10 Travel Tips for the First Time Traveler

I was terrified the first time I went out into the world. I had no idea what to expect out of travel, and I did not want to seem like a stupid tourist…

But what was I supposed to do? I had a lot of anxiety about my first trip. Stepping out of my comfort zone seemed more like a giant leap! Unfortunately, I didn’t know any seasoned travelers to warn me about the trials and tribulations or pump me up about the positives.

I didn’t let the travel anxiety get to me, though. In fact, I went out there and, in some situations, learned the hard way. I am so glad that I did because travel is such a huge part of my life now.

It was intimidating and scary to step stretch my abilities, and I even made some mistakes along the way, but I learned more about myself and the world around me than I ever would have by staying at home.

I’m sharing what I learned from my first traveling experiences, that way you can get out there and feel confident too!  


Research Your Travel

This is the most important thing to remember. It’s also the most time-consuming aspect of travel. You want to understand everything you can about where you’re going.

Whether you’re traveling internationally or domestically, you need to know how you’re getting there, what you’re doing there, how you will get around, places to avoid, and where you’re staying.

I don’t mean googling “fun things to do in X location”. I mean finding information from others who have been there. Reading about real life experiences from real people will give you the best idea of what you’re getting into.

As a first time traveler, you will want to know things to watch out for, especially when traveling internationally. Plus, you want to find the coolest things to do in that area, and you won’t always find them on the tourist website.

Check out this free travel budget planner!

Tips for first time travelers

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Locals

This one scared the crap out of me at first. I didn’t want to look silly or incompetent, but I soon learned that if you’re kind and respectful, locals will totally help you out.

Most people are proud of their home and they’re happy that others are getting to enjoy it. The trick is to be really nice. Locals always know the bests spots to check out, anyway!

If you’re traveling internationally, you should learn enough of the language to indicate that you do not know their language along with basic greetings.

You should really learn more than that, but you are much more likely to get help if you approach someone speaking their language.

Tips for first time travelers

Bring Extra Batteries & Water

Always keep extra batteries or a battery pack to keep your phone charged. Your phone is your lifeline, especially as a first-time traveler, and you don’t want it to go dead.

You want to bring extra water in case of emergency. Trust me, if your taxi never comes and you find yourself walking 5 miles back in the blistering sun, you will thank me.

Get Travel Insurance

This is a big one. You don’t want to leave the safety of home as a newbie traveler without knowing that you’re covered.

Travel insurance will cover the cost of travel if you have to cancel last minute or you transportation gets canceled.

It provides medical coverage if you get sick or injured.

Travel insurance can provide baggage coverage if your things are lost, damaged, or stole.

It will even cover an emergency evacuation situation!

Travel insurance will give you peace of mind, and hopefully, you will never have to use it. If something does happen, then you will be happy you made the investment.

We use RoamRite travel insurance to make sure we are covered!

Keep Money and Valuables in Different Places

Okay, so I learned this one the hard way. Once I was in Vegas for work, and someone stole my wallet out of my purse.

I had everything in that wallet… I had my drivers license, bank cards, credit cards, social security card, and close to $500 in company money.

It was all gone. I had no way to even prove that I was who I said I was. Getting on the plane back home was an absolute nightmare. Not to mention the fact that I had to cancel everything and go through the process of getting it all back.

Have you ever tried to get your license without a social security card? Have you ever tried to get your social security card without your license? Yeah, you don’t want to.

It was so stressful and it could have been avoided if I had kept a bank card/cash and my social on my person. Don’t ever put everything valuable to you in one place, especially if you’re traveling!

Tips for first time travelers

Be Respectful of Local Customs

This should go without saying, but I’m going to say it anyway. This is where your research comes into play. Make sure you know and understand the local customs if you’re going overseas.

You want to have a good time, meet new people, and experience a culture different than your own. Don’t ruin it by accidentally offending someone without meaning to.

Be Respectful of Everywhere You Travel

I think that this should also go without saying, but respect the land you’re visiting. There is a lot that comes with that territory. You always want to leave an area cleaner than what it was before.

You are representing your home country or state when you travel, so make sure to leave a good impression.

Tips for first time travelers

Be Open-Minded

You can daydream about travel and make-up exactly how you think it will go all day long, but I promise, it will never go the way you think.

That doesn’t have to be a bad thing, though. When you keep an open mind, you are much more likely to enjoy yourself. Embrace the discomfort and throw yourself into the experience of stretching your limits!

Travel can teach you so much when you approach it with an open mind. That’s a huge part of the journey.

Now that you’re armed with the best beginner travel tips, you better be booking those reservations, because the world will not wait for you!

Go out there and see what all the fuss is about. You won’t regret it!

What lessons did you learn on your first adventure? Leave it in the comments below!

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Comments

  • Kendra

    7 months agoReply

    Great tips! Thank you!

    • Tasha

      7 months agoReply

      You’re so welcome! Thank you!

  • Smita

    4 months agoReply

    Brilliant tips Tasha – it’s always great to get advice based on firsthand experience!

    • Tasha

      4 months agoReply

      Thank you!

