using following traveling tips like
- Keep track of the money spent.
- Always think you need it or you want it.
- Embrace cheap accommodations.
- Eat as the locals do
- Travel on off-peak times
3. Look for cheap accommodations
Accommodation is one daily expense that can quickly add up to wreck your budget. While hotels seem to be the first and obvious choice, they are not the only option anyway. If you don’t mind the company, consider living in hostels. The bigger the room, the cheaper it would be, but you will have to share the place. However, some hostels provide one or two people rooms with other facilities shared.
When you come out of the hotel mindset, you will be able to embrace short term rentals from Airbnb or go ahead and find homestays with locals using Couchsurfing. It is also an excellent opportunity to warm up with the locals.
Religious housing in another option where for a very reasonable cost, you will find spotless and functional living without luxury; this, however, is not a universal option but can work in certain areas.
Collect reward points and signup for different hotel programs to earn hotel points to be redeemed to discounted or even free night stays in hotels.
4. Request for travel rewards credit card
Travel rewards cards are like your gift for traveling. You may earn rewards for every travel purchase. Some travel rewards cards come with discounts, free bonuses, free miles, discounts on dining and lounging as well. Travel reward cards can also offer complimentary lounge access, travel insurance, and room upgrades. Sign up for the best-suited rewards card and start earning points.
5. Get travel insurance
While some travel rewards program may offer you travel insurance but for broader and extensive coverage, find a better travel insurance plan. Look for the underlying details where they state the exemptions from the coverage. Proper travel insurance covers you for luggage loss, accidental death, flight cancellations, and trip delays.
6. Get the best phone to travel with
Your smartphone these days is all in one solution for most of your digital needs. Selecting the best phone includes both hardware as well as the best phone subscription plan that works everywhere within your budget. It is one of the best travel tips for new travelers to take into consideration the call charges from your destination, as well as the roaming charges. Sometimes, a local number can be cheaper and more convenient. Make your decision after proper research and checking the travel guides for a particular destination.
7. Consider the Right Luggage
New travelers should consider buying durable and practical luggage for upcoming trips. Here are some travel tips for new travelers to choose the right luggage.
- Material. You may choose from soft plastics or hard. Soft materials are usually more durable as they can absorb shocks better, and you can squeeze to fit in while the hard ones are lighter and easier to carry.
- Size and weight. Your hand carry should be according to the cabin size of the aircraft. And the other luggage should adhere to the guidelines for the size of booked luggage. The light luggage is more comfortable to carry, especially if you have connecting flights.
- Handles. Handles must be durable and placed well to make carrying the luggage easier. Look for the stitching quality and seam as well. Check Lock, zipper, and wheels too.
- Easily identifiable. Though black luggage is classic but on the conveyor belt, you would regret having a black suitcase because it would be so tough to identify. Go for prints or unique colors. Tying a ribbon or name tag also works, though.
8. Pack the right gears
Traveling gear starts with luggage, which we have already covered in this travel guide. Now we will talk about other stuff. According to your destination, you may want to pack
- Swimming gear
- Hiking gear
- Small rucksack/daypack
- Dry bag
- Toiletries bag
- Your essential medicine and first aid
- Extra power backups for your digital devices
- Make sure your chargers and other electronic devices adhere to the voltage used in the destination country.
9. Extra cloud for data backup
This digital age is making our life paperless gradually. Now you want to take all your pictures, videos and memories with you when you go back home. Extra backup copies are essential. As a rule of thumb, make two copies of everything and keep them in different places. For this, you can carry a portable hard drive, memory cards, or flash drives with you and keep backing up your data regularly.
The other option is online cloud services to keep your data safe while you travel. You can choose Dropbox, Google Drive, Apple iCloud, Amazon cloud, or any other service that suits you as a new traveler on a budget.
10. Learn a few foreign words
Locals are your best bet while navigating around and finding the routes or best deals in town. But how do you communicate to them if you don’t talk about their language? Learning a few words and sentences like a few sentences, you would need to speak to the taxi driver, a few words to ask for local grocery stuff, sentences to ask for directions, and then for understanding the response are essential. You may also make a note of these much-needed language aides.
11. Book cheapest flights
Always start looking for the best deals ahead of time. If you decide to go on an off-peak season, the chances are that you will get a much better deal. Look for the budget airlines and then also try to use your travel reward points to find the cheapest airfare. Local airlines within the destination country are usually less expensive than international flights, so you may want to use them within the country’s travels. Don’t forget to check deals on bulk purchasing and connecting flights. Connecting flights would be cheaper.
12. Go with the flow of your day planned
If you think you can expect every bit of your day and things would go as planned, then you are in for huge disappointments. I have yet to go on a trip that goes as per plan minute by minute. There will always be delays, cancellations, booking errors, and surprises. Embrace it, take it as a surprise and feel like on an adventure. That’s how it works! Tada
13. Make some local friends
Locals are good friends. They are almost always eager to give you the best experience in their country. Also, the diversity in culture and language add a lot to your memories. Online communities also are a great place to start getting to know the destination before even landing there. Friends made online are also a great help while you travel.
14. Keep Spare Passport Photos
It is always a good idea to keep spare passport photos while traveling because you will need them for many office related chores. For example, for a visa, to issue a SIM card, for a hostel or hotel rental, and for registering with the local office if they need you to. Take this travel tip and keep some passport photos to save on time and money both.
15. Stay safe
- Know how to reach your embassy in the destination place.
- Make extra copies of your relevant documents.
- Keep close contact with your friends and family.
- Try to blend in with the locals in terms of your dressing and outlook.
- If you are traveling to any high-risk area, make sure you inform your embassy beforehand and share your contact with them in case they issue any travel advisory for your nationality.
- Do not share too much of your plans and whereabouts with people you don’t know.
Last but not least, no travel guide or list of traveling tips are perfect. Traveling is an adventure, so unpredictability is its vital part, and it is fun too.
Good luck and travel safe!