This is a collaborative post.
For an individual or couple, travelling outside of their home country for the first time can be one of the most enjoyable moments they can have. However, a positive experience can be ruined by a lack of planning or a lack of research. Choosing a tourist-friendly country can be a great way to ease yourself into the wider world.
Immersion in local culture can teach you new perspectives on life and how to cherish what you have at home. It is not advisable to just hope and pray and go on a whim for your first trip away, as even the most veteran of travellers rarely do. Take the following travel tips into consideration to help you plan a prosperous first trip.
#1 Check the requirements for entry
All too many people travel thousands of miles only to discover that their passport comes to an end too soon, preventing them from entering their desired country. This can be extended up to two years before your entry date, so make sure to research specific laws for each country.
Not only that but having a less than perfect record can also cause you some problems. DUI (driving under influence) for example, can cause you to be denied entry into certain countries. Europe in particular is strict with drink driving. If you have a criminal record, no matter how minor it may seem to you, it may be worth talking to or getting advice from an immigration attorney to make sure that it will not stop you from entering the country. It is a hassle that you do not particularly want, but getting to your location and having to turn around and come straight back is even more of one.
#2 Do not flash the cash
It does not matter where you go in the world, there will always be opportunists out there waiting to take advantage. Sometimes it is because of known criminal gangs knowing that travellers are less than subtle or careful at times. In other times, it could be done out of pure desperation – to feed families or addictions. Wherever you are, do not flash your cash about and your valuables. Keep your purse close to you, avoid wearing expensive jewellery and leave important documents in your hotel safe. Always be aware of your surroundings, too.
#3 Plan some activities
No one wants to get home from a trip and wish that they had planned better so that they could have seen more. Before you go, spend some time researching and booking any activities that you want to do, and draw up an itinerary. This means that you can plan out your time better to get as much in as possible. However, make sure that you do leave some space in your schedule for spontaneity and relaxation. Being always out and about will leave you tired and depleted when you return from your vacation. It is also necessary to set aside some time to adjust to a time change, especially if travelling abroad with a time difference of six hours or more from home – jet lag can be a nightmare!