Travel Tips for a New Traveler

travel packing tips
Every traveler discovers their own travel tips to pass along. Today we’ve gathered some of our favorite travel tips for a new traveler. Of course there the obvious things like always make sure you have a valid passport. And always check for visa requirements in advance. You can download the Passport and Visa app to help with those requirements. But what else should know as a first time new traveler?

Leave your prejudice’s at the check-in.

Whether you realize it or not what you know about the world before your travels are solely from stereotypes and prejudice’s whether from media or from other people’s stories shared. This, however, does not give truth to what you think about different groups of people or cities. The best advice would be to open your ears and allow for people and cities to expose themselves to you keeping that prior knowledge in your head but not letting it fog your mind.

Do your research and ditch the travel books.

Travel books are grand for an introduction to a city or a region, but let it be the inspiration for you to dive deeper and do other research on places you want to see. Travel books act as the bones or structure, but it’s up to you as the traveler to put the meat on the bones. Guidebooks never talk about the off-the-beaten-path and local hot spots. You’ll learn your best ‘travel book’ is befriending local people or other traveler’s you find along the way.

Pack light but for anything.

“Pack light, but for anything” sounds like an oxymoron, huh? Well, it’s possible and you will thank yourself once you master this. There’s no reason to have several pairs of shoes, instead pack multi-purpose items like a blanket scarf, (HELP to insert other good clothing items that you need or don’t need). Because truth is- when you get bit by the travel bug you don’t want to stop and you don’t want the size of your luggage to hold you back. Even if you’re only making a short trip to somewhere like Ireland you cannot predict the climate because one day you can experience all 4 seasons. Packing tips are always a must-know and must-discover for all travelers.

Travel slow.

There’s a lot of worlds to see, but don’t try to squeeze the whole continent of Europe into 3 weeks! Sure you will have a lot of photos to share. But, you will be missing out on gaining genuine knowledge of the places you will travel to. For some reason it has become a fad to do trips like ’6 countries in 14 days’, but don’t give into it. Travel like a rabbit, be as curious like a child, indulge like a local, and relax like an elderly.

Be prepared to be ripped off a few times.

You will be ripped off. Whether it’s from a professional currency exchange, a local trying to make some money, or an airline you will have run run-insure you walk out with non-refundable charges but this is just a part of traveling. It’s these experiences that make you wiser and act like a reality check to be more aware.

Make friends everywhere.

You don’t travel to the other side of the world to hang out with people from your home country! Where is the fun in that? Sure it’s comfortable, but you learn so much more when you befriend other travelers and locals along your travels. Open minded people attract other open-minded people. Doesn’t matter if you make friends in one week, one month, or one semester… If you make friends that make goodbyes hard, you’re doing it right.

Don’t be scared.

This world can be a scary place. We can thank the media for a lot of the fear it instills in people about cultures and cities, but will you allow that to stop you? Whether you travel or not the world will keep going as it is with the pushback from the Brexit referendum, the ISIS attacks to the sporadic shootings in the states tied to race issues. At times we have to think about the ways in which the media portrays our own countries to realize that bad things happen everywhere. Instead of being scared we must be aware because in the end of the day that’s all you can be if you don’t want to spend your days hiding in your home.

You’ll get better as you go.

Practice makes perfect in nearly everything- including traveling! Along your way you’ll learn tips from your past experiences traveling, locals, and new friends that you’re going to wish you could do it all over again. Whether it’s traveling financial tips you learn, languages, or cultures you will grow so much as a person, far more than that could be taught in a classroom.