Traveling can be a difficult task for someone who is not well-seasoned within the niche. Without experience, it may be more difficult for a beginner to navigate and manage some of the obstacles faced while traveling than one who is well experienced in the space. Below, I am sharing 7 travel tips for beginners to make their travel journey easier and more efficient.
7 Travel tips for beginners:
1. Try a solo trip at least once
When I first began to travel, it took me a while to have the confidence or even desire to do a solo trip. I always loved having someone with me to share the experience with (and that’s still mostly true).
But, when I finally did take my first trip by myself, it really showed me what I was capable of. Until you are put in that situation where it is just you to figure things out, you don’t really get the chance to see that you are capable of so much more than you think you are. I think it is incredibly important to take the chance and learn more about yourself.
2. Take an extra credit card or debit card with you
Disasters happen. It’s always good to have a backup in case you get robbed or lose a card. You don’t want to be stuck somewhere new without access to your funds. I once had a card duplicated and a freeze put on it. I couldn’t use it for the rest of my trip. I was very happy I had an extra and not like my friend, who didn’t and was forced to borrow money from me all the time!
Things happen. Unfortunately, a challenge with traveling is that pick pocketing is not uncommon, especially in touristy places. To avoid some potential frustration, always bring an extra card with you, if not two.
This is something that I wish I had known right from the beginning because wow, this would have saved me a lot of difficulty. I’ve had my wallet stolen on more than one occasion before I learned this lesson, and each time it was an incredibly tedious process to get a new one.
So always take an extra card with you and don’t carry them together. Leave one behind in your lock box or somewhere safe, so that if you were to get pick pocketed, you still have a card to use.
3. Pack smart
This is one of my best pieces of advice, but one that I have the hardest time following. I know, I know, I should probably have it nailed down by now, but I accept that packing is not my strong suit. But, I know how important it is and the difference it can make in your trip. My advice is, only pack what you can carry.
I promise, your future self will thank you later. Always remember that you can generally find a way to get anything that you may have forgotten or didn’t have room for. Also, if you find some staple items in similar color palettes, you can mix and match them and have a plethora of outfits without the extra clothes.
4. Slow down and take your time
I know how exciting it can be to go on a big trip and you just want to see everything. So, as a result you cram four countries in seven days. I’m telling you, DON’T DO IT. You will have a much more enjoyable time if you limit your trip to just a couple places and really take the time to explore those places more in depth.
If you are constantly on the go, checking in and out of accommodation, always on some form of transportation, you will be exhausted. Do your research and really figure out what people recommend for how much time you need in a place.
5. Be flexible and patient
If there is one thing that I’ve learned during my years of being abroad and traveling, it is that things are rarely going to go the way you planned.
Challenges are going to happen, and you will have frustrating obstacles come your way. But I promise, it will always work itself out. Just stay flexible, be patient, and don’t sweat the small stuff. There is always a solution.
6. Wake up early to get the most out of your day and avoid crowds
Waking up early when I’m traveling is one of my favorite parts of my day. It’s when I get to see some of the most beautiful landscapes or architecture and have it all to myself.
Not to mention, then you can check off some of those iconic, “must see” places on your list right at the beginning of your day. This leaves you the whole rest of the day to enjoy everything else!
7. Don’t be afraid to go off the beaten path
Some of my favorite experiences have been from taking a local’s recommendation on a place to go, even if it had hardly any reviews and was not very well known.
Do a little extra research, whether that’s asking someone or doing some internet sleuthing, to find some hidden gems and give them a shot.