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  • Writer's pictureTheresa Chu-Bermudez

Advice for First-Time Travelers

As 2016 comes to a close and 2017 begins, many people look to the coming year in anticipation for new experiences. Many people have decided to fly or cruise for the first time! Below are some tips for first-time travelers from travel agents.

1. Consider your Budget: Make sure to consider your budget when planning your trip which doesn't always mean to go with the lowest price. Budgeting not only includes the monetary cost of something but also how much time something will cost you. For example, the cheapest ticket into a popular museum may involve waiting in line for half a day. This cuts into your time that could be spent seeing more sights.

2. Research: Thoroughly research your destination so you know what you want as well as what to expect. A travel consultant will be useful in this situation and can let you know if there are additional factors to consider (ongoing construction at certain landmarks, potential political unrest, etc.). In addition to researching your destination of choice, it is helpful to consider travel insurance as a backup plan in case things do not go as planned and your trip must be cancelled (natural disaster, illness, etc.).

3. Go Over Every Detail: It's easy to overlook important details after your vacation has been planned and booked. Make sure to go through the fine print to make sure you haven't missed anything (final payment date, necessary travel documents, dress codes, etc.). Using a travel consultant can help you in this aspect.

4. Explore: Get out and explore new places, eat new foods, meet new people, and see new things! Experiencing another country and culture will open your mind and help you break out from your usual routine.

5. Packing List: Having the right clothes and toiletries with you can often make or break a vacation. Make sure to research the weather as well as look into suggested packing lists for your destination so you aren't stuck with summer clothes in winter weather.

6. Check the Resort or Cruise: Confirm with the resort/cruise line to see if there is a dress code for certain restaurants or areas of the property. Also, check to see if advanced reservations are necessary for specific restaurants, especially if you are celebrating a special occasion.

7. Hydrate: Don't forget to drink plenty of water while you are traveling. A reusable water bottle can be helpful if you are traveling to a destination with easily available drinking water. You can also fill up at the fountains in the airport so you won't need to purchase the overpriced bottled water after you clear security.

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