Deciding to travel for the first time can be quite conflicting. You are filled with fear, hope and excitement, all while not knowing what to expect. To compensate for the lack of preparation, most people follow guide books or sign up for group tours to familiarize themselves with travelling.
Here are a few simple tips to keep on mind for anyone travelling.
Don’t Be Afraid
Fear can be very restrictive. Taking the leap into the unknown can be scary, but you shouldn’t look at this way. You are not the first person to travel the world and you are not discovering unchartered territories.
There are so many travel trails, and people are always there to guide you along the way. If millions of people can travel then so can you.
Don’t Strictly Follow Your Guidebook
Guidebooks are important for every traveller’s journey because they give you an overview of the destination. However, you are more likely to find new destinations, hidden paths and attractions by connecting with locals and finding out what’s buzzing.
You can also interact with other travelers or hostel staff for recommendations. People are your best resource for up to the minute travel locations.
Take Your Time Travelling
It is quite tempting to see everything all at once especially if you have limited vacation time. There are so many travel sites that rush you into visiting 20 countries in 20 days, and in the end all you have for it is pictures and the stress from moving around too quickly without any real knowledge or insight to the place you visited.
Australia for example, is a country that is rushed by many backpackers and in the end they burn out and realize they saw everything yet nothing at all.
Make the time to spend a relaxing day at a park or sit at a café and people watch. It’s important to slow down and appreciate your surroundings, as it gives you the time to take in the culture.
Stay in Contact
You are bound to make a lot of friends on the road and some of them are likely to become your lifelong friends. Sometimes you may not get their contact information and end up regretting it. It’s easier to stay in touch now because you can use social media and contact people even years after your trip.
You Don’t Need that Much Gear
Always pack light, especially if you’re backpacking. You don’t need to fill your bag with tons of clothes and toiletries because they end up taking up space in your bag. You can always buy things on the go that are essential for your trip.
Buy a Phone
As you meet people on the road, you might want to plan meet ups while you are out and about. It’s much easier to do so if you invest in a cheap phone and a sim card as you travel. This makes it easier for you to stay in touch with your new friends.
Go with the Flow
If every day of you trip is planned out, you are bound to get stressed out by the timetables you have to follow, and you may end up rushing through your trip. Remember it’s alright to just go with the flow.
If you have a flexible schedule you can easily have one or two planned out activities then you can let the rest of the day happen. It is more likely to be enjoyable and less stressful this way.
Depending on your accommodation and budget, travelling doesn’t have to be that expensive. You can spend $15 a day in Asia as you travel; however, you need to bring extra money because there are always unexpected expenses.
You can never plan for disasters or itinerary changes and no matter how well you plan, something is always bound to happen that can throw your budget out of place.
Challenge yourself and take risks while travelling. You may not like heights, you may have hurt you tailbone jumping off that boat in the Galapagos, but in the end these are the experiences you remember.
Try new things even if you hate them, and you might also end up walking away more confident from the experience.
You’re Not Stuck
If you reach a point in your trip and feel that you are no longer enjoying yourself, then take a few days off and go to a city that’s familiar to your home. If that doesn’t cut it and you still hate the trip when you are back on the road, then you can go home. There’s no shame in that.
You better off trying and failing than never trying at all. Just remember that you shouldn’t feel stuck with your decision to travel.
You’re Not Alone
Travelling alone doesn’t necessarily mean you are alone, because you are bound to meet so many people along the way.
Wherever you go there’s always a network of travellers that become your friends. They give you advice on trips and help you out. They guide you and point you in the right direction, and can even become your mentors. You’re not alone.