At some point in time, it happens to everyone, you’ll want to or have to, travel alone. Maybe the prospect of this excites you or maybe you find it terrifying. Travel is guaranteed to provide many lessons in life, especially for first-time travellers. Here are our top 10 tips to keep in mind before you travel, so that you can enjoy care-free adventures and embrace the journey!
1. Get to know where you are
A great way to get to know a city is to start with a scheduled tour, by foot, car, bus or bike. It’ll help you get to know the place, see some key sites straightaway and helps get your bearings on where you are. The visitor centres will be able to tell you about free tours, activities and free or cheaper access to sites and attractions before you have to spend a cent!
2. Prep your MacGyver tools!
A small flashlight or headlamp is great for finding things in your bag and at night as well. Flip flops, great for outdoor use but also in bathrooms areas for hygiene. Safety pins, duct tape, elastic bands and carabiners for holding things together or hooking items on. A pair of scissors and a plastic bag or two for separating dirty clothes or shoes from your cleans! Also, the odd old clothing item is great to use as a bathmat. Zip lock bags are also great for keeping handy items within easy reach or separate things threatening to leak.
3. Learn a little lingo
Memorise a handful of words of the local language and have the courage to use them! It’s amazing how just a few words will go a long way; locals tend to warm to those who have made the effort to communicate with them in their own tongue – even if you don’t pronounce everything perfectly the effort doesn’t go unnoticed.
4. Podcasts and audio books
Books are always handy to have when travelling to help time pass by. But to save on weight and space, download podcast and audio book apps instead! Search for your topics of interest and download the individual podcasts and audio books when in WIFI to save on data and listen anytime! Your local library will have hundreds of free audio books available for check out, so be sure to check them out too.
5. How to deal with jet lag
Jet lag on long haul flights – how to beat it? Before flying, stay up later or go to bed earlier for 2-3 days before your trip to help minimise the time difference shock on landing. Drink only water on flights, and drink or pack some electrolytes prior to long-haul flights. Try to get into the new time zone on the flight, by using the entertainment system on board. When you arrive; if it’s morning, don’t sleep but keep active all day. This guarantees you’ll sleep that night and avoid sleeping in the following day. Repeat this process for 2-3 days and drink lots of water!
6. Travel Insurance
Before you travel anywhere, travel Insurance is a must. A missed, delayed or cancelled flight, disaster or simply lost bags can accrue quite a debt without it! Travelcuts has the travel insurance to fit your style of adventuring!
7. Be flexible
Try to be flexible with your time and reservations. If you can travel at off peak times and aren’t on a tour, it will allow you to spend more time in places you are enjoying and less time in places you’ve had enough of!
8. Star attractions
Before you arrive, get a map – physical or on your mobile device – and ‘star’ attractions, accommodation and things to see and do, so that you can start your adventures straight away and spend more time seeing rather than researching upon arrival.
Make copies of all your important travel documents. Keep a photocopy of your passport with you so you don’t have to walk around with your actual passport on you. Also keep a copy of your travel insurance policy with you, itinerary, flight booking details and any other useful info that you might not be able to get hold of if you’re out of reception or WIFI. Save it all to email for quick access and share it with a reliable friend or family member for quick access if you need it.
10. Don’t plan everything
It might be tempting to have every step of your trip planned to the nth degree, but unplanned days are often those that leave the most lasting, and fondest memories. If you’re a planner and you just can’t help yourself, plan a day or even just a half day in your trip to go plan-free and spend that time exploring and saying yes to whatever opportunities come your way.
Remember, travel is guaranteed to provide many lessons in life. No amount of tips, advice, research or planning can actually prepare you for what you will experience when travelling, so just enjoy the adventure and embrace the journey.