Traveling for Beginners

Many of us dream of traveling the world. But, few of us actually do it. There’s always an excuse. School, work, family commitments, a lack of finances and many others. So, if you are prepping to go traveling, well done. That’s the first step! But, there might be a little more to think about than you expected. It always looks easy on TV. Travelers happily live out of their backpacks, trekking around the world without a second thought. If it’s your first time, here are some tips to help you have a great time.

Start Easy

It can be tempted to just take a year out and travel the world all in one go. But, there are other options. You don’t have to make sure a huge commitment straight away. You could go to one place, stay in a nice hotel like Protea Hotel Tambo Airport, and simply enjoy exploring the area in safety, taking your time.

If you enjoy it, go a little further next time. Or try backpacking. Go at your own pace, in your own time. Don’t push yourself to try anything that you’re not comfortable with. Remember, there are no rules to traveling. It’s your trip. Do it your way.

Check Your Phone

Your smartphone can be an essential tool while you are away. You can use it for maps, finding new places to visit, taking photos, keeping in touch with home and staying safe. There’s almost nothing you can do. So, you won’t want to be without yours. Most providers now offer service all over the world, but it’s worth ringing up and checking. If yours isn’t going to work, consider having your phone unlocked and investing in a cheap local sim card when you arrive.

Pack Well

Whether you are backpacking or staying in a luxury hotel for the duration of your stay, you need to remember the essentials. Check the weather forecast for your visit and pack accordingly, with some emergency layers and waterproofs in case of changes. You’ll also need these essentials:

•    Currency
•    Medication
•    Toiletries
•    Sunscreen
•    Chargers
•    Camera
•    Good shoes
•    Headphones
•    Laptop

Language

If you are staying in a tourist hotspot, you’ll probably find that a lot of people speak at least some English. However, if you are staying further afield, you’ll almost certainly need to learn some basic language. Try a podcast to help, then download the Google translate app to help while you are away.

Be Brave

Don’t be shy. Speak to people, get to know the locals. Ask them for advice on where to go and what to eat and make friends. If you live in a large city, you may be used to walking around not speaking to anyone. But, that’s not how it’s done everywhere else. People in other countries actually speak to each other and are only too happy to teach others about their customs. Just remember always to be polite, friendly and respectful.

Be Safe

Use a cross-body bag and keep it closed with your phone and cash safely inside. Don’t make it easy for thieves. Make sure you know where you are going, and save emergency contact numbers. Be careful, especially if you are traveling solo.

Traveling is a fantastic experience, enjoy it!