Tips for First-Time Travelers

Posted October 17, 2012 by Kenza Moller in Budget Travel
First time traveler

Flickr image by jeybergesen

Stepping onto a plane for your first trip abroad is likely to fill you with a mix of excitement and – let’s be honest – terror, especially if you’re traveling solo. So you’ve read the guidebooks and done the research, but still don’t feel prepared? Here are a few tips to keep in mind as the plane takes off…

Be flexible.

While having a hyper-planned travel itinerary may help you squeeze in all of the sights, you’ll want to give yourself time to head off on unplanned adventures and check out local nooks. Don’t “activity” yourself into exhaustion and stress, either – you’ll appreciate it if you give yourself time to unwind and recharge so that you’re actually able to enjoy your trip.

Get the insider’s view.

Broaden your horizons. Traveling is a great way to expand your views: many people think they are “going back to the normal world” once they finish traveling, but for many people, this is the normal world. Take in a culture completely and adjust your point of view while abroad. Eat local food, stay at local accommodations, and do your best to learn the language. Be friendly and open – you will meet some amazing people and gain once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

It’s all in your head.

Your attitude will determine your trip. Maya Angelou said it best: “I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.” While you may not be decorating Christmas trees while traveling, something will always go wrong during a trip, and it helps to think of these mishaps as great stories for later instead of as stressors for right now. Consider traveling the ideal time to say “yes” to spontaneous opportunities, and step outside of your comfort zone. Choose to smile, roll with the punches, and be open to opportunities that pop up.

Finally, remember that you’re traveling to have FUN – so get out there and do it!

What is your favorite traveling advice? Any tips or tricks to share?


About the Author

Kenza Moller

Kenza Moller is our magazine editor and also our expert on budget travel. She is originally from the Dominican Republic and currently wrapping up a writing degree in Victoria, BC. She ran a non-profit foundation for animals and also interned at Canadian Geographic, and is happiest when traveling, scuba diving, writing or running. Check out her blog at

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