Traveling can certainly feel like a daunting experience for first-timer travelers, especially if you’ve never ventured outside of your home country.
It takes a lot of experience on the road to learn all the ins-and-outs of traveling. Luckily, we’ve compiled some amazing tips on the do’s and don’ts of traveling to ensure your journey is an enjoyable one. Here are the top ten things you should avoid when traveling for the first time!
1. Avoid booking your trip too early.
This one is very important. Booking too early might cause you to miss out on great last-minute travel deals. While it is a good idea to book 3-4 months in advance for flights, it’s always a good idea to wait until the last moment to book cruises or tours. You’d be amazed to see how many special deals there are for regular-priced seats at just a fraction of the original asking price.
2. Always visit local tourist offices for information.
Remember, local tourist boards and information agencies get paid to help you! These are offices are valuable resources that you should use next time you plan a trip or currently traveling on the road. Visiting a tourist office will provide you with useful information on current events, gossip, and latest new trends happening in town. Don’t waste your time and money trying to figure it out on your own, let someone else help you!
3. Don’t fall into tourist traps.
Be careful where you eat and shop at, as restaurants and stores located near popular tourist attractions are usually always priced higher than at a less tourist-centric part of town. Take advantage of online resources and apps to help find the places where locals eat or shop at, which will almost always be lower-price and, not to mention, higher quality.
4. Don’t use U.S.-based search engines to find places abroad.
Online search engines, such as Kayak and Expedia, have their blind spots when searching for bookings and places to stay outside of the United States. Instead try Google Flights and Skyscanner to search for the best bookings available if you are planning on traveling abroad.
5. Avoid paying exchange rates.
Exchanging money at the airport is expensive! Never exchange your cash unless you absolutely MUST! Instead, stick to ATMs and credit cards, which often feature favorable rates for travelers. Be sure to check your rates with your bank or credit card company before you go traveling.
6. Say No to traveler checks!
Let’s be honest, nobody uses it anymore and for good reason. Traveler checks are issued by banks to be used anywhere in the world. However, that was before the advent of credit cards. Don’t risk your money being lost or stolen when you are in a foreign country; use plastic or cash whenever possible.
7. Buy travel insurance.
Travel insurance is a must, even if you think you won’t need it. Traveling is too much of a risk to forgo a fail-safe. If a serious injury were to befall you, such as a broken leg or losing a valuable item, most travel insurance policies will cover that, thus saving you thousands in out-of-pocket costs and, of course, peace of mind.
8. Check social media when looking for accommodation options.
Networks like CouchSurfing, BeWelcome, and Servas allow travelers to stay at a local’s home for free! All that is expected is that you swap stories and participate in cross-cultural exchanges. That’s the best kind of currency! You can make a lot of new friends and contacts this way.
9. Don’t rule out staying at a hostel.
Hostels aren’t like they were in the 1970s. Most hostels nowadays are better and much more comfortable than motels and many hotels! Hostels offer a low-cost alternative for travelers looking to save money on the road while providing an opportunity to meet amazing people, exchanging travel stories, tips and building long-lasting friendships, for sure! Today, hostels are clean and offer amenities like pool tables, entertainment centers, computers, laundry, and free Wi-Fi.
10. Don’t leave home without your Thomson Holiday Vouchers for Travel Discounts.
Thompson Travel is one of the UK’s most popular holidays planning websites. They offer coupons and discounts for booking flights and hotels, which is an excellent resource for globetrotting travelers, or for travelers who are just looking to take a small holiday to somewhere exotic.
Article written by JOEL CORTEZ.