I remember my first time travelling as though it were yesterday. I was fresh out of university, having just booked a 5-day trip to Tenerife with my cousin and two friends, feeling on top of the world. I felt every emotional under the sun; hope, fear, excitement, joy, nervousness.
And though there have been countless holidays that I’ve been on since then, there are a few pointers I wish I had read before I went on my first holiday. But alas, even though I wasn’t able to access these pointers, I would love to share them with you, especially if you are on your first trip abroad. How exciting!
1. Go on holiday with fun people
For those of you who might have read my other blog post, ‘More Than a Good City, You Need Good Company’, you might already be aware that one of my trips was horribly ruined by a friend that I’d gone on holiday with. Sadly, this was my first holiday and it turned out to be my least memorable. While it was special, in the way all firsts are, it wasn’t the most enjoyable —mostly because this particular friend and I had a falling out.
As someone who is going on holiday for the first time, you might not know who the ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ people to go on holiday would be. But one slice of advice I’d give you —if you can’t bare to spend more than a day with them in your home town, you will probably hate going abroad with them for a few days.
Pick easy-going, fun and relaxing people who want similar things from their trip. And the way to do this would be my next tip.
2. Plan the kind of holiday you want
Now, while this may seem fairly intuitive, it isn’t. Because as a first-time holidayer, you probably aren’t aware that there are a plethora of trips you can take. You can go backpacking. You can go to a resort. You can go on a holiday with a history. You can go to a city that is all about food. You can go island hopping. You can even go end up in a beach-city just for parties.
So, plan plan plan.
Sit down with your friends and decide what you want from your holiday. If you’re young and energetic, I’d highly recommend an adventurous holiday, one where you can walk and explore until your heart is content.
This conversation will then show you whether your friends and you are expecting similar or different things from this trip.
3. Keep your passport close
The last thing you want is for your passport to disappear a day before you have to fly out. So, from the moment you book your holiday till the day you fly out (usually these are a few weeks apart), make sure that you know where your passport is.
It would also be a good idea to ensure that your passport isn’t due to expire before, or during your holiday. In fact, make sure that it’s in date for at least a few more weeks (just in case).
4. Keep up-to-date with all the Covid-19 rules
Due to the last 2 years, this is a fairly new one but perhaps one of the most significant things. Luckily, I’ve travelled during Covid-19, so I have some understanding of what to expect. One of the main things you need to do is book all your PCR tests, and ensure that your Covid-19 passport is valid before you travel.
Another useful tip would be to keep an eye out on the city you are travelling to. Covid-19 rules are constantly changing with new variants, so, you don’t want to miss out on something important.
5. Get insurance
This is another Covid-19-friendly tip. Make sure that your flights and hotel is insured against something like a lockdown in the city that you are due to travel to. You don’t want to lose out on lots of money just because you didn’t plan ahead. Whatever vendors you use, make sure you have their return and exchange policies in writing. This will save you time, and money, when you have to make calls and change around the dates.
6. Don’t be scared
One of the things that took me by surprise when I went on my first holiday was how much it felt like I was dreaming that first night. And by that I don’t mean, ‘Wow, this is so beautiful, just like a dream’, but literally like ‘I’m so dizzy, I don’t know where I am and I need to lie down’. This can throw a lot of people off. Especially if you’re on your first holiday.
The last thing you want to experience is homesickness on the first night because the first night feels ‘weird’. The best thing to do in this situation is to take it easy that first night. Stay indoors. Get a takeout. If you have a pool in the hotel then go for a swim. But let that first night pass.
The next morning you will wake up feeling refreshed and ready for the holiday adventures to begin!
7. Have fun!
You’re on your first holiday, yay! Make sure that you enjoy every moment of it. Don’t worry about what’s happening back home. Don’t keep checking your social media. Don’t let things that go wrong (and a lot of things can go wrong on holiday) stop you from enjoying your holiday. This is your time. Your trip.
Enjoy it to the fullest, and let go!
About the Creator
Ruby Dhal is a speaker, performer and author of 5 books of poetry, prose and bite-sized self-help. With a social media following of over half a million and millions of impressions on Instagram, Ruby has access to readers everywhere.
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