  • Josy A

    4 months agoReply

    Great tips. I always feel more confident if I have some idea about where I am going/what i’ll do when I arrive…but I also like to get lost and explore, so I guess you need a bit of both. I totally agree about language though. It makes SUCH a difference if you can communicate, even a little!

    p.s. Eep you poor thing! Losing your wallet with everything must have been a nightmare (especially as the douche who stole it probably dumped it all after taking the cash!!) Urgh.

    • Tasha

      4 months agoReply

      Thank you!
      Yes, getting on a plane with no form of ID was a nightmare. Plus, that was a brand new Calvin Klien wallet, so I hope it was worth it haha!

  • Patricia - SavvyExploring

    4 months agoReply

    I’m glad respect made your list not just once, but twice. I feel like this is so often the key to being welcome and treated well no matter where you go.

  • Ann

    4 months agoReply

    Great tips! I agree with asking locals for tips. I do this all the time.

  • April Key C. Rode

    4 months agoReply

    This article is an excellent post for first-time travelers! I like how you mentioned here that we must respect the locals with their custom and traditions. A must for travelers and that’s why I made sure to travel with my kids to other culture, so they know how to be open-minded with others.

  • Jane Dempster-Smith

    4 months agoReply

    Excellent tips for the first time traveller. I always stress that if you cannot afford travel insurance you cannot afford to travel. It is one of the most important things. Respecting local customs and traditions is also so important.

  • Bhushavali N

    4 months agoReply

    Those are some great tips. Very true about keeping the valuables and documents separately. When I lost my passport, I was more than glad that my purse was safe with me!
    Travel insurance is indeed necessary. No one realizes its need until, its the situation turns ugly!!!

  • WanderlustBeautyDreams

    4 months agoReply

    Such a great post for beginner travelers, agree with everything here!

  • Mirela | The Travel Bunny

    4 months agoReply

    Pretty sensible tips that everyone should take into account while traveling, not just those going away from home for the first time 😉

  • The Holidaymaker

    4 months agoReply

    What a great post for first time travellers. With every new adventure you definitely become more and more comfortable.
    We always relay on locals to let you know those hidden gems, We always try and learn the basics of the language and culture so hat you are assimilating yourself as much as possible. All great tips!

    • Cat Lin

      4 months agoReply

      Being respectful is must indeed not just in travelling but in life in general. Being repectful will save you from a lot of trouble. Your post is definitely help for firt time travelers and a good reminder to seasoned ones.

      • Tasha

        4 months agoReply

        Thank you!

  • Vijayanta

    4 months agoReply

    Great tips. I should also start keeping money at different places from now on.

    • Tasha

      4 months agoReply

      Yes! I wish I had known that sooner!

  • Adele Gee

    4 months agoReply

    Amen to all the great tips you have mentioned. Right up there on my list too is travel insurance as well as respecting the local custom and culture. Agree wholeheartedly that the world will not wait for you, we have to go out and do that exploring now.

    • Tasha

      4 months agoReply

      I absolutely agree! There won’t always be a “later”.

  • Lisa

    4 months agoReply

    Your CommentThese are some great tips for first-time travellers. Speaking with locals is a good one, as they always have the best tips! Being open minded while traveling is so important too. This is a useful list!

    • Tasha

      4 months agoReply

      We have found some of the coolest spots by talking to locals!

  • Paul Healy

    4 months agoReply

    Lots of good advice here. I think it’s very important to stay open-minded when you’re travelling as you never know what is going to pop up. It also helps you feel more and more comfortable and really enjoy the new culture.

    • Tasha

      4 months agoReply

      I agree! The more you travel, the more well rounded you become!

  • Yukti

    4 months agoReply

    Great tips on how to be a responsible travelers. Speaking to locals is what I too like and want to advice all others as this thing makes us more adjustable to a place. Respecting local customs and all around us is also another important thing to follow. I too carry loads of batteries and distribute cash in different places in my luggage.

    • Tasha

      4 months agoReply

      Those are both great things to remember!

  • Nitin Singhal

    3 months agoReply

    These were the exact emotions I was feeling before my first solo trip. I was both excited and anxious. I found that doing a thorough research helps the most in calming the nerves. That way you minimizes the danger of facing unexpected danger on the road.

    • Tasha

      3 months agoReply

      Very true!

  • Catherine

    3 months agoReply

    Thanks for sharing these tips. I think they are all so important. I agree that you should do as much research as possible – there is an abundance of info online and the more research I do, the more confident I feel.

    • Tasha

      3 months agoReply

      Yes! I totally agree!

  • Rudy

    3 months agoReply

    We always ask locals for the restaurants with local food that they recommend.

    • Tasha

      3 months agoReply

      I love doing this!

  • Ann

    3 months agoReply

    These are great tips. I really agree with having money in more than one place! So important. Sorry you lost your wallet.

    • Tasha

      3 months agoReply

      No worries! Thanks!

  • Addy Anne Camot

    3 months agoReply

    informative tips! thank you for sharing <3

    • Tasha

      3 months agoReply

      Anytime!

  • I'm Jess Traveling

    3 months agoReply

    I love all the tips. I would also add ‘Be Flexible’. When you travel things go wrong and they are out of your control. Be flexible and remember its the journey not the destination!

    • Tasha

      3 months agoReply

      This is so true!

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