Travel Series Part 4: My 5 Unconventional Tips For a First Time Traveler

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Aside of the round the world trip we’re focusing on during this series, I’ve also done quite a bit of travelling outside of that having traveled the 3 months during every college summer as well as your usual few week holidays so I’ve learnt a few lessons over the years!

This post is designed to help you avoid the pitfalls as a newbie to backpacking & learn from my many (… many!) mistakes xx



‘Go for the decision that’ll make for the best story’

Take Calculated Risks.

So many people travel but avoid really submerging themselves fully in the culture around them by saying no to anything unplanned, avoiding local food ect… we often said yes to unfamiliar people or scenarios & they almost always worked in our favor.

The most interesting experiences we had travelling without doubt came from making unplanned decisions, saying yes to momentary opportunities or maximizing our exposure to whatever was around us at that moment in time. Weigh it up & if it seems more exciting than dangerous… go for it!




Don’t Be A Stereotype.

The more ‘touristy’ you are the less the locals will engage in a genuine manner & the more you’ll get ripped off. Avoid getting caught up in constantly applying hand gel, wearing a money belt & all of those standard ‘fresh off the boat’ nonsense that’s actually only necessary in about 1% of the world. If you’re THAT terrified, don’t go.




Get Off The Beaten Track.

Having an itinerary is great n’ all but if you stick to it without compromise you’ll miss most of the adventure. Don’t only stay in the most well trodden places, make it your mission to go somewhere unfamiliar to the guide books & create your own path.

If we wanted to try new places we’d agree a price with locals to drive us (as tourist buses didn’t have routes there) these would often lead to the most authentic experience of that area & their culture. Do it and if you don’t enjoy it, head back to the main path tomorrow, no big deal!




Trust Your Instinct.

In every situation. Our instinct saved our lives in some scenarios & also allowed us to take monumental risks in others… it is literally the most valuable thing you’ll bring with you.


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Don’t Go Places Just To Say You’ve ‘Been There’.

We met countless backpackers who were ‘traveling’ 8 South American countries in 6 weeks or something equally as ludicrous on other continents. Yes. you can brag that you’ve been there but did you enjoy yourself? Did you stay in 1 spot long enough to take it in? Did you spend more money on transport that you did on living?

You get my point. Forget the numbers & enjoy yourself…

the most expensive part of travelling is literally the travelling part so if you like a place, stay a while, meet the people, enjoy the food…. live it.




There you have it guys, my 5 tips to live by as a first time traveler… skip all the crap & get straight to being a pro! x

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