Veteran Travel Tips for the Newbie Traveller

Misbah Akhtar

Group travel isn’t a bad idea. Traveling with your parents is fun because, well, they pay for everything (and, of course, you love your mom and dad!). But travelling alone is one of those things everyone needs to experience at least once in their life.

Here are some tips for the newbie traveller:

Have a Well Thought-Out (but Flexible) Itinerary

One of the first mistakes a lot of newbie travellers make is creating an air-tight itinerary that has no room for deviation. Which isn’t to say that staying organized is bad, but you need to allow yourself (and your plans) the flexibility to react to unexpected delays and side trips.

The beauty of travelling is the adventure that comes with it. Stay loose and have fun! Yes, it’s good to reach your destination. But don’t let a strict itinerary prevent you from taking a side-trip if you see something interesting along the way. Your itinerary, as structured and well-thought as it is, should serve as a loose guide instead of a strict set of rules.

Get a Good Phone

Technology has now made solo travelling so much easier and safer, especially when it comes to staying connected. Most smartphones can be unlocked from your carrier, so you can fit it with the SIM card of the country you’ll be visiting.

When it comes to smartphones for traveling, always try to get one that has a great antenna and can receive 5g, 4g, 3g, and even 2g networks (remember that some places might not be as developed as cities like New York or London). Try to get one with amazing battery life, a sophisticated camera, and of course, safety accessories so you don’t break the screen along the way.

Hostels aren’t Scary

Yes, Eli Roth all gave us the creeps with his 2005 gore film, but most hostels aren’t scary at all; it’s even the preferred choice of accommodation for most travellers. And for good reason: it’s usually populated by fellow travellers and adventurers, which makes it a great place to swap stories and tips from veteran wanderers and nomads.

You can also stay in 5-star hotels and resorts if you can afford it. But these places are luxury items that you could live without. Sure, everyone loves to be comfy. But sometimes, that could prevent you from having an adventure, which is what travelling is all about! Get out of your comfort zone and mingle with fellow travellers instead. Just make sure the hostel doesn’t have expired shampoo.

Always Have Safety Measures

Travelling alone is an adventure, and all adventures come with its unique hardships and trials. At some point, you’re going to find yourself on the wrong side of town, with strangers who aren’t exactly friendly. As a responsible traveller, you should always practice safety measures wherever you go, regardless of the country.

Use burglar-safe backpacks that are made from special materials that prevent it from being slashed open, and try to diversify where you hide your cash. If you’re sleeping alone in a hostel, always take your valuables with you and have your doors locked when you’re in. Keep valuables as close to you as possible, and always have multiple photocopies of your passport with you at all times. It’s also a good idea to check in with your country’s embassy or consular office when you arrive in a foreign country, for good measure.

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