7 tips for first time travellers

Whether you’re travelling within Australia or overseas, on your own or with friends, leaving the routine of home can be an exciting and sometimes overwhelming experience. To get you all prepared for your trip, we've put together some tips for making the most of your time on the road.

1. Take a travel guide

You don't always have to hire a local to show you around. There are plenty of incredible websites and books designed to maximise your trip that can be accessed cheaply and at your leisure. Lonely Planet is one of the most comprehensive guides to travelling anywhere in the world, and has whole sections catering to budget travellers. It also makes for good reading on the plane!

2. Know why you’re going

Before you book your flights and plan your itinerary, take a moment to think about why you are travelling. Do you want to immerse yourself in a new culture? Get involved in some adrenaline pumping activities? Chill out on the beach with a good book? Taking the time to understand why you want to travel is really useful, especially if you are going with friends or a partner. It helps ensure everyone understands their goals and can prevent arguments later on over where you’re going or what you plan on doing.

3. Budget, and do it realistically

The first, and often the largest, expense will be your flights. You can try to minimise this by finding student deals or airline sales. Have a look at the rates exchange, so you can clearly see how far your money will go. 

4. Have an understanding of the culture

This is particularly important when travelling outside of Australia, as the culture of other countries can differ quite substantially from what you’re used to at home. By using the Australian Government’s Smart Traveller website, you can find all the important information you should know about the countries you plan to visit. 

5. Learn some basics of the local language

Whilst most countries you are likely to visit will have English speakers, learning the basics of the local language is a great backup plan. It’s also really fun to do and is good exercise for your brain! It can also be useful to download a translator app or a database of common phrases so you can look up exactly what you want to communicate.

6. Pack your bag more than once

If it’s your first time travelling, chances are you’re going to over pack. A lot. Try packing all the non-essentials a week in advance; then repack before you go and decide whether you really need it. It can also be useful to write a list and check it off, so you don’t forget your tooth brush and underwear.

7. Get off the beaten track

Whilst it is pretty amazing to climb the Eiffel Tower or get a snap “holding up” the Leaning Tower of Pisa, these major tourist destinations only let you scrape the surface of a different culture. It can be really awesome to give yourself a day or two to wander and see what it’s like to live in that place locally, maybe check out the local lunch spots or the markets. 

Last reviewed: 24 August, 2015
Did you find this article helpful?

You have already rated this article

Add a comment

Read the commenting guidelines: keep ReachOut.com safe and respectful