It is pretty much a given that you will make some mistakes the very first time of travel; or even the second or the third. Just as any other aspect of life, you are going to hit some walls, find some knots and cry a little. But below is a little guide for you to use as a life boat.
Do NOT Book Each and Everything
Yes it feels like a relief to have everything ready and under control, right? All the hostels, every reliable hotel, all the activities, all of your evenings, each breakfast and lunch. It may first feel like that you won’t have to worry about all these things if it is already locked down, you will soon understand that having a bit of wiggle room is not a bad idea after all. Get the basic, big things booked. But have some flexibility to jump and do something spontaneous.
The Travel Agent is Not a God
With the internet it is now basically a piece of cake to book an entire trip while sitting at a desk – from the air tickets to trains to an affordable hotel or serviced apartment Hong Kong down to each one of your meals. But it also makes sense wanting to have the security and the guidance of a professional. But this does not mean you must depend on that person for each and every thing. Communicate and tell the agent what you need done and what you will do on your own. You will save money and when you get there and actually experience what you planned alone you will be extremely proud of yourself for being able to make things happen.
Locals are NOT Your Enemies
It takes one look to spot a first timer – always checking where their wallet is hidden, ‘suspicious’ faces. But your unreasonable doubt can keep you away from spotting the friendly helpful people. There are crooks, sure. But most people are not out here to get you. So be friendly and smile a little. You will find yourself making more friends.
Slow Down a Bit
This is one of the top reasons why these group tours – “tour four cities in two days” things are popular, because people think it is a good thing. Wanting to see as much as you can and checking all the boxes and going everywhere, doing everything is understandable: but you will be making a mistake. Instead, slow it down; live a bit wherever you go, get to know the place. Completely engulf yourself without trying to skim on the surface. The experience will last a lifetime.