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Traveling to a new destination can be both exciting and intimidating. Exciting because you are eager to explore new frontiers, yet intimidating because you are anxious about how the entire trip will be. Nevertheless, with proper preparation and an open mind, you can have one of the most memorable adventures of your life. The following are effective tips that I use each time I travel to a new destination.

Plan Well

You can easily avoid unpleasant travel experiences by taking the time to plan and research extensively about the destination. Determine where you want to visit and the interests or attractions you hope to see. As a first timer, you should consider the prevailing weather conditions, the safeness of the location, the customs of the locals, your budget, the general health status of the country, as well as the emergency hotline numbers in the region.

Get The Documentation Ready

Logically, for you to travel you need special documents like travel insurance, vaccination reports, passport, Travel VISA, and foreign currencies. Ascertain that your passport is legit for not less than six months from the day you intend to go, and carry a few extra passport photos just in case you misplace your original passport. Similarly, examine the VISA requirements for each country you will transit through, to get to your destination. Moreover, get comprehensive insurance cover for the whole trip, book your flight on time, and get a valid travel card in your destination’s local currency.

Packing   

A heavy bag will be cumbersome, heavy, space consuming and might make you incur additional expenses if it exceeds the load limit. Go for a Duffel bag for travel and only carry necessary items like a few clothes, a pair of comfortable hiking shoes, phone and camera chargers, spare batteries, new undergarments, a map and a reading book. Having a carry-on bag or a daypack for travel and hiking would also prove useful once you reach your destination. Take the time to verify if you have all the essentials, and weigh your luggage to ensure it is within the ideal weight limits.

Travel Day

On the day of travel, arrive at the airport early, preferably three hours before your flight, to complete the airport procedures, like immigration, customs, and security clearance. The airline will issue you with your travel pass, baggage receipts, departure forms, and your flight seat. During the flight, you can preoccupy yourself by surfing the web, reading a book or listening to audio. You should also train yourself to sleep and eat according to your destination’s time and occasionally stroll around the cabin to increase blood circulation and prevent jetlag.

On Arrival And Stay

Once you get to your destination, stick to your itinerary to avoid getting lost, scammed or robbed. If you had any prior arrangements with your travel agent, do not deviate from them. Be respectful to everyone you interact with but do not be too naïve or too trusting. Most importantly, have fun by learning the local dialect, enjoying the native delicacies and appreciating the different way of life.

Personal Safety

During your stay, do not get caught up in the excitement and let your guard down. Remember you are in a foreign location, and your personal safety should constantly be your primary concern. Make sure you stay in a safe and secure place, and that you consume foods and drinks from clean and trustworthy sources. Lastly, be conscious of your surrounding. In case you get lost, attacked, unwell or you lose your daypack for travel and hiking, you should always have the local emergency hotline numbers with you.

Remain In Touch With Your Family Or Friends Back At Home

Each time I travel, I deliberately call my family and close friends just to update them on my whereabouts. Even though meeting strangers is fun, hearing the voice of loved ones is more refreshing. Besides, it makes them stop worrying about my safety.

Take As Many Photos As Possible

An unfortunate thing about traveling is that you only get a single opportunity to interact and have fun with strangers. For this reason, I would suggest you capture each precious moment on camera. Whenever you enter a new location, take a shot of the City or Country sign before continuing to take more pictures. It will be easier for you to order your images. Besides, you will be able to remember where you took the pictures. However, avoid spending too much time behind the lens to the extent that you miss out on experiencing the scenic views. If you wish, you could start a travel blog where you can document your trip.

Author Bio:

James WilsonJames is the founder of Gotoawesomeplaces, where he shares some experiences about travel, destinations information, and adventure. He born in New York City and have been traveling since he was 19. Gotoawesomeplaces would help your trip easier.