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Calling all first-time travellers

first-time travellersfirst-time travellers
first-time travellersfirst-time travellers

 

Calling all first-time travellers

The first time you get on a plane can be both exciting and frightening. Either way, you’re in for some memory-making. It can be quite nerve-wracking being a first-time traveller but here are a few tips to keep your head on your shoulders, have all your documents in check and keep your cool when you find yourself in a new environment. This is assuming you have saved the money and bought your tickets for an overseas trip.

 

Checklist

With a few weeks to go, it’s time to make sure you have everything you may possibly need and start buying those few items you’re still missing. Soon you will start needing to pack your bags – speaking of bags, you may want to buy a large enough luggage set – and finalise your airport transport details before sitting back and relaxing on the plane.

As long you follow a generic and personalised checklist, you should be fine. Not everyone’s needs are the same and you may have extra items you have to take with you for personal reasons, so don’t only follow an online checklist guide. It helps to do research on your destination and its seasons when you find yourself struggling to pack your outfits.

Just make sure, at the end of the day, you have your passport, ID, VISA (if necessary), credit card, insurance documents, accommodation contact information and, obviously, your plane tickets. Having your phone, charger and foreign adaptors would probably also be a smart idea. The rest you can buy when you get there and the chances of you forgetting your luggage, especially if it’s your new luggage set, are slim in any case.

 

Don’t forget

Besides all your extremely important travel documents, phone, chargers and electrical adaptors, there are a few things travellers tend to forget. They may not be vital to you getting to your destination, but they will prove handy during your flight or make your life just a little bit easier on the other side.

First of all, don’t forget to leave in time for check-in, passport control and a light meal before boarding time. There’s nothing worse than being rushed while at the airport. No-one needs that extra stress in their life. It’s not the end of the world if you forget your toothbrush, you’re likely to get one on the plane from your airline, but it’s small and you’ll probably feel better using your own. Something else to not forget that will make your flight that much more bearable are your headphones. Music in, world out, and try to get some rest before your adventures begin.

Don’t forget your camera! Your phone won’t be able to produce the same quality as your camera and its battery life will probably die on you. Rather save your phone for emergencies and GPS functions. But trust that you will want to capture this experience. If you’re a journal kind of person, don’t forget a travel diary or even scrapbook and document your journey. Keep the bus, museum, gallery, fun park and night club tickets and keep track of your experiences. When you get back, you can have your photos printed and even put the two together. You don’t want to forget everything that happens while you’re travelling.

 

Rookie mistakes

A few rookie mistakes that you will make (yes, even after having them pointed out to you) include things like packing too much, unknowingly packing in flammables, not researching the destination and creating an overflowing itinerary.

Packing too much is a problem for three reasons. Reason number one, your bags will be overweight at check-in and you’ll have to pay extra or leave things behind (at the airport). Reason two, when travelling you’re bound to buy trinkets and clothes but you’ll end up not having enough space to bring them back (again leaving things behind). And, reason three, you’re making your life difficult when it comes to travelling to your hotel or place of accommodation with so many bags or a few really heavy bags. Missioning through trains, tubes or subways with heavy bags is not fun.

Researching where you're going will make it easier to pack the right clothing. And reading reviews on the activities you want to do will give you a good idea of how much time it will take you to get there and do the whole touristy thing before moving on to the next item. There’s a good chance you won’t end up doing everything you planned to do as there are a lot of uncalculated time constraints you simply cannot factor in from home. At least you’ll have a reason to go back.

 

Destination expectations

There is only so much the internet can help you prepare for being in a foreign country. Don’t hold expectations of your destination based on this alone. You’re likely to be disappointed. Research beyond tourist activities and try and understand the culture and language you are going to be exposed to, then you won’t be caught entirely off guard when the culture shock hits. 

 

first-time travellers