Traveling is one of the best opportunities a person can be given. Not only do you get to explore something new, but traveling can also change you as a person. However, to make the best of your traveling experience, I've found that there is some things you should know before you begin. Here are the top 10 things an inexperienced traveler should know.
1. Be ready for change.
Stepping out of your everyday ordinary life into a new place full of new cultures can be scary. But don't fear! You may discover some great things you want to take back with you in your own personal life. Just be ready for whats going to happen and embrace the change you are about to embark on.
2. Don't be afraid to ask questions.
This is so important. Don't let yourself just feel lost and confused the whole time. It will end up making your experience less enjoyable. Ask questions, even to strangers. You never know how helpful and friendly the locals can be.
3. Don't fall into tourists traps.
Go to some of the big and iconic places that everyone says to go to. But don't spend all of your time going to these huge tourists attractions. Some of the best places you will find are the places you didn't expect. Make a balance between classic tourist and aimless traveler.
4. Do your research.
With that being said, doing some research ahead of time will really help you in the long run. Not only will this help give you an idea of where to go, but you could also research about the places' history and culture. Being aware of your surroundings and why they're there will only make you be more appreciative of your opportunity to be there.
5. Physically and mentally prepare yourself.
Physically, you're most likely going to be doing a lot of walking so make sure to prepare yourself for that. But even being mentally prepared will be essential. As mentioned before, change is about to happen and if you aren't ready or expecting this change then you may have a big reality shock.
6. Explore as much as you can; you can sleep later.
Along with physically preparing yourself, getting enough sleep during your travels is important. But who knows if you're ever going to be given the opportunity to go back to wherever you're traveling to? My advice is explore now, sleep later. Take advantage of being in this new place. Don't over do it to the point that you are too exhausted to enjoy anything, but also don't let yourself sleep in till noon like you might do back home.
7. Emerge yourself into the culture.
Yes, you're a tourist, but don't always act like one. The locals will have much more appreciation for you if you respect and are aware of their customs versus you being confused about everything.
8. Try everything.
I don't care if you say you're a picky eater, afraid of heights, don't enjoy history, etc. When you're abroad, you will never be able to fully experience it unless you try everything. You may or may not like it, but at least you can say you did it.
9. Don't spend all of your time on your phone.
In today's society, we are so obsessed with our phones that it has come to the point where we don't truly experience life because we spend our time texting or posting rather than looking at the real world right in front of us. When you're abroad, you can survive not using your phone the whole time. Use your phone to take pictures, post occasionally and keep in contact with family and friends back home. There's no need to be on it 24/7.
10. Embrace every experience you are given.
After all of the tips I have given so far, it leads up to this final tip. You never know when you will be able to go back so truly just embrace every opportunity you are given. If you do this, you will have one of the best experiences of your life and learn so many things that you would have never known before.