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Travel Tips for First-Timers

So you are taking the plunge and planning your first major trip. Congratulations!
There’s a big, wide, wonderful world full of great adventures, just waiting for you to explore it.

Here are a few things to keep in mind as you review your travel options:

Get help
Almost everyone you speak to may want to offer various travel advice. Listen to all perspectives, but decide what works best for you, especially since this will be your first big trip.

If traveling on a group tour, take advantage of speaking to the professionals—tour operators specialize in everything travel-related, so their advice may be extremely helpful adding to your comfort level as your departure date approaches.

Be realistic
Don’t try to do too much in one trip. Leave buffers of time for unexpected delays and also for spontaneous adventures. Dawn to dusk schedules without free time can leave you exhausted and stressed out.

Learn the geography
Don’t try to cover too much territory at one time—you can actually miss a lot. It may be better to visit a small area for a significant amount of time rather than trying to see a vast region in one day, or a whole country in a week.

Do your homework
Know the highlights of your chosen destination(s), including any challenges of the area(s) you will visit. Be aware of local events, holidays, and closures. Understand the local customs and hours for shopping, dining, and relaxing.

Be adventurous
Try new things, meet new people, and when you can, step outside of your comfort zone. Travel should be an adventure filled with new and exciting experiences.

Pack light
Lugging a large or heavy suitcase everywhere can be a real headache, and extremely inconvenient. When packing, aim to mix and match clothes in order to maximize your wardrobe. Plus, you can always hand wash smaller items when you reach your accommodations.

Remember the well-known travel adage: Take twice as much money, half as many clothes, and never pass up a chance to use a bathroom. And most importantly, have fun!