Travel tips and tricks for first-timers? Look no further!
Traveling for the first time on a trip planned by yourself can be scary and challenging, specifically if you are doing all the planning.
The truth is you don’t learn how to book a ticket or plan a trip on our school years. Neither do you learn about the travel tips and tricks that will save you a lot of time, money, and hassle. Yet, here you are, preparing your next trip and wondering, what comes next?
Well, luckily, you just found your guide!
But before all the travel tips and tricks, a quick background story
It wasn’t any special day nor did I had a revelation about traveling.
I was tired, though. But that was common after my shifts. I was scrolling through my social media and I came upon one post from Mochileando. Since I live on an island, tickets for going anywhere are rather expensive.
However, this time the post announced the tickets to Italy at a special price.
I read the post twice, I looked at my mother and I said to her “Let’s go to Italy”. She laughed. In fact, anyone would have laughed. For many people in my country, traveling without a guide and without a lot of money in their bank account seems almost impossible.
It’s been a year and a month now. I made five trips already and I am planning the sixth one. I learn something new in every single trip. Nonetheless, with the experience I’ve acquired so far, I believe there are certain things that must be done in every single trip, regardless of the destination.
Therefore, I’ve summed these must-do’s in the following travel tips and tricks! Read them below!
Travel tip #1: Consider your companionship
Are you traveling alone or with someone else?
Do travel, with or without people. Not because you don’t have companionship, you must limit yourself from doing so. Nonetheless, the first and most important of all these travel tips and tricks is to take into account with whom you are traveling.
Why is this necessary? Because a solo trip differs greatly from a group trip. This variable affects the budget, the destination, and the attractions that you will visit.
For instance, when traveling alone you will have to cover your expenses by yourself. On the contrary, when you travel with a partner, you will share one of the most budget-consuming expenses: the hotel (or a hostel if you wish).
Also, if you are a solitary wanderer, there might be some countries where you’ll feel uncomfortable walking around alone. So, you will have to choose your destination keeping that in mind. Whereas, if you have company, you’ll be less timid to visit places that differ greatly from where you come from.
Lastly, when you travel with a partner, you must consult the different places of interest you would like to visit and agree on the itinerary. While one person might love museums and could spend the day going from one to another, the other might be more inclined to exterior activities.
Keep all of the group member’s tastes in mind when choosing your destination and attractions. That way, everyone will enjoy their time abroad.
Travel tip #2: Read, read, read
Countless people turn to a travel agency because they believe they don’t possess the tools to plan a trip. This is a mistaken belief. There are millions of sites on the internet that will help with everything from booking a flight to finding a place to stay.
Luckily, nowadays you can do most bookings on your smartphone.
I use applications like Google Flights, Momondo, Hotels.com, and Airbnb to book my flights and my hotels. To learn about popular places to visit I use sites like Tripadvisor, The Crazy Tourist, or the official tourism page of the country I’m visiting.
Some of these pages will try to sell you guided tours. It is your decision to take them or not.
On the other hand, it is vital to read about the culture of the country you are going to. There are certain things considered rude or illegal in some places.
For example, in many countries, you are required to leave the seats of public transportation to elders, kids, and pregnant women. If you don’t, you might get, minimum, penetrating, and serious stares.
Consequently, the most life saving and essential tip for anyone who is about to travel is to read; read everything about that country and learn as much information as you can. That will save you time, money, and trouble.
Travel tip #3: Plan ahead
This might sound obvious. Yet, some travelers do not plan an itinerary ahead of time.
I believe you should always make the most out of your in time in a different country (at least if you would like to set a foot outside the hotel).
To be able to do so, you should prepare an itinerary that includes the places you would like to visit each day. Study the map and look for the places that are close one to another and plan to visit them during the same day.
Now that you have read everything, you will know the opening hours of the attractions and the best way to get to them. If possible, walk as much as you can between spots, so you can save yourself some time and money.
When preparing an itinerary, I take into consideration not only the opening hours for each place but the hours I believe I will spend at the attraction.
Every person is different. For some, the Colosseum might take an hour to visit; for me, it took two. Most of the time, you can buy entrance tickets and transportation tickets ahead of time on the internet. Usually, to prepare my itineraries, I use Sygic Travel or Word.
Travel tip #4: Leave some room for mistakes and spontaneity
Although I like to plan my trip as best as I can, I’ve learned by now that the perfect vacation doesn’t exist.
Therefore, prepare yourself. Count on a budget in case you have to buy an extra entrance ticket or another night at the hotel.
While we were in Italy, my friend and I were supposed to part from Rome to Venice on the second day of our trip.
However, when we arrived at the terminal, we noticed we had bought the tickets for the wrong date. Yet, we had already booked our hotel in Venice and the rest of the itinerary would have been affected if we didn’t leave Rome that day.
As a consequence, we were forced to buy another train ticket. At first, I felt terrible. Nevertheless, I understood that on every trip, mistakes were unavoidable.
Moreover, when making your plans, you might want to keep a bit of flexibility in them. For example, during our trip to Costa Rica, we fully booked our first two days and left the rest of the days open to book the activities there.
Although we had a pretty good idea of what we wanted to do since we did our research, we were also open to some recommendations from the locals.
As a result of this decision, we had some unexpected adventures like running ATVs close to the Arenal volcano. You can read more about it here.
Travel tips and tricks…
Planning a trip can be overwhelming. Still, following these four tips and tricks will help you start your journey with the right foot. The internet is full of resources that will enlighten your path.
Taking into consideration our travel partners, the culture of the place to visit, and our interests will help us set the foundations for some memorable vacations.
I believe anyone can do this without the help of an agency. If you are doubting your capacity to buy that ticket and to plan that trip while sitting in your living room, let me tell you, you can do this! And if you need to ask for help, it is totally ok to do so too.
Just remember the most important thing while traveling: have fun!
Tell me, what’s your upcoming trip?