Travel Tips for Beginners – Part 1

7 Travel Tips for Beginners

Looking for travel tips for beginners? I’ve gotchu! If you’re like most, chances are you didn’t just start off a savvy traveler. A lot of travel skills just come with experience, trial and error, and let’s be a real, a few hard knocks. 

Especially as beginners, we often make several mistakes that have us palm face emoji ourselves quite a bit. But don’t let these hiccups get you down or stand in the way of your adventure. 

Here are 7 travel tips for beginners that I’ve found make my travels a little less stressful and mishap prone. These tips will have you feeling a little more confident the next time you jet off and possibly even save you a little time (and maybe money!) along the way! 

Contact us if you have any tips to add!

 

PACKING TIPS

Travel Tip #1: Bring a foldable backpack

Here’s one of my favorite travel tips for beginners. I honestly don’t know how I went so long in my travels without this amazing, tiny, waterproof, foldable backpack. I found it on Amazon for under $20 and I basically don’t leave the house without it now. Whether I’m going just for a few days or for a month-long trip, this is almost always one of the first items in my suitcase.

I used it as a daypack when I didn’t want to lug my bigger equipment backpack with me. Friends borrowed it when they needed a spare bag and didn’t have one. It filled in as extra carryon when I bought (oops!) one too many souvenirs. Sometimes it’s even a makeshift pillow lol. 

You think I’m kidding when I say this, but this may actually be one of the smartest purchases of my adulthood. Do yourself a favor and bring one with you.

 

Travel Tip #2: Always pack a towel

Ok, when I say bring a towel, I’m not talking about a bulky, fluffy towel from your linen closet. We are talking about a small, quick-drying microfiber towel. This little item packs so compactly and will come in very handy.

Hands down, I won’t leave the house without this if I’m traveling hostel style. Sometimes, emphasis on sometimes, I’ll leave it behind if I’m traveling to stay with family or going directly to a hotel or resort, but even then, I often sneak it into my suitcase. 

A little chilly on the plain? No problem, your towel is now a blanket. Spill in the rental car? Good thing you brought a tiny towel with you! Flight’s delayed and you need to give yourself a quick refresh in the airport bathroom? Well now, aren’t you grateful for that little towel?

I’m telling you, you’ll never look at a towel the same. This little guy is about to be your travel BFF. Thank me later.

 

Travel Tip #3: Take only what you need when you go out

This is one of the most common newbie mistakes I see travelers make. When they head out to explore and sightsee, they head out with a bag full of way too much. 

First and foremost, I’d advise not doing this simply because it’s an annoyance to yourself. Trust me when I say that within the first hour of lugging around a heavy backpack, you’ll be wishing you purged through some of your items before heading out the door. 

Secondly though, this is a simple way to keep both yourself and your belongings safe. A passport, full wallet, fancy phone, and camera equipment are sure to stand out a bit in a crowd, making you sometimes vulnerable to slippery hands. And as we all know, there’s nearly no greater headache than being stuck in a foreign place without a wallet and/or passport. 

Save yourself any unnecessary hassles and mishaps by taking a minimal amount of stuff with you when you’re out and about.

best packing tips

 

Travel Tip #4: Pack Light

Oh man, I still have to remind myself of this. It’s so easy to overpack because you sometimes feel like it’s hard to predict what you’ll need. I guarantee you though, you’ll need less than you think. And it’s 100% ok to re-wear clothes a few days in a row, most frequent travelers do this. If you’re concerned about wrinkles or smells, try these Downy Wrinkle Releaser and Odor Eliminator travel sprays:

P.S. That foldable backpack will come in handy in case you do pack a little more than needed plus add a few fun souvenirs along the way.

 

MONEY TIPS

Travel Tip #5: Bring an ATM card

Gone are the days of carrying traveler checks and making a stop at the bank to exchange for a foreign currency before you leave on a trip. Most airports and hotels offer onsite cash exchange services but honestly I skip even those. 

travel tips for beginners about exchanging money

I’ve found my ATM card to be the easiest, fastest, and least expensive way to get local currency while I’m traveling. Keep in mind your local bank will likely not have an ATM at your destination, unless you use an international bank. I try to plan ahead for my cash needs so I can limit the number of withdrawals. You’ll be charged an exchange rate and potential ATM fees so the fewer times you can withdraw the better.

Here are some helpful articles on banking while you travel: 

 

SAFETY TIPS

Travel Tip #6: Always bring a lock

Here’s another one of the travel tips for beginners I learned the hard way.

For years I traveled without a small lock. Not really intentionally but because I often forgot it in my rush out the door. Since then I just keep it in a side pouch of my suitcase so I’m never without. You’d be surprise at how often this little extra layer of security comes in handy. I used it to lock my suitcase when I was unexpectedly separated from it for a bit. I used it when I had to stay in shared hostel room last minute. And it saved the day when I spent the night in the airport with my valuables and needed to catch a little shut eye.

 

Travel Tip #7: Bring an extra credit card

As much as we try to prevent them, hiccups happen during travel. It’s handy to have a backup card with you in case you lose a credit card or are robbed. When I say bring an extra, I mean bring an extra, completely different card if possible. That way if a card is lost or stolen you can freeze it without losing use of your backup card. 

wallet with credit cards for travel tips for beginners

 

ENJOY YOUR TRIP!

My first airplane trip was when I was 6 months. I’m 36 now. Needless to say, travel is a lifetime activity for me and yet nearly every trip I come up with a new a-ha moment, tip, or hack. Whether you are a seasoned traveler or just beginning, a few easy travel tips can save you some major headaches along your journey. 

I hope these travel tips for beginners helped! Reach out if you have a tip you’d like to see featured on this website!

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