If you’re going travelling for the first time, you’re likely experiencing a cocktail of emotions as your trips grows closer. Fret not – here are seven tips to make the experience a lot less stressful and a lot more fun.
The initial thing to know before heading away is how to pack correctly for a stint of travelling. It’s important to not overload on unnecessary items – as difficult as it may be, ensure you’re not bringing things you won’t actually need.
For example, the Secret Traveller suggests you leave behind those hefty hiking boots (unless you’re planning on climbing any mountains). Be sure not to bring too many gadgets, too – your phone and camera will suffice in most cases.
Although you may be clinging to the hope of securing a luxury spot in the best accommodation on offer, it’s important to be realistic. For monetary and social reasons, a hostel is the perfect choice for a place to rest your head.
Staying in hostels won’t only cut costs dramatically, allowing you to put your money towards having fun instead. It will also introduce you to other travellers, who may be able to share stories and tips you can carry with you – who knows, you might even meet your new travel partner.
Although travelling is nearly always fun, there’s always a risk of things going awry. Whether it be through theft, injury or any other unfortunate happenings, it’s crucial you stay vigilant throughout your trip in every way possible.
For example, Southeast Asia – albeit one of the most popular destinations for travellers from the world over – has plenty of potential threats to your safety, including bag-snatching and dangerous traffic in parts.
One of the most important skills you’ll have to develop quickly whilst travelling is the ability to haggle. Vendors in marketplaces and taxi drivers are the biggest offenders in the way of hiking their prices to take advantage of clueless tourists.
If a price sounds perhaps too high to be true, try and negotiate. Vendors often expect travellers to haggle the costs – you can sometimes get up to 50% off the original asking price if you’re good enough at it.
Don’t be scared to try the street food wherever you are in the world. It’s usually where you’ll find some of the most popular and delectable dishes regardless of your location.
In Vietnam, for example, be sure to try an authentic bowl of pho, and don’t miss out on a delicious curry when in the cities of India. Street food sometimes offers up a considerable challenge, too – eating a fried tarantula will give you a very unique story to tell once you’re home, but make sure you do it right.
It’s important you don’t showcase a blind ignorance for culture wherever you go in the world. In some places, cultural norms are of a significant importance in locals’ daily lives.
For example, expect to stop twice a day in Thailand to show an appreciation for the national anthem. And, in Japan, a traditional greeting is a bow instead of a handshake. Learning how to bow correctly is sure to impress people you meet – this handy guide has you need to know. Most locals wouldn’t be particularly offended if you as a tourist were not sure of the traditions, but it’s best to brush up on your knowledge anyway.
Last but not least, it’s important you’re making the most of your travels. Seeing the world is often a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you should seize to its full potential. When opportunity arises, say yes.
Follow the above tips and you’ll be on your way to having the trip of a lifetime. Enjoy it, and don’t hold yourself back – it’s the perfect time to have an adventure.
Do you have any tips of your own you can add? Let me know in the comments below.