Sunday, May 28, 2017

Top Six Tips for First-Time Travelers

Traveling to a new country or to somewhere far from home for the first time can be both exciting and scary. Of course, major trips are planned ahead of time, and as you are counting the days until you finally get to board the plane and fly off, your eagerness also builds up. However, it is also normal to be anxious and uneasy about a lot of things, like your safety while you are in a strange place and how you will go about interacting with people you don’t know.

 

So here are the top 6 things you need to remember when traveling for the first time:

 

  1. Research. The best thing you can do, and perhaps the number one advice any travel expert will give you, is to do some research before your scheduled trip. Thanks to the Internet, gathering the most important info about any place is very easy and can be done within the comforts of your own home. Know about the place you are visiting and about its people and their culture. Check out its climate, the available accommodations, the different tourist spots, the various local events, the modes of transportation, and the do’s and don’ts. If you are already familiar with the local laws and customs of your travel destination, make sure you respect them when you are already there. When going to a foreign country, it would also help if you know some of the basic local words and phrases – like words used for greeting and for asking essential questions.
  2. Travel Insurance. Traveling abroad can be exciting and full of adventures, but sometimes things could go wrong, and you might find yourself faced with an emergency situation. You can prepare yourself for the unforeseen by taking out a travel insurance. An appropriate insurance for travel covers medical evaluation, hospital treatment, and other activities like adventure sports.
  3. Copies of Important Documents. Make several copies of important documents and information like your passport, insurance policy, travelers’ checks, driving license, credit cards (or credit card numbers), visas, and other identification cards. It is best if you have informed loved ones and friends at home about your travel and your itinerary and leave copies of these documents to them. Make sure you carry original documents and photocopies in separate places or separate bags, just for security purposes. It would also be wise if you carry a list of important contact numbers with you at all times: like the phone numbers of family members at home, the phone number of your travel agency, and perhaps even a contact number of your home country’s embassy.
  4. Travel and Health Advice. Before leaving, check your destination's latest travel advice. You can do this by subscribing to free e-mail notification, which you will get every time there's a travel advice update. You also need to check with health or medical professionals for information regarding the recommended vaccinations and other precautions (against malaria, for instance) that are necessary when visiting your country or city of choice. And don't forget to check overseas laws on traveling with pills and medicines.
  5. Safety, Safety, Safety. When you have already arrived at your destination, always keep in mind some basic rules of safety. These rules include leaving valuables in the safe of the hotel or lodge you’re staying; dressing conservatively and not drawing attention to yourself; avoiding any flashy jewelry; not carrying large amounts of cash; sticking to the main roads and avoiding narrow alleys and poorly lit streets; choosing accommodations and transportation providers with care; not disclosing travel plans and itinerary with strangers; and knowing the laws about exchanging money. The best safety precaution, however, is to never travel alone.
  6. Passports and Visas. Traveling overseas may require a valid passport. Make sure that your passport is valid for at least six months after your planned date of return. Some countries will refuse your entry upon arrival while some airlines also won't allow you to board if your passport doesn’t meet this requirement. So confirm the requirements' way ahead of time. Moreover, check if you will require visas for the country or countries you intend to visit. Always note that visas do not always guarantee entry.
    These tips will ensure that you enjoy your vacation or trip to the fullest, and that you remain safe while you are away from home. The most important thing to remember when traveling, however, is to always trust your instincts.