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Five Faves Tips for First-Time Travelers

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Five Tips for First-Time Travelers

Allow me to preface this post: I am completely and totally in love with traveling. There isn’t one part of traveling that I don’t like. I love the middle seat, I adore layovers (the longer the better), security lines are joyous and often make me smile, delayed flights are just dandy, and there is nothing more invigorating than a too-tight layover and a nice run through the airport to catch my next flight.

Needless to say that during all of my travels, I’ve found certain things to be true. So if you’ve booked your very first cruise, or perhaps the first one that requires a long-haul from home, here are five first-time travel tips that will get you to the ship smoothly.

Visualize the Outcome

As a first-time traveler, you truly are in the most fortunate position. Whether for business or leisure, with a group or solo, you’re going to be traveling with fresh eyes and a blank canvas. As you pack your suitcase, visualize how you will spend your time. That way, you get to craft your experience even before you begin the journey.

Pack What You Can’t Buy

Packing could very well be the trickiest and most hectic part. While you make your list, first gather up the items you can’t buy at a store: your passport, ID, contacts and glasses, and wallet. This will help alleviate the stress as it gets closer to go-time. This way you know that you have your non-replaceable items, and even if you forget something such as toothpaste or shampoo, chances are there is a store on your way.

Plan . . . Just a Little Bit

You will very quickly discover what type of traveler you are even before you begin your journey. If you’re a spontaneous traveler, do (at least) the slightest bit of research about your destination ahead of time. I like to do a little bit of reading and speaking with people who have traveled to the location. If you’re the type who needs an itinerary, by all means write one out for yourself. A gentle reminder: Leave time in your trip to relax. There is no worse feeling than coming home and needing a vacation from your vacation.

Be in the Moment

No doubt, you’ll always bring your phone or camera to take photos. It’s an incredible way to capture your trip and have those memories to look back on forever. But when you find yourself in those once-in-a-lifetime moments, do take pictures — but then put away the camera. To stand right beside a famous site, a historic attraction, or simply amazing natural beauty, is when you should be in the scene and feel with all of your senses. Those are the types of moments that a picture just can’t replace. It’s a delicate balance, but it can be achieved.

Open up to Surprises

If you can start your adventure with this piece of wisdom in your heart, I promise you it’ll change the way you view the unexpected during your journey: If unfortunate or unplanned things happen beyond your control, know they happen for a reason and in perfect time. You will find such joy knowing that even the littlest surprises are oftentimes your most cherished memories.

Happy travels!

— Marie Elena Larsen

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