If you’re new to travelling, there’s a few essential tips to keep in mind wherever you’re going. Don’t be overwhelmed or worried – so long as you stay safe and sensible, you’ll be fine. Here are just a few tips to ensure you do so.
Keep an eye on your belongings
One of the most common issues travelers have is the misplacing of their belongings. Whether it be their own fault or not, you’re bound to meet someone who has lost their luggage – don’t let it be you.
Keep a close eye on your belongings wherever you go, and never leave your bags unattended. There are plenty of opportunists lurking and picking out the vulnerable tourists, so keep your wits about you and protect yourself and your things. Don’t show your valuables off, either – you’ll become a prime target. And, worst of all, you won’t be covered if your neglect leads to your things going missing.
Have a budget
Don’t be left out of pocket before the end of your trip. Plan out a daily budget so you’re not unexpectedly without any money at any given moment. A daily budget can help you visualize just how much you can spend each day, give or take whatever is necessary.
Haggling is one way to cut costs even further, too. It’s common practice between travellers and vendors, so don’t be afraid to try your hand at it. Haggling can cut prices down by half in some instances, and this will leave you with more to spend elsewhere.
Don’t stray from the beaten track
Unless you’re with an experienced tour guide, don’t be tempted to explore areas you aren’t sure about. Too often are tourists left stranded and compromised in dangerous situation due to their urge to head into unfamiliar territory, sometimes with dire circumstances.
If you want to visit an area where it seems unsafe to go alone, look into tours to see if it’s possible to go in a group. This way, you’ll be led by somebody who knows how to keep you safe and protected – so long as they themselves are registered and official.
Interact with the locals
Don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation with locals whilst travelling. Often, locals are eager to talk to tourists and help you out if needed, so don’t shy away. Whether it be in a bar, restaurant or market, present yourself as outgoing and confident and you’ll get along just fine.
With that being said, make sure you’re clear on how to greet said locals in certain countries. In Thailand it’s with a wai, that being when you put your hands in a praying position when saying hello. In Japan, you’ll bow when greeting a local. These cultural practices are incredibly important, so make sure you adopt them.
Respect the culture
Talking of culture, there’s a few strange norms that you may want to bear in mind to keep your trip going smoothly. In Thailand, for example, expect to take your shoes off before entering buildings to keep the bad energy out. And in Egypt, don’t put salt on your food – it’s actually considered an insult by locals, especially the chef.
But, for the most part, locals don’t expect tourists to abide by cultural customs all of the time. So long as you’re generally respectful, friendly and open to learn more, you’ll get along just fine.
Do you have any tips for first time travelers of your own? Leave your suggestions below.