Okay, the first steps are great but, like always in life, we all make mistakes when facing first times. That’s why these words are dedicated for those of you who want to avoid the most usual and avoidable mistakes when traveling for the first time. Ready? Let’s start!
1. Packing too much stuff
Whether you are a newbie traveling for one week or one month, why do we always think we are going to need so many things when being away from home? We don’t, but you realise that when you’re already in your destination! And if you happen to forget something important, you’ll find some kind of shop even in the smallest villages! Remember: when packing, less is always more!
2. Not saving your important documents in a digital way
I’m sure you are always connected and you perfectly know how to keep everything safeguarded. Just in case. You never know if you'll lose your suitcase or forget your documents somewhere. These things happen, trust me, so better be safe than sorry.
3. Stressing out trying to visit every single landmark/hot spot
Of course we all want to get to see as many things as possible when traveling, no matter what kind of place you're visiting. But, my dear friends, trips are for unplugging and forgetting about schedules. It´s great to have a planning, but nothing happens if you miss two or three things. You will have a wonderful time anyway!
4. Not going local
And I can assure you this something you learn when coming back! Getting to know the special hidden places, talking to the kindest local people and being really immersed in what a foreign culture has to offer you is the best gift you will take back home. Just be open to travel differently and you will discover amazing things!
5. Wear new shoes
Oh, travelers! This is such a classic mistake. You don't realise how much you’re going to walk until you end up your day with your heels all rubbed and hurting. So pack your most worn and comfy sneakers and you’ll be good to go. There's no better way of taking care of yourself than skipping new shoes, be practical and no bandages will be needed.
6. Not bargaining
Trying to get a lower price in certain countries may seem impolite for Western travelers, but in most Asian countries like Thailand, Malaysia, India… negotiating prices in their intriguing and colourful markets is a cultural custom that every traveler should be aware of. Sellers will be to agree a price point that satisfy both of you.
7. Not supporting local economies
Related to the previous point, try not to go to big chains and go for the smaller locally run places that not only will give you the kindest attention, but will be able to recommend the secret spots you should visit or what dinners have the most delicious typical food. This is one of the most relevant things you can do to have a positive impact in your trips!
8. Looking like a tourist
I bet we all can tell when we spot a foreigner visiting our city in the streets. Of course, they do not always look the same, but most of the times it’s easy to guess when you see big maps and cameras hanging around their necks. Well… don’t do that! You will be the perfect target for pickpockets or scroungers.
9. Having your meals in town centers
We've all been there, especially when talking about big cities like Paris, New York, London… Wander around the lovely small streets and find a place where prices are reasonable. Plus, the service will always be more personalised and bartenders won’t be as busy, so they’ll be the perfect source of information for finding adorable spots that travel guides don’t feature.
Main picture: Julia Caesar.