Five Things Every First-Time Traveler Should Know
“We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” -T.S. Eliot
Traveling is one of the greatest excursions you can do in your life. It is an excellent opportunity for seeing new places, meeting new people, experiencing an entirely different culture, tasting the foreign food and immersing yourself in a totally new place. Unfortunately, travel excursions can be daunting as well—most particularly if this is your first time or are alone. After all, with great adventure comes great peril as well. However, there is no need to expect the worst to happen to you. If you are setting out on a journey to a new place anytime soon, here are some things you should be aware of:
1.) You are rather easy to spot
Regardless of how thoroughly you have researched a particular country’s locals and their languages, you are still inevitably going to stand out. Apart from the obvious difference of your skin color to theirs, they also have mannerisms and practices which you may not possess and makes it easy to tell you apart. Although this is not necessarily a bad thing, it can make you an easy target. So, be careful and extra vigilant.
2.) There is no absolute need to spend a lot in accommodations
One rookie mistake most travelers make is to rely on hotels for accommodations exclusively. There is a myriad of alternatives available—especially if you are traveling on a budget. Airbnb offers travelers the option of staying in a local’s house as a guest for a fee, put up hotel rooms for a lower price or even rent out an unoccupied condo unit. So, suppose you are traveling to Manila anytime soon, instead of opting to stay in an exorbitantly priced hotel, go for the cheaper alternative and look for listings in Airbnb under condo unit for rent in Makati or the like.
3.) You may get homesick
Getting homesick is normal—especially if you are traveling alone and are not well-versed with the foreign country’s language. It can be quite depressing, but this should not weight you down. Instead, walk around in the general vicinity, interact with locals and make some friends. Similarly, you can also ask them where most tourists converge. You might be fortunate enough to find someone willing to merge his or her travel plans with you.
4.) Go for you
More often than not, if you are traveling with friends or are traveling in a large group, you would be constrained to doing things and going to places you do not necessarily want to. When this happens, do not be afraid to decline and tell them you would rather visit another place—even if it means you have to go by yourself. Remember, you do not have to go everywhere they go, you always have the freedom to choose what you want to do, just make sure to meet up after.
5.) Mistakes can happen
Missing your flight, losing some valuables and money—these are just some of the things that can go wrong during your trip. However, this should not needlessly cause you to worry, or you will only be causing yourself undue stress. Instead, look at these experiences as lessons and let them teach you well. Perhaps you would be more vigilant next time, or you will be a lot more alert or more punctual. But in any case, do not fret over it as you will only be ruining what would be a good time for you. Besides, mistakes can often make for the best travel anecdotes which you can soon share with your family and friends when you get back.
So, if this is your first time to head off and see the world, remember the little things stated above, and you should be able to enjoy your trip thoroughly.