Tips for 1st time Travelers

I’m often asked what are my tips for first time travelers.  After thinking back to my very first out of the country flight of which by the way was Jamaica when I was about 24, I came up with a few tips that I wish I had been told but still can apply to most seasoned travel veteran.

  1. Start where your budget will allow:  Simply stated stay within your means.  If you can’t “afford” to go BIG..  stay within your financial reach.
  2. Think ALL INCLUSIVE:  You can NEVER go wrong with all inclusive.  I love this idea because once you pay you’re done!  Note: These deals aren’t everywhere, mostly the Caribbean and Mexico.
  3. Be prepared to fly solo:  People’s intentions are good upfront but life happens and people will bail.  Don’t let that sway or stop you just plan for the worst and expect the best!
  4. Keep a copy of your passport ( if flying Internationally) on your phone and in your hotel room.  It’s all about safety and preparation.
  5. Buy foreign in the states:  Buy your foreign currency in the U.S. UNLESS the U.S. banks don’t offer that currency.  ( Did you know it’s illegal to leave out of Tanzania with their currency)?  You can only get their currency there as well.  Did you also know that some countries won’t take  20’s that are printed past a certain date?   Which brings me to the next point
  6. Do your research:  Know what you need to know about said location.  Ex. hotel proximity to the airport, Embassy location, currency exchange rates, activities offered.
  7. Pre-plan transportation:  If you can pre-arrange travel transfers you’ll save yourself lots of hassle and stress that seasoned travelers may not enjoy but can handle and thwart off more easily than newbies. It’s also good to know from the hotel concierge in advance what the expected price should be for transport from airport to hotel or said destination.  #The more you know
  8. Travel Lite:  I try not to be flashy on any level.  That means no jewelry(rings, watches etc). Some places while beautiful can be a bit “rougher” than others.  Don’t make yourself an easy un-necessary target.
  9. Souvenirs are a waste of time:  When I first started traveling I made sure to bring back my kids teachers, my boss, my siblings, my coworkers..  any and everyone you could think of a souvenir.  What a waste!  I used to collect bells ( currently have not a one of them).  Today I collect Starbucks coffee cups from around the world ( something I do get use out of).  I don’t spend money on the kids and every now and again I’ll bring the co-workers back some candy etc.
  10. Have a safety plan:  While middle overt social media posts are good ways of letting someone your whereabouts.  Notify a friend or family as to where you or better yet, leave a copy of your itinerary with someone you trust.
  11. Try booking in Advance: Typically speaking most carriers offer the deepest saving when you book 14-21+ days in advance.  Now there are those times when a last minute buy can be equally as sweet but as a rule book in advance.

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