The travel market is seeing an influx of young, inexperienced travellers. If you currently have a dose of wanderlust, you’re possibly worried about how you will handle your first trip. We’ve pulled together a variety of top tips carefully crafted to help and benefit the first time traveller.
Let’s jump right in and show you how to plan your itinerary, find cheap flights or an international ticket and basically how to travel at your best!
Embrace the non-reserved seating issue and watch your weight
When you book cheap flights with a travel buddy or a group of friends, don’t expect to be seated together. Airlines have found some smart ways to add a few extra rands on to your ticket price. To reserve a specific seat next to a friend, you are going to have to do so online and will pay extra for it (most airlines charge for this, but not all). If you prefer to save the cash for your holiday and don’t mind getting to know someone new – don’t worry about it – embrace the situation!
In much the same way, be very aware of baggage allowances. Nothing kills the excitement and anticipation of a great holiday quite like exorbitant overweight baggage fees. If you know you are overweight and can’t spread the load with a friend, pay upfront and online – it’s much cheaper. Alternatively, make an investment in smart, lightweight luggage and learn how to pack lightly and wisely. Be sure to carry some essential overnight items in your hand luggage so you don’t lose the plot if your luggage goes missing!
You’ll find all the necessary baggage information on the website of your airline of choice – check it out upfront.
Chat to the bank
Banks have stepped up security – for your safety. If you are jetting off to a new country, the bank might not allow payments to go through on your cards. Let the bank know of your travel dates and they will make sure that your cards work when you’re paying for goods, services, and great experiences in a foreign country.
Take your medication along, and more
The chances are that you are going to want to taste local food and beverages while travelling. Unfortunately, many first time travellers experience upset tummies and nausea as a result of the unusual cuisine. If you travel with anti-nausea and anti-diarrhoea medication (choose the non-drowsy versions), you will be able to remedy the problem quickly. Also, pay attention to what you are eating.
Activate your phone’s roaming service
If you are travelling overseas, you need to ensure that you always have a quick and easy link to your emergency contacts back home. To save money, plan to get a pre-paid local SIM once you settle in at your destination. To give you peace of mind in the interim, be sure to have roaming services activated until you get the SIM card – just in case.
Step out of your comfort zone
You’ll find lots of online marketing about tours, excursions and events specifically designed for tourists that might have you rolling your eyes with scepticism – don’t. This might not sound like the type of itinerary you had in mind, but if you are brave enough to step out of your comfort zone and do things a little differently, you are likely to get a whole lot more out of the experience. Who knows, you might even make a new lifetime friend!
Speak to the locals
When you visit a new place,try and remember that you are as much a stranger to the people you meet, as they are to you. It’s natural to feel overwhelmed and keep to yourself,fumbling your way through maps, apps, and other online resources.
Now’s your chance to step out of your comfort zone andput your mobile phone away. Don’t spend your entire holiday looking down at a screen; you could just miss the best sightings or breathtaking locations. Visit a nearby pub, coffee shop or local hangout spot and strike up a conversation with the locals. Chances are that you will find out more about the area and its hidden gems than any online review will be able to tell you.
Leave the gadgets and gizmos at home
Of course, you will want to take your professional camera, multiple lenses, laptop, iPad, and various other electronics with you. We get your appetite for technology. But don’t. Not only will you feel overwhelmed with all the things you have to lug around, but you also put yourself at risk of loss, theft, and damage when taking expensive electronics with you.
By all means, snap some memories on your phone, but don’t forget to look up and absorb what’s around you. Too much time spent playing with angles, filters and other tech options could mean you miss out.
Get a few apps
On the one hand, we are busy advising you not to spend too much time on your phone when what we should be saying is, if you are going to use your mobile, make sure it’s for something useful! Download Uber, Airbnb, and a Maps app that can help you get around.
Book flights as soon as you see a great price
Book your cheap flights online with SA Airlines. We make it easy for you to find the best flight prices and we offer all the best advice.
Use our flight search feature above to search, compare, and securely pay for your cheap flights. Getting your trip booked and confirmed early is a great way to get the admin out of the way and make way for the real fun of travelling.