Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Tips for First Time Travelers

It was Nov 2009 when I had a chance to go out of the country, I was both nervous and excited. Good thing was that it was a business trip and so all expense were paid....that's the best part I think. Me and 2 of my officemate went to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for 3days to attend a product launch.

It is important that you know the Do's and Don't's specially if it is your first time to travel abroad. So here's some tips/guide that I want to share and might be useful for you guys.

1. Dress down. Do not dress so as to mark yourself as an affluent tourist. Wearing expensive jewelry during travel can draw the wrong attention and you might be a target of those bad people on the place where you are going. Dress simple and wear clothes you are comfortable with, but avoid those head-turner clothes please....hahaha you might not know that a maniac or a rapist is just roaming around :-)

2. Travel Light. Light travelers enjoy the luxury of maximizing their time when travelling, like for example, they do not need to wait on the carousel waiting for their luggages, once touched down the airport they can immediately head out of it and start their adventure. You can move more quickly and will be more likely to have a free hand. You will be also less tired and less likely to set your luggage down and leaving it unattended. Put your name, address and telephone number inside and outside of each piece of luggage. Use coverd luggage tags to avoid casual observation on your identity or nationality. If possible lock your luggages.

3. Carry the minimum number of valuables and plan places to conceal them. Your passport, cash and credit cards are most secure when locked in a hotel safe. If you really need to bring it along with you make sure you put it in various places instead of just putting it in one pouch or wallet. Avoid handbags and outside pockets that are easy target for thieves. Inside pocket and body bag that is worn around your chest is much safer. If you wear glasses bring an extra pair, and bring medicine that you need. Bring one or two major credit cards (if any) instead of cash.

4. Pack an extra set of passport photos along with a photocopy of your passport's information page. This can be your replacement in case your passport was lost or stolen. You can also leave your passport at the safety vault in the hotel and just bring a photocopy when going arund the city. Leave one copy of this data with family or friends back home; pack the other in a place separate from where you carry the originals.

5. Don't bring anything you would hate to lose. Leave at home your expensive jewelry, irreplaceable family objects, all unnecesary credit cards, SSS ID and similar items you may always carry in your wallet. Do not bring anything that you will not be using during your travel, it's best to leave it at home.

6. Leave a copy of your itinerary with family or friends. Doing this will help your family a lot in case there's something went wrong during your travel, or any emergency back home. They can contact and reach you immediately.

7. Be a street-wise traveler. Safety on the streets should always be observed, use the same common sense traveling abroad that you would at home. Be especially cautious in (or avoid) areas where you may be more easily victimized. This include crowded subways, train stations, elevator, tourist sites, market place, festival and crime-ridden neighborhoods. Beware of pickpockets.

8. Hotel Safety. Keep your hotel door locked at all times. Meet visitors in the lobby, if you are out late night let someone know when you expect to return. If you are alone, do not get on an elevator if there is a suspicious -looking person inside. Read the fire safety instruction in your hotel room. Know how to report a fire and be sure you know where the nearest fire exits and alternate exits are located.

9. Be guarded on their public transportation. For Taxi, only take those clearly identified with official markings, it is also good if you take the plate number of the taxi you are riding. For Trains, I myself experience some hassles when riding the trains in other country, because I really don't know how it works and where to alight. So it is important that we observed closely their transportation. If you see your way blocked by a stranger and another person is very close to you from behind, move away. This can happen in the corridor of the train or on the platform or station. For Buses, the same type of criminal activity found on trains can be found on public buses on popular tourist routes. For example, we sometimes can't resist sleeping while on the bus specially if we are really tired the whole day, it is a great opportunity for the thieves to robbed you.

10. ENJOY, ENJOY and ENJOY!!! Remember that you go out of the country not to worry of those stressful moments, it's your time to enjoy the place, discover more of their culture, tour around and go into their historic or significant tourist spots. Try and eat their local foods and cuisine. Take pictures as many as you can, this is the best remembrance we can always bring home with us. Shop till you drop, but only if you have the budget hahahah. Travel as if it will be your last chance to visit that country.

So now we are ready to fly and visit as many country as we want. I hope I helped you guys may you be a first time traveler or a frequent traveler, because we sometimes forget to take into consideration those items listed above, so it is just a reminder for all of us.

Happy Trip everyone!!!!


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