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5 No-Nonsense Tips for First-time Travellers

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As someone who is a seasoned traveler, I find that the world always has something to offer me. I’m never bored when I travel, and my appetite for adventure doesn’t look as though it is going to end any time soon. This is why I’d urge anyone with an interest in travel to take the plunge and just do it. There are so many excellent things you can do when it comes to travelling for the first time, but I would urge you to make sure you’re prepared. I always like to sort out my travel plans for the year ahead well in advance , and this is even more important if you are looking to travel for the first time. Here are my five no-nonsense tips for the experience of your life!

1. Get Your Flight Details Sorted

Getting your flight details sorted can actually save a lot of hassle and stress, and make the journey much more enjoyable. For starters, you need to know when your flight is, and make sure you get there in plenty of time. Statistics show that around one-quarter of passengers miss their flights every year. Make sure you are not one of that 25% by doing your homework well in advance. Also, make sure you plan what in-flight entertainment you’re going to bring with you carefully beforehand as well. No one needs to be bored on a long-haul flight!

2. Take More Money Than You Need

I can tell you now that you are going to need more money than you think you will. Trust me on this. No matter how much you have planned for, you will always need more, so make sure you take more. Work out a daily rate for what it will cost you to spend time in the town or city you’re visiting. I think you should account for food and spending money, as well as researching the cost of trips. Take more than you think you’ll need because you’ll nearly always need it, that’s for sure.

3. Plan and Book Airport Transfers

One of the key elements I find a lot of people forget these days is to sort out their transfers to and from the airport. You have to think about how you’re getting there, and travelling from there to your accommodation. Sometimes this involves booking a cab or shuttle bus in advance. It might mean familiarising yourself with the route, and what you need to do to ensure you are not stood at the airport for hours!

4. Go Local

I think it is so important when I go away to really get a feel for the place I’m visiting, and this often involves going local. Every city that attracts tourists has places that are tourist traps because they want you to spend your money there. But I would advise avoiding the tourist areas, and checking out the local places. This is the best way of getting more bang for your buck, as well as having that all important cultural experience at the same time as well.

Business Traveller at the Airport

5. Use the Guidebook (but not too much)

The guidebooks you can buy are there for reference, and you should make use of them…but not too much! Sometimes I think we can get to caught up with what the guidebook says or doesn’t say, and this can actually affect our experience negatively. So, use the guidebook as a loose guide, but make sure you do your own probing and ensure that you use your own initiative to have the best and most enjoyable experience you possibly can.

If you can make use of these five great tips, I have no doubt you are going to have a hugely enjoyable and unforgettable experience. If you can plan everything out but still leave a bit of room for flexibility, it will be a great way of maximizing your travel adventures. If you think I’ve omitted any great tips for first-time travel, please drop me a line in the comments section.

Derek Cullen is an experienced overland tour leader in Africa. He is best known for cycling across Africa and writing about travel in Africa for many online media publications. If you would like advice or information for your trip to Africa, you can speak with him directly through the LiveChat box!

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