20 Tips For Your Maiden Voyage

Every journey begins with a single step, but every traveller begins with a single trip.

Do you remember the very first time you left home and arrived in a foreign place? We have all been there at one point, taken that first big trip. 

We asked the World Nomads travel community on our Facebook page what their best tips were for novice travellers about to embark on their maiden voyage.

Here are our top 20 tips for first-time travellers:

1. Be open-minded. Things are neither right or wrong when you travel, they are simply different. – Pablo Retamero

2. When I arrive somewhere for the first time, I walk past all the touts and find a coffee shop to sit in. I get out my Lonely Planet/Rough Guide (which I have hidden under the guise of another book cover) and look in it for somewhere close to where I arrived to stay, even if its only for one night. It gives me time to assess the situation and scout out the neighborhood! – Anna Donegan

3. Learn the basics of the language of the country to where you are traveling, and speak with the locals as often as you can. It changes the experiences 100%. – Andrew Morton

4. Avoid taxi-drivers who assume or know that you don't know the city well and decide to "take you for a ride" to bump up the fare. – Lauren Nickell

5. Mix up your activities, see the more touristy areas but also go off the beaten path. Sometimes the best discoveries are in the most random, tucked away locations. – Jennifer Cook

6. Don’t look lost. – Anna Donegan

7. I agree about not looking lost. When I am lost, I don't stand on a street corner and pull out a giant map, which just alerts everyone that I am lost; Instead, I walk into the next cafe I see, and read my map in the bathroom. - Julia Herpenger 

8. Be fearless. Eat the cow tongue. – Raquel Gonzales DelaCruz

9. Have a bag that can swing to the front of you for those areas that are known for being a little bit more unsafe! – Rachel Broad de Garcia

10. I agree with all the stay safe advice. Being careful and using common sense is paramount, but ladies especially, don’t let fear rule your trip. There’s been many an awesome adventure missed due to lack of confidence - take responsible chances, don’t miss out - just let someone 'safe' (e.g. hostel worker) know where your going and have a great time! – Lainey Lou Miller

11. Don't bring too much - clothes and unnecessary things. It only makes traveling a bit heavier. – Jasmine Macarambon

12. Respect the people and the culture you are visiting. Watch, don't interfere and leave home polluting western habits that would have a negative influence, and would leave a mark long after you are gone. – Maureen Cassera 

13. Don't ask too many questions, but if and only IF you HAVE TO ask, ask sharp questions. Bring water and power bars at all times. Never leave your bag away from you, and make sure to carry your passport literally "on you" at all times (it's safer to carry it on a pocket rather than carrying it on your bag). - Yumira Galindo

14. Learn about the culture and history before you go. It makes the trip more interesting. – Patti Groga 

15. Always be on your guard. Always be aware of your surroundings, there are always opportunists wherever you go! – Anna Donegan 

16. Split your money into 2 or 3 pockets to avoid the pickpockets! – Njosh Bodoh

17. Go for it, don’t be afraid and don’t have second thoughts. Follow your instincts. You will explore and achieve more that way. – Marek Birner

18. Money. Maps. Travel insurance. Baby wipes. Water. – Maritza Mack

19. I guess my tip would be to take general travel 'advice' with a pinch of salt as its application varies with where you are. Sometimes the streets are safer for valuables than your hotel, sometimes the buses are safer than the taxis. Sometimes there are no ATMs and people hate credit cards. Do your research, be friendly and have a great time. – Zoe Scaramanga

20. Oh yeah, and get lost! Very lost. Finding your way back is the best! – Christian Dillon

2 Comments

  • Mary said

    Love the list! I'm an experienced traveller, and found a couple of new tips here.

  • Raquel González DelaCruz said

    Darlings, I'm flattered at the mention. It feels wonderful to be thought of as wise. But the mispelling of my last name broke my heart. It is "González", my dears, not "Gonzales". Three cheers for cow tongue tacos!

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