10 easy tips for new travellers

PHOTO: Bel Around The World

New to travelling? Travelling alone for the first time? Travelling long-distance? Here are 10 tips to help tide you through the pre-travel anxiety!

1. Keep the number of luggage you bring to a minimum.

There are always roads too rocky and stairs too long when you are carrying so much load. Don't take lifts and escalators for granted, because not every city has them. The last thing you want is to forget about your second luggage or put up with angry commuters at the metro when you block the passageway.

2. If you're worried about not having a small luggage to carry on your inter-city travels, you have 2 options:

- Buy a smaller luggage when you've settled down. A cabin-sized luggage costs approximately 25£ in London or 30€ at supermarkets.

- Carry a backpack when you leave your home country, on top of your main luggage. Your backpack can then serve as a cabin baggage when making shorter travels.

3. All the worries about pick pocketing, THEY ARE TRUE, no matter where you go.

To guard against them, carry a small pouch bag with you to store important documents like your passport, boarding pass, wallet and phone. Keep it in your sight, in front of you, and ZIPPED.

When you are carrying a big backpack and lugging a bulky luggage, all you want is somewhere easily reachable when you need to pull out your phone swiftly to check for directions. Don't risk putting your belongings in a bag behind you.


Cappadocia, Turkey

Photo: Bel Around The World 

4. Have all your documents saved in Dropbox and synced to your phone, so that in the event of emergencies, you can retrieve it easily.

Trust me, you don't want to be detained at the airport when you fail to produce your visa.

5. NEVER ever keep your room keys in the baggage that will be checked in when you board a plane.

At the rare chance that my boyfriend decided to check in his backpack on our trip from Milos to Athens, the crew had to forget to load all the passengers' baggage in the plane when they took off.

We almost missed our connecting flight from Athens as a result of our missing baggage, and came close to being homeless that night. There, there. Lesson learned.

6. Do not keep your wallet/ phones in your pockets, not even in the front pocket.

Those pickpockets can be really skillful.

New York City

Photo: Bel Around The World 

7. Pickpockets work best in crowded places, based on my personal experience.

They get their act done when everyone is in close proximity with each other. Their hot spots are at metro/ bus stations, in metros/ buses and crowded shopping squares (think La Rambla in Barcelona).

8. While it is true that kindness in strangers exist, like in the case when I was Couchsurfing in Europe, don't take dubious acts of kindness for granted.

If someone offers you a drink (even if it's tea), or offer to bring you around, they may be in it for your money.

Once, a local boy from Cambodia put a snake around my neck and offered to take photo of me. He then conveniently stretched his hand out to ask for a fee. Local boy-1, Isabel-0.

9. Portable chargers are a must, especially when you use your phone for travelling.

For some of the travel apps I use, check this post out. Bring a spare phone if you have. It will save you lots of hassle should you misplace your phone.

Mount Titlis, Engelberg

Photo: Bel Around The World

10. My last piece of advice: BE BOLD.

Go with an open mind. Learn a new language. Get out of your comfort zone. Be around people of the wrong crowd. Don't stick to the same people. Take pictures. Wander aimlessly. GO WITHOUT INTERNET. Sit at park benches. Do nothing. Enjoy your surroundings. Witness the different phases of the moon. Commit precious moments to memory. Smell the flowers of spring.

Do something you never would have done back in your home country. Say hello to a stranger, hold the hand of someone you don't know and dance like no one's watching.

Bel Around The World is a blog dedicated to travel inspiration, travel guides, budget hacks and survival tips from around the world by a 20-something, for the 20-somethings.

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