So, you're setting off to travel the world for the first time. Are you excited? Anxious? Nervous? Traveling for the first time can be a whirlwind of emotions. You don't know what to expect, heck, you don't even know anyone that knows what to expect. You'll probably make some rookie travel mistakes (we all have) but if we could sit down and give first time travelers some advice, this would be it.
The way you pack can have a massive influence on your trip. That being said, there tend to be two types of travelers -- those that pack light and those that wish they had. Do your best to stick to one suitcase or backpack. Remember, if you forget something or realize that you need an item during your trip, you can buy basic necessities at virtually any travel destination.
Do the research. Have a plan. This doesn't mean you need to have an detailed itinerary (we are all about flexibility) but you should research your destination, things you might like to do, any problems or difficulties you might encounter, and try to become familiar with basic customs and some simple phrases.
The Boring Stuff
Notify your bank that you will be traveling abroad and call your cell service provider to understand your restrictions and fees for using your phone abroad. Always have travel insurance. Lastly, make sure you have a cushion on your travel budget for expenses or emergencies you didn't account for.
Don't live & die by your guidebook
Guidebooks are great! We think they are a huge help when planning an epic adventure. They give you quick information around budgeting, must see sites, must do activities and way more. But if you're looking for truly unique and authentic travel experiences, don't live and die by your guidebook. Be open, take recommendations, get off the beaten path, discover your destination for yourself.
Make an effort
Make an effort to learn a few words or phrases in the host language. Make an effort to pick up on the cultural norms. Make an effort to meet new people and be open minded. You will learn more and feel a stronger sense of connection to your destination.
Our instinct while traveling is to maximize our time. More destinations, more adventures, more hotels, more pictures. BUT, if you step back for a second, you may realize how much more you can get out of traveling by slowing down. Slow travel is all about taking more time in each travel destination, in order to experience a truer rhythm of life.
Go with the flow
It's easy to over-plan and get overwhelmed when traveling. Be flexible with your itinerary and take the stress out of your travels. Plan the most important parts of your trip, know your options on other things that you might like to do, and go with the flow.
Travel is all about new experiences. Even if you aren't really the adventurous type you will benefit by putting yourself out there a little bit while traveling. Go on that sunrise hike, eat all the street food, talk to the locals, challenge yourself. Practice feeling comfortable with being uncomfortable. It is a valuable skill to have outside of travel as well.
Don't be so shy
We get it, it takes courage to strike up conversation with strangers and its easier to just keep to yourself. Don't let that stop you from meeting a new friend or getting some good travel advice. Take the first step and say hello - sometimes, its as simple as that. You really don't have anything to lose.
You Can Go Home Any Time
If, for whatever reason, you are truly hating traveling and are not having a good time, stop and rest for a while - maybe in a big city or wherever feels most comfortable to you. If you are still hating it when you get back on the road, it is totally fine to head home early. There is no shame in admitting to yourself that travel, or that travel experience, wasn't for you.
Head over to our SHOP page to get your very own Adventure Assist travel notebook and plan out your DREAM trip.