5 essential tips for first time travellers

Travelling is a very exciting time and regardless of where you are going and who you are going with, you are bound to make some excellent memories along the way. If it is your first time travelling, it is only natural not to know what to expect, and inevitably, at the end of your trip you are bound to look back on things that you could have done differently. Below are five essential tips that anyone that is new to travelling should stick to. All of them have been designed to make your trip as stress free and enjoyable as possible. 

1) Take the right bag

Picking the right bag to take with you when travelling is one of the most important decisions that you will make. Pick the wrong one and you will regret in two days into your trip and will probably then end up spending more money buying a replacement. There is an awful lot of choice when it comes to travel bags, and the design that you pick will be very dependent on what your trip entails. Lightweight backpacks are excellent if you are going on an active travelling holiday, that requires you to carry your luggage round with you at all times, but for other trips, a wheelie suitcase is the best option. If you are away for a longer period, ensure that you have a hard wearing bag that will stand up to the test of time. 

2) Learn how to pack light

If you are going travelling for the first time, it is all too tempting to over pack. The reality is though that you will not need that extra pair of heels or two outfits a day. If you are going away for longer than a week, make use of washing facilities, or pack travel wash, so you have a way of washing your clothes. Make sure that you pick items of clothing that are comfortable and that you have worn before. You will begin to care less of what you look like further into your holiday and go more for comfortability. Leave room in your bag for any items that you want to buy during your trip, and remember, what you take, you will have to carry. 

3) Learn basic phrases

Although many touristy places will have English speaking locals, do not rely on this to get you through. Not only is it a little ignorant, it also limits your communication skills dramatically. Whilst it is not possible to learn an entire language and become fluent in a short space of time, learn how to say key phrases, such as “hello”, “yes, please”, “no thank you” and “do you speak English?”. Simple phrases will allow you to engage with the locals and really experience their culture, instead of just wandering through it. 

4) Photocopy documents and locate the Embassy

Although no one likes to think of trips going wrong, it is always better to be safe than sorry, particularly if you are travelling on your own. Prior to going, get all of your paperwork organised and buy specific document folders for them. This means that you do not have to dig around trying to find them when they are needed, as well as keeping them in a safe, central location. Photocopy your passport and any travel documents and give copies to your family and friends. Not only will they have everything they need should anything happen, it will also really help you should you lose anything during your trip. Another important thing to do before you leave is to locate the embassy on the map and note the address, even if you are travelling in a safe area. Keep this address in an incredibly safe place, so you have it to hand should you need it. Finally, make yourself aware of any local laws. Certain countries have very different laws, so it is important not to assume your law system will follow you. Abide by these at all times to prevent yourself getting in unnecessary trouble. 

5) Pack a first aid kit

Every traveller should carry a first aid kit regardless of where you, but the likelihood is that this will differ depending on where it is that you are going. If you are travelling in cities, a simple first aid kid is sufficient. You can fill this with pain killers, plasters, anti-septic creams and anti-histamines and all other essentials that you are likely to require should you become unwell or injured during your stay. Of you are going to more extreme or developing places, adapt your first aid kit accordingly. Although you will still require to carry all of the essentials, include oral rehydration salts (especially if you are travelling to developing countries), anti-diarrhoea tablets, water purification tablets, steri-strips, insect repellent and anti-itch cream, cold relief capsules and motion sickness tablets. 

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