9 Travel Tips for First Time Visitors
- 1.1 Check the Transportation Situation
- 1.2 Ask Your Hotel Concierge!
- 1.3 Download a City Guide App
- 1.4 Bring Your Own Towel(s)
- 1.5 Bring Your Own Snacks & Drinks
- 1.6 Bring Your Own Surge Protector (if Needed)
- 1.7 Bring Local Currency (if Needed)
- 1.8 Bring Hand Sanitizer & Toilet Paper (if Needed)
- 1.9 Bring Your Own Power Adapter (if Needed)
- 1.10 Don’t Forget an Umbrella & Rain Coat
Are you planning your first trip to a new destination? Whether you’re headed for a big city or a remote island, there are some things you need to know before you go. Here are 10 travel tips for first-time visitors that will help make your trip smoother and more enjoyable.
9 Travel Tips for First Time Visitors
Check the Transportation Situation
If you’ve never been to a new destination before, it’s important to make sure that there are safe and reliable ways for you to get from where you’re staying to where you want to go. Do some research on places like Google Maps or TripAdvisor – even if your hotel concierge can tell you how to get somewhere, they may not know about maintenance issues, accidents during rush hour traffic, etc. That said…
Ask Your Hotel Concierge!
The first place you should turn once you arrive is usually your hotel concierge. They’ll be able to help answer any questions that
- haven’t already occurred to you
- aren’t specifically answered by something like Google Maps
- aren’t already answered on your hotel’s website.
Your hotel concierge is also where you should go if you can’t figure out how to turn on the shower, or you need more towels, or … well, anything at all. Don’t be embarrassed to ask them for help! That’s why they’re there – and if they don’t know the answer, they’ll find someone who does.
Download a City Guide App
You can get lots of good advice from printed materials such as travel books and travel websites before you leave home, but it can be hard to carry those around with you once you’re in town. Luckily, there are now lots of free apps that will give you relevant recommendations and information right at your fingertips.
You can also use services like Google Maps to locate nearby places or to find transportation routes between two points.
If you have a smartphone, download one of these apps before you leave home so it’ll be ready when you need it!
Bring Your Own Towel(s)
Some hotels provide towels in their rooms, but some don’t – and if they do provide them, sometimes only one towel is provided per person.. It’s best to bring your own towel just in case – especially if you’re visiting somewhere tropical where there are no laundromats nearby! If the hotel won’t let you borrow an extra set for the duration of your stay (for whatever reason), ask for another to take home with you, so you can use it again next time.
If you’re staying somewhere that doesn’t provide towels at all, be sure to pack a quick-drying microfiber towel – sometimes called “travel towels” or “compact towels”. These are thin and lightweight, but they expand into full size once they’ve been soaked with water. They’ll dry very quickly afterward, making them perfect for travel!
Bring Your Own Snacks & Drinks
That’s pretty much everywhere, but there are some places where it’s easy to forget this rule. For example, the hotel may have free coffee/tea available in the lobby 24 hours a day – but if you drink more than 2 cups every morning, it’s a good idea to bring your own.
The same goes for any type of food you might want, including snacks and stuff like juice boxes – don’t assume it’ll be provided! Taking along some extra snacks can also help with situations where you’re stuck waiting in the airport or the train station for hours on end…
Bring Your Own Surge Protector (if Needed)
If you live somewhere where you experience power outages fairly often, now is not the time to forget your surge protector at home! If nothing else, bring one just to keep your phone safe while taking photos outside. If you’re staying somewhere that has only one outlet (we’ve all stayed in those kinds of rooms), bring along an extension cord as well.
If you’re in an area where the power goes out fairly often, visit your local hardware or home improvement store and buy a cheap surge protector that plugs into the wall – just in case! These are relatively inexpensive, so it’s worth buying one even if you’ll only be there for a few days.
Bring Local Currency (if Needed)
This is especially important if you plan to visit any local restaurants or stores while you’re out and about.. For example, the US dollar is very strong against the Japanese yen at the moment (1 USD = around 120 JPY), but many small shops don’t accept cards, debit/credit cards, or foreign currency.
If you plan on eating somewhere that won’t accept your card, be sure to have some cash on hand – and if it’s a little out of the way, map the route beforehand so you don’t get lost trying to find somewhere that takes cards.
Bring Hand Sanitizer & Toilet Paper (if Needed)
If the hotel doesn’t provide toilet paper in their bathrooms, bring your own! It can be hard enough to ask for another role from housekeeping even if you do stay at a place that provides it.. not knowing whether they’ll have any is definitely going to put a damper on things!
Hand sanitizer is also a good idea – especially if you’re staying somewhere with few public facilities nearby. For example, most Japanese restaurants provide a hot towel for you to wipe your hands with before eating, so it’s not necessary.. but places that don’t will definitely appreciate it if you bring along some!
Bring Your Own Power Adapter (if Needed)
This is especially important if you’re visiting somewhere like Japan – where they use two different types of sockets. If you forget your adapter, there are usually stores nearby selling them at around 2,000 yen apiece – three times the price that they sell for outside of Japan!
Don’t Forget an Umbrella & Rain Coat
If you plan on doing any sightseeing during your visit, bring an umbrella or raincoat along with you. no matter which country/region you’re in! Even if you have a sun umbrella, it’s best to have an ultra-compact one along.. because sometimes the weather can be unpredictable.
You might want to consider waterproofing your phone/camera as well – especially if you plan on taking any photos outside! That’ll help protect them from any unexpected downpours or water splashes while you’re out and about in town.
That’s all for this time! Although these tips only apply to first-time visitors, they’re things we all wish we’d known before we went at times too! There are some other little hints & tricks that people tend to forget about when traveling abroad (especially Japan), so feel free to share some of your own with us below in the comments.