Most people like to travel. But a lot of people aren’t able to actually get out. Sometimes you’re just too busy. Other times it is just hard to find the money. And in some cases people are actually a little bit afraid to leave home.
No matter which category you fall into, it’s time to try to make it happen. As soon as you can, figure out a way to get out and about for a real vacation. Whether it’s a long weekend a few hundred miles away or a two-week trip to New Zealand, you can really get so much out of traveling for the first time. It will be worth whatever sacrifices you have to make.
Still, there are some things to know before you actually go that will make it all go better. The following three essential travel tips for rookie vacationers will definitely help make sure the trip is worth your while.
1. Embrace the Location
Most of us are comfortable in our own little world. We’re used to things the way they are. This makes us a bit nervous about being in new situations and worry that we won’t be able to adapt. But you should try to let go of all your little comforts as much as possible when you’re away.
Try the local food even if it seems strange. Check out the local culture and learn some history even if art and museums aren’t usually your thing. Whatever it is people do where you go, try to do that.
You may feel out of your element and a bit nervous while it’s happening. But don’t worry. You will go back home soon enough. For now, you’re here. Embrace it. There’s nothing worse than spending all this money and time going to Mexico or Paris only to sit around eating cheeseburgers and watching your home town sport team from your computer in a hotel.
2. Don’t Over Pack
Most people will warn you about planning properly for any vacation. That’s definitely good advice. You need to be prepared. But the more common mistake most first-timers make is actually bringing too much.
They see a long flight and carry all sorts of electronics and books to kill time. They see conflicting weather reports and bring heavy coats, shorts, rain jackets, wool socks, and sandals. They want to be ready for every possible situation — and end up taking their whole house.
Don’t do that. Instead, try to only take the stuff you will definitely need. Everything is much easier when you’re moving light. Besides, you can probably make do if you overlook one thing and there will probably be stores wherever you go.
3. Stay Safe
While you want to be adventurous and try new things, you also don’t want to get hurt. This applies as much to your physical body as your bank account. Just be careful and take some necessary precautions and you should be fine.
Don’t carry valuables into strange areas at night. Ask locals about areas that may be unsafe. And make sure you use common-sense tools like auto insurance if you will be renting cars and driving on vacation. Yes, you can get some forms of protection from rental companies. But having your own familiar coverage from a top-tier provider is always the best move.
Going from Travel Rookie to Travel Pro
There’s only one more thing you need to remember: Ultimately, it doesn’t really matter what you do. Maybe the weather isn’t perfect. Maybe you could have picked a better location. Maybe you make a few “rookie” mistakes. Maybe you spent a little more than you should have on the trip.
But at the end of the day, you’re here for the experience. And you just had one. There are many more to come — and now you’ve had a taste of just how invigorating it all can be. Embrace the locations you’re in, don’t bring too many things you won’t need, and stay as safe as you can.
As long as you don’t break a leg, really, every trip is a good trip. Some are better than others. But you will learn and grow so much just by leaving your comfort zone. Congratulations on you first trip.
Now, the only thing to do is start planning the next one.