When I first started travelling, I learnt quickly about some of the mistakes I’d made. Let me save you the stress of the unknown and please enjoy learning what you should know as a first time traveller!
1. Packing Too Many Clothes
I’m sure you’ve been told this many times before or you’ve heard the stories of “I took WAY too many clothes!” This is absolutely spot on for 9/10 trips you’ll go on. Be sure to pack clothes you can use with different outfits and you’ll be laughing at the about of space you save. I did this for a 3 week beach holiday and managed to live out of a carry on suitcase! Money= saved.
- 2. Booking All Accommodation Before You Get There
I know the organized person in you is telling you this is absolutely wrong… but hear me out. Booking your accommodation for the first couple of days into your holiday will give you time to look around and find the areas our want to stay. Found a specific area you really like in the city your staying? Well after your initial booking is up, you can move! This tip is also handy to sniff out all the cheap accommodation too!
3. Eating Where the Tourists Eat
Eating where the tourist eat is a sure-fire way to pay top price for a meal. Following where the locals eat, however, will guarantee you pay the best price for a great, quality meal. When in Singapore, my family and I first went to where the tourist were eating and paid about $10 eat per meal. When we were told by the locals where to eat, we ended up paying about $1.50 each!
4. Not taking lip balm
Lip balm is one of those things that save lives daily, but somehow is very easy to forget. Having dry lips can make all the different between sore and uncomfortable and feeling hydrated. Be sure to not forget this one from your packing list and just to be safe, pack a few extra.
5. Planning everyday on a schedule
Planning a whole day can leave you feeling exhausted and drained by the end of a holiday. Not only does it eliminate the possibility of spontaneity, but can also rush you. Planning a couple of things throughout a day/ week will allow you more time to explore the places you’re seeing and also adventure to where people you meet recommend.
6.Sleeping when you first arrive
I know it’s tempting, but sleeping when you first arrive (specifically somewhere with a different timezone) can ultimately make it harder for you to adjust throughout your holiday. Trying to go for a walk or go and grab something to eat and getting an early nights rest (local time) can help you adjust to the transition.
7. Buying toiletries whilst away
I have often made the mistake of thinking I won’t need to pack extra items such as sunscreen just to wind up being sunburnt & crispy, in desperate need of protection. It’s all too often I’ve found these items at least twice the price of what it would’ve been to buy at home. I’ve definitely learnt my lesson and it’s about time you did too.
8. Taking shoes that aren’t comfortable
You can expect whilst on holiday to walk more than usual even if it’s unplanned. Taking comfortable shoes is a must to save your precious feet from blisters and discomfort which will definitely add up over the days.
9. Booking tickets before checking your passport
Booking a plane ticket before checking your passport’s expiration date is all too common. You must have at least 6 months left on your passport in order to travel… any less and you won’t be going anywhere besides disappointment street.
10. Not checking visa requirements
Check if there are any visa requirements before leaving for your holiday. For example, you won’t be able to enter some countries, such as the US, without some kind of visa. Some visas may take a couple of minutes to come through whereas others may take several months. Be sure to check online before booking your flight.
11. Forgetting a backpack
A backpack is another one of those special items taken for granted. We all have those item’s we should always take with us (such as a water bottle) they may be too awkward to carry alone with multiple other things. Having a backpack will not only allow you to take more with you, but will also keep your belongings safe and secure.
12. Not Taking Comfortable Items on the Plane
Items such as a pillow, blanket and comfortable clothes are must-haves to ensure a great flight. Cold air-conditioning or a sore back may seem insignificant but can make or break a flight.
13. Travelling alone all the time
Travelling alone can tend to get lonely after some time. Being selective about the places you travel alone can save you a huge headache of taking your luggage with you into bathrooms other small spaces. Do yourself a favour, make a friend and share the responsibility of luggage watching.
14. Exchanging money at the airport
Money exchange services at airports are renowned for having high fees so exchange your money before leaving home and give yourself some time to search around for the best exchange rate.
15. Leaving luggage open in a tropical country
It has been said that the tropics are unlike much of the world; bugs and all. Keeping your luggage, food or any other goods closed when not being used may save you from dealing with a few extra creepy crawly friends.
16. Wearing clothes for your final destination, not for the layovers
Wearing a winter coat may seem like a good idea when traveling somewhere cold… but that good idea will soon turn south when you realize your long layover is in a hot country. Wear clothes appropriate for your layover and pack a backpack with clothes to change into.
17. Not taking a personal medical supply
The amount of stories I’ve heard about people being sick on vacation is crazy. Pack a little baggie full of pain killers, gastro stop, hydra light, cold&flu meds, disinfectant wipes, bandaids etc. You’ll be doing yourself and those around you a great service!
18. Getting too comfortable in an environment
Becoming comfortable in an environment can be dangerous. You’ll find yourself being less alert than usual and letting your guard down. This can be when people take advantage on you and potentially put you at risk. Always stay alert and aware of your surroundings. #MumModeActivated
19. Being unaware of country standards
Some countries are much different from the one you might be used to. For example, toilet paper does not come standard in China and women are required to cover their shoulders and knees in Papua New Guinea. Be aware of these standards before going somewhere new.
20. Not trusting your gut instinct
If your gut is telling you “don’t go there alone” or “that person seems a bit shady”, then LISTEN! I have heard too many stories of near misses with women being alone in unfamiliar countries because they didn’t listen to that nudging at the back of their mind. Your gut instinct will keep you safe and ignoring it could be risky.
Thank you for reading my tips for first time travellers! I hope you’ve found some of these points helpful, even if you’re an experienced traveller. Let me know if you’ve made any of these mistake in the comments and what you think about adding GIF’s to my posts. Be sure to follow my Instagram and blog as well as liking my Facebook.
Until next time, stay wild.
– Taylah xx