If you are here reading this it means you have been thinking about traveling! The chances are you might be doing it for the first time, as the title suggests. Maybe you have travelled before but this is the first time you’re going to be doing it alone or maybe you have travelled dozens of times already? In any event you can always use a few new helpful tips.
I have travelled a few times myself and I still manage to read through so many articles and travel blogs every time I get the chance, and almost every time I can still find new and important advice. Well, that is exactly what I am hoping you find here!
Travelling can be daunting, especially if you are doing it alone or for the first time. You are going somewhere new where most things are going to be different and not what you are used to; the people, the costumes, the language, the food, etc. Even just going to a different city in your own country can be scary if you are going alone. You need to keep in mind all the reasons that made you want to travel!
You will get to know new and different places, meet new people, possibly make new friends, try new food, learn more about the world, and most importantly make memories you will forever cherish. Even if you are travelling because you have a new job, an internship, or some volunteering work, remember, you will have free time and you will need to enjoy yourself as much as you can!
Here are some tips and advice that I found useful and hope that you will too:
- Bank Accounts – tell your bank you will be going abroad. If you, for example, live in England and all of a sudden you try to withdraw cash in India your bank might think someone is trying to steal your money so they might freeze your account and that is definitely something you do not want.
- SIM cards – if you are going to be in the same country for a few months you should consider getting a local number, otherwise your bills from back home will not make you very happy.
- Copies of documents – remember to photocopy every important document twice. Leave one of the copies back home with your family or friends and keep the other one in your room at the place you will be staying. If you lose your documents you will have copies.
- Packing – do not over pack! What you will need to pack will depend on where you are going and for how long but if you are in doubt of taking those pretty shoes just in case you are invited to a party, don’t. If you need party shoes buy some cheap ones just for the occasion.
- Travel Buddies – try to get to know someone that will be travelling to the same place as you. This will reassure you that you have someone to help you if you need it for any reason, and you may even gain a new friend. You can decide if you will be travelling together or maybe you will just meet once or twice to have coffee and share your experiences. I have recently moved countries to study and before leaving home I met a group of people that were coming to the same place as me. I can assure you that it helped me tremendously because, besides the fact that I felt safer, they gave me important advice for my first few weeks here and I even called them a few times when I had questions about something and knew they would be able to help.
- Research – before you go somewhere, try to find out a bit about the place itself. How to get from the airport or train station to your accommodation, public transportation prices and timetables, what do you want to visit, etc. This will save you some time and stress!
- Integration – when you first go to another county you are a tourist and everything will feel a bit overwhelming. To adapt to the environment and culture you should try to learn a few basic sentences in the country’s language, locals will appreciate it and be extra nice to you. Do not be scared of trying local food even if it is really different than what you are used to. Be nice to people and try to figure out how their culture works, back home you might usually hug your friends but if you notice that in the new country they shake hands then you shake hands, if they give kisses on cheeks then you do it too, do not get stuck on what is familiar and comfortable, adapt to your surroundings.
- Memories – when you get back home you will miss everything you just experienced so you need to have permanent reminders of your time travelling. Take as many pictures as you can, maybe even post the best ones on Instagram. Write down what you did each day in a notebook, a calendar or, if you don’t really have anything else, on your phone’s notes. Save tickets, receipts, etc. and write down on the back something that you thought was funny or cute. Get a map from the city or country and mark the places you have been to. Get a couple of souvenirs, like something traditional and handmade or even just the cliché keychain or fridge magnet.
After all that advice, I want to remind you that, regardless of where you are going or why, the most important thing is to have fun and enjoy yourself! You will realise that after your time traveling you will probably have become more organised, confident, and improved your problem solving skills a lot. You will get addicted to seeing what the world has to offer and you will not want to stop. I hope you enjoy your journey!