Travelling is meant to be a way to escape your everyday life, get away from worries and stress, and slow down your pace as you discover incredible locations around the world. For first-time travellers, however, the experience isn’t always one they look forward too. Planning a trip can seem overwhelming. It can also feel as though it’s not possible from a budget standpoint. And then there is the topic of flying, which is a source of anxiety and stress for many.
If these worries and apprehension are things that cross your mind and have prevented you from travelling in the past, it may be time to face those fears head-on. With proper research and planning, there is no reason that your first trip has to be anything but amazing. Here’s a guide meant for first-time travellers that provides you with tips and tricks that will take the stress and worry out of travelling.
Give Yourself Time to Plan
While you can certainly get a great deal on last-minute travel bookings, for first-time travellers, this may not be the best route to go. These last minute plans can prove to be a bit too hurried, and you may even make some rookie traveller mistakes simply because you didn’t have a chance to think through your itinerary.
Instead, for your first trip, it’s a good idea to give yourself lots of time to do research and plan out your trip. This means taking time to research various destinations, attractions, sights, activities, tours, etc.
Use a Travel Agent
Because this is your first time travelling, you have no prior experience to fall back on. For this reason, it’s a good idea to book through a travel agent. Not only will they take care of all the specifics in terms of booking, they can also offer you all kinds of helpful advice and insight. The travel agent may have visited the destination you are interested in, so they can give you first-hand tips on where to stay, where to eat, the top attractions to visit, information on the local currency, where to shop, etc.
Travel agents are able to book your transportation (flight, rail, cruise, and/or a car rental), your accommodations, and all kinds of tours and excursions.
Another way a travel agent can be helpful is by discussing travel insurance with you. They can let you know what it covers and the cost. If you decide to purchase the coverage, the agent can also look after those details for you.
Do Your Best Not to Over-Pack
Over-packing is something that first-time and seasoned travellers can fall victim to. You tell yourself that you will need this and that, and then you never touch half the items in your suitcase. Rather than being stuck lugging around an over-sized and heavy bag, try your best to use a minimalist attitude when packing. Making a packing list can help you to ensure only the necessities make it into the bag.
Arrive for Your Flight Nice and Early
One way to induce instant panic in you and your travel companions is to arrive at the airport late and therefore be in fear of missing your flight. First-time travellers can help ease the fear of travelling and flying by arriving nice and early for their flight. You may even want to consider staying in an airport hotel the night before so you know you’ll make it on time.
When planning what time you need to leave your house in order to make it to the airport on time, you need to think about traffic as well as parking. Parking isn’t always going to be easy to find, especially during peak travel periods. An excellent solution is to book an airport parking spot in advance.
Places such as Birmingham Airport offer a handy service by the name of BirminghamParking.com, which allows you to pre-book Birmingham Airport parking. You will have the peace of mind of knowing that when you arrive there will be an available spot for your vehicle. The company also offers a Meet and Greet service, Park and Ride advance rates, valet parking, and there are even hotel park and fly deals that you can take advantage of. To top it off the company features a “Best Price Guarantee” which means you know you will be guaranteed the very best price out there.
Make Sure You Know Where You are Going at the Airport
Rather than wandering around the airport looking and feeling lost, which allows the stress and anxiety to build, be sure you are prepared and know where you need to go once you arrive. This means being aware of the terminal you are departing from and the airline you are flying with. Of course, once in the airport, there are always plenty of staff available that can answer any questions you may have.
Try to Use the Flight as a Chance to Relax
Yes, it can be quite scary to step onto a plane for the very first time, but rather than focus on the fact you are in the air flying, why not use the opportunity to relax. Chances are you will be on the go once you land at your destination, so the flight is perfect for a little light reading, chatting with your travel mates, going over your itinerary, or even enjoying a nap.
Don’t Worry About Following a Strict Itinerary
This tip goes back to the planning process. While it helps to create an itinerary of things you want to do and see while on holidays, it’s also important you don’t over-book yourself and create a situation where you feel rushed at all times. Instead, let things happen in the moment and build enough free time into the itinerary. Things are bound to catch your eye while at the destination, so you need the time to be able to explore.
It Will Be Different from Home
Again this sounds like a simple tip, but often first-time travellers make the mistake of going to a destination and having the same expectations they have at home. It’s not home, so it won’t be the same. Go in with an open mind and expect things to be different; that way you won’t feel disappointed or out-of-sorts.
Familiarise Yourself with the Basics of the Language
If you are travelling to a country that speaks a different language, it’s also a good idea to familiarise yourself with a few basic words and phrases. This can prove to be invaluable during your tours. You can also take a language-guidebook or even download a translator app on your mobile device if you are taking one.
Be Aware of Local Tipping Customs
The final tip is to be aware of how the local tipping customs work in the destination. You want to be sure you are leaving the appropriate amount for great service.
A Memorable and Stress-Free First-Time Experience
By following these tips you will be well on your way to having a memorable and stress-free first-time travelling experience. Sure there will still be little things that pop up, but you will be much better equipped to handle them and not allow those issues to get you too ruffled.