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The Gap Year Blog

Top 5 Tips for First Time Travellers

30 Sep 2016 16:15 PM

It’s nerve-wracking the first time you decide to go travelling on your own, and no matter how much advice is thrown your way you’re sure to forget something or feel embarrassed asking where your gate is at the airport. But luckily for you, Frontier is here to guide you through the basics with this quick fire guide!

The Packing

Two heads are definitely better than one when it comes to packing. Anyone who’s ever been anywhere will happily admit to joyously calling out that they have finished packing, only to have a friend or family member reply with “Have you packed a universal socket adaptor?” Start packing early. Make a list, leave it a day, amend the list, start to pack, and then ask your mum if she can think of anything. But remember, pack light.


Image courtesy of Rob Faulkner

The Airport

If this is the first time you’ve travelled alone the airport can seem really daunting. Don’t fear though, there are always tons of helpful staff around to point out the obvious oversight and steer you to the right gate. One perhaps obvious tip here is: arrive early. You want to be in the airport 3 hours before you depart if it’s an international flight, and this will (hopefully) account for any eventuality.


Image courtesy of Mark Hodson

The Accommodation

Having experienced some more-than-a-little-dodgy hotels in this writer’s time I can say wholeheartedly, pre-book all your accommodation. And don’t just book anything, research the place thoroughly. Please don’t end up in The Cecil Hotel in L.A. only to find out from a local in a bar one evening that a serial killer stashed two bodies in the water tank last year.


Image courtesy of Jim Winstead

The Culture

We’ve all heard funny stories and facts about offending the locals in various countries around the world, and quite frankly, most of them are probably true. But the majority of locations you’ll be travelling to will be familiar with tourists and will likely let slip anything only mildly offensive. Be warned though, some cultures have extremely strong traditions and will be easily offended by even accidental remarks, so always check your etiquette for anywhere you visit.

Image courtesy of Gags9999

The Unexpected

There are so many stories and tips any traveller could hammer off here, but the most important piece of advice – be prepared. Print an itinerary, make copies of your travel documents, have a backup source of money, know your location and get some contact numbers. Don’t let any of this advice scare you aware from exploring though. Some of your best adventures and most memorable moments will happen when you least expect them.

Jack Plumb

Frontier runs terrestrial & marine conservation, community, teaching and adventure projects in over 50 countries - join us and explore the world!