How to start your traveling journey
around the world as a first-timer
By Wander Team | 6 minutes read
For many, taking the courage to get out of their comfort zone and travel independently is a quite troublesome process and riddled with insecurities and concerns.
#How far are you in taking the crucial step? ✈️
Ever been thinking about dropping that office desk for a while and treat yourself with a trip to somewhere, but still too concerned about everything that could potentially go wrong? Then sit back and relax, as you're not the only one out there. Millions of people every day struggle to deal with and overcoming travel anxiety issues, especially when traveling for the first time, or doing it solo. There's potentially a lot of inconveniences that may occur when someone is roaming around: flight delays and cancellations, having to deal with health insurance providers, the fear that something bad might happen while on the road, such as being a crime victim, experiencing illnesses, being pickpocketed, getting the all the required visa steps, losing a passport, and so forth.
While it is quite fair to apprehend about uneventful happenings that might make your dream trip become your worst nightmare, it is way better instead to focus on all the positive and rewarding things that are so far more likely to leave you an indelible mark in your life and change you for the better. You hard that right: on your way back home from a trip, you'll not be the same person you were before departing - does not matter where. If you can't believe this statement, then here are a few points you should know in order to overcome your fears of taking the first step and go out exploring the world, whether you just dropped out of high school - or just enjoying your retirement.
1. Always start small
This one might sound a little bit obvious, yet there are many out there ahead of themselves, attempting to skip procedures required in order to ensure a safe and smooth activity. Think of it a bit like a rookie climber wanting to reach Everest's peak - reckless and irresponsible to say the least. This doesn't mean you shouldn't start off somewhere: a city sightseeing activity in your home city, or a domestic trip to your country, is more than often a very good starting point and helps to build up that confidence and know-how that almost certainly makes the difference between an inexperienced and an experienced one.
By practicing this for a few weeks or months, you'll definitely learn a lot about how to behave during every positive or negative occurrences, such as not panicking up, and maintaining that mental sharpness that literally might save your life; you'll also be able to deepen your sense of direction; having an optimal set of tools might do the trick also. If you follow this tips, you'll find yourself ready to depart for more complex journeys, such as international backpacking itineraries and holidays, or even explore unaccessible remote areas in the world.
2. Get yourself the proper equipment
Do you have all what it takes to enjoy a safe and enjoyable trip? If the answer is no, then you might want to consider extending your travel gear in advance. This will not only help you ensuring that everything goes smoothly, but will also save you plenty of time so you'll be able to do what you like the most: exploring.
Keep in mind, most of the times you won't need to get some state-of-the-art or top notch kit; carrying with you simple everyday devices will do the trick. A medium price tier smartphone GPS equipped, a robust packpack or suitcase, accommodation telephone or e-mail contact, a water bottle, safety box lock and keys, small cash in your pockets, and a small local phrasebook (in case you're heading abroad) are more than enough for getting started, and they are all lightweight measures that will do the trick. Once you're done checklisting these items, your journey should proceed flawlessly!
3. Let technology do the hard work for you
What an incredible time to be alive (Covid aside🙃). All that we need is at our fingertips; from the comfort of our homes we can, in fact, do pretty much everything: pay bills, book a homestay, a hotel, a hostel, a guest house; hail a taxi ride; getting an electronic boarding pass; learn new languages; make new friends at thousands of miles of distance. Why not take adventage of all these benefits when roaming across the globe? Mobile applications, portable Wi-Fi routers, smart devices, adventures cameras, you name it. For instance, here's a recommended list of nice-to-have mobile apps that will save your time and effort:
■ Uber, and its Asian counterpart Grab
■ Airbnb, for homestays booking and live like a local;
■ Agoda, a worldwide accommodation booking online platform which offers the best discounted prices across the board
■ Duolingo, a very intuitive app for language exchange with native people
■ Transferwise, an online banking provider which lets you send money internationally at the best rates and most of the times in a matter of minutes of hours; it also offers an international bank account to store multiple currencies at once, and saying goodbye to expensive ATM fees
■ Talkatone, an easy-to-use VoIP based app that will let you call your loved ones and friends anywhere in the world at extremely low rates, sometimes even for free.
4. Be sharp-witted and mind your belongings
When you're not at home, carefulness is never enough. Public venues and premises, transportation terminals, tourist hotspots, dangerous areas, poorly lit roads, are often a recipe for something bad to occur. Always be cautions; ask locals about the safest places in town to hang out; if you're exploring a dangerous country with an high violent crime rate, avoid leaving your stay after the sunset; recurringly store your valuables in safety box and limit the amount of cash, jewelry, and expensive items you carry on while on the street - make use of credit cards whenever you can. In particularly unsafe and unknown areas, avoid hanging out alone, booking an uber or calling a taxi instead of hopping on some local transportation vehicle might be the safest bet to avoid pickpocketers and armed robberies.
Renting a bycicle, a moped, or a car could be a safe option, provided that maximum caution is exercised while driving - remember - remember that every country has not your identical driving system. Some drivers in South America or South Asia, for example, often tend to be reckless ones, not complying with the basic driving regulations and laws.
In heavily crowded tourist spots, getting pickpocketed may represent an annoying occurrence to deal with.
5. Get more info about your destination
In order to minimize the risk of getting lost either physically or emotionally, we recommend you always perform a thorough research beforehand about the places that you decide to visit. By knowing exactly what to do and where to go, in fact, not only it is possible to save precious time, but will also help you develop a better understanding of your travel itinerary. Make a travel plan ahead; pinpoint on a map every single tourist attraction that you might be interested in visiting; make it clear in advance how will you be getting around the spot.
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