Is it Safe to Travel: 4 Tips for First Time Travellers in 2017

Safe to Travel Tanja Turner“Is it safe to travel?” My friend asked the question just the other day in light of the world events occurring. And it occurred to me that people were becoming scared to leave their own homes and explore the world.

The world can be a scary place – especially when there is talk of war, countries that are refusing visas and terrorist attacks.

But there is another side to our great world out there.

The world of adventure, travel, sights and amazing places to see. Places where you can be free, have fun and make new friends.

One where you can make your world safe to travel in.

But where do you begin? How do you even know where to start if you’ve never travelled before?

This is where we come in. Our seasoned traveller and freelance blogger Sarah Esser, has come up with these 4 helpful tips for first time travellers.

Tip 1: Be Proactive in Planning.

Start preparing as early as humanly possible, as it will save you a lot of hassle later on. After you have decided when and where you want to go, start your research. Find out everything you need to know about the location. For example, the weather, the customs, the accommodation, the currency – everything you can think of, so there are no surprises once you arrive.

Hidden Gem – Begin a Budget…

An early budgeting plan will also be extremely helpful when preparing your holiday. The earlier you start saving, the better. Create a realistic budget that can help you put aside a bit of cash without having to live on bread and 2-minute noodles for a month. For example, if you need $2000 for your first holiday, put away $200 per month and in one year you’ll have more than enough to travel with!

You do not want to have to miss out on any adventures because you are short a few dollars. The extra money you save will give you the freedom to do everything you want to do on your exciting first holiday.

Tip 2: Pack light

There is absolutely nothing worse than having to lug bulging suitcases around, especially if you’re travelling by yourself. So it is important to be discerning in your packing choices. If you’re uncertain whether to bring something or not – the safe option is to leave it at home.

For instance, when I was in New York, I had one pair of really great joggers that I wore every day. And only one pair of boots that I wore out at night. It saved a lot of space!

If you bring useless items you ‘might’ use, you will have little space for things like souvenirs and gifts that you want to bring back with you. A few pairs of comfy shirts and pants will do.

Hidden Gem – Just remember, comfort is key.

There is no need to pack your whole closet – as tempting and easy as it seems. It will be a lot more convenient to travel with the bare minimum. The same goes for footwear. One pair, which will be kind to your feet whilst trekking around a new city, will be much better than bringing every type of shoe under the sun and your 3 favourite high heels. Trust me, it is not worth the aching feet at the end of a long day.

Tip 3: Travel Insurance is a Must

It may be one of the most important things to consider when travelling and will save you huge amounts of money if anything does go wrong.

You may think the possibility of anything disastrous happening is highly unlikely, but mistakes do happen and travel insurance is your best friend in these dire circumstances.

Travel insurance has you covered for: overseas medical expenses, which without travel insurance, could cost thousands of dollars. It can come in handy if your trip is cancelled or needs to be rescheduled. It can also help you get your money back and protect your valuables if they are lost or stolen.

Hidden Gem – The earlier you organise the insurance the safer you will be if an accident occurs.

I highly recommend investing in travel insurance so that all you have to worry about on your holiday is whether you want to go snorkelling or scuba diving. Just remember to read the fine print as some activities such as skiing are considered high risk, so may cost extra or not be offered.

Tip 4: Start Local

Sometimes it can be daunting to travel overseas for your first trip, especially if you’ve never done any travelling in your own country.  To get used to travelling and to learn to move around using different modes of transport, why not try a different city in your own country?  You will be safe medically as you’re only a plane flight away and your country’s medical insurance will cover you if something goes wrong.  Your plane flight or train trip won’t be too long and there won’t be any language barriers.

Hidden Gem – There are many city break packages of 3 – 4 days where you can explore a city and take in the sights while getting used to the ways of travellers.

I recently travelled to Melbourne, here in Australia and it was so easy to get around. I didn’t have to change my phone, worry about roaming data or wonder if the person on the street was going to speak English. It was a really comfortable holiday and I had a fabulous time!

Sometimes unexpected things may happen when you travel.  Sometimes unexpected things may happen when you stay at home!  The most important thing you can do is to prepare yourself with insurance, up to date documents, money and good friends who are there to help you have the time of your life, create memories and help you stay safe.

Next month, I’m going to dive a bit deeper and give you my 3 favourite tips for first time travellers who go abroad!

Stay safe, stay happy and stay travelling…

Sarah ?