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5 mistakes first-time travelers make

Thursday, 12 October 2017

It is quite easy for first-time travellers to make mistake upon mistake on their first travel experience. However, there are some tips that can help first-time travellers avoid these repeated mistakes. Jumia Travel, the leading online travel agency, shares five mistakes that first-time travellers make and how to avoid them.

Using a travel agent for everything
This might seem like the safe option but it can also make the whole process more expensive. While it is nice to have the ‘safety net’ of a travel agent, you can generally limit your use of their services to booking your flights and maybe taking advantage of their accommodation packages. Aside that, you generally can try to look after everything yourself, all you really need to do is be willing to ask questions from people that have travelled before, travel forums or even help desks to guide you the rest of the way. Once you do this, it will much easier for you to continue rather than having to rely on a travel agent all the time.

Being scared of the locals
This might not be the best idea for a first-time traveller because it makes him/her stand out even more and be easily identified as a ‘Johnny Just Come’, which can be quite disadvantageous for the said first-time traveller. It is best to be open and free, especially when you are visiting a foreign area. Of course, this doesn’t mean you should neglect the use of common sense and throw basic caution to the wind, but don’t overdo it by thinking everyone is out to get you. If you’re open and friendly, you can even make one or two friends among the locals that will guide you on the basic things you need to know about life there.

Don’t be too hard yourself for being scammed
It’s only natural that if you’re new to a place, you are likely to occasionally get scammed while adjusting to how life works there. It’s okay, no matter how smart or careful you are, it will happen sometimes. There’s no easy way around it so just roll with the punches and learn whatever lesson that needs to be learned to avoid it happening again. Being scammed doesn’t mean you should be so hard on yourself and become hyperactive and super distrustful of everyone around you, you’ll exhaust yourself living that way. Just let the experiences make you wiser, learn from them and be better for it.

Underestimating costs
It is best to travel with the mentality that everything over 'there' is likely to cost more, especially if you are travelling to a town or city as opposed to a village. As much as you are trying to be conservative, it is much better to get to your destination and have more than enough rather than having less and getting stranded, which can be particularly disadvantageous to you as a first-time traveller.

Packing way too many things
It might be tempting to over-pack if you’re a first-time traveller, but please do your best to overcome this temptation. It is best to pack lightly so you will be able to easily respond to any sudden instance or situation during your travel. Over-packing is not very safe for you and can weigh you down, therefore, it is best to avoid it. Try to only pack the items you absolutely - and the key word is ‘absolutely’ - cannot do without.

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