Xeni

My Advice To The First Time Traveller

My Advice To The First Time Traveller

First of all, try not to get robbed, kidnapped, mugged, or brainwashed!

To the first time traveller: you’re doing the right thing. Travelling and seeing the world is great! Experiencing new places and cultures will expand your mind, and it’s good for your soul. Okay, we’ve got the sappy encouraging stuff out of the way, let’s get down to it. Travelling is no joke. It needs planning. This isn’t Eat Pray Love. Want to throw a dart at a map and go there? You need to research first. Travelling to Algeria and Benin is very different, even though they’re close geographically. When you’ve decided on a destination, research these things:
  • What visa or other papers you’ll need
  • Climate
  • Local weather
  • Where you want to visit in that country/region
  • Where you’ll be staying
  • Transportation once you get there

Local customs

Above all- Do not go with the flow. My third cousin did that, and she joined a vegetable cult, thinking it was a co-op! Not really. I’m not related to anyone in Stars Hollow. Assume nothing! You think it’ll be sunny in the Everglades? What if you end up with a week of thunderstorms, earthquakes, alligators, and orcas? Don’t you try to tell me there’s no orcas in Florida. That would be an assumption. Bad idea. When you’re packing, make lists. Write it all down. That way, when you’re leaving the house, you don’t have to go through your whole suitcase to make sure you have that blue scarf, you can just see if you checked it off your list. Only take things you know you’ll need- and leave nothing you know you’ll leave. Always pack a bathing suit, raincoat, sunglasses, and some formal clothes. Pack for all eventualities, but frugally. Don’t assume you’ll be able to buy something at your destination- better to pack that bulky tote bag than to need one when you’re there, and not be able to find one. Always leave a little space in your bag for souvenirs. And speaking of which, when you’re at your destination, make sure you can bring home whatever you buy. It may seem like a peachy idea to bring some peaches home, but what if TSA doesn’t agree? There go your peaches. Stick to a nice magnet, or coffee mug. Which you should bubble wrap, or at least wrap in clothes. Take pictures- but limit yourself to 50 per day. It can be tempting to take pictures of everything you see, but when you get home and have to delete 500 pictures of sunsets, you’ll regret it. Keep your clean and dirty clothes separate. Put your shoes in bags, so they don’t touch your clothes. Review travel guidelines and restrictions. If you’re flying, make sure all your liquids are no more than 3 oz, and in little plastic bags. Don’t try to smuggle water past security. It’s not worth it. Just buy some more inside. Don’t wear any valuable jewelry while traveling- I’m all for being the center of attention, it’s one of my favorite hobbies, but even I try to keep it low key while I travel. And for heavens sake, DO NOT FORGET SUNSCREEN. I don’t care if you’re going to Sweden in the dead of winter, UV rays are there, harmful, and waiting to give you skin cancer. That about covers it.  Oh, and have fun!