For a year, I lived through a lens traveling from one destination to another, exploring different cuisines. It’s fantastic. Back home, I speak to a lot of people who have never travelled and have a lot of questions about the basics. These are some of my suggestions for making your first foreign trip go as smoothly as possible.
· Begin with somewhere more accessible than others.
Some destinations are more central than others. If this is your first trip out of the country, one of the easier destinations, such as 2 weeks to London or Kenya, may be worth considering. Look for a country that is English dominant just to avoid language barrier.
· Take care of your phone.
Few things are more liberating than having an unlocked phone. Try to find out what local networks are available in your choice of country, look for steps on how to acquire a sim card on arrival. You could also go the roaming route but I bet that would be more expensive.
· The proper luggage
Purchase a bag that is smaller than you thought you’ll like. Personally, I like to fly with a good backpack or cabin box. The hybrid backpack/rolly-bags are popular with some people, but I find them bulky. Standard rolly bags aren’t worth it; they’re more hassle than they’re worth. Big suitcases should be avoided unless necessary, this can bring unwanted attraction towards you (unless you’re going skiing or something similar and require a lot of bulky equipment). Always travel light and this would be the hardest aspect of traveling. Over packing is one of the most difficult habits to break. There’s always something saying, But I might need this!
· Back up your phone & download apps
In an event where your phone is stolen or spoilt, you don’t have to worry about the thousands of pictures you’ve lost. By FAR, Google Translate is the best tool for any traveller (download languages when on Wi-Fi, and it will function even if you don’t have a data connection). Google Maps comes in second (download an area on Wi-Fi, and it too will work without a data connection).
· Don’t be scared of staying in a hostel or Airbnb
Hostels aren’t something that most people think about. There’s a misconception that they’re filthy, rowdy, and risky. I suppose some are, but the majority of the ones I’ve stayed at during my 1year travel have been better than most hotels. I guess it just depends on individuality and budgets.
Lastly, make sure you relax on your trip. The majority of people are decent. If you need assistance, they will have it. You can buy something there if you miss something. In ways you can’t imagine, the universe is both different and the same. Get out there and take a look.