Get Outta Town: 10 First Time Travel Tips

This morning I read an article about travel tips for first time travelers. It was pretty good, but as I was reading, I kept thinking of more tips, so here I am! I have traveled all of my life, but I still encounter new situations in my travels every once in a while, and I’m always learning. These are my top 10 tips for first time travelers. 

1. Traveling can be intimidating, especially if you’re alone. If you can, get a travel buddy! Sometimes getting to your destination can be a fun adventure in itself.

2. Set aside money specifically for your trip. As soon as you book it, start saving. You never want to feel strapped for cash while traveling. You’ll want to experience everything you can and be able to afford it comfortably. 

3. About a week before your trip, make sure you have all medications or anything you need to order in advance. I know this seems like a weird tip but there have been several times I realized I only had one pair of contacts left a day before my trip and I had to scramble to get new ones in time. (Also, if you wear contacts, ALWAYS bring an extra pair or two AND your glasses. I got an eye infection while traveling once and didn’t have my glasses with me. Navigating a strange airport half blind is NOT fun. Always be prepared!)

4. If you’re planning to use your cell phone, talk to your cell provider in advance to see what the best deal is on an international plan, if you’re going to be overseas. DO NOT WAIT UNTIL YOU GET THERE! It’s ABSURD what they will charge you even if you open up your email browser or look at twitter. You’ll come home to a $400+ bill and empty pockets. 🙁

5. TRY TRY TRY to pack as light as you can. If you don’t LOVE the outfit or piece of clothing at home, you won’t wear it while you’re traveling. That’s a good way to know when you’re overpacking – if you’re bringing things you “might need”. Packing light goes for your suitcase as well as your carry on. I always bring a backpack on the plane with me. In my backpack, I usually bring: iPad, book, change of clothes (just in case you get delayed overnight! Yes – this has happened to be multiple times.). I don’t stuff it full of things, because that way, I can also put my purse in there, along with my coat so I have to carry less. Keep in mind, especially if you’re traveling alone, you’ll be the one carrying all of your stuff to and from the airports. You need to be able to handle it! Plus – unless you’re going to a remote location, you will probably be able to buy almost anything you’ve forgotten. 

6. Always put your passport and travel documents in the same place. Keep them in the same place at home, keep them in the same place when you travel. You never ever want to lose those… especially while you’re traveling!!

7. Frequent travelers nearly always hate being held up in lines. While you’re waiting in line, take off your shoes and metal stuff, throw away liquids and get your carry on bags together to put on the belt with ample time! This will make it so much quicker once you’re at the front of the line. Also, if you’re unsure of what to do, look at the signs for help. 

8. Do not expect that you will have the same conveniences of home in a foreign country. Trying to get a regular cup of “american coffee” overseas is sometimes next to impossible. Embrace the culture and the food!

9. While it’s nice to do some research and have some plans set or places you want to see while you’re traveling, don’t plan everything out. Leave time to be spontaneous! Talk to locals and see what they recommend. Having a complete itinerary is totally overrated.

10. Get out of your comfort zone. Fear won’t kill you, so accept that you might feel scared or uncomfortable, but remember that you only live once. Let traveling be the time where you can really break out of your normal mindset and accomplish something… maybe a bucket list item! 

Happy travels, my lovelies! If you have any travel tips to add, leave them in the comments below! Are you going anywhere soon? I want to hear about what you have planned. 🙂