Thursday, 7 March 2013

5 Things An Amateur Traveller Should Know

Today, our topic will be all about you ~ you as a new traveller!

If you are thinking that it is time for you to involve yourself in the world of travelling and do not know how to start, then, you will be glad you are reading this blog.



Whether it is a week holiday on a cruise or a month backpacking in Europe, every time you travel, there are things you need to keep in mind.

You will be spending your hard earned money so you deserve a holiday full of enjoyment. As a first time traveller, there will always be incidents that you have no control over. You can avoid some, if not all, to help ensure your journey is a good one.


You can be assured of a smooth travel if you follow these pointers which I have learned in my years of travelling. 


  • Be Prepared

This is a motto that will remind you when you were a kid. In everything you do, before, during and after your trip, be prepared.

You need to do some research first on where and when you want to go. You must have thought the 'why' beforehand.

Where to go must be your dream come true. A place you've been thinking all your life - maybe a country full of history or a city with the modern civilization. Wherever you want to go, it's your call. You must have good reasons why you chose the place to visit.

It is best to travel during the low season.  It could be too much for you in high season. It is overwhelming for a first time traveller like you. If you prefer to travel during the high season, booking your accommodation in advance is a must.  You will not find yourself spending the night on the train station with your luggages if you do your homework.

As to why you want to go, it is probably only you yourself knows the reason. One thing for sure, you want your first journey to be the most memorable.  So be it and make the most of your chances to be on the go.



  • Go With Your Best Travel Companion

It is always great to travel with one of your best friends.

Not all good friends make good travel partners though. It is your first time so there is no room for mistake.

Pick someone of your age. Someone you can share the same travel interests.  It will be easier to decide if you and your travel companion have something in common. It will be better if you make some ground rules before your departure. Talk about your goals and expectations for your journey. It will be more exciting if both of you are travelling for the first time.  



  • Be Flexible and be Ready to Take the Challenge

Challenge yourselves! It is the joy of having a travel companion who have similar interests as you do.

While it is a very good idea to spend some time to prepare a travel plan, it will be best if you and your companion are flexible with your schedule.  Do not treat your travel plan as Master. Your plan shouldn't be so rigid that you cannot allow some crazy twists.  If you do not have enough time to see the Great Pyramids, Niagara Falls or Eiffel Tower for that day, don't push yourselves too hard.  You can go the next day.

The two of you should also leave time  for coffee breaks or glasses of wine. Sit some time to watch people.



  • You Cannot Be Too Trusting

Don't get me wrong!

One of your goals in travelling is to connect with the local people or even your fellow tourists. While it is not always true in most cases that locals who are very eager to befriend you have bad intentions, it is always a good idea to be cautious especially in touristy areas. Don't end up paying $200 for two cups of coffee or pay a high price for four bottles of beer.

It is not advisable to go for a drink with a stranger. Tourists disappear. Never get drunk unless your companion is capable of taking care of you. If not, take a cab to your hotel especially late at night.  It is the safest thing to do.



  • Get Lost

Plan to get lost.

It may happen to you and your companion any time during your trip. Again, leave some time in your itinerary and daily schedule to wander and wonder. Take a walk and get lost in a narrow street or going to the west instead of heading to the east. Leave time to explore as you may end up finding a hidden treasure. This can be the highlight of your trip. You will be amazed to find new good friends while trying to find your way.

Pre-planning coupled with the little use of your common sense, your trip can be a great one. Don't think that travelling is easy. Each day is a challenge for any traveller especially if it is your first time in unfamiliar place. Take those challenges and learn a lesson. Turn them into positive experiences, and have some great travel stories to share when you get home.

Last but not the least, learn some words and try to speak some local phrases that you can use in the market or on the street. People will be glad to hear foreigners trying to speak their local dialect.

I have earned and learned travelling the hard way. You don't have to. You may use some of my travel tips I prepared especially for you. Use it as part of your guide.

If you find this post useful, leave your comments.  Share it with your friends - it will take only few minutes but will make a big difference.



From the desk of: 
Freddie Miranda
A blogger and a Canada-based freelance writer. He shares the value of his travel experiences and discoveries with his friends and fellow travellers. Share your passion, join and visit him. Send a message @ fromatravellersdesk(at)gmail(dot)com.