In this article, I’ve put together a few basic tips for new travelers. Most are quite logical if you happen to something else or do not agree with any, comment! Help make this list more interesting 🙂
When I started traveling around the world I did not know what to expect so I started to read and investigate a little about the destinations I was going to visit, but obviously, I made many mistakes traditional of the new travelers, I felt a huge sign hanging from my neck that said: “I have no idea where I am”.
Now, after traveling the world, I would give you these tips:
General Tips for New Travelers
- The world is safe. Despite what may seem from the news, you can travel through most countries without having more problems than you would have in your own country.
- You do not need large suitcases. With a backpack of about 65 L it should be enough (no wheels) and if you go to a hot place you will not need to put too many things in it. Travel light, your back will appreciate it and you can always buy what you want in your destination.
- Get a good camera if you like to take pictures. Now that you travel you have the opportunity to learn how to use the manual options of your camera!
- Do not make too many plans. Have an idea of where you are going and for how long but you do not need to know what you will do every day. During the trip, you will see what you want.
- Take guides but do not follow them to the letter. The guides are good for their maps and tips but most of the places they recommend (hostels, restaurants, villages, etc.) end up being different from what they were before being recommended, they end up a little bit of Guirilandia.
Shopping and Money Related Tips for New Travelers
- Having an idea of how to bargain is almost essential in many countries. It can be quite fun.
- The technology or mountain clothing (or brands in general) is, more or less, the same everywhere. To buy them false is to throw away the money since they will not offer you what you expect from them or they will only do it for a few days;)
- If you feel you are being cheated, you are sure that they are doing it, trust your instincts!
- If you make a relatively short trip, take cash. You can change it in your destination (keep in mind that many times in airports the change is more expensive) and you will save the commissions of the banks when withdrawing money.
- In almost all exchange houses accept Euros, except in some borders that want you to pay them in dollars. So it’s good to carry some dollars if you want to go from one country to another by land.
- If you make a long trip, negotiate with your Bank or Fund the commission to withdraw money abroad. Normally it is 4% but insisting and negotiating a bit you should be able to get 1-2%. And control your account through the Internet.
Transportation Tips for New Travelers
- The best way to save traveling is, logically, using public transport. Avoid drivers of taxis or other vehicles (rickshaws, tuk-tuks, etc.) that cry out to you to go with them …
- In many countries, when leaving the airports or the bus you are harassed offering you transport or accommodation, take it easy. The best thing is to get away and see what other options there are since in many cases they are offering you much more expensive services than normal.
- Hitchhiking is very easy and recommended in many countries (for example New Zealand).
- If the taxi has a meter, do not go up if you do not want to activate it. Logically he will be trying to charge you more than the bill. If you have to negotiate the price do it before entering the taxi and do not try to lower it again once agreed, or allow it to be uploaded.
- If you have an accident with a rented motorcycle and you did not have insurance (as it happens in most Asian countries), take the motorcycle to a mechanic on your own and try not to let the owner discover it. This will prevent them from trying to inflate the price of the repair. Accidents are a business for some!
- All air tickets are modifiable, no matter what you put in them. Of course, in some cases, you will have to pay an extra.
- The borders of the countries have standards but are often flexible and depend on the guard or official in front of you.
Accommodation Tips for New Travelers
- Some earplugs if you plan to sleep in bedrooms are going to be very useful.
- In the most touristy streets is where there are the most expensive accommodations, take a walk through the least frequented and you will find the best places.
- In almost all countries there are good hospitals. That’s why there are a lot of tourists that are going to get treatments in Thailand or Costa Rica. Thailand is famous for its dentists.
- Having travel insurance is highly recommended, a tip that I should apply to myself;)
- However, it is clear that trying to learn some words of the language of the country helps to be better received.
- Try to eliminate all the prejudices you have from a country and, from scratch, develop your own vision of it once you are there. Do not judge by political systems, traditions, customs, ideas, etc. Give yourself time to form your own opinion.
- Do not take photos of people if you are not sure that it does not bother them.
- The distance between interlocutors, personal space, is different in many countries.