10 travel tips from a beginner traveler

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As the pandemic slowly begins to fade and countries and restaurants start to reopen their doors to tourists and locals alike, there comes a demand for travel. After being stuck in the house or with pets for more than a year, it seems like what we all desperately need is a good vacation.

However, if you are like me, and you started the quarantine as a kid and are leaving as a legal adult, the idea of solo travel can be terrifying. So, as I prepare for my first semi-solo travel trip, I’ve written a list of all the best tips I’ve received from people I’ve voiced my concerns to. 

1. Never take more money than you’re willing to lose.

The most important piece of advice I have gotten when it comes to traveling is to never take more money than you are willing to lose. Always take the amount of cash you need for the day — nothing more — and be sure you have money hidden somewhere safe for emergencies.  

2. Always print copies of important documents. 

Mistakes happen to the best of us; however, if this mistake involves your passport or other important documents, it can be hard to recover. So, to prepare for the worst, it may be helpful to print out copies of all your important documents, just in case. 

3. Always make sure you have transportation. 

In the middle of searching for the hottest food spots or the prettiest beaches, how you will get there often gets lost in the excitement. So, make sure transportation is on your to-do list before you land in your paradise. 

4. Browse Reddit. 

For those of you who aren’t familiar, Reddit is good for so much more than memes and grad school insider tips. On Reddit, there are communities of people often asking the same questions you are, whether that be about where to travel, places to avoid or places that must go on your travel list. Reddit people know the inside scoop. Seriously. 

5. Be culturally aware. 

This is a big one. Beyond being your next Instagram picture or your dream vacation week, the place you’re staying at is someone else’s home, and it will continue to be far after you leave. So when traveling, be aware of the people about you — they are probably tired of tourists already, and we are all recovering from a pandemic, after all. 

6. Watch travel blogs. 

Travel bloggers provide good insight about where to go, how to get through each activity and even visuals to go along with recommendations. So, if you are in desperate need to know what Portugal is like in the next 24 hours before your flight, I advise watching a few vlogs at double speed. 

7. Watch your finances. 

Although a lot of countries accept Visa debit or credit cards, it still is important to check with your bank to be sure the place you’re going accepts the card you’re using. It would be a bummer to land and not be able to go to the restaurant you’ve been dreaming about. 

8. Bring the proper outlets. 

Charging outlets aren’t the most exciting item to think about, but everyone needs them. When traveling to a different country, sometimes the outlets change, so it may be useful to buy some on Amazon beforehand, so you don’t have to buy expensive ones at the airport. 

9. Dress for the occasion. 

Check the weather and the humidity. You don’t want to be caught in a sundress in the rain, even if it’s a cute one. 

10. Make sure you have Wi-Fi and WhatsApp. 

For those [of us] who love to send pictures to family or enroll in classes while on vacation, Wi-Fi and WhatsApp are both vital. If you’re not familiar, WhatsApp is a free app that allows you to message your contacts using Wi-Fi (or data if you have an international plan). Just make sure you have it before you leave. 

I hope you enjoyed this list of tips that I’ve learned and will continue to appreciate in the coming weeks. Happy travels!

Contact Isabella Carreno at [email protected].