I’m often asked what advice I have for travelers who are leaving the country for the first time. While I have lots of advice of my own, like purchasing travel insurance, we also have a network of travelers who have some great knowledge to share.
What better way to tap into our travelers’ expertise than on our Facebook page? So, in an installment of our Mad-Lib Monday series I posed the question: “If I could give one piece of advice to a first-time international traveler, I would tell them _____.”
We got over 40 responses, and I thought there was great practical and thoughtful advice! Here are some of my favorites:
- “Be friendly to the locals and be respectful … you are a guest after all!”
- “Pack light!”
- “Be flexible and don’t sweat the small stuff.”
- “Keep your passport with you.”
- “Eat local and try everything.”
- “Bring an extra charged battery for your camera so that u can take pictures of all the memorable places and things u see along the way :)”
- “Keep an open mind.”
- “Take public transportation and find your way off the beaten path.”
- “Be patient. Pack only what you can carry. Learn ‘thank you’ in every language!”
I can’t resist mentioning a few thoughts of my own for a first-time international traveler: smile, smile, smile. There was absolutely no one, in any culture I’ve ever encountered, that didn’t respond positively to a sincere, friendly smile. And by the way, that smile will keep you in the right frame of mind to relax, ignore small inconveniences, and simply enjoy the adventure of being in a brand new place!
What would you add? Start the conversation here in a comment below, or join the conversation on our Facebook page to add your tips for first-time international travelers.