Wanderlust is in the air and if you haven’t caught it yet, you are definitely missing out. If you feel like dropping everything, packing your belongings and getting on the next flight out to simply get away from the mundane, this article is your guide to doing just that while avoiding all the rookie mistakes.
Here are 7 essential things that every new traveler must know!
1. Do not be afraid
Most often, the fear of the unknown acts as a deterrent to even the best-laid travel plans. The fear of being lost, alone and hurt in unfamiliar territory push forward extremely convincing arguments against traveling, but you should keep in mind that you are not exploring new continents or venturing into uncharted territories. The destination you choose to explore, even if uncommon, is not completely void of other travelers and locals who can help.
Join travel forums and meet new like-minded people who can help you out if you find yourself in a tough spot. The more you travel, the more confidence you will build.
2. Start somewhere familiar
As a way to get rid of the fear and to settle into a familiar rhythm, choose popular tourist destinations during your first few trips. For instance, you can choose to visit places where the locals speak a language you are well versed in. According to the travel blogger, Geoffrey Morrison, the easiest places to visit in the world are London, Ireland and Amsterdam due to their population of English speaking locals and the ease with which you can get there.
3. Go with the flow
People tend to panic and worry when things do not go exactly as planned. While traveling, it is very likely that all your plans will not fall into their perfect place and you should expect a little deviation. Instead of panicking and bringing your vacation to a screeching halt, learn to simply go with the flow.
Do not overcrowd your day to day plans as the more activities you have scheduled, the less likely you are to enjoy them. Plan two or three activities per day and enjoy them at a leisurely pace. Be flexible with your schedule and stay open to new ideas and activities that you may come across.
4. Local over tourist traps
Do not solely rely on guidebooks and tourist brochures to plan your trip. These may not cover all the attractions available in the area and are more likely to direct you towards expensive tourist traps. Use the internet, browse travel forums and research the area thoroughly before forming plans. Interact with the locals so as to find other attractions as well as to experience a whole new culture and environment without it being tarnished by the marketing gimmicks used on tourists.
5. Pack light
Rookie travelers tend to overpack by adding everything, however unlikely it is that they will use them. You can combat this urge by buying a small bag and making sure you pack the essentials first. Carry one pair of shoes to use for most if not all activities and occasions. Bring along basic first aid items and antibiotics in case you fall sick. If you are heading out for your first trek, then here’s the ultimate packing list to help you out!
However, based on the kind of activities you have planned during your trip, you must pack the necessary items. If you are planning to head out on a road trip ensure that all the passengers in the vehicle are seated comfortably by securing the luggage on your FJ Cruiser roof rack.
6. Hostels over hotels
Hostels are usually avoided by travelers due to their unwarranted bad reputation but these places provide comfortable accommodation while going easy on your wallet. Another good thing about hostels is that you are more likely to meet fellow free spirits such as yourself and can make new friends through the same. If you are on a road trip in a car or on a bike, hostels are a great place to unwind and relax before hitting the road again.
7. Do not ignore the budget
While traveling in style is important, never go overboard while allocating a budget for your trip. Consider exchange rates, cost of living, shopping expenses and entry fees for attractions when creating your budget. Make sure you carry extra money for emergencies and unplanned activities. Do not splurge on travel related items like backpacks, neck pillows, expensive shoes before every trip as these do not offer significant benefits over items you already own.
Outside of these key points, always remember that you are traveling to enjoy and hence you should not give in to your inhibitions. Try out every new dish, talk and befriend fellow travelers as well as locals, volunteer for every activity and immerse yourself in the culture to have a truly beautiful and soul-lifting trip.