I focus a lot on helping the first time or inexperienced traveler head out prepared and confident in themselves. Starting out as a new traveler can be intimidating. How do you jump into the gigantic travel fray and survive? How can you learn to love delays and long lines?
What exactly does that mean? It means being confident in what you are doing, where you are going and how you are getting there. Basically, it means being comfortable with yourself when you leave home.
OK, so what. How do you do that? Follow these quick tips:
Know your destination.
Do some kind of reading before you go. Know how long itís going to take to get there, and the time zone. Understand how the currency converts and get a handle on local customs.
Be prepared before you leave home.
Make sure you have the essentials you will need, especially for a safe trip. This includes a hide away money belt, copies of your passport, one credit card, debit card, ATM card and travelerís checks. Take no more than $500 cash. Make sure someone has your itinerary in case of an emergency.
Pack for only five days. Carry one bag. Your bag should be a soft sided, durable carry bag of ballistic nylon. It needs to have a padded carry strap to sling it over your shoulder.
Wherever you are headed, no matter what type of transportation, leave early for you departure terminal. It means less stress for you . . . a lot less stress for you.
Look like you have traveled all your life.
Appearance matters. If you do the above tips you will look and feel like a veteran traveler. Veteran travel pros DO get a higher level of treatment and service from people who work within the travel industry.
Expect things to go wrong.
Most things run pretty well in the travel industry. There are inevitable delays and cancellations. After all, itís a dynamic industry and getting the mind boggling number of pieces to work all in sync is a real juggling act. If you expect delays you are better prepared to deal with them. If things go well, and they usually do, you get a nice mental lift as you travel. The more travel experience you get the better you get at knowing where delays usually occur and can either plan for them or try to avoid them.
This follows Tip #5 and #6. While it is your hard earned money that is paying for your travel you are one of thousands of travelers a day moving around the globe. Almost three-fourths of these people are inexperienced travelers. Many are stressed out, tired, cranky and rude. If you are polite you will feel better and get better treatment.
See you on the road!
Joyce travels and writes extensively. Her travel tips from 30 years of traveling appear on her website: