fear not first time travellers

Fear not first time travellers

Hours spent scrolling through Instagram seeing incredible places has meant that so many of us have caught the wanderlust bug. This is made worse by travel blogs such as ‘World of Wanderlust’ that tell us stories of adventures to faraway places and capture our imagination. This wanderlust then leads us to a moment where we’re sat staring at a screen having just booked a flight to somewhere, thinking ‘what do I do now?’. Then comes the scary part: having to actually prepare for a trip.

Having travelled solo around Tuscany last September, I learned a lot about what it is like to travel solo and I know how daunting it can be to be faced with the task of organising a trip. So, whether you are a first-time traveller, solo traveller or a seasoned traveller just looking for some extra tips, here is some travel advice I have picked up along the way for your next adventure, accumulated from travel blogs and from my own personal experiences.

The most important thing is to only take a few electronics and keep your phone safe, as anything else can make you a target. Hotel safes are really useful for keeping some of your money and passport.

Although it is a good idea to make an itinerary so your trip feels structured, remember to keep your itinerary flexible so that you don’t feel stressed when things don’t happen exactly as planned

We all get lost sometimes, it’s inevitable, but be careful staring down at directions on your phone or a map. Some advice I was given before I went to Barcelona two years ago was to be careful not to walk around staring at a map as this makes you stand out as a tourist and could warrant unwanted attention.

Try not to stand out, wear clothes that blend in and don’t let people distract you, especially at tourist hotspots where you are vulnerable to pickpocketing.

‘World of Wanderlust’ recommends looking on Pinterest for a destination. In fact, Pinterest is the perfect place to make a mood board with pictures of all pretty places which will not only help you get excited, but also calm your nerves before your trip. I have my own collection of saved photos on Instagram for the places I want to go.

Also, although it is a good idea to make an itinerary so your trip feels structured, remember to keep your itinerary flexible so that you don’t feel stressed when things don’t happen exactly as planned. Travel is unpredictable and sometimes the best things happen unexpectedly. Whilst in Tuscany, I visited Montecatini Terme and stumbled upon the old town, Montecatini Alto, which had some of the most amazing views of Tuscany.

Travel is the most rewarding, life changing thing you will ever do

Your jam-packed itinerary also means that comfortable shoes are a must. This is especially important if you are going on a packed city break where you will be walking a lot in between sights.

Travelling is an exciting experience, but there will be times of boredom and tiredness. So, why not take a book with you? Whether this is to read on the flight, on the beach, or on a train, travelling is the perfect time to relax and read some of the books that have been on your wish list for the whole of last term.

Some flight tips for nervous flyers include sucking a sweet to stop your ears popping as you go up into the air and as you land. Also, remember not to panic if there are turbulence.

If you have some time on the flight, then why not learn a few local phrases on the way? This will help you interact with your surroundings and even help you to try the local food in order to make the most of your time there.

Last but not least, trust your gut instinct. You know if something doesn’t feel right and your safety should come above everything else. If it means paying a bit extra, get an Uber rather than walking down a street you don’t feel comfortable to.

Remember to HAVE FUN! Travel is the most rewarding, life changing thing you will ever do. Whether you are a first-time traveller, lone traveller or simply want to make your travelling experience a bit better, just enjoy the time you spend immersed in other cultures, seeing the most amazing things the world has to offer, because travel makes us better people.

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