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Oyster Worlwide - 17 tips for first time travellers

Date added: Tuesday 25th August 2015

So you have plucked up the courage to head off on your first overseas adventure. As well as being incredibly exciting, planning your first trip can be nerve-wracking. It is difficult to know what to expect and it can feel like you have an endless list of things to do. Never-fear we have put together our top tips for first time travellers so that all you have to concern yourself is remembering your passport and having an incredible time - Harriet, Oyster Worlwide



  1. Travel with an open mind – if this is your first time travelling overseas or on your own going with an open-mind is key. You will be seeing and experiencing things that are totally different from what you are used to which is one of the most exciting things about travelling. Take it all in and don’t let it overwhelm you.
  2. Don’t let fear hold you back– yes doing something adventurous for the first time is nerve-wracking and feeling nervous is totally normal but try not to worry too much. If you have been planning for a while then things will all work out. When you look back on your trip you will be amazed by how much you have grown in confidence and also by how much little things used to worry you.
  3. Follow the advice given to you by the organisation you book with – they are the experts and will be giving you good advice on things like what to pack, what to do to stay safe etc. Listen to them. Also read any documentation that they send you. Chances are they will have addressed most of your worries there.
  4. Appreciate other's concern but make your own decisions – Caution is important but as long as you do some planning and follow point 3 you don’t need to worry about all of the ‘what ifs’. So should your Mum’s friend’s auntie’s neighbour says that somewhere isn’t safe or they heard a story once about how travelling is bad for your health, you can tell them you have things covered.
  5. Prepare and book in advance – if this is your first trip then planning early is the way to go for a number of reasons. You will have plenty of time to save up and prepare which means that you won’t have that last minute ‘I don’t have time’ panic. You will also get your pick of departure dates, will probably get cheaper flights and will also have plenty of time to prepare yourself mentally for your big adventure.
  6. Pick a good organisation – the organisation you go with and how responsible they are can make a big difference to your trip. Make sure you look into the company you are booking with, read reviews and speak to them or even pop in for a visit if you can. Knowing that you are well supported before you go and also once you get there certainly helps with those initial nerves.
  7. Budget to have a little bit of money in reserve – even the best made plans sometimes don’t go quite as you hoped. Have a little bit of money (in the bank or on a credit card) in reserve for those ‘just in case’ moments.
  8. Be flexible – not everything will go to plan and actually that is when you will make some of your fondest memories. Embrace it and try and go with the flow as much as you can.
  9. Prepare culturally – if you are visiting somewhere that is totally different to your own country look into the local customs. If you can learn a couple of greetings – hello, how are you, please and thank you – then all the better.
  10. Research the weather – there is nothing worse that not having a raincoat when it rains, a hat when it is cold or sun cream when it is hot. Check the weather before you go and pack accordingly.
  11. Make sure you pack suitable clothes – each country will have a different view on what sort of clothes are appropriate and you want to be comfortable whatever the weather. Hot pants and skimpy vests don’t tend to go down too well either – that goes for the guys too! If you were hoping to blend in a little, wearing white socks, shorts and a bumbag is not the way to go.
  12. Pack less, travel more – you might think you will need your laptop, 4 pairs of jeans, 3 months worth of hair gel or your hair-straighteners but chances are you won’t. It will just be a pain to have to carry it all around. Try to be realistic with what you will actually use and need and…
  13. Remember that you will be able to buy things that you forgot. If you leave something behind, as long as it wasn’t your passport or credit card, then it is probably not the end of the world. You will be able to pick up whatever it is that you forgot when you get there. If you can’t get it chances are you probably didn’t need it after all.
  14. Let your parents know when you arrive and that they will not to be able to contact you all the time – parents are always nervous when their child heads off overseas, especially if this is the first time. Make sure you warn them that you won’t always be contactable and check in when you can so they don’t worry too much.
  15. Be aware that the first few days will be daunting – there is no denying it. The culture shock can be tough and home-sickness sucks! It will pass. Stick it out you will settle in and you will undoubtedly have an incredible time.
  16. Be streetwise and make smart decisions– Sex. Drugs. Alcohol. Play it safe when you are overseas and don’t let bad decisions ruin a trip. What is considered criminal or dangerous overseas may be different to the UK, as will be any punishments handed out for infringements. Remember that you are in new surroundings and you will stand out.  As boring as it sounds, be sensible.
  17. Be willing to try things and get stuck in – if you are going on a trip it is important to be enthusiastic and be keen to try new things (within reason-see above!). Chat to new people, take advantage of opportunities that are offered to you and enjoy every minute of what you are doing. It might not be a once in a lifetime experience but chances are you might not be back there for a while.