When it’s your first time, travelling can be an exciting yet daunting process. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be – here are 6 mistakes commonly made when on your first trip, and how to avoid them.
Running out of money
Perhaps the most common mistake new travellers make is money-related – be prepared to pay out for nearly everything during your trip. Whether it be food, accommodation or travel, you’re going to need more than you may expect.
Consider a daily budget so that your future expenses are clearly laid out for you. Allocate yourself certain amounts for each factor of your travels so you’re not left out of pocket prematurely.
Another idea to consider is a prepaid travel card, which will allow you to lock in a good exchange rate and load the exact amount of money you want to spend upon it. It works just like a credit or debit card, so it’s no hassle at all.
No matter how long you’re going away for, you won’t need to pack as much as you may think. This is especially true if you’re planning on a long-term trip – carrying around too much gets particularly tiring after a while.
Bring a big backpack and pack strategically – load the bottom of it with your pillow and sleeping bag, with everything else on top. And don’t feel you need to bring every single gadget you own – your phone and your camera is probably all you’re going to need.
Losing your luggage
And in terms of protecting your belongings, you’ll need to stay very vigilant and careful. Don’t flaunt your valuables wherever you are – being a tourist you’ll already stand out to opportunists, so don’t give them anything to work with.
When it comes to stolen or lost luggage, claims can potentially become quite difficult to figure out. TINZ details some of the many circumstances in which you can misplace your belongings whilst travelling – as you can see, the lines blur in terms of whether you’d have a valid claim or not, rather frequently.
In any case, you simply want to stay vigilant, sensible and careful. Don’t leave your belongings lying around in plain view as, if they go missing, you likely won’t be able to claim for them.
Wherever you are, don’t think you’ll be able to explore by yourself. Too often do travellers end up lost and in dangerous circumstances after attempting to explore the most untamed, wild surrounding areas – Chris McCandless is perhaps the most famous example, a blockbuster film made from his tragic story, yet people still attempt to trace his steps year after year.
If you do want to explore an area you’re not too sure on, do it with a tour guide. They’ll be able to assist you and help you through areas you likely wouldn’t be able to conquer alone.
Doing something you shouldn’t – and paying for it
Another thing many travellers fall victim to is accidents after trying something they shouldn’t. Whether it be a spot of unregulated rafting, hiking a dangerous trail or attempting the potentially lethal traffic in certain countries, a subsequent trip to the hospital could cost in the region of thousands.
So long as you’ve got insurance you’ll be able to avoid the otherwise necessary extortionate costs of healthcare whilst abroad. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be careful – if you’re taking part in an activity, ensure it’s safe and regulated in order to avoid any nasty accidents.
Trying to do too much
Last but not least, don’t feel the need to overwork yourself whilst travelling. You’re going to want to leave yourself time to explore at your very own pace, so even if you have an itinerary you’ll want to keep it loose and unrestrained. Following a strict itinerary may leave you missing out on the opportunity to discover locations you weren’t even planning on visiting, so give yourself some space.
Do you have your very own advice for travelling newbies? Leave your tips in the comments below.