First Time Traveler

Dreaming of relaxing on that tropical beach, hiking the Himalayas or raving all night at a full moon party? You’ve heard about all the cool places people go and things they do,. You’ve seen The Beach, and are you now thinking about planning on taking your own trip but have no idea what’s waiting for you? Never fear, this site is for you and filled with information to get you started. First though, let’s just go over some of the basics and give you an overview of what to expect.

Why go traveling?

Let’s make this easy:

  • Because you want to.
  • Because traveling is good for you.

Travel allows you to de-stress, gives you a change of scenery, opens your mind to new things, allows you to meet new people and new cultures, learn more about ourselves… The list of advantages goes on and on and on…

Sure, not everything will go as expected. You may find yourself stuck on a broken-down bus – but don’t sweat it, things will work out and that unknown quantity is one of the joys of travel. So just relax, nobody is going to yell at you for being late –just sit back, enjoy the experience of something completely different and enjoy yourself!

What about it being dangerous… expensive… I can’t speak the language…

In our modern world travel is incredibly easy and safe. Don’t let all the information on this site overwhelm you. Truth be told – all you really need is your passport, some money and some common sense.

As long as you have your passport and some money (and an airplane ticket) you can pretty much jump on an airplane, fly to most countries in the world and be fine. No suitcase, no clothes, no… It truly is a flat world now and you can buy almost anything you need at your destination, and probably cheaper then you can get it at home. Unless you are planning a trip to Somalia, or the depth of the Amazon, don’t worry too much.

Why then all the information on this site? Simply to help you from making mistakes that might cost you time or money. But don’t worry, if you do make some mistakes – it will be no big deal. Also, if you are planning on a more exotic or adventurous trip then we provide extra information to help you along.

Once you have traveled to one or two places, you will be amazed at all the things you used to worry about before you started traveling. They really don’t matter. The world is setup for tourists, there are people to help you at airports, people to help you get hotels, people to help you get taxis. Don’t worry! Traveling is actually easy!

What do you need?

  1. Money
  2. Passport
  3. Ticket

That’s it! Those three things are the only absolutely necessary, not-to-forget items. Keep these three things with you at all times and guard them. The other stuff you bring isn't anywhere near as important. Everything else can be bought, replaced or aren’t needed when you are on the road.

You can get special travel clothes, cool accessories, backpacks and suitcases. Really, most of it isn’t needed. Your normal clothes are fine and more comfortable, and most of the gee-whiz travel gadgets you will find you don’t use. Most people over-pack and it’s generally advisable, and more enjoyable, to under-pack then to take too much.

Money

You will want to take a credit card (ATM’s are available almost everywhere in the world), some emergency cash (US $100 dollar bills are the most accepted, make sure they are new and not worn). Traveler checks are safe, but loosing their appeal, as they can be difficult to get exchanged and are more of a hassle to use then a credit card.

American express cards (Amex) are great to have as they have offices around the world and emergency services to help travelers in distress. Get a money belt to keep this stuff in. Don’t walk around with it in your wallet as pickpockets abound in tourist areas around the world.

Passport

You will need a passport if doing any international travel. If you have had one for a while check it before leaving, it needs to be valid for at least 6 months after the date of your departure or some countries won’t let you in.

Keep your passport with you at all times in your money belt. Try not to let anyone have it for any extended period of time if you can help it. If you loose it while on the road, immediately get to an embassy and report it missing.

What about other stuff?

Most people take too much stuff, including too much clothing. What you take will depend on the trip you are taking, but here are a couple of the basics:

  • 1 change of clothing – you can wash one set at night and wear the other set while it is drying.
  • Daypack – a lightweight daypack can really come in handy to carry a bottle of water, a guidebook and any curios you pickup along the way.

Everything else you take you should ask yourself “Do I REALLY need this?”. Chances are you don’t.

It can’t be overstated – most travelers find they take too much stuff and wish they left a lot of it at home! There is an old traveler’s saying:

“Before you go on a trip, decide how much money you want to take and how much gear. Just before you leave, double the money and halve the gear.”

What not to take?

The number one thing travelers regret taking?… Extra shoes!

Dress shoes, hiking boots, extra running shoes.. They take up a lot of room, are difficult to pack and most people find they never use them on their trip.

Just remember, less stuff means:

  • Less worry
  • Less Hassle
  • More FUN!

Final Advice

There is only one piece of advice that really matters, if you remember anything from this site – remember this:

Relax and enjoy yourself!